How long should your backswing be?

There are as many backswing techniques as there are golfers and the length is something that some players get very pre-occupied with. However, there are no technical rules related to the exact length itself – you can have a short backswing or a John Daly-esque overswing and as long as your mechanics are good, you’re fine. Having said that, there are some common faults that can make your backswing seem either very short or very long and without question, they all make it very hard to co-ordinate the downswing move. Here are the three most common backswing faults that lead to it either being very long or short – all are worth knowing and all are worth avoiding!

  1. Tension at address. This often prevents your writs from work effectively. Shortening the swing this will make it hard for your arms and body to work in harmony on the way down cheating you of both power and control.
  2. Levers. Some players introduce an extra lever into the golf swing by allowing their left arm to bend at the top. This makes the swing look very long and creates a very weak position. Again, co-ordination on the way down will be hard to find.
  3. Resistance. Some players cheat themselves of power by lifting the heel of their front foot to help them reach the top of the backswing. For right-handers, your top of backswing position will look like a left-handers finish position. This makes the swing look very long and destroys the resistance between your upper and lower body – a crucial element to power.

Obviously, we all have different physical attributes and some of us aren’t able to rotate as much as we’d like. So don’t get too preoccupied with your top of backswing position – just make sure you don’t fall foul of these errors.