Golf Tips: The Purpose of the Backswing

This blog post was born out of necessity more than great inspiration, but nonetheless let us consider the backswing and the real objectives we should want to achieve with our golf swings. Countless are the times I have seen golfers take the club back at a rate too near the speed limit only to crash on the way down. I know, a few people assume that since the club moves back fast it can retain that speed and even get faster on the way back to the golf ball, but my dear readers that is not how it works!

Keeping with the idea of speed let’s talk about how that relates to the backswing and downswing. One primary reason for taking the club back is to allow time and space for the club to accelerate back to the golf ball.  If I asked you to hit a sand wedge 30 yards in the air with a 6″ backswing you would not be successful, or anyone for that matter. There was not enough space to give your swing enough time to build the energy required for the shot. So for every club from putter to driver we need to get the golf club moving back away from the ball enough distance to allow for acceleration.

Secondly, we move the golf club back from the ball to get it into a good position relating to the shaft angle that is sits at address so that we don’t need to make any unusual motions on the way back down to get a successful strike.  Since all golf clubs sit on an angle to the ground they must be moved on an angle during a majority of the golf swing to get good contact and accuracy, so just like in real estate it’s all about location, location, location!

If you ever get to watch one of those Iron Byron machines you will get a clear picture of what we want to accomplish during the backswing. The clubs moves back s-l-0-w-l-y then pauses at the top (which I do not condone for real golfers), and then swishes through impact and into finish.  So next time you practice consider why you are moving the club back and are you moving at a reasonable and controlled pace? Are you moving too fast and getting the club out of position or not taking it back far enough to allow for reasonable acceleration? Consider what you are trying to accomplish with the backswing and try to start your swing at a reasonable pace and I believe you will start seeing better shots!

AGI: play better golf.