Finding your backswing

by Rick Silva, Kinetic Performance Center president/director

Most golfers think the major factor in distance is club head speed. In reality, it’s quality of contact. This misunderstanding forces the golfer to swing the club back too far (past parallel) losing the all-important angle in the spine which is necessary to store energy. So, how far should your backswing go?

Unfortunately, there is not a finite answer. It changes for the individual based on body type, strength and flexibility. The trend on tour is to get backswings shorter and wider. Here is a simple drill that anyone can do to find out the proper length for his or her backswing.

Set up in your normal posture without a golf club. Face your palms inward or toward each other, then, place the left hand behind the right. Without altering your posture at any point, make a normal backswing until you run out of mobility.

Chances are that your arms will stop short of your old position. The shortened position is absolutely mind-blowing to most amateur golfers because it’s considerably shorter than anything they have ever experienced. The drill should be performed with an 8- or 9-iron swinging with 50 percent effort.

Keep in mind
Just because it feels weird or different doesn’t mean that it is wrong.