According to one estimate, 70 percent of golf swing faults occur between setup and the top of the swing. So why not dispense with the backswing altogether?
In fact, a few instructors have championed a “no-backswing swing” over the years. While the concept has never gained widespread acceptance as an actual playing method, many teachers recommend it as a game-improvement drill.
By starting from the top, you bypass errors on the takeaway, as well as any flawed moves made as the hands pass the hips and set the club on its plane. Practicing a half-swing can help you feel the proper position at the top and groove a powerful downward action.
When practicing this method, it’s important to get into the proper starting position. Here’s how it’s done:
- Assume a backswing position with your left arm extended straight out to the right, parallel to the ground.
- The shoulders should be turned at about 75° to the target line, with the hips rotated a corresponding amount (typically 30-40°).
- With the knees flexed, your right side should carry slightly more weight than the left.
- The club should point upward with the wrists cocked.
- When you’re ready, lift or pump the club up to the top once or twice, then swing into the ball and through to the finish, rotating the body all the way.
The no-backswing drill may feel pretty awkward at first, but try several reps until you get the hang of it. While most instructors believe the lack of a full backswing robs golfers of a powerful windup and transition, you may find otherwise.
If it works on the range, be brave – go ahead and try it on the course.