Are You Taking the Club Back Far Enough? Golf Video
I often get asked by golfers who are striving to get more distance on how far back they should take their golf club. And it’s a bit of a misunderstood area of what sort of position would like the club to be in to get the maximum amount of control along side the maximum amount of distance.
So we often use a gauge at the top which is effectively a clock face. As I bring the golf club back we have got 12 o’clock, 1 o’clock, 2 o’clock and 3 o’clock. 3 o’clock is basically pointing back down the target line horizontal to the ground at the target. And it’s considered by most people to be the position of a full backswing. Now that’s a full backswing for a sort of a fit, active, youngster. If you are getting a little bit older and you are struggling with a bit of mobility you have got a back or hip problems, you should be aiming for a slightly shorter backswing, you shouldn’t be trying to compete and swing the club the same distance as all players. So if you have got a shorter than average shoulder rotation and you can’t get your shoulders round so far, don’t try and compensate by bending the arm to get the club in a good position this way because this is a major weakness and a major level of inconsistency that can come from having a bent left arm.
So here’s a good check to see whether you have got the shoulder rotation that should get you into a 3 o’clock backswing. If you can take the golf club and place over your shoulders you can put over the back of your shoulder if you like but I prefer to place it over the front of the shoulders here, tilting forward to a good stable sort of golf position here and now rotating my shoulders around I want to try and get the golf club to point at least towards where the golf ball and if I can just slightly behind. I am also cautious with this that I don’t use my legs too much, I certainly don’t stop my heels lifting or my legs locking. So winding the shoulders up as much as possible while resisting with the knees and the hips and if I can achieve a 90 degree shoulder rotation at my body here and the 90 degree shoulder rotation with my follow through here then I have got enough rotational flexibility to getting the golf club to a 3 o’clock backswing.
If when you swing back you only get sort of a 70 or 80 degrees rotation you should clearly be aiming for a shorter backswing. Now as we take the golf club to the top now, 90 degree shoulder rotation I can get the golf club to my horizontal 3 o’clock position. If you have got shorter then that shoulder rotation you should have a shorter club position maybe only get 2 o’clock swing. If you don’t use your shoulders correctly, but you compensate with your hand and your arm don’t think you have got a full swing, this is going to cause you problems and going to actually lack distance.
One of the thing to look for in your swing is as you take it to the top everything should stop at the same time, it shouldn’t be a case of your shoulder stopping, your hands carrying on then coming down, everything should be up and down at the same time. Up and stop and change direction. Not one bit carrying on, not the left arm collapsing and going over, swing to the top, hold it and pull it down. The best advise I can give you here is get yourself in front of a big patio door or a big full length mirror something reflective so you can see the length of your swing and check it out or even better than that get a video to full speed, because it might look quite short in a practice swing, but it might be too much rotation or too much left arm bend under the golf ball. So get one of your friends or colleagues to video you as you hit golf balls and check out your shoulder rotation.