Practice with Wide Stance for Short, Powerful Backswing

Unless you’re blessed with the flexibility and hand-eye coordination of John Daly or Phil Mickelson, a longer backswing won’t produce more powerful golf shots.

In fact, it will probably do the opposite.

If your club shaft dips past parallel (with the ground) at the top, your swing is probably too long. By shortening it, you’ll improve the efficiency and better coordinate the movements of your hips, torso, shoulders and arms. This drill will give you the sensation of a shorter swing, boosting your power and accuracy:

  • Using a mid-iron on the driving range, set up with your feet as far apart as you would if hitting a driver. The insides of your feet should match the outsides of your shoulders.
    Take the club back until your left (lead) arm is parallel to the ground, the club pointing up.
  • Move smoothly into the downswing and hit the ball. Your arms and upper body should do most of the work because the wide stance restricts your hips.
  • Try several repetitions until you’re hitting the ball consistently solid.
  • Finally, return to your regular stance with the same club. Hit shots with the same short swing, and notice the different feeling – and results – from your usual, extra-long action.

For most golfers, a compact swing produces the best combination of distance, accuracy and consistency.

A shorter, tighter backswing is the place to start.