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The Backswing Does Not Hit the Ball

By Greg Ellis

There is a myth that the faster you swing the golf club, the farther the golf ball will travel. This statement is partially accurate. The clubhead speed generated through the impact zone will create more distance. The swing must still be sequentially correct and the energy put forth must happen at the correct time. With this in mind, I have never seen a golf shot hit with the backswing, so why waste the energy on that part of your swing? Back in the 70's there was talk that the backswing was not necessary. Golf instructors began teaching the no backswing method. Well, that did not work. The backswing is used to create a flow of motion leading into the forward swing. With this in mind and not going to that extreme, follow this simple tip to get control of your backswing and the forward swing will be more effective:

  • Without going through the entire preshot routine, and I presume you have read my previous columns and have this part of your game working, I want to deal with the backswing and how it causes everything, good or bad, to happen to the flight of the golf ball.

  • Once you have warmed up on the practice tee, take out your driver, tee a golf ball up and then place another tee in the ground about 20-24 inches behind the ball and about 2 inches inside your target line. This tee should be in the ground so that the top of the tee is about 2 inches high.

  • On your take away, keep the club low to the ground and clip the tee on the backswing. Do this slowly. Feel like you are making the backswing in molasses. The object is to clip the tee. It is set on the proper path of your backswing. It will distract you the first couple of times but you will get use to it. Continue following that same path and slowly complete your backswing getting the club as close to parallel to ground as possible. If this is done properly, you will see your left shoulder behind the golf ball and your weight will be on your right side.

  • Start your downswing allowing the lower body to initiate the forward rotation. The club will follow. Swing the club to your target. Instead of thinking you are swinging the club 100 MPH, feel like your are swinging the club 85 MPH. You will be amazed at how far the golf ball will go.

  • Finally, remember to work on the pace of the backswing so you save all of your energy for the forward swing.

Revised: 10/04/2013 - Article Viewed 28,048 Times

About: Greg Ellis

Greg Ellis Greg Ellis previously was the general manager at the Triology Golf Club at Vistancia in Peroria, Az. Be sure to tune in to the Bunker Golf Show every Saturday morning from 7-9 a.m. on 620KTAR AM or on the internet at for more tips and updates on all of the week's golfing news in the Valley and around the world. Join Greg, Jim Hill, and Marty Monaghan for a comprehensive look at the golf world for the week.

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PGA Member - Previously General Manager at Trilogy at Vistancia

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