short backswing golf

Short Backswing In Golf

While playing golf and learning the basics of golf, the backswing might be difficult to understand. This is because you cannot see what’s happening at the top of the backswing while swinging. The top of the backswing is behind your head.

It is the position you take while swinging, where you’ll pause for a brief moment before starting the club downwards toward the golf ball to hit your shots.

Since you cannot see and don’t know what’s going on behind your head, you have to rely on your sense of feel to get the proper position dialed in and get your golf swing on plane for the downswing.

A mistake many beginners make is using too long of a backswing. This leaves lots of opportunity for the backswing to get off and develop errors in it, making it difficult to come back to the ball correctly on the downswing.

But don’t worry, we will dive into a new concept for beginners of shortening the backswing and take a short backswing in golf.

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Analyzing the Short Backswing In Golf

You will experience a lot of things as you go to the top of your golf journey. You’ll practice different drills, setups, and swings to find out what’s best for you.

One important area to focus on is getting the length of your backswing right. Several beginner golfers don’t get this right and this obstructs their progress. You should know that a shorter backswing can keep you in check.

What is a short backswing?

In golf, a short backswing refers to an instance where your club stops short of being parallel in the backswing. If you look at it from the side view, you can see the backswing’s length.

Therefore, shortening your backswing refers to reducing the distance that your wrists, hands, arms, and club cover before moving to the downswing.

It could be that you are:

  • Changing a long backswing to a normal one
  • Moving from a short backswing to a shorter one
  • Changing a normal backswing to a short one.

Whichever one it is from the above refers to shortening backswings.

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Advantages Of A Short Backswing

There are so many advantages of a short backswing in golf but we’d be looking at a few of them:

#1. Better Chances Of Making Contact:

You will have better chances of making contact if your backswing is short. As you should know, if you hit the ground in the same spot while also controlling the bottom of the club, it will help you a lot. If you don’t get the perfect hit, you can’t be able to control distance and accuracy. However, shortening your backswing will put this in check.

#2: Better Control Of The Start Line:

One very important element in a golf swing is knowing how well to control the start line. Most times, your shots don’t start on the intended line. Sometimes it goes right, and other times, it goes left. Shortening your swing gives you a better chance to control your start line.

#3. Potential Power:

Ideally, you have the swing longer if you want more power. However, a shorter swing can help you manage and increase your speed. It would also control your spin rate and produce a higher ball speed.

#4. Consistency:

If you are struggling with consistency, shortening your backswing will help you. How? In the course of swinging, your upper and lower bodies are going to be working against each other. This happens because your weight is far ahead or behind your body weight. The result will be poor at the bottom of the golf swing and will lead to inconsistency. To fix this, you should shorten your backswing.

#5. Better Balance:

A shorter backswing will give you a better balance. As you know, you need to be well-placed and balanced to get your shots right. Improving your balance means that everything else is under control including your swing.

Shortening your backswing also improves timing as your muscles will work in line and sync.

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How To Shorten Your Backswing

You’ll need a lot of practice to get this right. It may be easy to look at but that’s not quite the case. Practicing it all the time, though, will make it easier and help you to keep up with it better.

Here are a few drills to help you learn to shorten your backswing:

  1. The Start Slow Drill:

Start by:

  • Hitting your golf balls short
  • Proceed to hit some chip shots
  • Pitch your shots
  • Then work on the backswing longer

Beginner golfers usually start with their long swing and then try to stay back. This method is ineffective and will lead to inaccuracy. Instead of doing this, try to start hitting your golf balls slowly and then proceed to make it longer afterward. You’ll realize that there is a point where your swing is short but the ball goes to a perfect distance.

  1. The Wall Swing Drill:

You don’t need to hit any golf balls to practice this particular drill. Start by:

  • Positioning yourself against a wall
  • Next, you place your front foot (left foot for a right-handed player) up against the wall
  • Practice some backswings
  • While doing this, if your clubhead hits the wall at the backswing’s top, then you’ve overdone it.

This will help you to calculate how to stop early while taking your golf swing.

  1. The Alignment Stick Drill:

To get this right:

  • Get hold of an alignment stick and get it up to your golf grip. Make sure that the stick extends outside the front
  • Practice your golf swing slowly, being careful to stop exactly where you want to complete the backswing
  • Make sure that you can see the alignment stick coming out of your club

While practice this, you may need to adjust the stick and put it at the right distance. This is to ensure that you don’t lose sight of the alignment stick if you’ve taken your backswing far enough.


Shortening your backswing helps to improve your consistency, accuracy, timing, balance, and control. Keeping this in mind, you need to practice the drills to help you perfect how to shorten your backswing.

As you know, beginner golfers are prone to making the mistake of overswinging. This ruins their game and makes everything complicated. Every golfer wants to get accurate shots and they strive to be consistent in it. If you want to get your game over the top, you should practice how to shorten your backswing and watch your game change!

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Nick Foy, Instructor

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