- If you look down and see the grip-end of the golf club across from your belt buckle there is a good chance you have MOST of the critical parts in place.
One of the top five most asked questions in the past 25 years has been, “What starts the backswing?” The answer is a bit complex, so grab your Hi-Liter and let’s get started.
- When you are ready to start the backswing, the clubhead, shaft, your hands, arms and right shoulder move in ONE PIECE at the exact same time.
- The clubhead starts back on an arc (we will get to that in the next section). The right shoulder starts turning backwards.
The take-away is one piece all the way until it arrives at the 9:00 o’clock position (we will get to that in two sections).
As you start back, both knees are flexed and during the backswing- the right knee NEVER changes positions. It does not flex more, nor does it straighten out and it does not slide back away from the target.
The left knee also plays a major role in the backswing. It does not move towards the line of flight and it does not straighten out. As the golf club starts back, the left knee moves towards the right knee as a RESULT of the upper body turning and the lower body resisting this turn. The left knee never passes the golf ball in the backswing.
- As the golf club starts back away from the golf ball the club head must swing back on an arc which is inside the straight line to the target.
When the shaft of the golf club is level to the ground and parallel to your intended target line- we refer to that position as 9 o’clock.
- The first check-point in the backswing is the 9:00 o’clock position.
When you reach 9 o’clock, you are half-way back and this is a great time to stop and take a look around, as long as you know what you are looking for. The first thing you want to take a look at- is the golf club in the exact correct position? The club should be parallel to your target line and level to the ground. The second part to take a look at- is the right shoulder turning and not tilting? It is very difficult to get to 9 o’clock with a tilted right shoulder.
If the right shoulder is tilting up the golf club will most likely be outside the path and pointed up. If the right shoulder turns too much in the backswing the golf club will swing around you too much. If you are in the correct position, it is time to head back to the top of the backswing.
- From the 9 o’clock position the golf club must continue up on an arc.
This can only happen if you continue to turn the right shoulder out of the way. As the right shoulder turns out of the way, the arms, hands and golf club will continue to swing inside, however, after the golf club passes the 9 o’clock position, it will have to swing up. This combination is what I believe is the most difficult part of the backswing.
You can not stop turning the shoulder. If you do stop turning the golf club will start to swing up to much. If you continue to swing the golf club around with the shoulders the golf club will swing too much around.
- The proper combination is when the shoulders turn and the golf club swings up. When you reach the top of the backswing with this combination you will be in position to swing the golf club down on the correct path and with clubhead speed.