Welcome to the 4th segment of the Golf Swing. In previous posts, I’ve disected the Grip, Address, and Takeaway. Now, comes the meat of the golf swing (albeit the others are as equally important), the Backswing.
In golf, the Backswing is where the rubber hits the road so to speak. If you get this wrong, you will end up compensating big time on the way down which as we know, will cause inconsistencies at best. So let’s get started.
As the golf club leaves the 9:00 position, it has to continue on the arc until you reach the top of the backswing. There are a number of moving parts that must be in place during this journey. First and foremost the right shoulder must continue to turn.
The right shoulder can not stop or change directions. If the right shoulder stops or tilts up, the golf club will swing up too much. If the right shoulder turns too much the golf club will not go up.
Right Shoulder Quit Turning
Right Shoulder Turned Too Much
As the right shoulder continues to turn in the backswing, the right hip must not follow it. The right hip has to resist turning so you can develop resistance. If you develop resistance in the backswing with the bottom half of your body, you will build up tension and that is where the ability to develop clubhead speed comes from.
As the right shoulder continues to turn level to the ground, the left knee will continue to turn more towards the golf ball. You have to make sure you do not allow the right knee to pass the golf ball.
As the right shoulder continues to turn, the left shoulder will move from the address position towards the golf ball. As the right shoulder continues to turn, your head will move slightly to the right (away from the golf ball). Your head will move a couple of inches as a result of the right shoulder turning out of the way. The head does not slide back and away from the golf ball with the lower body.
Right Leg Does Not Move
Weight Evenly Distributed
One Piece Take-Away
Left Knee Turning Towards Right Knee
Don’t forget, the right knee never leaves its original position. As the top half of your body is turning, the right knee must remain in the exact same position. When you are addressing the golf ball, the right knee has a slight flex. During the back swing, the right knee can not slide backwards nor can it straighten out and it can not flex more. The right knee is the foundation of the backswing, it takes on all of the force of the right shoulder turning and the hips resisting from turning. The right knee has to maintain this rock solid foundation so you can continue to turn the top half of your body against the bottom half.
When the golf club has reached the top of the backswing, the right knee will be there to support the upper golf club, arms, hands and upper body. If there is one part of the body that has to be in the correct position at the top of the backswing, it is the right knee. The function of the right knee is not only the foundation of the backswing. In the next section you are going to find out the value of the right knee in the downswing as well.
Well that completes the 4th week of the Golf Swing. I wasn’t going to mention this, but I have to… if you are truly serious about honing your golf swing this year, now’s the time. For most places (in the northern hemisphere anyway), this time of year we are limited to golf. However now’s the time to tweak your swing or fix flaws that cost you strokes last year. This is the perfect tutorial, The The Full Swing by Bobby Eldridge. It’s an absolute complete reference of the golf swing. It’s not for scratch players but if you are anything above a scratch (especially mid to high handicapper), you will greatly benefit. You can find my review here. Again, The Full Swing, it’s a no-brainer!