Benefits Of A Short Backswing In Golf – Must Read Guide

Finding the perfect length backswing can be a difficult battle in the game of golf. Ideally, a club that is parallel to the ground at the top of your backswing is the perfect swing length and position. Without eyes in the back of your head and a ton of self-awareness in your swing, it’s hard to know precisely where that club stops at the top.

Many schools of thought believe that a shorter backswing is easier to repeat and control. Others think that you give up some distance by shortening the backswing. We are here to help you decide if a shorter backswing could be the next swing change your game needs.


What Are The Key Benefits Of A Shorter Backswing?

The most important things that happen when you learn to control the length of your backswing are . . .
Control: When you swing the club back a bit shorter, you have much more control of where the club is and how you can manipulate it as you go through impact.


Is it easier to repeat a fifty-yard dash or a marathon? We think the fifty-yard dash is much easier to repeat again if necessary. The same thing applies to a short golf swing and a long one.


If you are struggling with your golf game or a beginner, the more connected the golf club stays to your body, the better luck you will have with getting that clubface square again. Every inch you move the club away from the golf ball, you are giving the clubface more time and space to change angles and return to the ball at the wrong angle.


Timing is something that can take a long time to learn in the game of golf. Getting your legs, arms, hands, head, brain, and golf club all to align and work together takes time. If you can make a move much more straightforward, you will absolutely have a more natural time learning and understanding how to time your golf swing correctly.


Many times, when people swing the club back too hard, the club can get heavy at the top and cause some balance issues. Weight can be transferred from heel to toe during the course of the swing and cause some problems at impact.


What Are The Cons Of A Shorter Backswing?

Most golf professionals will tell you that there are not too many cons to a shorter backswing. The one main issue you will encounter is just a simple matter of science. The shorter the arc of your backswing, the less power you can get.

As long as you don’t shorten your golf swing too much, you likely won’t notice too much of a difference in power, and you will very often find much more accuracy. Lots of clubhead speed misapplied to a golf ball is just going to increase your score and leave you in another fairway.


Do Shorter Golf Swings Suit Seniors The Most?

Senior golfers do not, by any means, need to use a shorter backswing, but it can absolutely be a way to get their golf game to be more enjoyable. One of the reasons that senior golfers do so well with a shorter swing is that it takes less energy.

Senior golfers often have no trouble on the first tee box feeling confident and full of energy. When it comes to the 18th tee, it can be hard to have that same amount of energy. Staying with a shorter golf swing throughout the course of the round will help with some energy savings.


Who Else Can Benefit From Shorter Swings?

Beginner golfers can significantly benefit from a shorter swing. A shorter swing will help to keep the game more straightforward from the beginning.

As you get better and the golf swing feels more natural, you can slowly increase until the club is parallel to the ground at the top of your backswing. There is so much to learn as a new golfer that if things can be simplified just a bit, it makes a huge difference.

What About Using A Shorter Swing From The Teebox?

The tee box is the place where most golfers see the highest levels of inconsistency in their game. We understand that the concept of a shorter swing with your driver seems like a sound one. The only problem is that if your backswing is too short off the tee, you can sometimes have a hard time squaring the clubface up.

As you take the club back, your clubface will naturally fan open, and as you continue your swing, you will close the clubface down and release through the golf ball. If you don’t give yourself enough of a backswing, you can end up leaving your clubface wide open at impact.


Why Do People Let The Backswing Go Too Long?

Most people don’t intentionally swing the golf club back too far. It happens as they try and get power and manage the forty-two other swing thoughts they have going on in their head. People also have a hard time controlling the length of the backswing because it’s not a visual they can see right in front of them.

It is hard to tell exactly how far back the club is going. If golfers have not been taught some points in their golf swing and they have no muscle memory, they can’t tell where they are in the swing process.


How Do You Hit A Golf Ball Further With A Shorter Swing?

Golf is all about clubhead speed applied correctly. If you swing a club correctly and match the center of the club face up to the golf ball, you will see great results. If you are taking the golf club back to the point that you are not returning it to a square position at impact, then you will undoubtedly be losing distance.

Technically, some people can take a shorter backswing and get more distance because they are applying club head speed, with a square club face correctly.


How Do I Stop My Golf Swinging With Arms?

One of the best ways to learn how to stay connected and make sure you don’t take the club back too far is the underarm drill. Take a headcover or a small towel and place it under your arm. When you swing back, if the towel falls out, you are likely swinging back too far. When the towel comes out, you have swung back too far and are very likely going to be past parallel when you don’t have a towel under your arm.


How far back should your Backswing Go?

Some might say that the best answer to this question depends on you as an individual golfer and not an exact backswing length that will work for every player. Traditionally speaking, the club should only go back far enough that it is parallel to the ground at the top. For most people, this will feel like a ¾ swing and momentum will carry the club the rest of the way.

Through the years, we have seen several golfers be very successful with taking the club back past the parallel position, ie. John Daly. If you remember his golf game, you know that when it was on, it was on. You may also remember than when his swing was off; it was way off. This is because with a swing that long there is a great deal of timing that needs to take place to make sure you can square the clubface up perfectly.


Tips For Shortening Backswing

Here are a few tips that can help you work on shortening your backswing.

Mirror Or Video Practice

Sometimes, seeing is believing. Sometimes your brain needs to see what you are doing on your backswing to learn how to stop it from continuing to happen. Swing in front of a mirror or have a friend video you hitting some golf balls to get a better idea of how far you actually take the club back.

Short Clubs

It is much easier to learn to control the length of your backswing with a pitching wedge in your hand as opposed to a Driver. Start on the range by hitting chip shots and then start with some half-swing shots and eventually go to ¾ and full swing shots.

This type of practice will teach your body what a full golf swing should feel like. If your muscles don’t know how or when to stop, they won’t. You must work to learn these feelings.

Wrist Action

One reason that some golfers tend to take the club back too far is that they have too much arm, hand, and wrist action in their golf swings. If you can keep your wrists from breaking down too much at the top of the swing, chances are you will not be going past the parallel point.

Wall Drill

Setup next to a wall to practice a few swings. (Don’t do this against a really nice sheetrock wall in case you swing the club a bit too far). Practicing swinging the club all the way to the top and not hitting the wall (which will be on your left, where the club head is). If you don’t hit the wall, chances are you have not gone past parallel, and you should be in a good position. Remember that the feeling of swinging a ¾ type swing is probably going to wind up being a full swing because of momentum.


Best Training Aid For Shortening The Backswing

A great training aid that we have found to help shorten the backswing is the Swing Extender Golf Swing Trainer. The great thing about this tool is that it helps you keep your arc wide while still stopping your swing at the exact position it should stop.

The swing extender works to make sure that you cannot physically go past the point of parallel at the top of your swing. If you are a person who is seeing the club head in the corner of your eye while swinging, this is a training device that could seriously improve your control and accuracy.

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Should I Get Lessons to Fix My Backswing?

Golf pros will say that everyone can benefit from a lesson, and they are not wrong. Sometimes golf lessons get a bad reputation because of a select few poorly trained professionals. There are some teaching professionals that don’t know enough about the game to work with a swing that a player already has.

Unfortunately, the professional only knows how to teach one technique and tried to overhaul a frustrated golfers game. Swing changes happen slowly, and they happen in very small pieces.

Try to find a golf professional that comes recommended by a friend. Rebuilding your entire golf game is not fun. Trust us, after many years in this business; there is absolutely something in your swing that can be worked with and improved upon; you do not need to start from scratch.

All that being said, if you are taking lessons specifically to shorten your backswing, we recommend working on this a bit yourself first. If you are slicing the ball, or hooking it and have no idea why, head on over for a golf lesson, these kinds of issues are the perfect reason to go for a golf lesson.


It is not all that common to hear golfers discussing how shortening their backswing ruined their golf game. In fact, it is usually the opposite. Keeping your golf swing a bit shorter can help with control, accuracy, and for some, it can be a great wait to deliver effective power to the golf ball. Don’t assume that shortening your backswing is going to result in less distance; this is very often not the case. Success in golf is all about clubhead speed delivered correctly. If shortening the backswing gives you the tools you need to stay on the path and square the clubface up, by all means, go for it!