golfer showing how to shorten the backswingIt is easy to see why novice golfers feel that to shorten the backswing will result in shorter hitting distance. This in most cases is the opposite of what actually happens because most power from the golf swing is generated in the two feet before impact and the subsequent follow through. Swing speed is increased once the basic movement of shoulder turn has been mastered.

The impression of having to take a full swing comes from watching the tour professionals who have spent their lives developing their craft, gaining fitness and achieving optimum swing speed. Unfortunately, the average person starting to take up this game has to expect to put in practice on the driving range if they hope to become more proficient. If you feel you would like a system to work within, click here for a perfect swing.

Controlling the length of the backswing is a common problem for golfers especially beginners when they first take up the game. It can be very daunting to be told that you have over swung the club when it feels to you to be at horizontal. Telling yourself not to do something just hi-lights the problem which gets the subconscious mind to do the reverse.

The main thing to avoid with your golf swing is to have a massive turn which will make you long and the club will feel loose at the top. In this case as the club descends back towards the ball there are too many moving parts for the brain to cope with and the club will be offline at impact. A tiny degree out at this stage produces a spin on the ball which can send it miles offline as it flies through the air. Need a step by step guide, click here.

Tips to shorten the backswing

There are several methods that you can try to shorten the backswing but the most important thing is finding one that you can make mechanical without too many thoughts running around your mind. Every movement we make is controlled by the brain and as the golf swing is made up of multiple independent body movements the brain kicks in and tries to take control of the unnatural movements. Purposefully focusing on one thing is the key.

Grip and shoulder turn

The position that works for me as a right-hander is closing my left hand nearer to my right. This slightly tightens the grip keeping my left arm straight. The speed of the backswing should be slow so that balance is maintained. As I start my turn I focus on my left shoulder turning to touch my chin then I know that my backswing is at horizontal. As you turn back in the follow through allow the swing to do the work. Don’t try to hit the ball! A simple swing is for life, click here.

Practice with a seven iron.

Getting used to the feeling of the shoulders turning is something that takes practice. Most beginners start by tensing their muscles and swinging their arms, but this has the adverse effect of creating distance as well as accuracy. Find an open piece of ground where you can practice hitting a seven iron safely. Start by taking the club back a few inches before following through. Then gradually increase the length of the back swing by keeping your left arm straight and feel the shoulder turn.


Through taking your time you will allow your body to become accustomed and gradually accept what is initially a strange movement. The aim is to adopt a swing that you feel confident with, without too many thoughts racing through your mind. Similar to driving a car, the actions become automatic once you have passed a test. As the length of your shoulder turn increases you will be surprized how far you will naturally hit the ball.