How to Determine Correct Golf Backswing Length

By Laird Small

How to Stop Your Golf Swing

How many times have you seen this on the range or maybe even the person you are playing golf with or maybe it is even you. Your arm swing just keeps going. Here is a general rule, when you body stops turning your arms should stop swinging. It would look something like this. Here is an ideal way to find that from a practice standpoint. If you know where you should stop you will have a better idea of actually doing so when you go to the golf course. I have two drills for you. One of the Dr. Jim Suttie helped me understand.

  • You are going to be on a towel like this over here, I am on the tee, and now I am going to make a backswing and I can only go back this far.
  • As I swing back that is the ideal length of my backswing because I can not have my knees bent down or my ankles roll, this is as far back as I should go. That should be the end of my backswing and now I want to be able to go the other way.
  • But you are saying to yourself, you know that swing feels real short and I am not going to hit it very far. It is just the opposite. You have a longer radius.
  • What happens is that the handle is farther away from the golf ball so the swing is bigger.

Hula Hoop Swing Drill

I will show you with a hula hoop.

  • I am going to take my grip on the hula hoop and I am going to swing the club or hula hoop back and you can see how big the radius of the circle is.
  • When I swing back up here and I do an extra long swing can you see how much smaller the radius of the circle is.
  • Yes I may have gotten my hands back farther but the circle is smaller. I am not going to hit the ball as far. Then you say look, what about John Daly.
  • One of the things that people do not see about John Daly is that they do not see where the grip is. The grip is way over here above his head. He is blessed being able to turn so much, but the handle of his grip is way over there. Sam Snead was the same way and he hit it a long, long way.

When you body stops turning your arms should stop swinging. Give the drill on your knees a try or even with the hula hoop to start to learn to appreciate how far back you should go. Then you swing will be much better synchronized.

Category: Backswing

About the Instructor

Laird Small
Laird Small
Pebble Beach Golf Academy
1700 17-Mile Drive
Pebble Beach, CA 93953
Tel: 831-622-8650