Golf Drills for the Halfway Back Position
The golf drills in this section will teach you the proper way to bring your club up during the backswing, from the halfway past position. A reminder that the backswing starts as the takeaway finishes – when the shaft of the club is about parallel to the ground – and comes to an end at the top of the golf swing. These exercises will teach you to bring your club on-plane (in contrast to too steep or too flat) and to bring your club back square (in contrast to too far inside or too far outside). In essence, they will help you achieve that perfect backswing.
Proper On-Plane Backswing Drill
This exercise provides a good check to determine if you are bringing the club back and up on the correct club path, i.e., on-plane. If you’ve followed the takeaway drills you will know how to make sure you start your swing through a square takeaway. While this drill focuses on the backswing portion of your swing it will help to shield you from a club path that is too steep or inversely too flat or narrow. Follow these tips to train you to bring your club up on plane.
- Find a tall wall and set up as you normally would in front of it, making sure your buttocks is pressed against it or is very close to doing so.
- Slowly begin a practice golf swing by making sure you are starting it using a square takeaway. If you are, when the shaft of the club is parallel to the ground it should also be parallel to the wall behind you.
- Continue bringing your club up and note where the clubhead would strike the wall if you were to continue your swing all the way to the top.
- If you are swinging on-plane, the clubhead should want to strike the wall at about the height of your head. If the clubhead would strike the wall well below that point it means that your backswing is too flat. Finally, if the clubhead would strike well above your head – or not at all – then your swing is too steep, or too vertical.
Problems Associated with Steep or Flat Swings
This drill teaches you to swing on-plane, or at least trains your backswing to allow for such a proper golf swing to proceed.
Steep swings can be useful in a number of occasions but generally they tend to transfer more spin into the ball which can in turn lead to higher than normal golf shots. For example, they can be quite useful to get to a ball that is buried in tall grass, allowing for the clubhead to reach straight into the ball without being slowed down by the blades of grass.
Similarly, flat swings can also be useful in a number of occasions but generally lead to lower than normal spin and shot height. For example, a fairway bunker shot can benefit from ‘shallowing the club’ as this promotes a sweeping motion that picks up the ball without seeing the clubhead penetrating the sand, thereby protecting from a fat shot.
Proper Club Position Backswing Drill
This golf drill will provide you with a good check to see if your hands – and club – are well positioned as you bring the club up during the backswing. It will help you determine if you are bringing the club too far back inside, too far back outside, or perfectly. Proceed with the drill below to put your hands and club “in the box” every time.
- Hold your golf club normally with your left hand at the top of the grip but slide down your right hand so that it holds the club just below the grip, on the shaft. Your hands will indeed be separated from one another.
- Take the club back as you would for a normal swing but stop when your right hand reaches the height of your chest. Make sure that on the way you kept your left arm perfectly straight as you would for any normal golf shot.
- Take note of where the butt end of the club is pointing. Ideally, it should be pointing down towards the ball, as seen from the down-the-line angle.
- More crucially, again in this position you will want to see your hands in a position where you body is in between the target and your hands. Or in other words, you want to see your hands disappear behind your chest so that they ‘can’t see’ the target.
- If your hands are in front of the line formed by the target and your body then you know your backswing is too far outside. Conversely, if your hands are behind the line between your body and the target then you know your backswing is too far inside. If your hands are in line with both your body and the target then you are bringing your club back square.
Importance of a Square Backswing
Making sure that your backswing is square will put you in a good position for an inside-square-inside swing path. And through such a club path you will increase your chances of hitting a straight shot at the target. Indeed, while an inside-out or an outside-in club path is not necessarily wrong all the time, it means that you will need to add side spin into the mix in order for the ball to reach the target.