Golf Drills That Will Help You Improve Your Backswing
In golf, you build up power in your backswing that you unleash in your downswing through impact. There's a common belief that the longer you make your backswing, the more power you'll build up. Many of the longest hitters on tour have extremely long backswings, which seems to confirm this belief. The majority of tour pros possess exceptional flexibility, which is what allows them to make such long backswings.
Another common belief is that the shaft of the club at the top of the backswing should be parallel to the ground to load maximum power and achieve maximum effectiveness. Once again, the tour pro's exceptional flexibility allows him to achieve or exceed this parallel position rather easily for the most part, especially with the longer clubs. Average golfers with average flexibility often must make compensations in their backswing like loosening the grip with their fingers or bending their arms to get to the perceived “ideal” parallel position. These compensations actually cause power and control loss.
So how long should you make your backswing?
Your backswing should be as long as you can make it while maintaining control of the club and your body. To find out how long your backswing should be, take your setup position while holding a club across your chest. Then simply turn your shoulders, your hips, and maybe most importantly, your chest back as far as you can while still maintaining your control and balance. When you can't turn any more, you know that's how long your backswing should be. Make sure to keep the flex in your back knee while you turn. You should feel the tension increase in that thigh as you turn. That's a major source of the power you'll unleash on your downswing.
Now hit some shots
Hit shots on the practice range while consciously turning everything back as far as you can maintain control. Bring your arms up to the top while maintaining their width. Keep your grip pressure consistent all the way through. Don't release the grip to get the club to parallel, consciously cock your wrists or anything else that's not necessary. Just turn as far as you can in balance while bringing your arms up to the top. When you achieve your limit, your wrists will cock automatically. If the club gets to parallel at the top, consider it a bonus.
At first, this backswing may feel really short. It's probably shorter than the backswing you're used to making, especially if you made any of the compensations previously mentioned. This backswing, while more compact, allows you to more efficiently store power and release it in your downswing through impact. It's also easier to repeat and gives you more control. That should lead to more predictable results and increased accuracy, too.