The Magic Behind Shortening Your Backswing

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The secret to playing your best golf is to make your bad shots better. 

In case you didn’t know, a successful shot relies a lot on your backswing.  Shortening it can give you a better chance of hitting a spectacular shot, and it is quite easy to do. Let’s look at all there is to know about a short golf swing.

The Magic Behind Shortening Your Backswing

A shortened backswing just simplifies your overall golf swing. This will give you more control and lessen the risk of your club face opening or a swing that is off plane. 

In contrast to a long swing, a shorter backswing doesn’t require as much effort. You will also be able to repeat short backswings which makes room for consistent shots.

Employing shorter backswings also lets you expand your rhythm. Again this boosts the likelihood of your shots being consistent as well as beneficial for those distressing late in a round.

Pros And Cons Of A Short Backswing

How It’s Done

The best thing about using a shorter backswing is that it’s quite easy to do. 

Follow these easy steps to a shorter, effective, reliable, and manageable backswing.

Lock in Your Trail Bicep 

Long backswings tend to let the arms and elbows move in a mess, even with the sturdiest of golfers.The first thing you need to do is to keep your trail bicep coupled to your body all through your backswing. Doing this will limit how far back you will be able to move the club. It also provides a lot more control over your swing.

Fold in Your Trail Elbow

Next you have to keep the fold in your trail elbow. Your trail elbow should feel like it is pulling towards your lead elbow, instead of spreading out behind you. As soon as you are comfortable to keep your bicep connected, this move should be easy to do. You will be able to keep your club steady and hit with power right through impact.

Turn Your Shoulders

As a final step to shortening your backswing you need to know when your backswing is finished. Carefully analyze your takeaway. Make sure that you have implemented the previous steps correctly. When this is done and your shoulders are done turning, you can safely move into your downswing instead of carrying on with the backswing using your arms.

The three moves we have discussed may take you some time to get used to. The feeling can be odd for some. You can gradually start by rehearsing a few steady slow-motion swings to get your body used to the feeling of where the top of your fresh backswing is.

The Pros and Cons of a Short Backswing

Just like anything in life, there is a positive and a negative to shortening your backswing. Let’s talk about the Ying and Yang of this. 

The Pros


A shorter golf backswing will make it easier for you to stay in balance. Here you won’t move as much which means that you can end off your strike with good posture. It is vital that you replicate the same swing every time you hit the ball. Remaining on balance for the duration of your swing makes it easier to execute the same movement every time.


Applying a shorter golf backswing means that the clubhead moves a briefer distance throughout every swing. Using a shorter sweep will give you more consistent shots with the ball.

Before practicing your short backswing, you also need to be familiar with your clubs. Being aware of how far each club can strike is important to playing a good game and shooting lower scores.

Better Control Over Time

Great ball striking and distance emanate from timing the release of the golf club. By using a shorter golf backswing you can get better timing in your swing. You can take advantage of lag in your swing if you time it correctly. The point of impact is the most crucial element of your entire golf swing. Using a short golf backswing can be a great help here.


Pro Golfers Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia are both famous for their amazing ability to perform very precise iron play. Sergio may not be very good when it comes to putting, however but has made quite a name for himself through his ability to hit decent iron shots.

In a short swing you will be able to land a bunch of precise shots. Accuracy and consistency go hand-in-hand here. This will let you deliver the clubface towards the ball in an unchanged position each and every time you take a swing.

To be accurate, you need to hit the ball the same way every time.

Engage Your Lower Body

Have you ever seen that marvelous comedy, Happy Gilmore starring Adam Sandler? In his practice runs, his Gilmore’s instructor often reminds him that “it’s all in the hips”.

Similarly making use of a shorter golf backswing will give you little choice, but to engage your lower body as you move to your downswing.

By doing this, you will get a few payoffs in the long run. In the first place, it stops you from overusing your upper body with your hands and arms. 

This allows your lower body to lead the club as you swing.

As another point, control will come from the lower body. 

Make use of the ground to create more control while you are using a shorter golf backswing.

The Cons

Yep! A shorter golf backswing isn’t the answer to everything. 

Swinging Too Quick

By shortening your backswing, you run the risk of doing this too quickly. 

The rhythm in which you execute your swing is paramount to producing a great shot. When you swing too quickly you run the risk of landing a duck hook or shanks.

You have to understand that the aim is to use a shorter golf backswing without becoming too quick. It is possible to produce short and steady backswings.

Losing Control

If you are new to playing with a shorter golf backswing you could experience a loss of control. Don’t worry, there is a simple solution to this dilemma. The trick is to get control over your lower body in order to produce speed. Focus on your hips more than your arms.

Harder To Work the Ball

Take a look at Pros like Bubba Watson. When you watch him carefully you will immediately notice that he is able to curve the ball because he has a longer backswing.

He does this as it allows him some time to use the clubface to his advantage. This can still be done when using a shorter golf backswing, but it’s a little more complicated. One thing you need to do is sit and think about how much you can benefit from this in your golf game. 


A shorter backswing with the best controlled swinging speed is likely to provide you with a clear rise in distance. Remember to pay attention to your hips and lower body instead of your arms. Do enough practice runs and when you are ready try it out.  Play close attention to your consistency, control, and distance.

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Justin, a fanatic golf writer, has a passion for sharing tips and tricks on improving one's golfing game. Researching the latest gear and game enhancements so you can save time and effort doing it yourself. Be on the lookout for his next piece.

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