The Magic of a Short Golf Swing

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The foundation of a shorter golf swing is built from the backswing. If you are completely new to the sport, getting to grips with a decent shorter backswing will give you an added advantage. 

Let’s shorten your backswing and improve your scoring record.

Key Takeaways

  • Essentially a decent short backswing is where the club stops slightly parallel in the backswing.
  • With a shorter golf backswing your clubhead will move a shorter distance in every shot.
  • A shorter golf backswing will improve your speed and timing.
Shorter Swing

 The Challenge

While you are learning the overall basics of golf, the backswing could be tough to grasp. You won’t be able to see if your (short) backswing is completely correct as the top of your backswing takes place behind your head.

Explaining The Backswing

Your golf swing follows a detailed sequence of movements. Starting with address and followed by the takeaway, backswing, transition, downswing, impact, and follow-through.

As you can see, the backswing is the tertiary step in the progression. This is where you will be moving the club to the top of your swing.

For you to perform the backswing properly, you must involve your whole body. involves your entire body. Key emphasis here is placed on your arms, legs, and upper body. 

We’ll investigate what makes a “perfect” short backswing in a moment.

Each backswing can be different, and the length can fluctuate contingent on the golfer and the type of shot at play.

The “Perfect” Short Backswing

So nothing in life is really perfect but here is how you can perform your short backswing as “picture-perfect” as possible. Essentially a decent short backswing is where the club stops slightly parallel in the backswing.  You can video record yourself or ask a friend to monitor you from the side view. This will help observe the length of your backswing.  

Let’s look over some tips to help you in this progression.

Relax and Be Patient

Golf is a sport that is supposed to be enjoyed. You’re not busy with work or house chores so relax and take time off to focus on your swing. You need to check that you keep tension out of your swing.  Tension can seriously kill your ability to shorten your backswing. Don’t overthink it, try to ease of the tension and you won’t lose control.  Relax and enjoy yourself.

Reflect on Your Tempo

You can still stick to a professional levelled tempo when using a short backswing. Again, relax and focus. Your backswing should take treble the amount of your downswing. Therefore, if you take three seconds to perform your backswing, you should engage your downswing in one second.

Start the Downswing Sooner

Just to go back to our previous tip. When you do record yourself on video to measure the length of your swing, you’ll notice that what feels shorter, often is not shorter. When you get to that small pause at the top of your backswing, immediately start your downswing.

Benefits of a Shorter Golf Backswing 

Fun fact, there are more than a few benefits to a short backswing.


A shorter golf backswing will help you stay in balance conveniently. A smaller amount of movement will let you finish in a decent posture.

Stay consistent and replicate the same swing each time you strike the target. Keeping your balance during your swing simplifies your ability to perform the same movement every time.

Keeping Steady

With a shorter golf backswing your clubhead will move a shorter distance in every shot. This is because the shorter arc lets you make solid contact with the ball more than once.

When you regularly strike your golf ball, the greater your chances will be at producing accurate yardages. Becoming more familiar with how far each club in your bag can strike is central to improve your playing and shooting lower scores.


Fantastic ball striking and distance originate from the ability to judge the release of your golf club. You want the most speed at impact.

With a shorter golf backswing perfecting your speed and timing will be easier. You can make the most of the delay in your swing if you time it properly.

The impact position is the main piece of your golf swing which leads to the follow through. A short golf backswing helps to improve this component.


With shorter golf swings, you’ll ultimately lower your risk of those “oopsie” moments. You will be able to carry the clubface straight towards the ball in the same position in every swing.

Activate Your Lower Body

A shorter backswing will gear up your lower body to initiate your downswing. The advantages include preventing you from “coming over the top” with your hands and arms. Here your lower body takes the lead, directing your club towards the target.

Also, most of your energy imamates from your lower body. Take advantage of the surface to create energy although you are using a shortened backswing.

Deliberately curving the ball with a shorter backswing will be harder. It’s possible but tricky.

Practice This 

Try these drills as you learn to shorten your backswing:

Put More Weight on Your Left Foot

Technically, when you shift your weight on the left, your muscles won’t be able to stretch out enough to overswing to the right.

When your weight turns to the right, it’s easy to make a huge turn and get long and slackly at the top, oops.

Getting a more solid feeling in your backswing is as simple as putting as much weight as you easily can on your front foot. Start by placing all your weight up there. 

Set your weight on your left foot and keep it there during your swing. Keep it constant. Don’t drop it or raise it, keep it steady.

The Alignment Stick Drill

Find an alignment stick and set it up to the grip of your club. Check that the stick runs outside the front

Repeat your golf swing gradually, focus on stopping right where you want to carry out your backswing

Ensure that you’ll see the alignment stick coming out of your club.

As put this into practice, you possibly will have to tweak the stick and put it at the proper gap. You will do this to confirm that you won’t shuffle your eyes off of the alignment stick when your backswing is far enough.


Is a shorter golf backswing better? 

There are players who can handle a longer backswing. But there are others who have a hard time adjusting. These are mostly new golfers who over-swing in their backswing. In other words, they allow their backswing to get longer than they are able to control. As a result, shortening the backswing is a helpful way to improve their whole game.

Do The Pros Have a Shorter Golf Backswing?

Yes! Quite a few. Among them is Jon Rahm who is one of the best players who effectively uses an incredibly short backswing. Legendary Ben Hogan had one of the most notorious swings ever. If you watch any of his videos on YouTube, you’ll see that many of his backswing are short. His hands hardly reach the height of his hip as he steadily fast-tracks the speed of his clubhead.


Shortening your backswing helps to improve steadiness, precision, technique, and control. Remember this while putting in the practice to shorten your backswing.

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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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