There is no perfect backswing, but there are problematic ones. A backswing that’s too short, for instance, can lead to an inconsistent sequence, a loss of power, poor clubface control and poor contact.
When your backswing stops short of its full length, it’s a sign that you’re cheating your turn (photo, right). You quit rotating and instead lift your arms into what you feel is a loaded position. As you can see, there’s almost zero coil and very little built-up energy.
It’s possible you’re cheating because you’re not as flexible as you once were, but there are ways around this. Try narrowing your stance and turning out your toes, both of which will free up your hips. Any adjustment to increase your lower body’s range of motion helps your upper body, too.
You may notice my left arm isn’t straight in the picture on the right. That’s okay! The most important thing is I’ve made a big, free and full turn, with my left shoulder under my chin. That’s all the potential power you need.
Kevin Sprecher is the director of instruction at Sleepy Hollow GC in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y