Have you ever been told by someone that your golf swing is too long? There’s a good chance that they were right.
Amateur golfers often take their club back too far. This ends up causing issues with accuracy and balance that doesn’t need to be a problem.
These tips will help you reduce the distance between your shot and your golf club.
Who Should Shorten Their Golf Swings?
Golfers should shorten their swing if they are losing accuracy, swinging beyond parallel, or feel like they are not consistent in their shots. It is not a good idea to take the club back too much.
A shorter swing is often a better option if you want to improve your swing speed and hit consistent golf shots.
It doesn’t matter what handicap you have; your golf swing should never exceed parallel. John Daly, a professional golfer, has made a career out swinging the club too long. This requires a lot of athletic ability.
This is how I like to think about it. Think about taking the golf club back about five inches; wouldn’t it be pretty easy to keep the clubface square?
Consider lowering it to waist-high. It is still possible to keep the clubface square.
You can probably tell where I’m going with this. It is more difficult to return the ball to square the further you move the club away from it. Although you can do it several times, it’s much more difficult than necessary to do it again and achieve consistent results.
To achieve consistent scores on the course, it is important to keep the golf club under control.
How to tell if your backswing is too long
Video of your backswing is the best way to determine if it’s too long. There are many ways to record a golf swing. You can use your phone or a friend to help you.
The best way to take a video is to face forward. This means that the person recording is facing you, as you are preparing to hit.
Once you have the video, slow down the playback until you master your golf swing. Just as you begin to make the transition from the upswing to the backswing, look at the position of the golf clubs.
If the club is not parallel to the ground, it is too far.
Here are 4 tips to shorten your golf swing
Now that you can identify how far back a golf swing should go and why it’s important not to overdo this motion, it’s time to shorter your golf swing. These are my top tips for doing this. You’ll be glad that you decided to shorten the swing. It should make playing golf much easier.
1. Start with a Chip Shot
A chip shot is a great way to get started on shorter golf swings. The chip shot is just a shorter version to the full swing. You can concentrate on the swing by taking a short chip shot.
After you have the chip shot down and are comfortable with your backswing, you can increase the length. Maybe take the club to about ¾ distance as you would normally do to hit a pitch shot.
After you have increased to that ¾ distance, then extend it just a bit more to get to the top of your golf swing. This will make your swing feel almost like a pitch shot.
You may start to see the benefits of this pitch shot style swing when your clubhead speed increases and your tendency for losing balance decreases.
2. Use a mirror
A mirror is a great tool to improve your golf swing. You can use a variety of drills to help you look up and find the club.
I sometimes use a dry erase marker on the mirror to draw the line I want to swing to when I am practicing something like this. Many golfers lose their spine angle when they take too much of a swing.
It is a good idea to mark the area where you want your head to stay on the mirror. You can then see if your head is in a good place by looking up at the top of a swing.
Keep practicing until you can do it without looking at the mirror. You can use a mirror similar to this at your golf practice facility, or you can make it at home if you have the space.
3. Stop and look at the drill
The Stop and Look drill is not always the most effective from a feedback standpoint, but it’s certainly what I have used to get through almost all swing flaws in my golf career. When we swing a golf club back, we can’t see how far it went.
It is sometimes a good idea just to take a look and see everything.
When I’m working on something, I will step away from the golf ball, take my swing and then look and see the position of the club. I can check things like the clubface angle, rotation of my shoulders, length of my swing, and even the rotation of my shoulders.
The stop-and-look drill is even more effective when you have something to look at, but it works just as well without one.
If your turn is smooth and you don’t take the club back too far, then you can step up to the ball to try and repeat the motion. Although this is not the most advanced way to learn golf, it has always worked well.
This process can be used with any club. If you don’t have the money for training aids and devices to create a shorter swing, this drill will create muscle memory and start to train your brain to what a perfect length golf swing is.
4. Locate a Stopping Point
While I love these 3 tips to shorten your golf swing time, many golfers still have no clue where the golf club is. It can be difficult for beginners and amateurs to find the location of the golf club at any given moment.
There are ways around it, however.
You can stop your backswing if you can find a stopping place. My stopping point is when I feel my shoulder under my chin. When my shoulder is in place, I know that my golf swing has been completed.
This still feels like the club is not at the top of the swing from a feel perspective. We know, however, from the momentum and the way that the golf swing tricks our brains, that the club has reached the parallel position.
I believed that a long backswing would give me more power. After years of practice, I realized that a shorter swing is better for all.