The Backswing’s Purpose
The Backswing’s Purpose
The relevance of many movements in a player’s backswing should be largely dependent upon their current downswing movements and ball striking characteristics. Compared to the downswing, there are many more differences seen in the backswings among tour professionals. A great deal of uniqueness is seen in the backswings of some of the best golfers to ever play. The backswing is important, but there is much more room for individualism than in the downswing. Due to this room for individualism, changes made to a player’s backswing need to be very well thought out, and these changes are often best made with the help of a talented professional.
The movements in a player’s backswing do effect the movements of the player’s downswing, but how much and in what way depends upon the player. Everyone is different in this respect, and this is a big reason why so many differences are seen among the backswings of tour professionals and top players. Below is a list of some very successful players that have unique traits in their backswings.
Unique Backswings Traits of Some Successful Tour Professionals
Players with Inside Takeaways Players with Outside Takeaways
Raymond Floyd Colin Montgomery
Bruce Lietzke Lee Trevino
John Daly Fred Couples
Y.E. Yang Jay Haas
Players Whose Club is Across-the-Target-Line at the Top of the Backswing
Davis Love III
Players Whose Club is Laid-Off from the Target Line at the Top of the Backswing
Players with Longer Backswings Players with Shorter Backswings
Carlos Franco Sergio Garcia
Rory Sabatinni Retief Goosen
Sam Snead Tommy Armour III
Walter Hagen Johnathon Byrd
Players with Flatter Backswings Players with more Upright Backswings
Chad Campbell Jim Furyk
Zach Johnson Tom Watson
Ryan Armour Jack Nicklaus
Ben Hogan Byron Nelson
Players with Closed Clubfaces Players with Open Clubfaces
David Duval Ben Hogan
Lee Trevino Johnny Miller
Boo Weekly Daniel Chopra
Players with Cupped Left Wrists at the top of Backswing
Players with Bowed Left Wrists at the top of Backswing
These are some examples of a few players on tour that have these characteristics in their backswings. There are many more with the same characteristics. These different backswing traits work very well for these tour professionals. I emphasize that although there are similarities seen in many backswings in tour professionals, there is much more room for difference when compared to the downswing.
Although there are many differences seen in the backswings of the best players, the backswing is still important. This importance is found in understanding how the movements of a player’s backswing affect their downswings, ball striking, and ability to repeat overtime. Every player should eventually understand what movements in their backswings are relevant for them and what movements are not. They need to understand that changing some movements that make their backswings unique might do more harm than good, and that these unique movements may not play a penal role in their swing. They also need to understand what movements in their backswings have an effect on the troublesome movements in their downswings and upon their ball striking. If a player comes to learn that some movements in their backswing are negatively affecting their ball striking, they then need to learn the best ways to improve upon them. This process is often best done with the help of an educated and talented golf professional.
So what is the purpose of the backswing? The backswing’s purpose is to develop a motion that enables a player to create the best and most repeatable downswing, and helps a player to maximize their physical characteristics for creating power and speed. This applies differently for many players found throughout the game of golf and is why a similar type of backswing cannot be taught to all players.