Learn something new everyday! This week I really turned my research to improving my swing plane and trying to get an inside out path. As I was looking into the correct plane and came across a video of the great Johnny Miller. In the video, he talks about the benefits of a flat backswing (one where the arms do not rise above the shoulders). I was surprised to see this as most of the videos and articles on a flat backswing tend to say “don’t do it”. They give you ideas on how to fix your flat swing not why it may be better for some golfers. Miller takes a different approach. Even though he used an “upright” swing where his hands and arms were very high above his head at the top of the swing, he points to some advantages of being flatter.
Aha Moment #4
“A shorter and flatter backswing for more power and accuracy”
After trying out a shorter swing and doing a little research on the flat backswing, I believe that a shorter swing is more accurate. Many of the great ball strikers on the PGA Tour over the years have had shorter backswings. Players such as Jason Day and Sergio Garcia have short backswings. Even Ben Hogan shortened his backswing later in his career to hit it straighter. This makes sense as there is less in the swing that can go wrong.
If you look at the video of my swing you can see that I over swing. I hinge my wrists at the top of my swing and I actually go past parallel. I do this because I think it helps me get more distance.
Miller on the other hand, believes that the shorter swing actually allows a better turn back to the ball and more power. If I get more flexible, I should still be able to create the coil that many golfers use to get power with a shorter backswing. I am excited to see how the shorter swing combined with the flatter backswing helps me in my practice rounds.
The flat backswing fits my swing and body type. In addition, I am not super flexible and have difficulty getting my arms high above my head as needed in the upright swing. The flat swing keeps me on plane and is easier for me to repeat. I like simple and repeatable in my golf swing.
The problem of the flat swing is that you may bring the club down too steep and come over the top. I have not seen that in my practice sessions with a flat swing but I have hit some massive hooks. If I can learn to hit it farther, the increased accuracy of a flat and short backswing will out way any problems it may cause.
In conclusion, I truly believe that the flat backswing has huge benefits for the average golfer. I wrote a post on these benefits. See the post on flat swing benefits HERE.
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