As Steve Dresser of the Steve Dresser Golf Academy at True Blue Golf Club in Pawleys Island, S.C. demonstrates, you’re never quite as far back in your backswing as you think. So when it comes to where your hands should ultimately wind up in the process, Steve’s here to show you a simple technique for finding out!
Most people who have big back swings, they really don’t have big back swings. Yes, the club may go back really far, but it’s usually because something has collapsed. Let me show you what I mean by that.
We’ll see people, and they start back okay, they get to about here, and then something begins to collapse. Either the spine starts to tilt the wrong way, reverse spine tilt, elbow bends, the wrists bend too much, so the next thing you know the club’s way back here, but it’s not like I got the club back there by making a nice upper body rotation and really getting some wind up. Sometimes when people see somebody go back that far, they go, “Boy, that person’s really flexible.” Typically, it’s just the opposite. They’re not that flexible and that’s why something collapses or breaks.
We owe it to our fellow golf instructor, Scott Hamilton, over in Atlanta. He coined the phrase “runoff.” I always thought that was pretty clever. Simply put, runoff means your turn stops, but your hands and arms keep going. This shorter looking swing is actually a lot more powerful than this one where there’s all that runoff.
Here’s a quick little tip to help you get the feel for where you want to be. As a right-hander, I’m taking the club back with only my right hand where I feel most powerful. For instance, if I was going to take the club and just sling it down the fairway, I’m probably not going to go a whole lot farther than right here. If I bring it up in here, it feels terrible. I know all I can do from here is put it back where I should have had it in the first place.
Here’s the kicker, though. The flexibility part. If I get it right here, I actually need some strength and definitely flexibility to be able to get my left hand over there, too. Whatever you can do to limber up, it’s really going to help you. But just get a good idea for where you want to be at the top of the back swing. Just take it back with only your trail hand, which in my case is my right hand on the club.