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moonducks

shorter backswing=farther and more pure

32 posts in this topic

when i swing my irons 3/4 it has a better trajectory and distance than when i swing fully

why is this? am i not accurate when i swing fully?

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Probably because you accelerate down through the contact zone better with a shorter backswing. If you go too far back, as I sometimes do, the tendency is to start to decelerate too soon on the downswing (before contact) and lose lag. Not to mention the dreaded 4-letter f-word*. Don't ask me the physics and sychology of this exactly but I do it myself sometimes and I see it happening very commonly. When I make a shorter backswing I seem to be more aware of the need to accelerate fully and make a fuller finish. Daly can go way past horizontal and play well, the rest of us .... not so much. Now let's hear from the instructors. * flip
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More than likely it's your timing and rhythm. I used to do a drill where I would only take my backswing to the point where my left arm got parallel to the ground. Would then swing through and hit the ball and stop once my right arm got to parallel with the ground on the follow through. Called it the "thumbs-up" drill. You'd be surprised at how far you hit the ball only taking it back that far.

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Two things. A longer swing means the clubehead is travelling further. This means there's more room for error.

The second is something that affects the first, which I have noticed more and more lately. I play with/against a bunch of guys who have pretty short backswings, what I would consider 2/3, with hands around 10:00 at the top. But they accelerate into the ball quickly on balance using their bodies well, and they make good contact. And this is all through their bags. One guy swings his driver this way and outdrives me pretty regularly. My swing though..I guess I'm pretty flexible for 53 because I have a long wide swing. I have always had a fairly long swing with a full finish, except for 3 yrs long long ago when I used a punch kind of like my buddies just so I could make quality contact. Here's the thing: the longer swing needs tempo . Through my weak powers of observation in playing with these guys (who regularly take my money), I am finally recognizing that we have totally different swing tempos. And when I try to put one out there 280 like my buddie just did, I swing too quickly, maybe influenced by the swing I just saw. I can basically divide my good shots and bad shots into two catagories: slow and quick. With my long swing, I depend on leverage and lag and timing to generate speed and quality contact. When I do those, clubhead speed comes of it's own at the bottom. I don't know how many times I hit 3 - 4 drives in a row stupidly, not horrible, but like low pulls, 30yd draws (OK! hooks), pop-ups, etc. Then, in either a fit of wisdom or despair, I would just say, I don't care how far this goes, I just want to swig easily and make good quality contact. And of course, we all know how this ends - nice 270 poke down the middle. Moral of the story, swing your own swing! Long and slow, short and quick, somewhere in between.

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For me this all about your own swing range dependent on flexibility and your own anatomy. Until this year I would always overturn but finally started some mirror work with the actual feel of a full turn and that gave me what would be deemed low. My arms reach 10 o clock maximum. My shoulders easily get past 90 degrees. If I turn past my range arms separate from my body,lower body starts moving too much, I lift out of my posture etc... So ignore where your club should be it's not a reliable indicator and concentrate on turning the core of your body. That will let you know where to turn too.
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Originally Posted by BostonBrew

More than likely it's your timing and rhythm. I used to do a drill where I would only take my backswing to the point where my left arm got parallel to the ground. Would then swing through and hit the ball and stop once my right arm got to parallel with the ground on the follow through. Called it the "thumbs-up" drill. You'd be surprised at how far you hit the ball only taking it back that far.

Did you video yourself doing this?

The reason I ask is that when I think the left arm is parallel when swinging at a ball (and not rehearsing or doing drills), video shows I am performing a full swing. What I think is a normal swing is toooo long.

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My guess would be that a shorter backswing gets you into a better impact position. More forward shaft lean, which will result in a better trajectory, more distance and more consitency.
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3/4 is quite possibly what your full swing is. For me, what feels like 3/4 is indeed the full swing. Even though I have a tendency to go past that on my backswing, the results don't lie. My only swing thought, at the moment, is "feel" like my right arm is straight on the way back and start the downswing when I feel tension in front of the right elbow.

Use this thread for the straight right arm feeling: http://thesandtrap.com/t/35195/shorter-probably-better-swing-keep-the-right-arm-straight

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Originally Posted by Mr. Desmond

Did you video yourself doing this?

The reason I ask is that when I think the left arm is parallel when swinging at a ball (and not rehearsing or doing drills), video shows I am performing a full swing. What I think is a normal swing is toooo long.

You are right on the money. When I first started, I was in-fact only taking it back to parallel. But the more I did the drill, the more my back swing crept back to it's full position. The golf-pro who got me doing it did it for that reason. He felt my backswing was too long and wanted to shorten it so he got me doing the drill. I used to take it to parallel or further, even with wedges and short irons. Now, my arms get to the 10 o'clock spot and my swing is much more compact and controlled. For me, it got me hitting the ball crisper and more consistently.

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A better contact with the ball is going to compress the ball better even with less swing speed. And better ball compression means hitting the ball further. There is a calculation for it but I can no longer find the golf digest article. It explains why Brad Faxon was able to hit the ball reasonably far despite a slower swing speed than his peers because he was focused on better ball striking.
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What you feel that you do and what you actually do may have zero relation to each other. When I video my "normal feeling backswing" swing, and then hit one with a "really short" feeling backswing, there is almost no video evidence that the shorter feeling swing is actually shorter. In stop action, you can maybe see that the short feeling swing is a tiny bit shorter. Often, the short feeling swing has better wrist cock and better trail elbow position.

Why do we hit it farther with a shorter feeling (and maybe actually shorter) backswing?

I call it "the paradox of power." Short is long. Long is short.

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Just be careful not to pick the club up too fast or you will lose distance and ball striking.

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Originally Posted by anthony

3/4 is quite possibly what your full swing is. For me, what feels like 3/4 is indeed the full swing. Even though I have a tendency to go past that on my backswing, the results don't lie. My only swing thought, at the moment, is "feel" like my right arm is straight on the way back and start the downswing when I feel tension in front of the right elbow.

Use this thread for the straight right arm feeling: http://thesandtrap.com/t/35195/shorter-probably-better-swing-keep-the-right-arm-straight

This. I found that the short swing was an improvement as well but I think it is closer to a full swing than perceived. I found my back swing was excessive and when it seems like you ave shortened it, it is really closer to a normal swing.

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The more full my backswing and the more complete my follow through = the better I strike and control the ball.

It takes a bit of concentration for me to hit clean on half and 3/4 swings, but I'm working on it.

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Originally Posted by saevel25

note, your 3/4 swing could be 100% a full swing. You could be overswinging

This is exactly what i have recently learned about myself.  Having to completely retool......  when i hit it right it is effortless and feels like a 50% swing, but its really my 100%

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Originally Posted by Valleygolfer

This. I found that the short swing was an improvement as well but I think it is closer to a full swing than perceived. I found my back swing was excessive and when it seems like you ave shortened it, it is really closer to a normal swing.

+1  Video lessons confirmed my full swing was too long and laid off at the top.  It took repeated trips to the tee box and video shed until I could connect my shorter backswing with a particular "feel" on my end.  I felt like my shorter backswing was a 3/4 or even 1/2 swing but video showed that it was really a full swing...especially given my not-too-flexible range of motion.  I guess the old saying that "feel is not real" is true....at least in my case.

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