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How far should i bring the club back?


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Would depend on your flexibility to some extent. I can't get the club to parallel, if you can without bending your arms, then I would guess, as I'm no expert, would be your stopping point. Although some pros go well beyond parallel. One of the more knowledgeable guys could explain it better.

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You only need to bring the club as far back as your shoulder turn allows you to. Your shoulders turn and your right elbow folds to bring the club up, that's it. Anymore is overswinging and doesn't actually contribute anything to your swing; it actually creates more problems.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by billchao

Anymore is overswinging and doesn't actually contribute anything to your swing; it actually creates more problems.

It can. Theoretically there's more torque, so you could hit it further with a huge backswing.  Of course, in reality we pretty much don't take advantage of the extra torque much if at all and it causes all kinds of problems.

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I'm rather flexible, so for me a 5 iron is the text book parallel swing. Driver, on the other hand, is past parallel. If someone is "on plane" and goes past parallel they can play Ok with that. It's when you're past parallel for bad reasons that problems can come up. Look at Lexi Thompson's swing, her left arm is almost vertical to the ground but she's flexible like Gumby.
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You only need to bring the club as far back as your shoulder turn allows you to. Your shoulders turn and your right elbow folds to bring the club up, that's it. Anymore is overswinging and doesn't actually contribute anything to your swing; it actually creates more problems.

I second this.  If I wanted to get to parallel, I'd have to do some goofy contortions, or just bend the heck out of my left elbow, neither of which seem smart or necessary, so I don't. :)

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It can.  Theoretically there's more torque, so you could hit it further with a huge backswing.  Of course, in reality we pretty much don't take advantage of the extra torque much if at all and it causes all kinds of problems.

If your name is Jamie Sadlowski.... yea ok, you got me on the semantics :-P

I second this.  If I wanted to get to parallel, I'd have to do some goofy contortions, or just bend the heck out of my left elbow, neither of which seem smart or necessary, so I don't. :)

Exactly.

It's very easy to get parallel with a wedge, for example. Make a good backswing, then lift the arms straight up until you are no longer supporting the weight of the club with your right hand, but rather with your left. Left wrist cups and club gets across the line. Not at all desirable if your goal is good golf.

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If your name is Jamie Sadlowski.... yea ok, you got me on the semantics

I'm nothing if not a selective semantics weeny when I can take advantage to make a not funny joke.

I second this.  If I wanted to get to parallel, I'd have to do some goofy contortions, or just bend the heck out of my left elbow, neither of which seem smart or necessary, so I don't. :)

As evidenced by the photos posted of me on the first tee at our TST SoCal even last weekend, I do both goofy contortions and bend my left elbow in a desperate attempt to get past parallel.  Been fighting it for years. Whoops.

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As evidenced by the photos posted of me on the first tee at our TST SoCal even last weekend, I do both goofy contortions and bend my left elbow in a desperate attempt to get past parallel.  Been fighting it for years. Whoops.

I wonder what would happen if you videod yourself on the range taking what FELT to you like smooth HALF swings?

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I wonder what would happen if you videod yourself on the range taking what FELT to you like smooth HALF swings?

Erik had me do this up in Erie one time. I was like, NO WAY THAT IS Parallel. Well two other TST members just said, "Its parallel". BLEW MY MIND!!!

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This very topic came up 2 weekends ago for me. I had posted on another thread having the chance to get a free lesson from a local instructor at a golf show in our area. It was the first time I had a chance to see my swing on video and one (of the many...haha) flaws the instructor pointed out was how far past parrallel my backswing was. It was quite eye opening to see how overextended I normally was so he had me just think about taking a 3/4 swing and that seemed to help tremendously. I recall hitting one shot particularly well and to me it honestly felt like I had only taken a half swing. The other thing that surprised me was how difficult it really was to take something off my backswing, but I guess that comes with any change.
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I've been working hard on this with my pro . I am really flexible so when I feel a 3/4 swing I am actually way past parallel. I literally have to feel like I am hitting little pitch shots. When I first tried this feeling I felt like I was barely taking the club back but my instructor told me I was textbook parallel at the top of my swing. I couldn't believe it so he showed me on video and what do you know...perfectly parallel at the top. It still feels foreign to me to take the club back what I feel is so short but it's getting better.

The other issue now is timing. We are really trying to tighten this up and it's hard for me to get my timing down properly with the shortened backswing. It's a work in progress but the overswinging is one of the last byproducts from my old swing and I need to get rid of it. I'm excited though because once I get past this hurdle I know my consistency will get a lot better. I am starting to feel when I overswing and more often than not it results in a poor shot.

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Stupid noob question, but what exactly is parallel? I'm envisioning left arm (right handed swing) parallel to the ground at the top of the back swing????

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Stupid noob question, but what exactly is parallel? I'm envisioning left arm (right handed swing) parallel to the ground at the top of the back swing????

No, when people talk about "getting to parallel" or "going past parallel" they are referring to the club shaft in relation to the ground, not the left arm.

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No, when people talk about "getting to parallel" or "going past parallel" they are referring to the club shaft in relation to the ground, not the left arm.

Oh, I get it.  Like the shaft is parallel to the ground when the head is pointed roughly towards the target over your shoulder? I was thinking that left arm parallel wasn't very far back!

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  • 3 months later...

While trying to "get my swing", if I'm swinging inconsistently, often shortening my backswing helps a lot.

Overextension beyond my physical capacity, causes me to reverse pivot and hit chunky shots.

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In my opinion, when it comes to this subject, the more important focus is when should you start your weight moving forward. If you stay loose in the wrists and forearms (not controlling the hinge) and shift the weight forward at the right time this will take care of itself.
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