impact zone blog

The Inside Track To Your Golf Game Improvement.
28 March, 2011 by Bobby Clampett

The Backswing

Take a look at these pictures of current PGA Tour players:

Almost all of them have the golf club set in a different position at the top of their backswing; Tiger has his set in four different positions. With the players above there are 109 PGA Tour wins and 18 major wins, Tiger accounts for 71 and 14. With that being said, it amazes me how much emphasis teachers and players put on the takeaway and the backswing. If taking the club back on a certain path and setting it in a certain position at the top is so important, then how do we explain the pictures above of all those PGA Tour winners?. The answer…We don’t hit the ball on our backswing! Yet if we saw the players above at the moment of impact, they would look very similar.

How the club is taken away and the position it is in at the top of the swing is a matter of style. The function of the takeaway and backswing is to set and load the club so the player can deliver that loaded club into the golf ball. When players learn the feel of impact and a correct downswing path, the takeaway and backswing will more times than not take care of itself. The players will learn to find a takeaway and backswing that fits that feel.

There is a mountain of information out there about the takeaway and backswing, but all of that information forgets to mention the most important part of it all…impact and the path through impact. All great players have their own swing style, but their intentions are the same where it counts, the impact zone.

The #1 dynamic in golf…The Flat Left Wrist at impact. You can have the so called “perfect takeaway”, “perfect backswing” and “perfect position at the top”, but if a player can not arrive at impact with a flat left wrist, they are just wasting their time. When the impact is learned, the backswing is earned.

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Comments

  1. I am still in the rehab phase of a left rotator cuff repair. At which point when I can chip and putt I’ll apply the basics of Impact Zone as I read. In July I’ll be able to complete a full swing. At what time can I attempt a lesson from you? Immediately? I really enjoyed Bobby’s book, his ideas, etc while I rehab.

    1. Mike,

      Now is the perfect time to start educating your hands. Start by hitting putts with your right hand only. When you set up with the putter in the right hand you will notice a slight bend in the wrist, which is what we want. Now, as you hit the putts focus on maintaining that bend in the right wrist. You can also do this hitting chip shots. Remember, if your right wrist is bent the left wrist will be flat at impact. So while you are focusing on and training your right wrist to stay bent you are also training your left wrist to stay flat even though your are using your right hand only. Practice this until your are able to start hitting pitch shots and then we can get a lesson scheduled.

      Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions.

      Brenndan Cooper, Impact Zone Master Instructor
      Head PGA Professional
      Top of the Rock Golf Course
      Big Cedar Lodge

  2. While your observation with regards to not hitting the ball on the backswing is spot on; to be fair, I believe your statement needs to be balanced.

    Not one of the players you have highlighted above have a takeaway procedure where the clubshaft is goes below the right forearm.

    A backswing does not a golfshot make, but it is certainly a portent of that which is to come.

    1. Justin,

      Thank you for the reply. You are correct that none of the players pictured take the club back below the right forearm, but Ray Floyd and John Daly do. My main point is that students need to learn what a dynamic impact is first and worry about the style of the swing second. As students progress then they can start making adjusts to the backswing, plane, etc.

  3. While your observation with regards to not hitting the ball on the backswing is spot on; to be fair, I believe your statement needs to be balanced.

    Not one of the players you have highlighted above have a takeaway procedure where the clubshaft is goes below the right forearm.

    A backswing does not a golfshot make, but it is certainly a portent of that which is to come.

    1. Justin,

      Thank you for the reply. You are correct that none of the players pictured take the club back below the right forearm, but Ray Floyd and John Daly do. My main point is that students need to learn what a dynamic impact is first and worry about the style of the swing second. As students progress then they can start making adjusts to the backswing, plane, etc.

  4. Very good point. I believe the back of the left hand should always be square with the clubface, and as long as the back-lefthand and clubface are square through impact, it doesn’t matter a whole lot how it gets there. Some golfers have textbook swing planes (Tiger Woods, Rory McIlory), others have their own individual styles (Furyk, Couples, Daly, etc…). I think a swing that won’t break down is the one that feels the best — not one that your learn in a book. As long as you get in the correct position at impact.

  5. Very good point. I believe the back of the left hand should always be square with the clubface, and as long as the back-lefthand and clubface are square through impact, it doesn’t matter a whole lot how it gets there. Some golfers have textbook swing planes (Tiger Woods, Rory McIlory), others have their own individual styles (Furyk, Couples, Daly, etc…). I think a swing that won’t break down is the one that feels the best — not one that your learn in a book. As long as you get in the correct position at impact.

  6. I am really interested in getting this program. One of the problems I see with instruction generally speaking is that it ASSUMES your are in great physical condition. Unfortunately I have arthritis in my wrists and it limits the amount of wrist cock I can achieve. How would this program helps an individual like myself.

  7. I am really interested in getting this program. One of the problems I see with instruction generally speaking is that it ASSUMES your are in great physical condition. Unfortunately I have arthritis in my wrists and it limits the amount of wrist cock I can achieve. How would this program helps an individual like myself.

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