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What backswing should you use? Integrate your grasp and body.

IF YOU LOOK AT TONY FINAU’S SWING, as well as those of Xander Schauffele, Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy, and Jon Rahm, two things should stand out to you. First of all, they are all outstanding footballers and ball strikers. Second, the length and trajectory of each backswing is obviously different. Which one should you choose if you were seeking an “ideal” backswing to imitate from these examples? Does that imply that everyone else on the tour is performing improperly?

The correct response is that there is only one backswing length and location that is ideal for you personally. Your appearance will likely differ from that of Tony, Rory, Brooks, and the other members of your foursome, but that’s okay as long as it complements your grip, natural build, and degree of flexibility.

I’ve gathered five of our best students, along with swing coach Terry Rowles, to demonstrate the most typical grip and backswing patterns used in golf so you may choose the one that most closely resembles your own. Once you understand it, we’ll show you how to improve your specific combo. You can see that although Edmund, Alex, Nick, Brad, and Danny (from left to right with me here) are excellent golfers who consistently shoot under par and have driver clubhead speeds of more than 120 mph, their backswings differ from one another.

The way they hold the club is where it all begins. Your right (or trailing) hand’s placement on the club can be compared to a backswing steering wheel. The position of that hand on the handle—to the side of, under, or on top of it—has a significant impact on the path the club takes during the backswing. Your real backswing must follow the path it intends to travel based on where your trail hand sits on the club’s handle.

The amount of backswing is easy to calculate once you’ve determined the path the club should go; it’s based on your flexibility and chest thickness. Let’s get this straight away: Jump up, adopt a golfing stance, and swing your left (or lead) arm like you normally would during a backswing, keeping it mostly straight and making use of your regular hip turn. Reach up and attach your right hand to your left when your left arm is no longer able to extend any farther. Your ideal backswing should be that long.

It’s possible that someone advised you to widen or lengthen your backswing. While trying to stretch your backswing further than your flexibility or body type comfortably allows may cause you to tip your weight toward the target, this is not necessarily poor advice. This causes problems with the downswing, which cancels out whatever greater speed you might be producing with a longer motion. In addition, a lot of skilled players can bomb it without becoming parallel at the top.

What is the perfect backswing for you? Start by matching one of these players’ grip styles to your own. — Including Matthew Rudy