Build A Perfect Backswing For Better Golf Shots

Having a good backswing makes it much easier to hit the ball consistently and with a draw. Watch PGA Professional Jack Backhouse explain what is wrong with your current backswing and how to fix it.


You don’t hit the ball with your backswing, but it does dramatically affect how you swing down. Building on from Takeaway Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Golf Swing, in this video PGA Professional Jack Backhouse explains some common faults he sees teaching the average golfer and how to start to build a perfect backswing

Why Is The Backswing Important?

With the only part of the swing that really matters being the collision of the club head and golf ball, is it really important to improve your golf backswing? Well, absolutely, yes, it is. Although there may be a weird and wonderful collection of backswings on the PGA tour, these players are the most coordinated, most practiced humans on the planet who could probably make anything work to a reasonable level.

As an ‘average’ player, it is much more important to have a more correct backswing, as this will allow you to make better downswings and achieve better impact positions more regularly. Think of your backswing as the foundations of your house. Poor foundations will fail under pressure, and a poor backswing makes it too hard to produce consistent downswings under pressure.

Golfers often do not realise that their swing faults are often the result of compensations caused by a poor backswing. Build a perfect backswing to make your life easier!

What are common backswing faults?

There are 4 common swing faults that plague the mid to high-handicap golfer and stop them from making a good golf swing. These will, the majority of the time, lead to poor contact, steep downswings and weak fades and slices. They are:

  • Too much lateral hip sway away from the target results in a late or no weight shift. This is going to cause massive contact issues and always produce an out-to-in swing path.
  • The disconnection of arms and body creates a position at the top where the hands are too high and not deep enough.
  • Not enough shoulder turn.
  • The angle of the shaft becoming too flat (pointing outside of the ball) halfway into the backswing.
hip sway

What is a good backswing for a mid-handicapper?

Whilst we all know that we shouldn’t all swing the same way, there are some key points in the swing that, if achieved, put you in a great place to hit good shots. These are all common positions seen in the best players in the world, regardless of what their swing looks like:

  • Centred to forward hip turn. As the club swings back, the centre of the pelvis shouldn’t move laterally at all away from the target but should, in fact, move towards the target a little, moving the weight onto the front foot. The left knee won’t move inwards much but will instead move over the left foot.
  • The hands should move inwards toward the trail leg as soon as the swing starts. To avoid any disconnection of arms whilst the body turns, the hands should not move away from the legs as the club starts back.
  • A shaft that points somewhere between the trail foot and the ball halfway back. This is going to ensure that the club gets into a neutral position at the top.

Achieving these 3 things will not guarantee you perfect shots every time, but it makes it very difficult to go wrong later in the downswing. Golf is a game not of perfect shots but controlled misses, and having these 3 swing characteristics will help make your misses smaller.

lydia ko backswing


Having some go-to drills to help improve your technique makes changing your swing much easier. They help you feel what a new position is supposed to feel like whilst also swinging at a ball. This makes the feels transferrable and speeds up progress. Some drills I like for this are:

  • Halfway back drill. Swing to halfway back, stop and check all the positions are correct, then continue the swing to hit the ball.
  • Reach the wall drill. Stand with your backside against a wall in golf posture and make a backswing where your hands get back to the wall. Feel how much you have to turn and stretch your arms deeper to get there.
  • Step sequencing drill. Get into a golf posture addressing a ball, then move your front foot next to your trail foot. As you start your backswing, step your front foot forward before you get to the top of your swing, swing down, and hit the ball. Feel that early weight shift forward.

Hopefully, after reading this and watching the video, you understand a bit more about how to build a perfect backswing and a plan to achieve it. If you have any further questions then don’t hesitate to reach out on social media! Instagram, X (twitter), Facebook .

If you want to watch more of our instruction videos, you can get to Hannah Holden’s YouTube Instruction series by clicking here.

If you are interested in seeking further information from Jack that is more specific to your golf game, you can book an in-person or online golf lesson by clicking here.

Jack Backhouse

Callaway Epic Max driver review

Jack is a PGA Golf Professional who specialises in coaching, teaching golf to beginners and top-level amateurs for 10+ years. He also loves his golf equipment and analysing the data of the latest clubs on the market using launch monitors, specialising in blade irons and low-spinning drivers despite having a chronically low ball flight.

Although Jack has no formal journalism training, He has been reading What's In The Bag articles since he started playing at 12 and studying golf swings since his dad first filmed his swing to reveal one of the worst over-the-top slice swings he reckons has ever been recorded, which set him off on the path to be a coach. His favourite club ever owned was a Ping G10 driver bought from a local top amateur with the hope that some of the quality golf shots would come with it (they didn't), and worst was a Nike SQ driver he only bought because Tiger was using it.

Jack is a member of Sand Moor Golf Club and regularly gets out on the golf course to prepare for tournaments. Jack uses a TaylorMade BRNR Mini driver, a half set of TaylorMade P7MB irons, MG4 wedges and a TaylorMade TP Reserve putter.

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