The Backswing In Golf – Setting Up For A Controlled Swing

Are you looking for a way to improve your golf game? Many golfers struggle with perfecting their backswing and end up with an inconsistent swing that can cost them strokes, money, and maybe even a few clubs. Well, don’t worry—you’re not alone. Everyone struggles with the same issues.

Imagine this scenario – you are on the course with 18 holes ahead of you. You stand on tee box number 1, ready to swing…but then you’re mind starts racing about how to even start your backswing… sounds scary, right? 

Now let’s kick those first tee-box jitters to the curb. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about the backswing and how to setup up a great controlled swing. 

RELATED: The 7 Best Golf Tips For Beginner Golfers

Stance and Posture

Having the right stance and posture is important when setting up for a successful backswing in golf. Your stance should be wide enough to provide a sturdy base while maintaining balance and a straight, relaxed posture. It also helps to pay attention to your grip, as that will determine the power of your shot and the accuracy of your swing. 

In the following sections, we’ll take a look at the necessary steps for setting up an optimal backswing.

Find The Correct Stance Width

An important part of a successful shot is setting up properly for your backswing, including standing in the right stance at address. Your stance should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, with your feet kept parallel and a slight bend in your waist. There should also be a small flex in your knees that will allow you to create the amount of power necessary for a successful swing.

If you’re new to golf, using a golf club across your chest can be helpful while standing to ensure that you’re not too far away from or too close to the ball before teeing off. Guildford Golf Range guide reminds us not to stand too close — if you do, it will become difficult to make an effective backswing movement and produce speed with the club head.

When considering body type, players with flexibility issues may benefit from having a narrower stance than usual — as this can help create more accuracy and power when swinging through the ball. As an overall rule of thumb, golfers should feel comfortable yet sporty when assuming the ideal stance before beginning the backswing process.

Ensure The Proper Posture

Before taking the backswing, you must correct your stance and posture. A good posture provides the optimal body alignment for an effective golf swing. It also helps sustain balance and gives you the most control over your club when executing a shot.

Here is a checklist for the proper posture:

  • Stand with your feet spread comfortably at shoulder width or slightly wider.
  • Bend your knees slightly and keep your head on your spine.
  • Distribute weight evenly between both legs and keep yourself well-balanced throughout the swing.
  • Keep your upper arms close to your chest to better control the clubface angle during the swing.
  • Rotate your hips into a wide arc during the backswing for more power by keeping them level with your shoulders throughout the entire swinging motion.
  • Hold onto the club firmly but gently, as this will help generate force as you make contact with the ball.
  • Most importantly, maintain a sure footing throughout everything so that you don’t lose balance while playing a shot.

By following these simple steps, you can set yourself up well to take an impressive backswing!


The grip provides the foundation for a controlled swing. A good grip helps to keep the clubface square throughout the swing, allowing the golfer to turn through the ball to create maximum power and accuracy. A golfer can set up a consistent, controlled backswing by understanding the proper way to grip the golf club.

Choose The Correct Grip Type

A good grip lets you keep your wrists in place while turning through the backswing, creating a controlled path to hit a powerful shot. Most golfers use either an overlapping or interlocking grip.

Overlapping Grip

This could be an ideal choice for those with larger hands or who prefer to have more active wrists during their swing. To use an overlapping grip, rest the little finger of your right hand between the index and middle fingers of your left hand. This will help keep your wrists solid while turning back in preparation for the downswing.

Interlocking Grip

Favored by many players on Tour due to its comfort level and security, this grip requires the little finger of your left hand to lock underneath that index finger on the right hand – not just resting in between them like in an overlapping grip. 

Ensure The Correct Grip Pressure

One of the golf backswing’s most important elements is ensuring your grip pressure is just right. A too-tight grip can create tension in your body and prevent free motion. On the other hand, a too-loose grip can cause you to lose control of the club during the backswing.

The ideal grip should be firm but not overly tight, allowing you to move fluidly with no jerky motions or discomfort in any part of your upper body or arms. You should also ensure that both hands work together as one unit; if either hand moves independently, it disrupts balance and stability during your swing, leading to more erratic shots and less power behind them. 

Experiment with different tension levels until you find the right degree of firmness for controlled, efficient swings on every shot!

Setup At Address

A good setup gives you a strong platform and the best chance to make a powerful and controlled swing. In this section, we’ll discuss tips on properly setting up for a golf backswing.

Align The Clubface Correctly

A good golf backswing begins with a proper setup. When you have established the correct address position, you can ensure a smoother transition when moving from the backswing to your downswing and follow-through. 

Set your feet about hip-width apart to properly align the clubface and comfortably position your hands on the club’s grip. Check that your left arm is straight, tense, or relaxed. 

Keeping your arms close to your body will also help maintain this correct alignment so that all movement is centered around your torso rather than trying to swing with just arms alone. 

Lastly, for a straight shot, ensure that the clubface is properly square at address to align correctly with the ball during impact for more accurate shots.

Position The Ball Correctly

When addressing the ball—or positioning yourself for the shot—your feet should be placed shoulder-width apart or slightly more. The feet should also be pointed forward toward your ball. It’s important that your stance remains steady throughout your swing and that you don’t make any big adjustments after set-up.

Your arms should hang long and relaxed, and your wrists should be bent toward your elbows. Your hands should be placed just inside of your right thigh (for right-handers) but not so close as to limit movement at impact. 

Grip pressure should be mild, with equal pressure distributed between both hands throughout your swing. Taking time to set up correctly will increase control of your swing and aid in achieving effective contact with the golf ball on each swing as you practice.

Assess Your Body Position

Before you start your backswing, assessing your body position is important. When initially setting up, your feet should be shoulder-width apart with flexed knees and a slight hip bend. Your arms should be relaxed and in front of you.

Next, take note of the golf club’s angle in relation to the target line. At address this should be parallel with the ground and angled towards the target. 

Finally, tilt your spine slightly away from the target at address to promote a low hands route on your downswing motion.

By taking a few moments to check off all these setup elements, you can guarantee that you’ll have maximum control over your downswing motion when it comes time to swing back. So ensure that you assess these body position requirements before each shot!

The Backswing

The backswing is an integral part of a golf swing and can differ between a tight draw and a slice. It is important to understand the mechanics of the backswing to get the most out of your swing. 

This section looks at the best ways to set up a controlled backswing and ensure your swing is consistent and repeatable.

Begin The Backswing With The Lower Body

For your backswing to be effective, it is important to understand how the lower body works during this phase of the golf swing.

First, maintain your posture throughout the backswing by standing as if you had a pole attached from your shoulder blades running straight down to your feet. Keeping this posture, begin with a weight shift. As you start to bring the club in your left direction (for right-handed players), lean your weight slightly towards that side. This will create a nice upper body rotation towards that same direction and allows space for that backswing motion. You allow room for the club to come up while maintaining an angled stance toward where you want it to go.

Next, use an upward looping motion using both arms with no addition of extra momentum as you near completion of the takeaway part of your swing. At the top of the swing, the butt of your grip should be parallel with your target line but pointed in the opposite direction of the target.

Swing The Club In A Controlled Arc

A properly executed backswing begins with uncoiling the body’s core muscles; shoulders, hips, and lower body. A full shoulder turn is required; ensure that your arms have cleared your head as you draw your club away from the ball. The left shoulder should move away from the target at the beginning of the backswing, while the right shoulder should start to follow it toward the target at about ¾ of the way down your turn.

At this point, maintain a firm grip on your club and note where it is in its arc path. You want your hands and arms to elongate fully during this motion, eliminating any excessive curvature in either arm that can cause lost energy during the follow-through motion. 

An important key here is connecting your trail arm (right) with your lead arm (left) – think ‘elbows together’ – as you set into your backswing position just before transitioning into downswing movement. 

Keep The Hands And Arms Relaxed

Keeping your hands and arms relaxed throughout the entire motion is important. This tension-free feeling will help you control your club head and maximize your power.

As you begin the backswing, start by turning your torso away from the target while maintaining a wide stance and also keeping your feet planted firmly on the ground. You should focus on turning away with your shoulders and arms but under control as if you were winding up a clock spring. 

Once you have reached the top of your backswing — often called “coiling” — with arm tension maintained in a relaxed state, begin shifting your weight to your lead foot and rotating your shoulders down through the swing plane.


The follow-through is the part of the swing where you must stay in control, maintain your balance and momentum, and create a fluid motion to ensure a successful shot. Understanding how good follow-throughs are created to maximize your technique resulting in straighter shots. 

Let’s take a look at how the follow-through works and how it can help you become a better golfer.

Finish With The Lower Body

From the top of your backswing, transfer your weight to your left side while rotating open towards the ball until both arms reach parallel with the ground. You must maintain a balanced stance during this phase to ensure an accurate shot.

At this point, begin to move the lower body forward and down into an athletic hitting position. The right side should move first and pivot around the right heel as the left foot remains flat on the ground (for a right-handed golfer), moving your hips laterally towards the target while maintaining spine tilt away from it. This movement should remain continuous such that you push gently using your lower body to help control and smooth out any extra motion in your arms.

The last stage of this motion is crucial because it transports power from your legs up through your abdomen and eventually into the club head for a more powerful shot. It is important to stay mindful of where you are aiming as you near completion of the backswing—your eyes should be focused on where you want the ball to go throughout the swing. 

As you make contact with the ball, allow for a slow finish as all corners turn perpendicularly away from the target and follow through into a square finish–this will create maximum RPMs and greater accuracy with each shot!

Ensure A Balanced Finish

It is important to ensure a balanced finish to your golf swing, as this will significantly reduce the chances of inaccuracy in your shots and enable better control of the club. A balanced finish involves your entire body, so be sure to maintain the same posture and momentum through each element of your backswing. Keep your weight split between both feet and slightly toward the target, allowing for a smooth and continuous shift in hip rotation. Keep the clubhead low on its approach to the top of the swing, and stay down on the shot until you feel that all motion has stopped, and you can add into it one final time with your wrists. This will ensure that you are balanced with a full turn around your spine to generate power for your downswing.

Maintain Control Of The Clubhead

One of the main keys to a controlled swing is to keep control of the club head throughout. One way to ensure this is to practice shifting your weight and keeping the toe of the club pointed down. During the backswing, some golfers will lift their left heel off the ground and allow their right knee to flex inward; this can help you turn easier. Be sure that during all of this, you maintain control over your body, especially your arms and wrists. This will help you stay in good balance while ensuring that you always have “full control” of your golf club.

Additionally, ensure that you rotate your hips correctly with a full shoulder turn instead of a wristy flick or scooping action. The most important part of controlling your swing during the backswing is keeping tension off your arms and hands so that there are no jerky movements and everything flows naturally from one point in time to another without having any sudden breaks in tempo or flow. Make sure not to grip too tightly during these moments; keep your grip pressure light yet firm when working through these motions so that you can carefully gauge how much power is being generated by feeling it through the shaft rather than from brute force or just pure physical strength alone. This type of dynamism helps ensure maximum contact as well as helps generate greater accuracy for whatever shot one chooses to play!

Final Thoughts On The Backswing In Golf

The backswing in golf is a key part of the game that helps you generate power and accuracy. It’s important to take your time and make a smooth, controlled motion to get the most out of your swing. In this article, we’ve looked at the different aspects of the backswing and how you can improve yours. We hope you’ve found it helpful!

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