It is easily one of the most searched terms on our website over the years, the “Top of The Backswing Position”. Unfortunately seeking out advice on it may be giving some golfers false hope.
For many years it was believed (and sold to golfers) that there was a model golf swing – a complete series of positions that one could mimic to achieve perfection. You know, straight golf shots that flew high and far each time.
We’ve moved far beyond that myth.
The understanding of how the human body moves, in general, has advanced greatly in the last number of decades. The result is that when we look at how people function as individuals, we realize it is just that – an individual motion. Within the segments of the body and the various joints and muscles, each of us has our limitations and restrictions on what we are capable of. That must be reflected in the motion you use to strike a golf ball.
Does that mean our golf swing can be a mess of moving parts yet still be successful? In a sense, yes, but it still needs to be organized in a way that will deliver the club to the impact condition with the golf ball -to achieve the desired result.
You see this in the golf swings of top professionals, be it a Dustin Johnson, Jim Furyk, or a Matt Kuchar. All have motions that look different (including the “top” of the backswing) yet are able to introduce elements that help them produce their desired impact conditions.
So be aware that as you make changes in the golf swing, the position that you swing through, not to, at the top of your swing, is simply one piece of your golf swing puzzle. What is right for one player will not necessarily work for another.
You need all the pieces to make a complete picture.
So don’t seek out the perfect top of backswing position, seek out the one that is perfect for you.
The best way to do that is with a coach/instructor who understands how each element of the swing will affect the outcome.
If you take that journey alone you may never reach where you want to go.
Don’t be afraid to reference what other players are doing during their swing motions, but understand that from any static position, many, many things can happen. No one top of backswing is the Holy Grail.
Work with a coach and ensure that all those movements work for you. That way the TOP you choose will help you get the BOTTOM (impact) you are looking for.
Scott MacLeod is the Associate Publisher/Editorial Director at Flagstick Golf Magazine/Flagstick.com and a PGA of Canada Class A Professional.