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Build a better backswing

September 2014

The backswing issue I saw in @SchoonKing's picture on Twitter is one I come across every week: hips and shoulders turning together, and the arms overswinging the turn. Everybody wants more speed, but bigger doesn't always equal better in the backswing.

Power comes from coiling and uncoiling your body and preserving your swing arc—the path the clubhead takes from the top of the backswing to the ball. Think of coil as the difference between your shoulder and hip turns. Turn both the same, and you aren't winding the spring. How much you rotate depends on your build, but turn your shoulders as far as they can go without turning your hips much or coming out of your posture.

When your shoulders are done turning, your arms should be done swinging back. They should be relatively straight, with your wrists hinged and your hands next to your head (above)—not behind it. Now you're at your maximum arc, and ready to go at it with speed.

RANGE ROVER

If you want to get better, it never hurts to watch what the great players do. When Tiger Woods hit shots with me on the range, he always had a target, and he always knew exactly how far away the target was. This is a great habit to get into, because it helps organize your mind. You see how far you hit your clubs under different conditions, not just your "ideal" numbers.

Hank Haney is based at the Hank Haney Golf Ranch in Lewisville, Texas. To get fixed in Golf Digest, send Hank your swing on Twitter: @HankDHaney.

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