Travelers Championship

TPC River Highlands


Instruction

Swing Tips

Pivot Like a Pro: Two of the best drills for a backswing that sings

J.D. Cuban

It's true that there are many different backswings at the tour-pro level, but the one common denominator is that no one is doing anything that hurts his or her chance of hitting a solid shot. Many amateurs get their swing off to a poor start and have to make mid-swing adjustments so that they can make reasonable contact with the golf ball. It’s a recipe for inconsistency.

We get a ton of sunshine where I teach in Southern California, so one of my go-to drills is using your shadow to train for a better backswing. Before we get to that, here’s a simple way you can groove a better takeaway and make those first few feet of your swing more valuable.

Grab an iron in your lead hand while placing your dominant hand on your trail thigh. Now take the club back with one hand, stopping when the shaft is parallel to the ground (above). As you repeatedly do this, feel how your lead leg responds, preventing your body from swaying or sliding away from the target—a common backswing mistake that makes it really tough to get the club back to the ball in a proficient way. If your hand moves up or off your thigh as you take the club back, you’ll know your body is starting to slide instead of pivoting. Now that the start of your swing is fixed, check out my shadow drill below.

—With Ron Kaspriske

THE SHADOW KNOWS

To get to the top of the swing the way the pros do, find a spot where your body can cast a shadow at address, then drop a rod down so that it vertically dissects the image. Now make a backswing, paying attention to how your shadow moves in relation to the rod. When you turn back with your body, your shadow should remain fairly still in relation to the rod (above). It shouldn’t drift noticeably in either direction. Remember that feeling when you’re back out on the golf course.

TASHA BROWNER BOHLIG is one of Golf Digest’s Best Teachers in California. She is director of instruction at El Caballero Country Club in Tarzana.

Check out Tasha’s new Golf Digest Schools Series, “Fundamentals of Golf,” and other great instruction videos at schools.golfdigest.com.