InstructionJuly 31, 2014

HelpMeGolfDigest: Solve your backswing issues with Brian Manzella

By Matthew Rudy

Golf Digest 50 Best Instructor Brian Manzella is known for his devotion to advancing the science of golf instruction -- and for his devoted internet fan base. The spirited instruction discussions on the forums at have received hundreds of thousands of page views in the last five years, and Manzella interacts daily with hundreds of teachers on his golf science Facebook page.

This week, the popular pro from New Orleans mixes science with experience to break down several hashtagged swings submitted by readers for the regular #HelpMeGolfDigest project.

The first swing comes from @tom.carroll, who can get more power and control by trimming some extraneous moves from his swing.

"Good swing, Tom, but we can make it better by eliminating some of the slack," says Manzella, who is based at English Turn Golf & Country Club in New Orleans. "Try to have your arms and club swing away from the ball while you make a little shift to your right foot. Your torso or hips should only be turning from that arm swing away from the ball. When the club is around parallel to the ground, push up from the ground from the inside of your right foot, which will help you get your left shoulder down more as the right shoulder goes up from that push. Then, push off that right foot as the club nears the top, so you can shift over to your left leg by the time your left arm is parallel to the ground coming down, which is earlier than you're doing now. Through impact, you want your left shoulder as far away from the ball as you can get it, with your hips forward and around and your body back like you're trying to hit a high shot. Do some mirror work and use the Angel Cabrera swing sequence as a model."

Reader @mike_haugen's backswing needs some adjusting to launch the ball with his driver.

Manzella says a few upgrades are all that stand between @taylorcart1993 and a low single-digit handicap.

With any change, Manzella says he likes to see players make a succession about a dozen of back-and-forth swings in succession to develop a feel for the new movements. "It helps smooth out all the rough edges," he says. "With an iron, you should be making a little divot both going and coming."

Be sure to submit your swing videos via Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #HelpMeGolfDigest. Another top teacher will be reviewing swings here next week.

Follow @RudyWriter

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