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How to make a powerful backswing turn: 5 key tips

April 27, 2023

Making a big backswing turn is the basis of every good golf swing. It won’t just increase your power, but it can smooth your tempo, and improve your consistency. So many golfers I see the mistake of staying too far down, lifting their arms, and taking the club away too slowly. All of this inhibits their ability to turn, and costs them power. A good backswing is about creating movement. Here’s how to do it. — Joe Plecker, Director of Instruction, Landings Club, Savannah, Ga., Golf Digest Best in State Teacher

Good Backswing Turn Tips

  • Get into a balanced setup position
  • Align centers of upper and lower body
  • Turn centers together as one
  • Smooth but fast backswing
  • Set the club at the top

Backswing Turn Tip #1: Get balanced

The basis of a good turn is a good platform. The first step is to simply get settled into a balanced setup. My weight is even between my feet, and I'm not in a very narrow stance. I've got plenty of space to grip the ground with my feet, which helps me get balanced. The feeling I have is that I'm gripping the ground with the full surface area of my foot. That's the basis for a balanced setup.

Backswing Turn Tip #2: Align centers of your body

You won't be able to get balanced if your upper and lower bodies aren't aligned. Look at your buttons and belt buckle; I like to see those in a relatively straight line, slightly tilted away from the target. Don't overdo the tilt though. That could shift too much weight onto your trail foot and hurt your balance later in your swing.

Backswing Turn Tip #3: Turn centers as one

One mistake a lot of higher-handicap golfers make is locking their lower body and lifting their arms. Now that you've aligned your buttons and your belt buckle, the first thing you're going feel is the center of your torso and pelvis turning away from the ball as one, working together.

Backswing Turn Tip #4: Make a fast backswing

Golfers want the clubhead to get past the handle on the backswing. That sets the angle between your wrists and your shaft, which creates power. A smooth, fast backswing will use the momentum of the club to help you do this, and pull your body back into a big turn.

Backswing Turn Tip #5: Let the club set

As you make your swing, your only turn thought should be allowing the weight of the club to set in transition. Only after completing a full turn should the club reverse into the downswing. Rushing the transition will cost you power and consistency.