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Flat backswing? Here's how to fix it in 4 steps

May 11, 2024

How do you steepen your backswing, and why would you want to do that? Many golfers fight a slice, with a steep downswing, where the club travels on an out-to-in path. We don’t want a steep downswing, but funny enough, the way to cure this is by steepening your backswing.

If you steepen your backswing, or get the club pointed more vertically halfway back, then magic happens: The club will shallow in transition, and you’ll hit push draws. And you can do it all in a few steps. Get your backswing steeper, and you’re on your way to fixing your downswing. — Andrew Park, Andrew Park Golf, West Orange C.C., Winter Garden, Fla., Golf Digest Best in State Teacher

How to Steepen Your Backswing

  • Find your ideal posture
  • Grip and belt buckle start together
  • Hinge wrists up
  • Shift forward and turn

How to Steepen Your Backswing #1: Find your ideal posture

Everyone’s ideal posture is different because everyone has different arm, leg and torso lengths. The first step in steepening your backswing is to get in a good posture so that you can move properly. A quick way to check for your ideal posture is to bend from the hips and hang your arms down. When your fingertips touch the tops of your knees, that’s the posture for you.

How to Steepen Your Backswing #2: Grip and belt buckle start together

To steepen your backswing, you need to start the swing in the proper sequence. Feel like the butt end of the grip and your belt buckle are moving together. Grip down for a rehearsal if needed. If either your arms or hips move independently of the other, then your sequencing will be off. Feel like your core is the engine of the first part of the swing.

How to Steepen Your Backswing #3: Hinge wrists up

After you’ve made a good takeaway, it’s time to start getting the club more vertical. When your lead arm is parallel to the ground, hinge your wrists straight up so that the butt end of the club is pointing at the ball. In fact, a good feeling is to try and point the grip at your toe line. That will exaggerate this steeper backswing.

How to Steepen Your Backswing #4: Shift forward and turn

Now that you’ve got a steeper backswing, it’s time to reap the benefits. Simply shift your weight to your lead leg as you finish your backswing and turn through coming down. The weight of the club will naturally cause it to fall on a shallower plane. Think of baseball hitters; they get the bat vertical and then when they step forward and swing, the bat shallows into the delivery position. It's very similar in golf.

This is the feeling of the club dropping into the slot that you hear a lot of players talk about. It may feel like the club is making a loop—that’s a good thing! Go watch a video of Nick Price swinging. He famously has a steep backswing and a shallow downswing and hits draws every time.

Now you do, too.