3 Ways To Set The Top of the Backswing

By | on June 25, 2011 | 24 Comments |


Sorry, this content is for members only.

Click here to get access.


Already a member? Login below

Remember me (for 2 weeks)

Forgot Password


Author Description

Paul Wilson is the creator of Swing Machine Golf and founder of Ignition Golf. Paul's golf swing technique is based on the Iron Byron swing machine. YouTube Channels: Paul Wilson Golf and Ignition Golf Tips. Please Join me on Google+

24 Responses to “3 Ways To Set The Top of the Backswing”

  1. Why is it that I cannot see this? It’s blocked.thanks, Mimi

    • January 24, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      There is nothing wrong with the tip. I was able to watch it without a problem. Just refresh you computer or try later if this happens again.

  2. June 14, 2013


    Hi Paul. By doing these drills, and picking one of the 3 to use, this will guarantee an on plane back swing?

  3. October 19, 2013


    Hey Paul,

    All three drills for the wrist set work. I like the pointing to the ear most then the pointing the heel of the club away from the target they both allow you to hit balls as you drill and not look away which also works. Great stuff! JJ

  4. May 12, 2014


    Paul, I seem to feel the heavy club at the top & notice that gives me a proper hinge of my wrists. Also it tells me my arms are turned off. Is this correct or is there another way to get that feeling?


    • Louis,

      It should feel heavy if you are fully hinging it because the mass is leaning to one side. Just be careful you are not letting go the club, collapsing the left arm too much or over-swinging. Watch for the full shaft above your head as I did in this tip and you should be okay.

      Where The Club Should Be At The Top: https://ignitiongolf.com/club-at-top/

  5. October 7, 2015


    Good morning, I swing right handed, so when I am at the top is my right hand under the shaft? Thank you.

    Just a general comment, I have tried other swing websites, but I feel I am making substantial progress with your concepts, they are easy to understand, and I like seeing you actually hit the ball, not just stand there and tell me what to do.


  6. Paul– I have a big problem mentally bending my right elbow at the top. I know it sounds funny but please tell me, with the one-piece take-away, what should I be thinking or doing to bend my right arm at 90 degrees at top while keep powerless arms. E.g. Sometimes I have tell myself to be patient and make a 90 angle, but i get anxious. Any tips? Thanks, Paul B.

  7. Paul W.– I saw all the videos and liked them. My takeaway is solid. It was helpful that you said that I have to think and feel my arms at times, and then turn them off. Question–do you “think” about making a 90 degree bend in your arm? or do you think about a straight and relaxed LEFT arm and then make the 90 degree right elbow bend? WHEN do I start to Bend my right arm to 90? By the way in the slow mo swing you did, your lag looks like Sergio’s. Looking forward to tips on tucking the right elbow on the downswing later. Thanks, Paul B,.

    • Paul,

      Just really thinking left. Not sure I have ever really thought about the right. Just be careful the elbow isn’t shooting out as you go back. It tucks against the side to 3/4 back then comes away to drop the grapefruit. This is how far from your side it would be.

      So start making less of this back arm issue and focus on the forward arm. If it gets into the correct position the back arm would have folded properly.

      I worked on lag for a long time as a kid. Take effort but when you get it you have it for life. I have a ton of lag drills on the site.

  8. Paul W– I understand bettter that, in the takeaway if the trail arm bends, the right elbow at top will bend more than 90 degrees a the top.
    At the top, I want no more than 6 inches of distance between my right elbow at 90 and my rib cage. You mentioned a grape fruit.

    • Paul,

      Not the top. At 3/4 back it would be almost against your side then it comes away.

  9. Great tip Paul. On a side note, I noticed that you waggle your club before you hit all your shots. Obviously, it’s part of your pre-shot routine. It looks similar to the Dufner waggle. Would you recommend that waggle or something similar to your students? I tried it a couple of times and found it helpful in relaxing my arms before my backswing. Any thoughts on this?

  10. October 5, 2017


    I’m struggling with this a bit. I tend to get handsy on the takeaway which causes me to get the club face open at the top. Then I end up with the club face closed at impact. When I get my hands out of it and hinge, it feels like the butt of the club comes off my left hand just slightly. I tend to hit the ball well and square like this but I know from your other tips that my hands should not be coming off the club. Do I just need to keep doing the tee drill while trying keep the hands out of it or is there another drill that might help me?

  11. October 5, 2017


    Thanks Paul! Let me rephrase, when I said I am hitting the ball well I should have said hitting the ball straighter. But I want to learn the correct way so I will work on the drills as suggested. I’m not too far from single digit handicap (thanks in large part to your short game tips) but my swing is not there yet. I will report back when it gets there!

  12. Hey Paul,

    Unfortunately I am in full melt-down mode after a very nice run of hitting the ball well and with what I thought was your technique, but I realize now that was simply properly timing compounded flaws and have now completely lost it again.

    I shot 36/45 last week after my swing imploded on the back.

    The issue I am having is laying the club off at the top, creating a very severe in-to-out path leading to duck and pull hooks.

    My swing is on the flatter side, which I know you do not like, but I do finally have the ‘grapefruit armpit’ – the issue is the lay-off and my wrist hinge.

    My question is can you please describe your left hand position, and particularly your thumb position (i.e under the club directly ?) and where your watch face is facing.

    In order to avoid the layoff and a massive hook or shank, I need to think about shutting the club on the way back (watch face towards the ground thought) but I know this is just a flaw that is compensating for this layoff flaw.

    I am not going to quit, I will get there! But man is this tough….



  13. Sorrry I meant to say describe left hand position AT THE TOP specifically.

  14. January 4, 2020


    I find this idea to point the thumbs at the right ear to be the most helpful swing thought for me, not to get the wrists hinged, but more to position the club face correctly wrt the plane of the swing. I had been hitting the ball poorly, not making good contact, and I went to the range and remembered this tip and was flushing almost every shot! I have a tendency to raise the right arm and elbow in the backswing, and pointing the thumbs to the ear fixes this. To me it feels like I am opening the club face, but it works well so I will keep doing it. Thanks Paul for a great tip!!!!

    • January 12, 2020

      Paul Wilson


      Yes, this is the easiest way I found to teach it. I tried other things in the past but this is faster and easier. Glad it works for you.

      People can each up too high and get that right arm out of position which is not good. Just see the wrists as a hinge. Once they hinge you are going to be at the top.

      Glad you liked it.

You must be logged in to post a comment.