DRILL – Super Short Backswing

By | on March 1, 2019 | 33 Comments |


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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+

33 Responses to “DRILL – Super Short Backswing”

  1. Hey Paul,
    Still with you on IG. I never miss a tip. This drill looks similar to the hinge and turn drill for a medium pitch shot. Difference appears to be firing the hips faster. Yes or no?


    • John,

      Way faster! Plus, I am doing the full follow through. Give it a try. You’ll see how hard it is.

    • Paul, I have not received an email from you in months. I see that my account is in good standing, so what do you think is the problem is?…..John S.

  2. Paul that’s great looking tip I’ll give it a try. When I was doing your favorite practice swing drill I would take a couple of practice swings with one arm. I found the club felt real heavy and almost impossible to swing without using your body. Would that be something to do once and a while.

    • Allen,

      1 arms swings are good. Just shows you how much you want hit hit with both arms on the club. Stick with 1 arm then gradually put the second on very lightly. Keep this feeling then try to place you real grip on the club and so on. Got to do it with both arms on the club but getting the feeling is a good start.

  3. Hi
    Quick question is there much shoulder turn in this drill
    R Shaw

  4. Hi Paul

    This drill is, more or less, my swing. My arm goes up to parallel with the ground. However, since I have been working on your method, and it has been a while now, I have significantly gained distance and consistency. When I try to coil much more, especially with fairway woods, driving my hips creates a great contact and distance, but also a push-sometime a severe one. On the tee it is not much of a problem, as I use your tip to try to hook the shot. In this tip you are showing that the shot with a short swing is almost the same distance as your “regular” shot. So is it worth while working on a longer backswing?

    Continuing to improve with your tips and inspiration and hoping, one day, to work with you in person.


    • David,

      When I hit the ball the same with this short of a swing I have to drive my hips 100% (which is a lot of effort). If I go a little longer I can turn at 80% which is what I am trying to do.

      To get the club going back a little longer just think “thumbs to the back ear.” If you do, you will be at the top with an easy thought. I refer to the short swing as a young man’s swing as it takes a ton of leg drive. Give it a try. You will see that it will really help.

  5. July 3, 2016


    Using the Momentus Swing Trainer to do this drill in my work out room after doing Klinkhamer’s drills to warmup and loosen up has improved my full and “tiny” golf swing on the range. Two years later after joining Ignition Golf my golf swing is not better, it is at a level I never thought possible. As Father Smokey (my priest) used to tell me, “Patience Grasshopper”. Thanks Paul…

    • Henry,

      That’s great. I love hearing it. Yes, building a great swing takes time but the payoff is huge. The major hurdle is to get people to stop thinking about the ball. The faster they do this, the faster they build the swing. Unfortunately, it’s exciting to hit great shots so people think they’ve got it when really … they don’t. Keep up the good work.

  6. Hello Paul

    Do you like the Gary player “walk through” drill or the “step into it” drill to develop the lower body uncoiling?



  7. Hi Paul,
    This was a bit weird at first but then unbelievably I found that I was hitting just as far as my full swing but more consistently even with 5 iron! Still hit the odd pull hook when I tried to hit too hard but overall one of my best range sessions ever.
    1. can I do this drill with 3 wood and driver?
    2. What’s the progression? pthis drill my swing length is between half way and 3/4 back – should I ramp up to 3/4 and then full swing gradually

    • Fernando,

      Glad you tried it and could do it. It’s tough.

      1. You can do it with longer clubs but you will probably hit pushes and push fades. You are doing it to get used to the legs driving. Once you do it for a bit you should feel the legs driving with longer clubs so it is probably unnecessary to do the drill with those clubs.

      2. Once you get the feeling of using your legs just forget about shortening it. If you are aren’t thinking about a short swing it will go longer which should be closer to parallel.

  8. Hi Paul,
    This was a bit weird at first but then unbelievably I found that I was hitting just as far as my full swing but more consistently even with 5 iron! I was even getting into the touch the head position more easily! Still hit the odd pull hook when I tried to hit too hard but overall one of my best range sessions ever.
    1. can I do this drill with 3 wood and driver?
    2. What’s the progression process- should I ramp up to 3/4 and then full swing gradually?
    3. can we just stop at 3/4 – for most average players a more compact swing is better – no?many thanks for your great teaching

    • Fernando,

      3. Three quarters is tough because you are reducing the amount of feet you have to get the club to 100mph. What I have found is when I do the short swing I have to swing at 100% to get the same distance. Why not go a little longer so you can swing at 80%. A short swing is a young man’s swing.

  9. December 18, 2018



    I think this is your best tip. I will try it today. I have to admit that I haven’t been as committed to this as I should be because I’ve been trying to maintain a swing to play currently. I need to commit and make this work. With what you’ve shown me I now have a swing trigger to use my body to swing which has helped my consistency immensely and even pick up some yardage but I know I can get more.


    • December 18, 2018

      Paul Wilson


      I saw the photos. That coil is fine. Nice loading too. The part of don’t like is that you are letting go of the club with your right hand and the left wrist is not fully hinged. This is indicating your wrists are way too tight. So you need to hold on securely and loosen only your wrists. If so the right elbow will tuck a little more too. Right now it’s flying.

      Secure Grip Loose Wrists: https://ignitiongolf.com/secure-grip-loose-wrists/

      Watch yourself in a mirror (mirror is off your toes). See that you are holding on and fully hinging your wrists so the angle between the left arm and clubshaft is 90 degrees or less. Also, you should see no gap in your elbows. You would see half of the right arm above the left but no gaps between them.

      From there make sure you re-hinge fully into the through swing.

  10. December 20, 2018


    I tried the super short back swing drill and had some success. Within 5 swings or so I was hitting the ball fairly well. I had the best success with a little bit longer back swing with a little wrist hinge. I wasn’t able to turn completely I think because I’m so big and thick. What is important is that I was able to hit the ball with powerless arms at least as far as I could with my arm swing. My turn through the ball was maybe 25 percent of what it could be but the best part is I now have something positive to work on plus I now know the feeling. That drill is a great starting point.

    • December 21, 2018

      Paul Wilson


      This drill takes a little time because you have to make the switch. With minimal backswing you will soon figure out you need to drive the lower way harder for any kind of power. Sounds like you just need to keep doing it until you are good at using the legs and hips as the power source. Then just fully hinge and you should be in a good position at the top. It is this full hinge which is the key so you set the club and give yourself a chance to generate the power.

  11. March 1, 2019


    I figured that if I took the club back far it gave me more time as an older golfer to get my body turning. But now I am getting a much better swing, I will give this a try – it certainly pushes the boundaries and can only help a a full swing. If I can’t do it after a few buckets of ball I will maybe decide this is for younger fitter players.

    I played with a guy today that has this type of swing. He is not a young player, maybe about 60+, He outplayed and out-drove us all.. He said when he does a full swing he found the ball direction was less consistent. He plays of 11 and is happy to continue with his swing as it is.

    • Derek,

      Keep in mind that it’s a drill. The only way you will get any power doing it is by using your legs. So you keep doing it until you hit some half decent shots. Get used to the legs firing and how this feels. Then just length the backswing a little and you should be as long if not longer than your previous shots.

      You can do it.

  12. Hi Paul. 5 weeks now since my rotator cup tear surgery. I will try this short back swung drill once I am able to make some small swings, probably starting in May. I am so bored during my recovery that I may go back to my SAP consulting work for a while. I plan to start practicing my putting soon and then chipping after that.

    • Kimberly,

      Glad you are healing up. You will be back in action soon.

      Yes, putting an chipping first. I would be doing nightly practice swings focusing on the backswing position so you remember it when you are able to do real swings. Then slow easy swings with the ball. The gradually increase the lower body for more power in the future. This drill is tricky. You need to get past the first few bad shots and keep doing it to understand the feeling of using the lower body. Most people quit after a few bad shots so they never understand what I am getting at in this tip. Once you feel the legs you can keep using them as the power source long into the future.

  13. March 2, 2019


    Thanks for the drill. Sonds very helpful as I tend to stop my hip rotation once I hit the ball. This should help.


    • Roy,

      Yes, you need to be driving the hips all the way through. This is the power source. Keep in mind also you need to be thinking of the ending. If you are stopping through impact you are not thinking of the touch the legs position. So do this drill firing all the way through to the ending. Touch the legs … every time.

  14. The Short backswing .
    This is (unfortunately ) the way I swing most if the time .I ‘ve worked very hard with the ULTIMATE SWING TRAINER ,so my hip turn and my legs drive are pretty good .The people I play with are amazed by the distance and the consistency I get without raising the club very high in the backswing .So my problem is the other way around ! I constantly have to remember myself to turn enough the shouders and raise the club high at the same time in the backswing .
    The short backswing is very useful for the low punch shots .
    JB HOLMES and JON RAHM have short looking backswings ,but they send the ball very far with a lot of lower body momentum

    • Raymond,

      Sure, some have too short of a swing so you would be working on setting the top fully coiled and fully hinged. For most, they do not fire the lower. Without the arms going up very far you need to fire the lower to get any kind of power so this is definitely a good one to get people to feel the firing of the lower body.

  15. Also to be mentioned :DOUG SANDERS won many times on the Tour with a short swing .

  16. March 10, 2019


    Paul ,

    This tip is excellent. I finally get the FEEL of how the swing SHOULD feel powered by your hips. Very very helpful. Thx.

  17. Paul, this tip is pure GOLD!!!
    I ran across it 3-4 days ago, did air swings each day since in great room, went to course today driving range, hit dozen balls using PW, 7 iron and driver. What I found was makes the swing so much easier resulting in consistent ball direction and a club or two longer than I’ve experienced in 4-5 years. Case in point, my PW has been my 100 yard club – today it was my 120 yard club!!!
    I’m 75 years young BTWay. Must be much less moving parts results in a coordinated short swing with solid impact that I’ve been missing for a long time. In addition, am suffering with bursitis in forward shoulder and this shorter backswing saves the PAIN of long backswing. Every darn club I hit today was amazingly longer and on line. Also, enables me leading downswing with hips and legs EASIER. Sssooo, it’s definitely my go to swing from here on. THANK YOU for saving my game !!

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