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Short vs. Long Backswings - Which is Body Friendlier ?

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  • Short vs. Long Backswings - Which is Body Friendlier ?

    Hey all

    Just was wondering your opinions on the subject question. IOW, for example, comparing what type of swing is EASIER on the body: Jon Rahm's short and quick swing, vs. say, Freddy Couples' long and a bit loosy-goosy swing as Johny Miller would say.

    For long time, I was convinced that (for me, at least) a Long Swing is more body friendly, but am experimenting lately in really shortening my back swing and i am surprised that it feels less stressful on this old fosil's body than the long swing, except for some loss of distance and height.

    IOW, and IMHO, of course, while the long, loosy-goosy swing "looks" effortless, it actually provides more yanking, and tearing, especially on the joints and tendons as compared with a short and compact swing ???

    All best and cheers !

    ...note: despite of the senility setting in, LOL, i remember posting a similar question long time ago, but cannot find this post any more, so sorry to post this again
    Last edited by veryold; May 12, 2022, 02:35 PM.
    "The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less" — Socrates

  • #2
    We definitely had this discussion before.

    The irony was some posters who believed that the long smooth and easy looking swing was easier on the body. I would agree a smooth swing would be easier on the body, but I'm not sure about a long swing. As some posters cited golfers like Fred Couples who have a long smooth and easy "looking" swing. I say easy looking but his swing obviously creates a lot of torque on the spine and he is the poster child for back issues.


    My take would be a short smooth swing without the violent action. Albiet it would be at the cost of distance which we all know you love the long ball



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    • #3
      I have significantly shortened my backswing over the last few years and since dealing with a rotator cuff issue, it's even shorter than before. By shortening my backswing I have definitely sacrificed distance and power, but my accuracy has improved immensely, especially with the driver.

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      • #4
        Everything works better and feels better for me when it's shorter and tighter. Need to not speed up just because it feels shorter.
        Last edited by bogey5; May 12, 2022, 06:29 PM.

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        • #5
          Yes we've had this discussion before. I tried shorter but it threw what little tempo I have out of whack.

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          • #6
            I changed to short this season, I haven't even sniffed the 70s yet but I'm trusting the process. I agree with nomullies the tempo part is tough, but like anything swing change it wont happen over night.
            "Your swing isn't the problem."

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            • #7
              I’m the opposite of most. I’ve always had a short backswing and I get more distance than when I go longer. My short backswing allows me to swing as hard as I can without affecting my swing path too much.

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              • #8
                FWIW here is the quick update on my "short vs. long" swing testing.

                Had an absolutely fabulous 1 hour before sunset session last evening and was totally alone as the last golfer on the time sheet.

                Took only 2 clubs: SW to work a bit arond the greens and a 4 HY to really test the subject of this thread.
                The conclusion is that, as attractive as it is, and as much as it is easier on my old body, the "short" swing is just not "in my DNA":

                1) 4 HY with my original, LONG, LOOSEY-GOOSEY and SWAYING SWING - nice and high and around 160 yards, actually very nice shots
                2) 4 HY with the SHORT SWING - much LOWER, WEAK and ONLY about 140 yards.
                And as @nomullies said above, it was hard to get the TEMPO/TIMING rignt.

                Will continue to work on this, LOL

                All best and cheers





                Last edited by veryold; May 13, 2022, 12:21 PM.
                "The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less" — Socrates

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by wings View Post
                  I’m the opposite of most. I’ve always had a short backswing and I get more distance than when I go longer. My short backswing allows me to swing as hard as I can without affecting my swing path too much.
                  My buddy has the shortest swing I've ever seen - very bowed lead wrist in transition and tons of lateral movement towards target and he legitimately hits is 3 driving iron 300 yards with roll out. He doesn't play a driver just uses a 3w and can get around any 7000 yard course without issue.

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                  • #10
                    I can shorten the swing with irons and do a 3/4 backswing but struggle doing that for whatever reason with the longer clubs, especially the driver. Something I need to work on as my swing does get a little long.
                    MEMBER OF THE 2012 AND 2015 RYDER CUP CHAMPS!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Road2Scratch View Post

                      My buddy has the shortest swing I've ever seen - very bowed lead wrist in transition and tons of lateral movement towards target and he legitimately hits is 3 driving iron 300 yards with roll out. He doesn't play a driver just uses a 3w and can get around any 7000 yard course without issue.
                      Yes, I was paired with few of those, "short backswingers" at Braeben last year and I am TOTALLY AMAZED how far they can drive the ball with such a short swing (one drove the green on #3 = 300 yards) - still am puzzled about the "physics" and where the power comes for that, LOL.
                      "The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less" — Socrates

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                      • #12
                        My swing seems to be getting shorter....but not as a mater of choice.

                        Seems there is a corresponding reduction in distances too...

                        Some days, the body is more supple and a fuller swing is possible, and all the mechanics of a swing come into play.

                        Other days, I can be stiff as a board and end up chopping at swings with lack of fluidity.

                        Fortunately there are no rules limiting the number of golf balls you can carry during a match!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Probably boring everybody to no end here, but FWIW, after stumbling on some Moe Norman vids, had a chance to try his swing, and I'm telling you, there is something VERY SPECIAL to that Great Golfer and his "UNORTODOX" , somewhat goofy looking swing.

                          IOW, while i didn't hit anything longer and higher, ***BUT*** my CONSISTENCY DRASTICALLY improved. Stayed about an hour before sunset and basically did not duff a single shot - so cool and satisfying

                          Anyone here tried his "SINGLE PLANE SWING" ???

                          Cheers




                          Last edited by veryold; May 17, 2022, 02:20 PM.
                          "The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less" — Socrates

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I golf with a couple older guys whose swings have gotten shorter, but that is a result of taking the club back too low and behind them ( flat ). Their body gets stuck and not able to rotate further, hence a short swing, and loss of distance
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by veryold View Post
                              Probably boring everybody to no end here, but FWIW, after stumbling on some Moe Norman vids, had a chance to try his swing, and I'm telling you, there is something VERY SPECIAL to that Great Golfer and his "UNORTODOX" , somewhat goofy looking swing.

                              IOW, while i didn't hit anything longer and higher, ***BUT*** my CONSISTENCY DRASTICALLY improved. Stayed about an hour before sunset and basically did not duff a single shot - so cool and satisfying

                              Anyone here tried his "SINGLE PLANE SWING" ???

                              Cheers



                              There is an entire teaching method called Natural Golf based on Moe's swing. They would tell you all other swings but that one are unorthodox. All I know is it sure worked for Moe so I am not going to knock it even though I have not learned how to do it. Lots of web material out there on the topic.

                              http://moenormangolf.com/natural-golf/

                              On the topic of shortening swings, I have worked on that in the past year. Oddly enough I find the most success w. my Driver. Get the same distance but much more consistent keeping it on line and in or at least very near the fairway. I tend to still have longer swings for the rest of my clubs. I am wondering if since I bought my Driver without testing it during COVID (my old one broke in the summer of 2020) if the fact it is not fit for my swing is why. I am certain the shaft is entirely the wrong shaft for my swing.

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