Our exclusive test proves you can eliminate 70 percent of your errors—and hit the ball just as far and straight—by completely eliminating your backswing.
Today’s high-tech equipment allows you to make mistakes through impact and still hit decent shots. Your backswing isn’t so kind. In fact, no matter how good your equipment is, an error in your backswing—even a minor one—will create watered-down impact. Wouldn’t it be great if your swing could compensate for mistakes the way oversized sweet spots and perimeter weighting do? We’ve discovered such a swing, and we use it regularly in our teaching. It’s easy to do, requires only moves that you already know and, best of all, it eliminates 70 percent of the mistakes that typically cause you to hit less-than-solid shots. You don’t even need to practice it. Just change your starting position from address to the top of your backswing, then let ‘er rip.
How it works
Place yourself in the correct position at the top, then pump the club up and swing down. It’s the same principle as hitting a baseball. Click here to see a step-by-step explanation of how the no-backswing swing works.
To see the No-Backswing Swing in action, watch this video.
Does it work?
Our breakthrough test indicates that you don’t need a normal backswing to hit good shots.
Who took part
Twenty-nine adult golfers representing a full range of skill levels from beginner to professional. The study took place at TwinEagles Golf Club in Naples, Fla.
The participants made five regular swings and then five swings using the No-Backswing Swing (NBS) with their own 5-iron. None of the 29 golfers had previous exposure to the No-Backswing technique. Each swing and ball flight was measured by the TrackMan ball-tracking system. The TrackMan system is accurate up to 12 inches from 400 yards.”]
The test data was computed and analyzed with help of the Center for Sports Innovation at MIT. Golfers with a handicap of 1 or higher hit the ball just as far and just as straight with the NBS as they did with their regular swing. This was surprising, considering that none of the study participants had practiced the new technique. And since it was new, the players no doubt received warning signals from their brain that they were swinging “wrong,” making it very difficult to perform.
Players at scratch or better hit the ball farther with their regular swing than they did with the No-Backswing Swing. Our conclusion here is that the best players are very concerned with accuracy, and when asked to hit the ball with a new swing they slowed down to make sure they hit it straight.
Nonetheless, the data indicates that the No-Backswing Swing works and has distinct advantages over the traditional way of swinging the club.
What it fixes
The NBS eliminates the backswing errors shown in this gallery. Taken as a whole, these errors, which are evident in the swings of 90 percent of all amateur players, make up almost 70 percent of all mistakes.
How well does the No-Backswing Swing work with some practice? We asked one tester to find out.
We asked a reader to learn, practice and play with the NBS technique for two weeks. The study was carried out at Cog Hill C.C. in Lemont, Ill., and the results speak for themselves.
Armed with a 6-iron, Pat Sexton had five regular swings and five No-Backswing Swings recorded on June 3, then practiced and played for two weeks using only the No-Backswing Swing. He returned on June 24 and took five more regular swings and five more No-Backswing swings. The averages of each set of swings are shown at right. As you can see, Pat’s average clubhead speed (85 mph to 91.2 mph), ball speed (100.3 mph to 120.3 mph), launch spin (6,381 rpm to 6,748 rpm) and Smash Factor* (1.29 to 1.32) all registered substantial increases over the two-week period. More important, his average carry distance without a backswing (148.8) outpaced his average regular backswing carry (139.5) by more than nine yards, and his accuracy was also markedly better: His average No-Backswing shot (5.1 yards to the left) was still 43 percent less off-line than his average full-backswing shot (8.9 yards left). As you can see, with minimal practice, the NBS is better than a traditional swing.
Why it works
The only real reason you need a backswing is to create coil and establish the two important power levers:
• The 90-degree angle formed by your left forearm and clubshaft.
• The 90-degree bend in your right elbow.
Releasing these levers in sync with the forward turn of your body is what gives you clubhead speed. The No-Backswing Swing allows you to create the levers without the possibility of error. And since your mechanics at the top with the NBS are much better than if you made a less-than-perfect backswing, you can release your levers in perfect sync.
Hey, batter batter, hey…
The NBS can bring out the secret slugger deep inside you.
For years people have said that baseball and golf don’t mix. If that’s true, then why do baseball players transition into golf easier than most other athletes? It’s a question similar to asking what makes the No-Backswing Swing, at the very least, an effective learning method.
Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of working with a number of players from the Milwaukee Brewers and Arizona Diamondbacks, as well as former MLB player/manager and hitting guru Jim Lefebvre. During Jim’s first lesson, I videotaped him hitting baseballs off a batting tee, then taped his 5-iron swing. He couldn’t believe the similarities between hitting a baseball and swinging a golf club. The only difference is that you must bend over more because, in golf, the strike zone is on the ground.
The other obvious difference is that baseball players don’t start their swings in the spot where impact takes place. They set up at what would be the top of their golf backswing. They don’t coil as much as a golfer, but all of the other power generators are in place: bent right arm, hinged wrists and weight over the back hip. Since baseball players have less than a second to swing once the pitch is released, they don’t have time to worry about swing thoughts. All they think about is swinging their arms across their chests and getting their hands through the strike zone as fast as they possibly can. Speed in baseball leads to home runs. In golf, it means 300-yard drives.
If you have a bat at home, pick it up and make repeated baseball swings in your backyard. Better yet, go to the batting cages and have some fun. You’ll make the best contact when you don’t wind your shoulders up so much and keep your lower body stable and grounded. As the ball sails toward you, swing your arms around your body. Don’t think about your form—trust your hand-eye coordination and give the ball the biggest whack you can. Even on your misses, feel how the momentum of the bat naturally causes your right forearm to rotate and your hands to release. Those are great sensations to remember the next time you step on a tee box.
— Top 100 Teacher Mike LeBauve