How to Shorten Your Golf Swing

Shortening your golf swing can have a number of benefits, including increased accuracy, consistency, and control. Here are some tips on how to shorten your golf swing:

  1. Focus on the takeaway: The first part of your swing sets the tone for the rest of the shot. To shorten your swing, focus on taking the club back low and slow. Avoid taking the club too far back or swinging too fast.
  2. Use your wrists: By using your wrists to control the club, you can create a shorter backswing. Keep your wrists firm on the takeaway, then hinge them on the backswing to create a compact, powerful motion.
  3. Work on your tempo: A quick swing can lead to a longer backswing. Focus on a smooth, rhythmic tempo that keeps your swing under control.
  4. Practice with a shorter club: Using a shorter club can help you learn to swing with a more compact motion. Try hitting some shots with a shorter iron , such as a 7-iron or 8-iron, and focus on making a controlled, shorter swing.
  5. Get feedback: Work with a coach or use video analysis to get feedback on your swing. This can help you identify areas where you may be taking the club too far back or swinging too fast.
  6. Focus on your body rotation: Many golfers tend to overswing because they are using their arms too much. Instead, try to focus on your body rotation, which can help you generate power and control with a shorter swing. Make sure to turn your hips and shoulders on the backswing, and then rotate them back through on the downswing.
  7. Use a narrower stance: A wider stance can make it more difficult to keep your swing compact. Try standing with your feet shoulder-width apart or slightly closer together to help shorten your swing.
  8. Visualize a shorter swing: Visualization can be a powerful tool for improving your golf game. Before you take your shot, visualize a shorter, more compact swing. Imagine yourself taking the club back just enough to create power and accuracy, without going too far.
  9. Take shorter practice swings: Before you hit your shot, take a few practice swings to help you get into the right rhythm and tempo. Try to make these practice swings as short and compact as possible, focusing on a smooth, controlled motion.
  10. Don’t sacrifice power for control: Shortening your swing doesn’t mean sacrificing power. With the right technique, you can generate plenty of distance and accuracy with a shorter swing. Focus on creating a powerful, efficient motion that helps you hit the ball straight and true.

Drills to Shorten Your Backswing

Drill NameDescriptionBenefitsDifficultyEquipment Needed
Towel DrillPlace a towel under your armpits and swing. Keep the towel in place to shorten your backswing.Develops muscle memory and promotes consistent ball strikingEasyTowel
Half Swing DrillSwing the club back only halfway and focus on solid contact with the ball.Promotes accuracy and controlEasyGolf club
9-to-3 DrillSwing the club from 9 o’clock to 3 o’clock, stopping at both points to ensure proper positioning.Develops feel and control for shorter shotsModerateGolf club, alignment rods
Turn and Stop DrillTurn your hips and shoulders to complete your backswing, then stop and hold for 3 seconds.Promotes stability and controlModerateGolf club
One-Handed DrillTake practice swings with only one hand on the club to shorten your backswing and promote better ball striking.Develops wrist hinge and overall feel for the clubDifficultGolf club

Adjustments to Your Setup

AdjustmentDescriptionBenefitsDifficultyEquipment Needed
Narrow StanceBring your feet closer together to shorten your swing arc.Promotes better balance and consistencyEasyGolf club
Grip DownHold the club lower on the grip to shorten the distance between your hands and the ball.Promotes better ball striking and controlEasyGolf club
Flatter Shoulder TurnTurn your shoulders on a flatter plane to prevent over-rotation and shorten your backswing.Promotes more consistent ball striking and better accuracyModerateGolf club, alignment rods
More Forward Ball PositionMove the ball further up in your stance to encourage a shorter swing.Promotes better ball striking and controlModerateGolf club
Soften Your KneesBend your knees slightly to promote a more compact swing.Promotes better balance and controlEasyGolf club

Mental Tips to Shorten Your Swing

TipDescriptionBenefitsDifficultyEquipment Needed
VisualizationPicture a shorter swing in your mind before you address the ball.Promotes a more compact swing and better ball strikingEasyNone
Slow DownTake a slower, more deliberate swing to promote a shorter swing.Promotes better timing and controlEasyNone
Trust Your Short GameHave confidence in your ability to score with shorter shots.Promotes a more relaxed swing and better ball strikingEasyNone
Practice PatienceAvoid rushing your swing and take your time.Promotes better timing and consistencyEasyNone
Focus on ContactConcentrate on making solid contact with the ball instead of trying to hit it harder.Promotes better ball striking and controlEasyNone

Common Swing Faults to Avoid

FaultDescriptionConsequencesDifficultyEquipment Needed
Over-RotationSwinging too far back can lead to over-rotation and inconsistent ball striking.Poor ball striking and loss of distanceModerateGolf club, alignment rods
CastingCasting occurs when you release your wrist angle too early, leading to a longer swing.Poor ball striking and loss of controlModerateGolf club

Remember, shortening your swing is all about finding the right balance between power and control. By focusing on the fundamentals, making small adjustments, and practicing regularly, you can develop a shorter, more accurate swing that helps you play your best golf.


  • Ray Barnes

    Ray Barnes, our Senior Staff Writer and a Golf Analyst with a PhD in Sports Analytics, is a beacon of insight in the golfing world. With a deep understanding of the sport's nuances, statistical analysis, and a talent for demystifying complexities, he provides in-depth analysis and captivating narratives that engage golf enthusiasts worldwide.

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