What type of backswing do you use for slotting?

Are you a vertical backswing, or more conventional?

I seem to get the best results getting to the 430 line with conventional. What about the rest?

Whatever backswing gets you into the slot is fine round here.

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I do an outside to in loop with a late set at the top. I am interested in the Hogan backswing that John E keeps teasing us with.

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Mine is a pull inside with early forearm rotation. Would love love to get loopy but my tempo is too quick for that.


Like many alluded to, it’s personal preference. To me it really doesn’t matter whether its loopy like Trevino or pulled inside like Knudson because the transition is what locks in that slotted “4:30” entry position. I remember Moe Norman saying “…that eventually in the year 2000 or later there won’t be a backswing - just start at the top and boom.”

I’m starting to realize the truth in that. If you have a good understanding and feeling of where you need to be before you turn on the jets, why not start there?


Great responses. Whatever works to get the club shallow on hip plane.

Leslie King in the Swing Factory said to think of the swing starting after transition. Backswing is an archer drawing the string back. Placing the club. John Schlee in maximum golf was the same. All about smooth back, smooth transition, then aggression.

I always think of it like taking a hairpin bend. It’s slow, but you still go as fast as you can for that tight bend, don’t want to scrub off speed, don’t want to spin out.

I have always tried to keep the arms up as I transition, which shallows the club automatically, but been trying to increase that lay off effect the last few weeks and actually get the arms down faster.

I drill the backswing in slow motion and occasionally have felt so wound up I’ve hit one at speed by accident and ripped it from a virtual standstill. There was a tour player who played like it for a while.

I think our brains can’t accept a slow backswing. They hit a pure one and then the chimp goes ‘that felt good let’s try that faster’. Then the second and third and fourth are ripped too, but the fifth is disastrous and you’ve lost the feel that was working.


Great post. Love the old school analogies on this forum. Love to use the words of the greats to decipher the swing code. Versus a step by step how to video

Have to say that I think width is a great friend for a successful slot. Once you got that mastered it’s just letting it float down like a leaf falling off the tree mid fall. Get it to the right pocket, than it is game on. Than I just push the boulder laying on the ground feel right into the follow thru low and left. Almost like the club is being pushed thru mud. The slower and more resistance the better

Yep I’m the same, my old ingrained move is high hands and shut at the top, so I need to feel like I’m swinging around to my back right pocket and rotate my forearms CW hard

Found an old pic from one of my lessons with Brad. Red line is where I need to feel like my backswing is for it to be in the actual position I am in that pic.

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I don’t really think about back moves anymore like I compulsively did to a fault. I just get the club up into the plane of the upper body on the backswing and once the outside locks up with the inside up top it’s time to get down with it, pun intended.

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I think enough shoulder turn and the left arm somewhat on the shoulder plane is a great goal- not much can go wrong from there for slotting it somewhat around 430

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I like Moe’s top of backswing position better than Ben’s, not only is he more on-plane (as in club is laid off perfectly short of parallel) but his right elbow is more parallel to his spine and still tucked in close to his torso.

I think backswing /430 … or whatever . Students can’t advance due to an issue called “ball bound”. If someone can come up with an idea where a student will see the ball as the the pin (say 150 yards away ) versus the ball on the ground. Everyone would almost have a text book swing. Why anyone can swing an axe towards a tree or have a good looking baseball swing going towards the field.

But golf, with the ball down and infront throws people out of wack

Develop a blind fold for the players

That’s why I have always said to students drill 3 - post impact will be the most important thing they will learn. Once a student gets it- it’s an entirely different ball game


It is tough alright, partly because we’re looking down at the top hemisphere of the ball, but that’s not where we hit it - but if you think about it, all the bad actions pretty much align with hitting it there. With the tree or baseball, the hit instinct and the view of the thing you’re hitting, match up, so away you go.

Instead of going down the road of pretending the ball isn’t there, etc., another way to approach it is to learn to love the things you’re supposed to do in order to hit the ball properly.

It’s why practicing away from the ball is so important, and when real change can take place. You really do have to accept changes on a deep level to use them in competitive situations. If there’s any doubt in there, it’s very tough as we all know.


Backswing? I try and take it straight back until the club passes my right foot, then rotate my torso up. Momentum takes care of the rest of the movement to the top.

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I remember some of those early discussions ABS Version 1’s board had about perception of ball against ground. I really liked your descriptions then, and now, about how seeing the top half of the ball may lead to some bad things since we don’t hit there. I guess standing up a little on the downswing might be something from the unknown attempting to hit the top of the ball, and I didn’t forget about cutting off the top half of a tennis ball to see that perspective. Great stuff about perceptions.

This too might speak to the same deal, with the size of the ball the top half is now out of play either overtly or covertly, it just doesn’t make sense to go there. I’m pretty certain this was your earlier picture which still speaks more than words.


Nicklaus used to feel that a wall of spikes was on the opposite side of the ball.

All seems like it is either the back elbow or the right arm throw that ruins it all

My uncle, John Fourie, who played on the European tour decades ago, used to say to my dad and me that he would visualise a single dimple on the underside of the ball. This dimple would also be on the inside right quadrant of the ball (I.e. the 4.30 line).

As it was below the equator of the ball, this dimple wouldn’t be visible at address - but he would see it in his mind’s eye.

Maybe it’s not the best idea to have the ball in mind as a target, but maybe having a very small “incidental” target on your way to the “real” target is helpful…



I love it, Double R! It’s so funny, when I was posting that about the top of the ball, I honestly went looking for that Snead pic with the football, but it’s on my old computer so it would be a bit of a process. Thanks a million for that! I’ve even taken that image further on the course - in my practice swing imagining hitting a yoga ball down the fairway is a great one (for me) for the driver.

Yeah, it’s interesting how perceptions can lock you up, but also, as a result, free you up when you manage to change them. I think golf is such an odd game that, despite my lifetime of effort to find the instinctive thought that unlocks the lot (so far anyway) I think there probably has to be a bit of contrivance involved, particularly in transition. Snead, to my eye, really captures that.

That shot of Snead there is him hitting driver off the deck, I’m pretty sure, so it’s a real amplification of everything brilliant about his golf swing.