Jack Nicklaus: Why this is ‘obviously’ the most important part of the golf swing

February 11, 2020

What’s the most important part of the golf swing? It’s a complicated question, considering the variety of factors that can contribute to things going wrong (or right) from backswing to follow-through. But as far as Jack Nicklaus is concerned, the most important thing happening is the first thing—the take-back.

“If you were to pick one part of the golf swing that was the most important, which would you pick? I think you would obviously have to say the start of the swing, because everything that happens after the start of the swing is reactionary to [the backswing],” Nicklaus said.

It helps to look at the swing like a chain, if one of the links is broken, the rest can’t function to the best of their ability. And if the first link is broken, well, the rest of your chain is rendered relatively useless.

“If I start the club back on the outside, or the inside—if I take it too low or too high, all of it is going to result in something awkward throughout my golf swing,” Nicklaus said.

So, what’s the solution? How do you keep your backswing in the right position? For Nicklaus, it’s about tempo.

“I want to be very smooth, very steady, very slow and very precise straight away from the ball” he said. “All of these things produce a good backswing.”

“From that point, the rest of the golf swing should happen automatically. Without a smooth and steady start, you’re going to produce a lot of bad golf shots.”

Have you heard our new “Subpar” series? Check out the first installment featuring John Rahm below!


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