How much should you sway in your golf swing? Here’s what diagnostic tools tell us

terry rowles demonstrates drill

Should you stay centered or get behind the ball?

Stephen Denton

Thanks to modern diagnostic tools, we can finally answer this age-old question: Should you stay centered or get behind the ball during the backswing?

I’m part of the team at Sportsbox AI, an app that can convert a 2D video of your swing into all kinds of 3D data. From scanning thousands of players, we’ve discovered that how you should turn on your backswing relates directly to your grip — we call it “sway gap.”

If you use a strong grip (trail hand rotated more to the right on the handle), build some sway into your backswing, moving off the ball (away from the target) as you rotate. You did it right if, at the top, a line drawn from your sternum runs behind one drawn through your zipper (above left).

If you prefer a weaker grip (top hand more on top of the handle), use less sway and tilt as much as you turn so that your sternum and zipper remain lined up as you swing back (above right). 

From our research, matching your turn to your grip is a critical key to ball-striking success. 

Terry Rowles a GOLF Top 100 Teacher who teaches at Hudson National GC in Croton-onHudson, N.Y

generic profile image Photographer