Nick Faldo’s go-to drill will get your backswing in the perfect position

nick faldo swings

In today's edition of Play Smart, we look at one of Nick Faldo's favorite drills — and the benefits it has for your swing.

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Welcome to Play Smart, a regular game-improvement column that will help you play smarter, better golf.

Nick Faldo is among the game’s all-time best players. With 11 Ryder Cup appearances, six major championships and 43 wins worldwide, Faldo is among the most decorated players the game has ever seen.

To put together such a strong resume, a well-rounded game is necessary. But Faldo’s strongest trait was his elite ballstriking ability.

As great a ball-striker as Faldo was, though, he was not always completely comfortable with his swing. After squandering a lead at the Open Championship in 1984, the Englishman decided to completely rebuild his move.

“I didn’t want to just fix my swing,” Faldo wrote in his instruction book, A Swing For Life. “I wanted to understand my swing.”

The change was not an easy one, and throughout the process, Faldo needed confidence that his new swing was in the right positions. That’s where one of his favorite drills — the pre-set drill — comes in.

“When I was working so hard on changing my swing, I needed a boost so that when I got to the top of the swing I knew I was in the right positions,” Faldo said.

First, get into your normal setup, and then fully hinge your wrists like they would be at the top of the backswing. You want the shaft to be parallel to your target line and for it to be completely horizontal. From this position, simply make a full turn to the top of your backswing.

“That’s the best top-of-the-backswing position you’re ever gonna [have] in your life,” Faldo said. “Absolutely spot on.”

If you can consistently find this position at the top of your backswing, you’ll be in the correct spot to make a consistent and powerful swing.

Zephyr Melton Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at