Myth-Shorter backswing is less powerful

Literally if I had $100 for every time someone not only questioned, but argued with me that a shorter swing is less powerful and use long drivers, John Daly and Bubba as evidence…I could afford to quit teaching and spend 8 hours a day getting ready for the Champions Tour.

Let me give some over simplified explanations (maybe not):

Those people’s ability to create speed allows them to make a swing that long …and for them, gives them more time to build momentum and link up.

For all of you with under 120 club head speeds, power and speed comes from a linked up swing and lack of wasted motion…and even some of you with 120+.

Every person and I mean 100% who I told to shorten their swing and give me the “powerless” rant…either stayed the same speed wise and hit the ball more solid and straighter…or got faster AND hit the ball more solid and straighter.

Here is the problem and I will leave you with this.

Arms over running the turn during the backswing is wasted motion.

Lack of wasted motion=Less effort=Incorrect perception there is less power.

Actually one more rant.

Between max lag, restrict hip turn, long backswings being powerful, wide to narrow, covering the ball, etc…I spend all my time dispelling misconceptions and way too little simplifying peoples’ golf swings

A plague on those who put that stuff into the public psyche.

May flees infest all of your arm pits.




  1. mcdowell

    Alvaro quiros, maybe the shortest swing in the game, and one of the longest in the world.

  2. David Westenkirchner

    or perhaps fleas…

  3. daveydo

    For most of us hackers what we think is a full turn is nothhing more than arm overrun and swaying away from the ball. So we can’t get back to it. Keep teaching this. it works! That other Crap doesn’t.

  4. Jordan

    The is good advice of course. I would just add one caveat for those who might miss-apply it. Yes, the arms should never run off from the shoulder turn. There should always remain a connection. And so, once this connection is maintained, many errant back swings will shorten up and become more efficient. However, I can’t count how many times I’ve also seen a person with too little shoulder rotation. That would be an example of someone who could benefit by LENTHENING their back swing as long as their arms remain connected to the shoulder turn. I am in favor of people making their swings more compact and efficient. But only if they have the requisite shoulder turn to power a compact efficient swing.

      • Eric Brown

        Monte what are your thoughts on the left arm bending ? I just noticed mine bends a lot and that is why my swing is way to long.. When i keep it straight my body feels like it is straining and its not very comfortable..
        do you have any videos on the straight/bent left arm?

        • Monte Scheinblum

          Likely the result of the right elbow bending too much and getting narrow.

      • carlo

        I’m a believer in a compact BS BUT how does this equate with a Jim flick gravity drop/let the arms fall downswing method. With shorter BS is there enough momentum to just let the arms drop at start of DS?
        Thanks Carlo

        • Monte Scheinblum

          Passive arm swing does not work….this being said, gravity reacts on them regardless of backswing length.

  5. Calvin

    Point illustrated: Long hitter Jim Dent.

  6. Robin

    I don’t need to be Bubba long. Gary Woodland long would be just fine with me.

  7. Jake G

    I think Woodland can hit it every bit as long as Bubba. He just keeps more reserve power as he is much straighter this way. JB Holmes is another great example of a guy with a short backswing that bombs it.

  8. Mike M.

    I followed J.B. Holmes for 10 holes at the Valero Texas Open a few weeks ago. Watched him plant one out there 367 yards with what qualifies as a 3/4 swing for most players. After watching that, I’m still pondering whether to shorten my backswing or just say “screw this game” and sell my clubs.

  9. Andrew in Belgium

    Hi MOnte,

    As it is current, what do you think of Michelle Wie’s swing as it is today? (Compare with the past if you like!)

  10. Neil

    My favorite curse is “May they grow tastebuds on their asshole.”

  11. JB

    Hi Monte- wanted to let other people know: VERY solid wedge video (short game video was great as well- should’ve seen indoor shots I hit while waiting for decent weather- with picture window in background!)…also, tagging on to this thread, what a feeling of new power I felt today when syncing arms and pivot- wow…..thanks and looking forward to posts! JB canton, OH

  12. ADM

    I believe you Monte, I do, but no matter what I try (your drills, others drills, ones that I come up with on my own) I cannot shorten my backswing. I’m at the point of giving the game away…

    • Monte Scheinblum

      You want your backswing yo shorten this week is the problem,

      If you literally make an effort on every swing, several weeks from now, your swing will be shorter.


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