Free Golf Tip: Basketball Backswing Drill

I ran a golf school in my home town for a number of years. It was a small town of about 4000 people, with larger towns surrounding ours. One of the major roads that led to my town went right past the driving range. There were many people who would drive by and see me with a player, or a group of players, throwing basketballs back and forth. When I went down to the grocery store, the number one question I would get was ‘Kris, how in the world does a basketball make you a better golfer?’ This article is dedicated to answering that very question.

As we all know, golf is a difficult game that we are passionate about. It is also not easy to improve. Not because of ability, but more often because of time and not knowing what to practice during that time. It is hard to get to the driving range enough to groove a new move. The reason I bring the ball on the range is to demonstrate how each player can improve at home. It helps if you can hit balls for hours and hours. However, if you can put in a few minutes a day of well focused repetitions at home, you would be amazed what that will do to your game.

Now, you can use any type of ball, pillow, or pot to work on your swing. I recommend a basketball because it is big and when properly inflated weighs between 7-9 pounds. This means that it will help develop some of your core golf muscles at the same time as you develop your swing. Since the ball has some weight to it, it will help develop some golf muscle endurance.

The great part of practicing this way is that you really see what a strong back swing position looks and feels like. We are going to focus on the shoulder turn. There are many players out there that don’t turn their shoulders to their full capability, and that causes them to lose power and consistency.

The drill is simple in nature, but often the simplest drills are the most effective.

Free Golf Tip:
Basketball Backswing Step One

  • Hold your basketball as if it was a golf club and get into your normal golf stance.
  • For more details on the proper golf stance please click here.
  • Your arms and hands should be in line with your shoulders.
  • Remember to practice good balance and posture.

Free Golf Tip:
Basketball Backswing Step TwO

  • Start your back swing.
  • Stop and hold your back swing position when your left arm is parallel to the ground.
  • This the same as the set swing position in the backswing.
  • Your left arm should be in line with your toes. That is a great sign of a full shoulder turn.
  • For more details on the set swing position please click here .

Free Golf Tip:
Basketball Backswing Step Three

  • Turn and look at your basketball.
  • Your basketball should be in front of your chest. If it is then you have made a great backswing turn.

Free Golf Tip:
Basketball Backswing Step Four

  • Pull your ball straight into your body.
  • If it comes straight to your chest then you are in a great position.
  • Repeat these steps as many times as you can.
  • Practicing at home without a ball can have a major impact on your swing development.

Free Golf Tip:
Basketball Backswing Final Check

If you have made a proper turn you hands will stay in front of your chest. If you see any still photos of the best players in the world, they all get to this position. This position is the key to an effective back swing. If you can keep your hands in front of your chest, you will keep your club on the proper line (swing plane), create more power, and use less energy to hit better shots.

If you follow the steps in the drill, and when you get to step 4 and you find that your ball is not in front of your chest it means you are out of position.

This will make it much harder to hit great shots. If your ball swings out around your body and ends up behind you it means you did not turn your shoulders enough during your back swing. This will make your swing very flat and lack power.

Please use this drill on a daily basis, as I know it can only positively benefit your game.