See below two golfers at the top of their backswing. Justin Thomas and Matt Kuchar.
How can two world class golfers have such massive differences in their top of the backswing positions? Is it because with years of practice any technique can become functional? Is it because they’re just extremely skilful and can make most movements work?
Or is it perhaps because their bodies are built entirely differently…
The more important question might be ‘Why did Joe waste his early 20’s trying to get his hands higher, as it… ‘looked prettier’?!
Put simply… Do you think Matt Kuchar’s backswing would be different if his wingspan and forearms were longer? It most certainly would.
Players with longer forearms compared to upper arm lengths (and longer wingspans than their height), will have a higher looking top of the backswing such as Justin Thomas. Players with shorter forearms and shorter wingspans will have a flatter looking backswing, like Matt Kuchar. This becomes a functional position for them to create in the golf swing. Moving away from this in search of a ‘prettier looking position’ will undoubtedly make you or them worse.
This is why it’s imperative you don’t just model your swing on what ‘looks pretty,’ but have some substance behind the changes you’re trying to make.
Here is a screen every player I teach will undergo:
We’re measuring the forearm and the upper arm. The comparison of length (combined with your wingspan vs height measurement) will give us a great idea of how you should correctly be moving in the backswing for more consistency. It provides a blueprint for you as a golfer, with data driven substance to back it up.