Should Hands Be Over Head At Top of Backswing? | Swing Surgeon - Don Trahan Peak Performance Golf Swing

Should Hands Be Over Head At Top of Backswing?

Tue, 11/12/2013 - 12:00 -- Don Trahan

The key definition of the Peak Performance Golf Swing is that it's a little bit of turn, with a lot of lift. But, just exactly how much lift should there be? Duncan sent in a question about this topic because he felt like his hands were getting too far over his head. He must really be lifting the club, but if he's losing his spine angle, it's doing more harm than good.

He was wondering if there were any short cuts that could help his progression with the PPGS. Unfortunately, the only short cut I can provide is education. Then, it's on you to persevere and work hard to become a better student of the swing.

Along with these daily videos, every position of the setup and swing can be found in our swing manuals. We've even got a mini-manual that fits right in your golf bag. Click here to check it out.

There's no magic pill that can instantly turn you into a phenomenal golfer, but I'll be sure to let you know the minute we develop it! All jokes aside, you want to be able to keep your body quiet so you can swing your arms faster, which will help with power and increasing your distance. To do this, you must maintain the angles of your hips and spine.

Using wide knees with outward pressure will help cut down on your turn, while keeping the hips and spine level. If you want to make a good swing, you have to stay relatively level so you can return the club back to where it started.

If you swing past the point of being level, you're going to start getting out of balance and you'll most likely start leaning forward.

Find the point that gives you optimum lift without ever losing your spine angle, and that will tell you how much lift it takes.

Keep it vertical!

The Surge

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Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Surge, that was another clear explanation of how high the hands should go. Simply when it forces a change in our spine angle and moves us off the ball making it tough to get back - eyes open or closed. I get reminded time and again any time I over swing. The wide stable knees and outward pressure really help restrict over turning or swing back out of posture. that along with maintaining the little arch in the lower back, slightly sticking the bum out.
Thanks for the reminder and I hope having fun and successful schools in Australia.

NeilofOZ's picture

Submitted by NeilofOZ on

Robert, you nailed it and after watching the video I too said to myself, the key message in this video was "the spine angle". Been working on "in the mitt & up the tree" for two weeks now and you can tell if there's too much lift when you start feeling some tightness on the right side of the upper torso. Yesterday played another niner and got five pars, now to get rid of those double bogies,lol.

JKPassage's picture

Submitted by JKPassage on

Not sure if any of you guys are familiar with golf teacher from Tennessee named Jim McLellan. He made a 2-part dvd years ago, and his approach is rather humorous. But he teaches two basic things for a successful golf swing: hands higher than your head in the backswing and hands higher than your head in the follow through. I'm not trying to sell anyone else's products here, but Jim is of the opinion that the golf swing does not need to be complicated. Here's a clip from YouTube. He is definitely on Surge's side in say 99% of golf instruction out there being rubbish.

Kevin McGarrahan's picture

Submitted by Kevin McGarrahan on

Slightly off-topic, but I think it is a great point for the Surge Nation.

Dr. Gio Valente is on the Golf Channel at the moment and made a comment that I believe is very important for those of us using the PPGS. He said (in effect), "You need to let go of caring what anyone else thinks of your golf game." Caring what other people think puts added tension on the swing, creating more problems. This is an eye-opener for me since I tend to fall prey to it. I think this may be one of the things that causes first tee jitters - everyone is watching, so I have to hit a good shot. It seems to go along with Secret/Rule #5 - Who cares, do it right the next time. So, the mantra is: "I don't care what anyone else thinks; I'm going to make my swing."

JKPassage's picture

Submitted by JKPassage on

Kevin, I want to get to a point where on good shots I don't say to myself "Well, that was a miracle." I don't knock myself on bad shots because they all too commonplace. I think it was Moe Norman who coined the phrase about having a "an alert awareness of indifference." Oftentimes, very difficult to manage those thoughts when a bad shot usually requires 2 strokes to recover. So, one's hoped-for par turns into a double bogey all too quickly.

Kevin McGarrahan's picture

Submitted by Kevin McGarrahan on

That is definitely a problem that Surge identifies as Secret/Rule #5. Forget about what you did wrong. Follow the PPGS and do it right with the next swing. It took me a great while to understand that and put it into practice. Once I started getting it right in practice, my swings on the golf course have also been more right. I am hoping to get out in the next couple weeks to put it all into practice again after I get the doctor's okay on Monday. I still have to wait 2 more weeks for my broken thumb to heal.