Every week we see the greatest golfers in the world all swinging the club shaft in the general vicinity of parallel to the ground at the top of the backswing. Some go slightly past parallel and some slightly short of parallel. In general it is fair to say that most professional golfers swing the club shaft back to a point that is very close to parallel. Another generalization is that most club professionals can walk down their driving range and watch many of their amateur students swinging the club shaft to a point at or past parallel to the ground at the top of the backswing.
Let us as golfers make it a goal to stop trying to swing the club shaft to parallel if we are not flexible enough to do so. As a general rule, (if you are flexible enough) you should max out your upper body turn at around 80 degrees of rotation. Visit www.k-vest.com to find an instructor that can measure this. The arms and hinge should stop a nearly indiscernible split second after the upper body turn is complete. If you cannot turn far enough to get the club shaft to parallel, do not try to get it there by adding unnecessary wrist hinge or arm bend. Work towards setting your lead wrist (left for right-handed golfers) early in the backswing. If you can have it fully hinged by the time your lead arm gets to parallel with the ground in the backswing, your chances of over swinging the backswing with your arms and hands will decrease!
The result will be a more repeatable swing that is not so dependent on perfect timing. The percentage of solid shots will increase and the range of mis-directed shots will decrease.
Written by Scott Seifferlein, PGA Golf Guru at Grand Rapids Golf Lesson