Is Your Clubface Open or Closed at the Top of Your Backswing?

Today we’re going to talk about what it means for your club face to be closed or open at the top of the back swing. So many times during a lesson I will say to someone your clubface is closed or open at the top of your backswing and it can sometimes be difficult to visualize and understand what I mean by that.

In this short video I demonstrate what it means for your club face to be closed or open at the top of the back swing. When I’m looking at someone swing, whether they’re hooking or slicing their shots, I’m looking for clues that indicate where the clubface is closed or open and one of the things that I check is at the top of the backswing.

So if the player’s clubface is closed at the top of the back swing it (the clubface) will be pointing straight up at the sky. From there even if everything else looks pretty good in the swing, the clubface is going to come back closed at the ball which will start left (for right-handers) and hook during its flight. So a closed face neans that the clubface is pointing up towards the sky.

Editor’s Note: Here is a photo illustrating the square position at the top of the backswing. Source: Christina Ricci.

Now if the clubface is open at the top of the backswing then the toe of the club will be pointing straight down. And again even if everything else in the swing is good from there then the clubface will tend to come back open at the point of impact with the ball and a push or slice to the right (for right-handers) is most likely.

If the club faces pointing straight up towards the sky then it’s closed. If the toe is hanging straight down the club is open.

Of course there will be many reasons why the clubface is open or closed. It could be your grip, it could be the way that your wrists move during your swing. All that is for another time. For this short video I just wanted to give you a good view of what the clubface looks like when you’re trying to understand whether your club face is closed or open at the top of the swing.

Dr. Sue Shapcott is a former tour player with a passion for helping recreational players reach their potential. She trained with the British PGA and spent 5 years developing technical expertise with Hank Haney in Dallas, TX. Sue is also an educational psychologist and will sneak that into your lessons!

Sue is the founder of Change Golf Instruction based in Madison, WI. In addition to teaching in Madison, Sue releases weekly videos to help golfers with their swing technique, learning, short-game, or information about her golf vacations!

You can subscribe to Sue’s YouTube channel at 

Phone Sue on 608-695-3382

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