A Comparison of Modern and Classic Golf Swings

Although each golfer’s swing is unique, there are generally 2 predominant swing patterns that are talked about today: the classic swing and the modern swing.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the key differences between these two swings in order to help you decide which one is right for you.

The Classic Swing

A golfer practicing a classic golf swing.

The classic golf swing is a traditional swinging method that was popularized by players such as Arnold Palmer and Lee Trevino in the 1950s and 1960s.


This style of swing is characterized by a more upright stance and a shorter backswing. Players who use this swing pattern typically generate power by shifting their weight from their back foot to their front foot during the downswing.

  • Raised front front
  • Full hip rotation
  • Full shoulder rotation
  • Golfers swinging with power and fluidity
  • A full release
  • Extended rear leg at the top of the backswing


One of the main benefits of the classic swing is that it is considered to be more forgiving than the modern swing. This is because the shorter backswing gives you less room for error.

If your timing is off even just a fraction of a second, it’s much less likely to result in a catastrophe with your classic swing than with your modern swing.

The Modern Swing

A golfer practicing the modern golf swing.

The modern golf swing evolved from player development, new fitness routines, technological advances in equipment, and the necessity of adapting to more challenging golf courses.


This style of swing is characterized by a more inclined stance and a longer backswing. Players who use this swing pattern tend to generate power by rotating their hips aggressively through impact.

  • Both feet planted on the ground
  • The hips were restricted
  • A full shoulder turn, against restricted hips
  • The toe of the club pointed up when it reached the first parallel position
  • Forearm rotation
  • Swing plane control
  • Flex rear leg at the top of the golf swing


One of the key benefits of the modern golf swing is that it allows you to hit the ball farther than with a classic swing.

This increased distance comes at a cost, however; because the modern golf swing requires much more timing and coordination than the classic swing, it can be much more difficult to master.

Modern Golf Swing vs Classic: Which is best for your game

So, which one should you choose?

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and what works best for your game. If you’re just starting out, we recommend going with the classic swing; it’s simpler and easier to learn, and thus more forgiving if your timing isn’t perfect.

However, if you’re looking to add some extra yards to your drives, then give the modern golf swing a try—just be prepared to put in some extra practice time to make sure you’ve got all the moving parts down pat!