Perfecting Your Golf Swing Takeaway: Everything You Need to Know

Having a great golf swing takeaway is among the most important aspects of being a great golfer. It works as the foundation that sets you up for success. If you start strong, you’re far more likely to hit a good shot. But if your swing takeaway is bad, you’re going to have to work to correct this on the way down and are far more likely to hit a poor shot. So, how do you get that perfect golf swing takeaway? Let’s take a look.

Different Golf Swing Takeaway Methods

Before we dive into the methods, it’s important to be clear about what we mean when we refer to the golf swing takeaway, since it’s part of the backswing. In this article, when we refer to the swing takeaway we mean from the moment that you begin the swing to when your hands and your clubhead reach belt height. There are two common methods that golfers use for the swing takeaway: the one-piece method and the right arm method.

The One-Piece Takeaway Method

This method is called the one-piece because it focuses on one specific aspect of the swing – the front shoulder. This is the most common takeaway method. With this method, you are not using your right arm to pull the left arm or shoulder. Instead, your shoulders left arm, and right arm comes together to create a triangle that moves as a single unit.

When it comes to the one-piece method, you will want to focus on bringing your lead shoulder under your chin. This will move your arms and club backward while avoiding too much movement in the arms, wrists, or hands. Your head and sternum should also be keeping still. As you take the club back, you should feel an equal amount of force in both hands.

The Right Arm Takeaway Method

Like the one piece, the right arm method focuses on a singular part of the swing – but in this case, the method’s focus is on the dominant arm – the right arm for most people. With the right arm method, you are pulling your right arm (or left arm, if you are left-handed) backward. One way to think about this is to imagine that you are using your right arm to hand a person standing beside you the golf club. As your arm moves backward it will rotate slowly so that your hand opens up with the palm facing outward.

This method can be especially helpful for people who struggle to rotate the clubhead through impact because it helps you rotate your forearms.

Tips to Start Your Takeaway

Now that you’re familiar with the different methods – and maybe even know which one you prefer, you may be wondering what else you can do to ensure a great takeaway. Here are some tips for when you start your takeaway:

  • Use your big muscles: This means moving your legs, chest, and shoulders instead of small muscles like wrists. This creates speed and power.
  • Turn your spine on your way back: Think of your spine as a pole that you wrap your muscles around. This allows you to pull the club away from the ball without unnecessary movement.
  • Imagine that you are drawing a line: The target and the ball should be part of a line that extends indefinitely in both directions. Keep your clubhead over this imagined line as long as possible. This will help you keep your wrists quiet and everything connected.

Check Your Position

As you focus on perfecting your golf swing takeaway, here are some things to focus on to make sure your position is correct:

  • Keeping your head still: Your head should always be in the same spot during takeaway as it is at the address. Don’t let it drop or shift backward. If you’re unsure if you’re moving your head, have a friend take a video of you from face-on to confirm.
  • Ensuring that your club head covers your hands: This means that when your club is belt high, the clubhead should be directly over your hands – not outside or inside your hands.
  • Keeping your tempo steady: While this is not specifically related to position, it’s still deeply important. Keep things slow and low and avoid any jerky movements.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Unfortunately, it’s all too common for golfers to make mistakes during their golf swing takeaway that sets them up for failure. Here are some common mistakes to look out for and avoid:

  • Too much hand action: Too many golfers use their wrists to move the club away from the ball. This moves the club out of position and also makes it harder to keep a smooth tempo.
  • Sliding the body: In this situation, the player slides his body away from the target with the club. This will make it difficult for the golfer to make a full turn and compromise balance at the top of the swing.
  • Rushing: Slow and smooth is key – rushing can lead to a sloppy takeaway, which sets you up for failure.

Drills to Practice Your Golf Swing Takeaway

As always, drills play an important role in helping you perfect your skills. Here are some drills to help you practice.

The Correction Drill

This drill helps you keep your club on the correct path during the takeaway. In this drill, you will need to be on course and you will need a partner to assist you.

  1. Imagine the line between the ball and target.
  2. Have your partner stand behind you in that same line.
  3. Bring your club back to belt height.
  4. When your club is back at belt height, your partner should be able to naturally grab your clubhead in the same way that someone might naturally catch a ball thrown at them. You’ll know if the club head is in the correct position if it covers your glove.
  5. Keep repeating this until it feels natural to bring our clubhead to this position.

The No Arm Drill

This drill helps you with the correct spine movement and keeping your head still. It can be done at home. You will not use your club.

  1. Cross your arms on your chest
  2. Adopt your address position and pretend to take a swing. Only move your upper body.
  3. Ensure that you are twisting your body around your spine, imagining your spine as a pole that your body twists around.

Forearm Rotation Drill

This drill can also be done at home and helps ensure that you are rotating your clubhead correctly and avoiding too much wrist movement.

  1. Stretch your arms out so that the palms of both hands are facing each other.
  2. Take your normal swing.
  3. When you get the belt high, make sure that the palm of your dominant hand is facing the target.

The Simple Takeaway Drill

This drill will help you develop a quiet, controlled takeaway that keeps the club moving directly along the target line. It requires your club and can be done at home or on the range.

  1. Take one of your mid-irons, place the golf ball on the ground, and assume your address position. However, the ball should not be in front of the clubhead, it should be behind.
  2. As you start your swing, you should focus on rolling the ball back in a way that it stays on the extension of the target line.
  3. While the ball rolls away, focus on continuing through the backswing, downswing, and finish. You won’t be hitting the ball, but this will help you create that golf swing takeaway that’s so important as a strong foundation for the rest of your swing.

A great golf swing takeaway is key to making sure you become a great golfer – but with the right methods, techniques, and, of course, practice, you’ll soon be on your way.

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