Drill 208. Takeaway: Performing the Perfect Golf Swing Takeaway
The takeaway is, after impact, the most important part of the golf swing. As your first movement away from the golf ball, it initiates a sequence that will determine the quality of your entire golf swing — its power, accuracy and consistency.
A great takeaway doesn’t guarantee a great golf swing, but even the slightest errors here will lead to manipulations and compensations which will make the rest of the swing very difficult — difficult to perform with power and accuracy, difficult to repeat consistently, and difficult to learn.
99.9% of all golfers could improve their golf swing, most of them dramatically, just by correcting their setup and takeaway.
The good news is that the takeaway is, when done correctly, a very simple movement. You’re starting from a static position, and the movement is actually very small and easy when you learn to use the correct muscles properly.The great news is, if you’ve been reading the articles in this section and working on the drills, then you’re already most of the way there. You have an intellectual understanding of exactly what the takeaway is and what each part of the movement is trying to achieve. You understand the faults caused by an incorrect takeaway, and how to avoid them. And, after working through the drills, you have a kinaesthetic awarenessProprioception is the sense of the orientation and relative position of neighbouring parts of the body. of the main movements in the takeaway — you know what a good takeaway feels like.
The bad news is, if you are like most golfers, then as soon as you pick up a golf club you completely lose the plot!
You probably have numerous bad habits, built and ingrained over time, based on a misunderstanding how the golf swing works, and not helped by the mountains of bad instruction out there.
You can probably perform Drill 205 – Takeaway: Turn with Shoulder Flexion fairly easily by now, but as soon as you try the takeaway with a golf club, you will instinctively become fixated on the movement of the club. You will forget to move your body correctly, but you won’t even realise it. That’s what you’ve always been taught; the position to move the golf club into. And the easiest, most natural way to lift the club into position is with your hands and arms — they are the part of you that is connected to the golf club, and they are the part of you that dominates your interaction with the world around you in your everyday life.
As we saw in Full Swing 207 – Takeaway: Common Faults in the Golf Swing Takeaway, the natural dominance of your hands and arms will instantly destroy any chance you had of consistently making a great golf swing.
This drill will fix that, once and for all, and it will quickly put you on track to making the beautiful golf swing you’ve always dreamed of.
As always, apologies to the lefties out there, but for simplicity these instructions are given for a right-handed golfer.
Tiger Woods’ Golf Swing Takeaway
Before you work on the drill, spend some time looking closely at Tiger Wood’ takeaway in slow motion, as shown from various angles in Figure 1.
Tiger turns his hips earlier than we recommend — we suggest that you learn to perform the takeaway with no hip turn in order to initiate a better separation between your body segments, which Tiger does automatically after years of intense practice. Otherwise, Tiger’s setup and takeaway is about as good as you’ll ever see.
Figure 1. Tiger Woods’ golf swing takeaway, various angles.
While watching these clips, go through the checklist in the drill below, noting how Tiger performs each aspect. Visualise yourself moving in the same way.