What Should a Proper Takeaway Feel Like in Your Swing?

You have to crawl before you can walk, and in golf, you need a proper takeaway before you can craft a consistent stroke. Because the takeaway is the first step in the backswing, it is vitally important to stay in sync and on the correct swing plane. In this episode of Swing Clinic, Jimmy Hanlin demonstrates how to practice the perfect takeaway.

Why is the takeaway so important?

The correct takeaway keeps your body, arms, hands, and club all in sync on the proper swing plane.

The takeaway is the portion of the backswing from setup to the point where the club is parallel to the ground. If the clubhead becomes misaligned during the takeaway, your shot will go in the wrong direction—no matter how well the rest of the swing is executed. The takeaway keeps your swing on the right path early, leading to a greater probability the rest of your swing will follow the correct plane. 

Tension is a common cause of bad takeaway form. When players are too tense in their hands and arms, they tend to lead the takeaway with their arms first, which results in pulling the clubhead off the swing plane. 

Proper motion should keep the arms and body in sync. Improper takeaway can result in a myriad of issues, but the root cause stems from moving the golf swing off the plane. 

Proper Takeaway

Keeping the arms and body in sync through the takeaway is the result of correct form and practice. Your arms should move backward in a straight pattern, parallel to your body, and parallel to the flight path of the ball. Once you reach parallel to the ground, your shoulders turn to the top to finish the backswing. 

Practice the Takeaway

A flat skinny item that extends just below the chest can provide a guide to perfecting the takeaway.  In the video, Jimmy shows how to practice a proper takeaway using a golf sponsorship sign. Here are the steps to practice a proper takeaway:  

  1. Position the sign (or another object) between your body and your hands in your swing stance.
  2. Butt the club up against the sign.
  3. Keep the butt of the club against the sign as you move through the takeaway. This prevents you from leading with the hands.
  4. As you downsize the swing, keep the club in the same plane established during the takeaway.

The Big Takeaway on the Takeaway

Even experienced golfers struggle to keep their takeaway inline from time to time. Incorporating this drill during driving range sessions and warmups can make for a more successful round and score.

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