The beginning of the golf swing is termed the ‘takeaway’ as the club is taken or moved away from the golf ball by the golfer.
If a golfer begins the swing well with a good takeaway motion, it is easier to generate power and more importantly, consistency.
In trying to generate more power, many golfers tend to begin the golf swing far too quickly and snatch the golf club away from the golf ball. This tends to occur more in golfers who are less strong or more inflexible than others as they try to hit the ball hard rather than swing smoothly and more efficiently. If the beginning of the golf swing is not smooth or controlled then it is very difficult to produce a smooth and controlled golf swing which cannot be consistent as short jerky movements prove impossible to repeat again and again.
When a snatched or fast takeaway occurs it is because the smaller, faster muscles in the hands and arms are being used rather than the bigger, slower muscles of the hips and shoulders. What should happen is that these big muscles turn and power the takeaway movement which moves the golf club in a straight line backwards away from the golf ball to approximately hip height. During this motion, the wrists and arms should stay very still or the club will begin to move away from this straight line in a quick and uncontrolled manner.
A great takeaway using the bigger muscles will not only control the rhythm of the swing but will also give the golf swing width. As the arms and wrists are being kept still the club is being kept at arm’s length, away from the body. This means that the swing sets out correctly on a wide arc. The wider the arc of the golf club around the body, the faster the club will travel around the body and so the more distance that can be gained from the swing.
To practice the takeaway, take a tee peg and put it on the floor approximately two feet behind the ball and on the line connecting the ball with the target. Set up to the ball as normal and move the club head away from the ball in a straight line so that it travels over the tee peg. Make sure you do this slowly and use the turning motion of the hips and shoulders while keeping the arms and wrists as still as possible. Take the club past the tee peg and stop when the golf club shaft is level, or parallel, with the ground. This is a great checkpoint. At this position the club should be parallel with the ground and pointing at the target. The left arm should be straight so that the golf club and left arm create a straight line travelling directly from the left shoulder to the club head. Practice this slowly and deliberately two to three times then hit the golf ball using the same action.
When the takeaway action is controlled, the swing will become more consistent and the width that is created will give the golf swing more power.