Top 3 Tips on the Takeaway
A very common issue, that causes worlds of trouble for even the strongest golfer. The takeaway is often overlooked when working on the swing, but this is the start of the swing, and determines how everything else will turn out. During this section, I will cover a few of the main mistakes of the takeaway, and how you can correct them. I know there are a million sites and articles out there that claim to be the cure, but I will give you tips based on what I have been taught in my golfing career… that have actually worked for me as well. If you can devote the time and the focus to the following tips and drills, you will see an improvement in your golf game.
The biggest issue for most golfers is that you take the club back too quickly, causing everything else to be behind in your swing. For example, if you take the club back too quickly, then your lower body will fall behind, and a block is imminent. The quickest cure to the fast takeaway is, well, to slow down of course. Focus on taking the club back slower, and make this a focus for a few swings. Take the club back at 80%, and follow through at 100%. This will allow for you to feel the complete motion, and ensure you are keeping your body and hands at the same speed. The best way to work on this drill, is to take an entire bucket of balls and dedicate your focus to this practice. It will take some time to get your body used to taking the club back slower, but the results are going to be as desired.
Another common mistake is the flip side of this, the takeaway that is too slow. When your takeaway is too slow, it causes your lower body to get out in front, and a push will be the result. To correct this, simply direct your focus to the takeaway, and make sure you are matching the speed of the takeaway to your downswing. You need to ensure you are not allowing any part of the body to go too fast, and by hitting short shots with the entire body in motion, you are allowing your body to work together resulting in a much more consistent shot. I realize that the last two tips tell you to basically slow down and speed up, but if you are looking to correct your takeaway, then you will need to really focus on the swing speed.
A third, and actually very simple fix, is the club face position. If you keep the club-face open at setup, then the shot will more than likely result in a push… and if you keep the club closed, then a pull is sure to happen. The quick fix here is to simply check your club face when addressing the ball, and make sure you keep it square and straight.
In all, if you are having issues with the takeaway, then step back for a minute and focus on the basics. Slow your swing speed down and focus on tempo, and nothing else. For example, take a few swings with your driver at about 50%. Make sure you are maintain the same tempo from start to finish, and really focus on keeping the upper body at the same pace of your lower body. This will ensure the entire body is in sync, and will allow for you to slowly work your way to a smooth and consistent swing. My challenge to you: Each day that you go to the range during a typical week, I want an entire bucket of balls designated to these three drills. After one week, I want you to hit the course and take note of your ball striking, particularly where the ball is going right after contact. If you have really worked on these drills, then you will see much more consistency in your ball striking due to the more consistent takeaway. With that said, don’t go out and play a round during the first week of the drills. This is my biggest test for you. You need to give yourself the time to develop the motion before taking it to the real test – the course. Use the drill for every single club in your bag, until you are 100% comfortable with every club. Once the week is complete, then you can take to the course and relish in the results of your hard work. During your first round back out, take note of where the ball is beginning after impact. If the ball is starting down the intended target line, then you are seeing the results you have worked so hard for. If you are not seeing them right away, then that is fine too… pay attention to your misses. If you are confining your misses, then you are on the right path to correcting your swing.