A step-by-step guide to a better takeaway in your golf swing

This week’s blog is all about the takeaway. We’re at the penultimate week of the Pure Your Irons Blueprint, so let’s get straight into what makes a good move away motion.

So you might occasionally hear us talk about getting ‘synced up’, but let’s take a moment to clarify what we mean by this. When we talk about syncing the swing, we’re referring to how the hands and arms work with the torso during the backswing.

Ideally we want the hands and arms to finish the backswing at the same time as the torso, in order to create a good amount of width in the swing. We want to create space between your body and the swing.

We aim to do this because getting this nice wide backswing helps to prime you for a good, consistent weight shift in the downswing, which further helps you to contact the ball first and then the turf, improving your ball striking.

So where can this go wrong? We’re covering two parts of the backswing today, the move away and the top of backswing.

The move away

The move away is the first part of the backswing, and problems arise when we see the hands and arms go too early and move independently of the torso.

To work on this, we recommend that players evaluate their own swing by filming from down the line (preferably with the Me and My Golf app). As seen below, you want to draw a line vertically just in front of your hands when they are in the address position. Then add a plane line, this should stretch from the heel of the club, under the hands and over the elbow.

For a good move away motion, you want to check for three things throughout the backswing. These are:

  1. Ensure that your hands stay behind the vertical line.
  2. Check that the club remains on the plane line through out the backswing.
  3. Make sure the club face angle is matching your spine angle.

In a poor move away motion your hands may move forwards, in front of the vertical line and the club face angle will look excessively open when compared to your spine angle. See below for a visual explanation.

A great drill you can use to work on this move away motion is the ‘belt buckle drill’. Choke down on the club so you are holding it at the bottom of the grip. When you swing, make sure that the butt end of the club faces the belt buckle in the first part of that move away motion. Here is an example of what we mean-

The top of the backswing

The other section of the backswing that can cause issues with sync is the top of the backswing. It’s quite common that we see players collapsing their arms over the back of their head, causing a huge over swing. This is definitely something we want to avoid as the hands and arms are going to have some serious catching up to do to sync back up with the body during the downswing.

We want to see daylight between the hands and head when you’re at the top of the backswing, with a relatively straight left arm and the right flexed slightly. If you imagine a clock face, you’re aiming to have your hands at 10 o’clock.

This might feel pretty extreme if you tend to have a longer swing. However, we would recommend that a short swing is better than an over swing.

A fantastic drill you can use to work on this is one we call ‘the tuck, turn and push drill’. It’s one of the tricker ones we recommend, so don’t feel disheartened if it takes a while to get used to. Stick with it and we assure you it will have huge positive impacts on your ball striking.

So here is what you want to do-

  1. Take your usual set up and address the ball.
  2. Pull your arms into your chest and hold them there.
  3. Pivot into your backswing position, with your arms still bent in towards your chest.
  4. Extend your arms out so the left arm is comfortably straight but not over extended, and the right is bent slightly.
  5. From this position complete the rest of your swing.

This drill will help you get a feeling for what it should feel like at the top of the backswing, and when working on this we always suggest using a mirror or filming at least every 1 in 5 swings to check you’re getting into the correct position.

We hope this breakdown of step 4 of our Pure Your Irons Blueprint has been helpful for you guys. And if you want to check out the full video for yourselves then be sure to fill out the sign up form below.

When you sign up you’ll get your first 7 days access to all of our coaching plans completely FREE! But if it’s iron play that you really want to focus on then definitely start with our Pure Your Irons Blueprint.

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