Working on your golf swing is a learning process that requires lots of dedication and many hours out on the range, working on its various component parts.
But one part of the swing that golfers often overlook is the takeaway, which is actually one of the most crucial determinants of whether you’re going to hit the ball straight or not.
But why is the takeaway sequence so important in golf? And are there any ways to improve a takeaway without drastically changing your swing?
We take a look at these questions in detail in this post and explain why you need to work on your takeaway sequence if you’d like to improve your accuracy and consistency on the golf course.
- What is the Proper Takeaway in the Golf Swing?
- How Do Golf Takeaways Work?
- How Do I Start My Takeaway Golf Swing?
- How Can I Improve My Takeaway in Golf?
- Is the Takeaway the Most Important Part of the Golf Swing?
- How Do You Get the Perfect Takeaway?
- How Do You Fix an Inside Takeaway?
- The Take Away: Important Steps to Correct and Improve!
What is the Proper Takeaway in the Golf Swing?
A proper takeaway is one that keeps your arms and body in sync, and your arms should move in a straight pattern parallel to your body. Executing the perfect takeaway in your golf swing is super important, as it essentially ensures that your ball will fly straight in the desired direction.
What’s more, your head should be still, and you should focus on smooth and consistent motion, keeping things nice and tight.
Throughout the takeaway, you need to focus on the position of the clubhead, as a misalignment as you draw back to execute your swing will cause your ball to shoot off in the wrong direction.
Let’s take a look at the perfect takeaway in more detail with the help of a great coaching video from Peter Knight Golf:
How Do Golf Takeaways Work?
The golf swing takeaway sequence is the period between the start of your backswing and when the clubhead exceeds belt height. Crucially, your motion within the takeaway dictates how your ball will fly (and in which direction), so it’s vital that you get it right.
If you nail the takeaway, then there’s a much better chance that the rest of your swing will follow suit, resulting in a well-executed shot that follows the correct plane of motion.
Some of the key aspects of an ideal golf takeaway include:
- Alignment – Your hands and body need to be in sync as you swing the club back.
- Tension – If your arms are too tense, you will lift the club erratically, which can disjoint your motion and affect the tempo of your swing.
- Tempo – You need to swing back with a smooth motion and consistent tempo. Jerking or erratic movements will cause your takeaway to be disjointed.
- Still head – Keeping your head still and in the same position as the address will help you keep control of the takeaway.
- Minimal motion – The less you move outside the plane of motion, the more control you will have as you continue with your swing.
In spite of the fact that the takeaway is so important in golf, lots of people overlook it when working on their swing—as such, spending time out on the range considering your takeaway motion can enhance your accuracy and improve your score.
How Do I Start My Takeaway Golf Swing?
One of the most important considerations at the start of your takeaway is your alignment. Before you even consider lifting the club, you need to line up to the ball properly and consider where you’re aiming.
If you aim to the right, a perfectly executed swing won’t help your ball fly straight down the middle!
Address the ball as you normally would and spend a few seconds considering your setup.
If you’re on the range, you can lie a golf club down to help you position your feet correctly. Once you’ve got your line right, you then need to think about the tension in your arms.
Being too tense in your takeaway causes you to lift the club exclusively with your arms, leaving your body in its starting position.
This means the club will get stuck behind you and will cause you to hit down and overcompensate as you execute your forward swing.
The result will almost certainly be a wayward shot.
Spending a few seconds at address preparing for your takeaway will have a huge impact on your swing execution and is an excellent habit to get into.
How Can I Improve My Takeaway in Golf?
The best way to improve your takeaway in golf is to spend some time out on the range working on a takeaway drill. Thankfully, YouTube is full of takeaway tutorials from some of the best coaches in the world of golf, meaning you can find a drill that works well for you.
You can also follow this super simple takeaway drill that encourages you to focus on the core components of your arms and body to ensure you set your backswing in the ideal motion:
- Use a barrier (something like a signpost or cardboard box) and place it immediately between your stance and the ball.
- Place your club against the barrier, and use it as your motion guide throughout the takeaway.
- When you swing back, ensure that your hands remain in line with the barrier, so you don’t draw the club sharply back.
- On your downswing, keep your club on the same plane that you established during the takeaway.
This short YouTube video explains this takeaway drill in more detail and is an excellent way to start working on your takeaway.
Aside from range drills, just spending a few seconds at setup considering your takeaway is likely to make a huge difference.
So many golfers take the initial part of the backswing for granted, so tuning into the position of your stance and hands will help you eradicate any errors before swinging back.
Is the Takeaway the Most Important Part of the Golf Swing?
You could certainly argue that the takeaway is the most important part of the golf swing. After all, if you get the takeaway wrong and your alignment is out, even the best swing motion in the world won’t help your ball fly straight towards the target.
But that being said, the other aspects of the swing are also important, as they all contribute to your accuracy and consistency.
Interestingly, golf legend Jack Nicklaus always thought the backswing was one aspect that many golfers overlooked.
Following the advice of an 18-major winning legend of the game is probably a good idea for us recreational golfers, so working on your takeaway is likely to help improve the quality and execution of your golf swing.
How Do You Get the Perfect Takeaway?
Getting the perfect takeaway is all about working hard out on the range and ensuring your backswing is tight and consistent. Regular practice will help you improve all aspects of your game, and the takeaway is no different.
As well as the drill introduced above, you can also consider these common takeaway mistakes and do your best to avoid them as you set up for your swing:
- Overemphasis on the wrists – Putting too much pressure on your wrists (instead of turning with your shoulders and spine) will cause you to lift the club back sharply and overcompensate on the downswing.
- Too much rotation – Rotating your body too much makes it difficult to keep things tight, and too much motion during the takeaway can distort your swing plane, causing you to hit off line.
- Misalignment – While we’ve touched on this already, it’s worth mentioning it again. If you don’t set up correctly and sort out your aim, it’s impossible to hit the ball straight! Spending an extra few seconds addressing the ball correctly can make all the difference to your takeaway.
A combination of practice and avoiding these common mistakes will help you develop the perfect takeaway and will remove some of the errors from your game.
How Do You Fix an Inside Takeaway?
An inside takeaway occurs when you put too much emphasis on your wrists and pull the clubhead sharply towards the body. This will move your swing off the plane and will lead you to make adjustments on the downswing to try and get back in the right position.
The result will almost always be a shank, slice, or something similar!
The good news is that paying attention to your wrist motion and performing some simple tweaks to your swing can prevent an inside takeaway from happening.
As you begin your takeaway, ensure your left wrist doesn’t flatten out too early, as this is what causes the club to pull inside.
Instead of a sharp jolt back, you also need to work on sweeping the club slowly backward, moving it across your chest as opposed to directly upward.
There are lots of YouTube tutorials out there that explain how to work on your takeaway motion in more detail, and this one, in particular, is a great place to begin.
The Take Away: Important Steps to Correct and Improve!
Although it’s often overlooked, the take away might just be the most important component of your entire golf swing.
After all, if you get it wrong, it’s impossible to hit the golf ball straight towards your target! Getting the golf swing takeaway sequence is crucial in order to play better golf.
Hopefully, you can now go away and focus on the most important aspects of your golf swing takeaway and improve your accuracy and consistency as a result.