Instruction – Building a Better Takeaway

Instruction – Building a Better Takeaway

Outside of the setup, the takeaway is one of the most vital parts of the golf swing. The takeaway, in fact, sets up the entire swing. Here is a fun fact: Moe Norman, one of the best-ranked ball-strikers ever on the PGA TOUR, believed the takeaway was so important, he would address the ball with his clubhead a few inches behind the ball to ensure he didn’t make a mistake on the takeaway.

In this article, I have provided some training aids to help with the takeaway, as well as drills.

The training aids can be found on Amazon and are under $35. They are: The smart ball golf training aid and impact ball.

Here are a few keys for the takeaway: use your shoulders, have a one-piece takeaway, and engage your legs.

To create a one-piece takeaway, think about how the arms make a triangle at setup. It is important to keep the triangle together by rotating your shoulders while your arms and hands move the club, not breaking the triangle. Making the shoulders, arms, hands, wrist and club all move as one unit away from the ball. It is important you use your big muscles to move the club back (shoulders), rather than your hands.

To engage the lower body in the takeaway, make sure the trail hip rotates away from the target on the takeaway; as you do this, the lead knee will also rotate back toward the trail knee. There is not a lot of hip turn on the takeaway, just enough to give you room to take the club back to get in a good position at the top of your backswing consistently.

For this drill, hit shots with a hip high to hip high length of swing, working on the takeaway as well as impact. “Connection” is key here; once you have the impact ball, folded towel/folded head cover or any other “connection” training aid between your forearms, you want to engage your core, squeezing to help you stay connected, keeping the training aid between your forearms, going back and through from hip high to hip high. I don’t recommend doing full swings with “connection” drills, as it can change your swing path on the downswing, sometimes in a negative way.

When you take the club, a good feeling to help keep the ball between your forearms and help your arms, chest, shoulders, hands and wrist all stay connected is to feel like you squeeze your forearms together when you are taking the club back and hitting the ball. Keep the forearms squeezed together the entire swing, from hip high to hip high back and through.

For this drill, place an alignment stick on the lead side of your grip and grip the club and alignment stick together, allowing the extension of the alignment stick to rest against your lead side. Practice taking the club back using your shoulders and keeping the alignment stick against your lead side. If the alignment stick comes off your lead side, you are using your hands and wrist instead of shoulders on the takeaway.


Another key to look at if you have a mirror behind you when you practice, or a camera, is the clubhead angle on the takeaway. It is important the clubhead is the same angle as your spine on the takeaway. If your clubhead is too closed or open on the takeaway, your body will compensate on the downswing, changing your path and many other things due to an improper takeaway.