Instruction – Set Up for Success
Is your takeaway setting you up for success or disaster? One of the most common questions teaching professionals get is “How do I get more consistency in my game?” The takeaway is a big key in consistency as it starts the golf swing and helps determine what will happen in the downswing. I have demonstrated several drills below to help fix the most common takeaway issues as well as explained the misses if you fall in one of the below takeaway mistakes.
The first takeaway mistake I see on the lesson tee is students rolling their hands on their takeaway and bringing the clubhead to the inside towards their body too much with a wide open club face. This can cause an over-the-top downswing and sometimes that dreaded shank. Here are two drills below to help if you make this mistake.
Place an alignment stick down on your target line and parallel to your target line at your feet, then place the end of your grip in your belly button with the clubhead pointed to your target line. Focus on moving your shoulders, chest, arms and clubhead together in one motion making sure to let your hips rotate slightly with the rest of your body and keeping the clubhead in line with your target line alignment stick.
You might have heard the phrase one piece takeaway before, this drill will help you get the feeling of that. If the grip moves away from your belly button you are whipping the clubhead inside your target line towards your body too much using your hands and separating them from the rest of your body, rather than moving everything together. When you rehearse this you want your clubhead to point at the end of your alignment stick on the ground on your target line.
Put an alignment stick under your lead armpit and rest it on the grip side facing your target. From here go to your takeaway position, letting your shoulders, chest, arms and clubhead move together, having your clubhead match the angle of your spine at hip high and clubhead positioned slightly in front of your hips or toes.
As you can see in the left image the alignment stick has moved off the grip of my club, this is because I whipped the club “inside” the target line on my takeaway. It is important to make sure you keep the clubhead on your target line and the alignment stick will stay in contact with the grip of your club. Once you do this several times take the training aid away and hit some golf balls just going to your takeaway.
Another mistake I see is the clubhead or hands too far outside the target line on the takeaway. This can cause a too upright position at the top of the backswing and for you to be too steep on your downswing hitting a lot of fat shots or shots with too deep of divots. The drill below will help with this mistake.
Place an alignment stick even with the balls of your feet a couple inches outside of your trail foot. From here focus on moving your shoulders, chest, arms and clubhead together in one motion making sure to let your hips rotate slightly with the rest of your body and stop at hip high. In this position your clubhead should be slightly in front of the alignment stick and the clubhead be parallel to your spine angle at this position.