Mastering The Golf Takeaway in 6 Essential Steps

By Performance Golf Zone · · 8 min read

Have you ever felt like you didn’t know how to start your golf swing? Like the starting movement almost feels paralyzing?

Golf is a tough game, and sometimes, just taking the club back is enough to confuse even a great player.

Learning how to master the golf takeaway takes a bit of practice, but most importantly, it takes an understanding of what the golf club SHOULD be doing.

We will show you what the golf takeaway is, why it’s difficult to repeat, and some drills and suggestions to help you master the golf takeaway.

What Is The Golf Takeaway?

The golf takeaway is the first part of the golf swing when the clubhead starts to move away from the golf ball. The takeaway is important as it helps get the club on the correct path.

If the takeaway is incorrect, it becomes difficult to recover and get the golf club on the proper plane.

When looking at improving the takeaway, you must consider the grip, the speed of the takeaway, and even how your body is starting to move. Golfers who shoot low scores can repeat their takeaway swing after swing.

The takeaway is a tricky part of the golf game for many amateur players.

A proper takeaway includes a solid golf grip, proper alignment and setup, and correct weight distribution.

Many amateurs tend to struggle with controlling the speed of their takeaway. The instinct is to be fast and get lots of speed – which does not work.

In addition, many amateurs have a hard time understanding what the clubface angle should look like as it moves away from the ball.

Perhaps most difficult is the fact that to be great at golf, you have to swing with some consistency, and that includes repeating the takeaway over and over again.

Mastering the Golf Takeaway (6 Essential Steps)

To get your golf takeaway down, you need to consider these 6 essential steps. The steps include grip, setup, weight distribution, initial movement, proper clubhead position, and then a transition into the golf swing.

If you can nail these, you’ll have that understanding that’s necessary to create repeatable golf swings

1. Grip

Having anything but a neutral grip on your golf club can negatively impact your golf takeaway. A strong or weak grip may manipulate the clubface more than necessary.

In addition, grip position can also change the positioning of your arms at setup and make it harder to get the club on the plane

Check the positioning of your hands and get them set so that you can take the club back on the right plane

2. Setup

Your setup should be square, making it easier to see the initial line to start your golf club.

A proper setup includes square feet, square hips, and square shoulders.

Also, check the clubhead position at setup and make sure it’s aligned correctly to your target.

3. Weight Distribution

Interestingly, where you have your weight in your setup can impact the takeaway of the golf club. Weight should be evenly distributed for most clubs in the bag.

If too much weight is on the right or left side, it may change your initial move away from the ball and make it difficult to transfer weight throughout the swing.

During the takeaway, your body will start turning. The takeaway is not just a movement of the arms, so having proper weight distribution gets this turn started properly.

For short irons, it’s acceptable to have a little extra weight on the left side (right-handed golfers).

4. Initial Swing Movement

The first move away from the golf ball should happen as one piece. Keep your arms low to the ground and ensure that you are starting to turn your lower body and shoulders. Your arms will create a triangle shape, and you will want to maintain this for the first part of the takeaway.

A common mistake that many amateur golfers struggle with is the concept of starting the golf swing by pulling the hands back and not engaging the body. Not only does this make it hard to maintain the triangle with your arms, but you could also cost yourself a lot of power and distance.

A proper turn starts in the takeaway, and it helps improve timing and tempo throughout the swing.

5. Clubhead Position

Your golf clubhead should remain outside your hands and aligned with the target line. If your club starts to roll open, you may get it too far inside. Instead, keep that face of the clubhead looking directly at your target for the first part of the takeaway.

With the proper turn and rotation in your golf swing, the clubface will do what it needs to do with very little manipulation on your part.

6. The Transition

Finally, you always want to make sure you can transition from setup to takeaway and from takeaway to backswing without any sudden movement. The entire swing needs to flow if you want to get distance and accuracy.

Try to remember that the takeaway does not need to be fast. Even some of the best players in the world have a slow takeaway. This slower start allows all the pieces to fall into place and won’t decrease speed at impact.

What Are The Signs of A Bad Golf Takeaway?

If you are wondering if your takeaway is the issue causing you trouble in your golf game, here are a few of the signs that you may be looking for.

  • The clubhead moving too far inside can lead to an inside-out swing path that creates both hooks and slices (depending on the clubface angle).
  • Hands taking over and controlling the entire takeaway can cause you to lose power.
  • A wrist hinge that happens during the takeaway can create an extremely steep path.
  • The triangle created by the arms starts to fall apart or become overly rigid, creating too much tension.
  • Neglecting to start a weight shift and body rotation at the start of the swing.
  • Abrupt movements that create inconsistency in the position of the club head.

Does The Takeaway Change From One Club To Another?

The takeaway should remain consistent from one golf club to the next. However, depending on what club you have in your hands, you may feel something slightly different.

With the length of a driver being different from irons and hybrids, many golfers feel their takeaway is a little wider with longer clubs. This swing thought is not a bad thing as it will help improve extension throughout the swing.

Even when hitting chip and pitch shots, you will feel the same movements in your takeaway.

On the putting green, things are a little different. Weight transfer won’t come into play, but the triangle with the arms and the control of the clubface are as important as ever.

Troubleshoot Your Golf Takeaway

If you find that mastering the golf takeaway is a difficult concept for you, there are a few ways to work on this process. The golf takeaway is something to work on when you are at the range, as it’s difficult to make changes and fixes while out on the course.

Take Video to Study Later

Take some videos of your golf takeaway so that you can look at the positions, the initial movements, and what is working and not working. Analyze the video in slow motion and see where the most significant issues are.

Continue to take updated videos and analyze the changes that you have made in your golf game.

StraightAway Training Aid

The StraightAway training aid is a good choice for working on your golf takeaway. The StraightAway is attached to any club and allows you to keep your hands, arms, body, and clubhead on track throughout the entire swing.

The StraightAway Training aid will help if your takeaway is too far inside, your hands get too far away from the body on the takeaway, your shoulders and hips do not turn at the start of your swing, and your overall consistency is not good.

For an affordable, portable solution that helps you keep a close eye on your takeaway, the StraightAway is a great solution.

Find a Great Coach

One of the great things about the golf takeaway is that once you know the steps, you can continue to repeat them and master the process over time. A great golf coach can help you learn what your golf takeaway is missing and eventually help you master it.

Perfecting the golf takeaway will lead to a better golf swing. Find a coach that works for your learning style and have them help you master the takeaway you can use for the rest of your golf career.

Final Thoughts on the Golf Takeaway

At this point, you have the basics of what it takes to build a perfect golf takeaway. Not all golfers will follow the same exact motion, but having a solid grip, setup, weight distribution, and clubhead positioning is quite important.

The takeaway is the catalyst for a great golf swing. Spend time working on it and learning what you need to do to perfect it. Find a great golf coach that will help you build this foundational part of your swing.

Master the takeaway to master the game of golf!

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