Takeaway Golf Swing Tips

By Lyle Smith
Take the club away low, slow and long.
Take the club away low, slow and long.

The takeaway portion of your golf swing is extremely important to making a good swing. Not to be confused with your full back swing, the takeaway is the first movement you make after you've set up to hit your shot. This moment is what gets you moving and sets your whole golf swing in motion. You should try and keep a few things in mind as you first take the club away from the ball.


The concept of the waggle is kind of an old-fashioned idea in the modern game of golf. If you watch footage of golf pros from the '40s through the '70s, you'll see each of them had a little relaxing movement just before they settled in to take their swings. This "waggling" of the club head served several important purposes including relaxing all the muscles in the players' hands and arms and perhaps most importantly keeping the body moving before the takeaway. Moving from a solid, still position is an athletically difficult maneuver. Try adding a waggle to your set up.

Set Your Eyes

"Keep your eye on the ball" is some of the best sporting advice ever. But when and where do you look when you see the ball? Just before you start moving into your back swing, take an instant to focus your eyes on a specific spot on your golf ball. It's best if you look at the back of the ball where your club is going to strike it.

Forward Press

Ben Hogan was a great proponent of a forward press to start the takeaway. As with the waggle, he believed it was difficult to start a precise movement from a position of stillness, so he advocated pushing your hands forward ever so slightly before taking the club back. Make sure you don't make too severe a movement. Just an inch or two will serve the purpose.

One Piece

For many years, PGA teaching pros have advocated a "one piece takeaway" meaning all the main parts of your body start moving back at the same time. Your hands, arms and shoulders form a triangle. Begin moving that whole shape back away from the ball at the same time you start shifting your weight, rotating your trunk and loading up your legs. Practice taking everything back in one piece and you should see results.

Smooth Movement

One of the least-discussed, but most important aspects of your takeaway and further into the back swing is smooth movement. There should be absolutely no quick or jerky movements anywhere in your golf swing and if you have any at the takeaway, you'll only have to correct for them later in your swing. Make sure your takeaway is slow and smooth for a good swing at the ball.

About the Author

Lyle Smith is an award-winning copywriter with a widely varied background. He has completed work for individuals, small businesses and fortune 1000 corporate clients all over the country. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Villanova University.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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