The takeaway is one of the most important parts of the golf swing. In many cases the first 3 feet of the backswing dictate the path the club head will travel through the impact zone. The most common error in the take away can stem from a closed stance in your setup, the club head gets “stuck” behind the player and there is no place to go but to cast over the top and slash across the ball creating the most common ball flight…A pull fade.
Setting up with a closed stance in order to draw the ball is sometimes a “band aid” to draw the ball. Taking the club to the inside with a closed stance is very easy and can feel natural right away. Rarely will you tee a tour professional with a stance that point his or her feet more than 5 yards right of target (for a RH golfer). Yet somewhere along the line people read or hear that simply closing your stance will help you draw the ball. In some cases this may be true, but more often the not setting up with a closed stance forces you to pull the ball in order to make it go towards your target.
A pull is an outside to inside club head swing path, creating a fade or slice ball flight when he clubface is open at the impact position. To produce a draw the path of the club should travel from the inside to outside when traveling through the impact position.
I like to see some key positions for the take away:
- Wrists set the club into the position
- Club shaft should be parallel to the ground (below the waist)
- Club shaft should be parallel to the target line
- Leading edge of the clubface matching the angle of the spine.
Fred Couples and Jim Furyk are the most awesome example of different takeaway positions that consistently produce a draw. People may not like or fear the appearance of this position but can you argue with the results. Just because something is different or may feel weird at first is why golf is so difficult. As humans we love instant gratification and results. If golf were easy… everyone would be a professional.