Written By Joe Saia

Ben Hogan starting your swing off right for better golf shots.
Ben Hogan had 64 wins on the PGA TOUR, including nine major championship wins. Image courtesy of Golf.com

A lot of amateurs don’t realize how important the initial takeaway is in the golf swing. If your starting your swing off the wrong way then you could be setting yourself up to fail from the start. Some top instructors would argue that the initial takeaway is one of the most important parts of the golf swing because it sets you up for success. Ben Hogan who was one of the games greatest players would say that the takeaway is one of the two crossroads in the golf swing. What Hogan means is that the way you take the club back will determine the outcome of the rest of your golf swing and golf shot.

Avoid These Takeaway Mistakes

Instructors see so many amateurs taking the club back incorrectly to start the backswing and a lot of the time this is the reason for mistakes later on in their swing. The most common mistake that amateurs make during the takeaway is they roll the arms and hands over in a clockwise motion which opens the club face. The hands and arms take over during the takeaway instead of staying connected. Usually when a player makes this move they’ll also take the club back way too inside during the takeaway and break down the right arm too early. When you make these moves to start the swing it will take a lot more work to recover from them later on. The golf swing happens so quickly so its important to avoid these variables and extra movements if you want to hit consistent golf shots.

Jon Rahm demonstrating a perfect one piece takeaway and starting the swing off right for better golf shots.
Jon Rahm has seven wins on the PGA TOUR, including the 2021 US Open. Here he is showing a perfect one piece takeaway. The hands, arms, and shoulders are all still connected and the club face is still pointed near the golf ball. The right arm hasn’t tucked into the body at this point in the swing, like so many amateurs struggle with.

Feels For A Stronger Takeaway

Again, it’s so important to start the swing off the right way if you want to have a golf swing that produces consistent golf shots. Try starting your golf swing by using more of your shoulders and torso rather than having your arms and hands takeover. Your arms and hands are just along for the ride in the initial takeaway. This will ensure that you stay connected and your right arm stays above the left arm in the first part of the golf swing. Your hands, arms, shoulders, and the club all move back together. When the club is about three feet off the golf ball, check to make sure the right arm is above the left arm and the club face is still pointed near the golf ball. This will produce a strong takeaway and will definitely set you up for a more successful golf swing.

Leave a Reply