First Move / Move Away (Takeaway)
The golf swing is a chain of events that happens in
less than 2 seconds. When we talk
about positions, it must be noted that these are only reference points that the
teacher can help diagnose a swing fault. The
swing is a chain reaction. Therefore
most swing faults are caused by some problem earlier in the swing progression,
possibly even beginning in the set-up position.
The backswing is a series of motions that set the club
in position for a proper downswing. Golfers
do not hit the ball with their backswing, but a good backswing is a simple,
repeatable movement that starts the sequence of the swing to the moment of truth
A good backswing sets the body into a
coiled position ready to return to the clubhead squarely and powerfully at
Most good players have a starting “trigger move” that signals the start of the backswing. Common backswing starting trigger moves are:
Some movement should be encouraged so as the
swing does not begin from a static position.
The goal of the move away is to get the golf club swing properly.
This in turn will begin a chain reaction where the club will swing itself
and the body into the proper positions.
Move initiates the backswing and the pivot into trailing leg begins.
After a slight “trigger move”, the backswing is
initiated with a shifting of the body away from the target.
This shifting or “pivot” away from the target includes the head and
shoulders. Thus, the head is not
kept perfectly still but actually pivots to a point somewhere over a line drawn
following the inside of the back leg.
The body begins to shift and the clubhead swings back
along the target line. Some people
refer to this as the “one piece takeaway”.
Many players initiate this with the hands.
However, the feeling is as if the hands, arms and shoulders are moving
away as a unit. No matter what the
feeling is, the goal is to get the club initially moving on the target line.
The back leg serves as the axis as the shoulders begin
to turn. The knee will remain
comfortably flexed and the torso will have begun to turn.
The sensation is a feeling of loading the power into
the back leg. The clubhead is
allowed to swing creating a natural cocking or setting of the wrists.
This is a gradual motion depending on centrifugal force, length of the
shaft and weight of the club.
There is no need to force the wrist cock. The key
to good golf is to get out of your own way and let the wrist do their work.
This can only be achieved by letting the wrist work naturally with no
tension to hinder them. Swing
the clubhead! Proper wrist
action is one of the primary sources of power in the golf swing.
As the immortal Sam Snead said, “The wrists should feel oily”.
The club continues to swing back without any hindrance
or manipulation. This includes
forced clubhead rotation. When the
club is waist high, the toe of the club should be in line with the spine angle
and the shaft should be parallel to the target line.
This is a reference point for the proper position of
the club. Improper rotation of the
hands results in the toe too open or closed in relation to the spine angle.
The shaft line position helps determine the student’s move away path.
In the waist high position, the clubface should be
parallel to the spine angle.
From this point on, the clubhead continues to swing.
The body fully pivots and coils according to each golfers capabilities.
As the club reaches the top of the backswing, there should be a sensation
of winding-up without giving way by lifting the head or loosing the flex in the
The body should remain in similar angels created in the
address position. The body is coiled
and loaded. Therefore the golfer is
ready to initiate the downswing.
Studies have shown that the top players have 90%+ of
their weight pivoted into the back leg as they reach the end of their backswing.
body is coiled and the weight is on the inside of the trailing leg.
Length of swing is determined by the golfers ability
and anatomy. Not all golfers reach a
parallel to the ground position of the club at the top.
It is not necessary. The main
goal is to be fully coiled and ready to initiate the downswing.
Thomas T Wartelle ™
© 2015 This material cannot be used without permission from Asteur-Louisiane LLC & Thomas T Wartelle™.