The First Move

The Take Away

I am always being asked what initiates the backswing. I believe and teach that the first move away from the ball is more a upper body movement than the lower body movement. If you think of your shoulders, arms and hands as a unit, these move away from the ball together. You need to feel that the lower body resists, a good way to feel this is for you to keep your belt buckle as quite as possible during the early part of the takeaway.

A great check point in the takeaway is when the shaft of the club gets parallel to the ground, and it is a major important part of your swing, other than impact. I know how important it is to make a perfect set up as this gives you a great chance in making a good solid swing. If you get any parts of the set up wrong you will have to make compensations in the golf swing. The Perfect takeaway is a must because if you get the first part of the swing wrong you are going to have to compensate else where in the swing, not a great recipe for consistency in ball striking!!

Many times when I see a golfer with a faulty takeaway, they generally have major problems in there short irons, pitching and chipping. As it has been said many times before a pitching swing is a mini version of the full swing, so it becomes very important to get the takeaway correct.

To get the club moving away from the ball correctly, you need to swing the club back along the angle of the shaft. Not inside it or outside it but on it until the club head covers your hands and the shaft is parallel to the ground.
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Good Position Clubhead covering the hands and shaft parallel
to the ground and target line.

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Bad takeaway where the right wrist has hinged back too
much on itself.

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Bad takeaway where the left arm has rotated too much in
the takeaway separating from the chest.

Drills to practise to get the takeaway right every time.

Headcover under the left arm drill

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Place a headcover or glove under your left arm.
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Make some swings back so that the shaft gets back parallel to
the ground this will keep you “connected”  and as one unit.
Clubhead covering the hands.

Golf Ball Drill

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To stop the right wrist from hinging back on itself so early place a ball down 18 inches directly behind the ball you are going to strike. From here practise keeping the clubhead moving directly over the behind ball.

From Your Friends at Mark Wood Golf Academy

PS. Come down and tee it up to make some magic moments of your own. Check our website at

Mark Wood

PGA Advanced Professional
UK’s No1 Golf Coach

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