The_coach Series: #16 Fixing the takeaway

My friend Anshu visited us this week for a few hours.  He is no golfer but dragged him to the course to do a few videos of my swing. I am still inconsistent, but we managed to capture 2 vids that I sent to the_coach. It had been wet and miserable for the past couple of days and ball would not run anywhere.

This is the drive on the 5th hole of Shey. I made good contact, ball started left but fought its way back. It landed on the first fring of the fairway and did not run much.  But was a good 220ys of carry.  My driver was set to 1 degree ‘Closed’ and 11.5 loft.

This is the drive on the 8th. A lot of my old habits in play here.  Blocked the drive, ball started right and stayed right.  My driver was set to 1 degree ‘Neutral’ and 11.5 loft. Ball did not go anywhere – just a shade under 200y; last week I drove these greens, but this time it was piss poor.

Sent it over to the_coach for review (was not expecting too many kind words)..

the_coach’s view>>

See what you’re saying, but the swing in better shape than the earlier ones you posted. Yep still work to do but it is better, particularly noticeable in the FO view, where you are keeping your upper body behind the strike a good ways better. So too is the backswing length which is in terms of length a good ways better (though I’d still like to see it just a fraction longer) than the first posted swing too. So it’s not all bad news.

Couple of things to think about. If you look at slow-mo FO angle. (Slow-mo is really useful too)

You’ll notice the first thing that’s in motion to start the club away is a set & roll with the hands alone. Not easy I know but you’re going to have to stop that independent hand action right at the get go, as it’s responsible directly for both the path & direction & plane of the back swing which in turn is responsible for the oversteep & a little over & across the line downswing which in direction has you swinging the club left through impact.

So with this ‘hand/wrist action right at the get go, the club shaft is when 1st parallel to the ground also pointing inside so over your toe line behind you (so the butt end of the handle pointing out rightways of target here rather than slightly more towards it) instead of the shaft at parallel being both parallel to the ground, your toe line & your ball target line.

So the club works from here a little ways too far behind you just a tad flat, so from this top of backswing position (if you pause the slow-mo at all these points you’ll see what I mean) your first move down has the arms hands & club & right shoulder moving outwards towards the ball/target line which makes the angle of the shaft a ways to steep, so you’re coming across the line swinging left through impact.

Good posture, decent distance away from the ball, arms hanging in good position at setup. So you need to keep that angle you have set in your left wrist as you feel your shoulders left arm & club move away from the ball, so that triangle space between the arms stays intact as the whole unit moves away, that left wrist angle so right wrist angle does not change neither do the hands or wrist roll clockwise as they move away.

Practice without a ball this first move away so you get the ‘triangle’ left wrist, the whole Y shape moving as one (so shoulders turning, right shoulder turning backwards behind you it doesn’t move/sway to the right away from target but backwards away from the ball/target line more of less straight away. Only when your hands get past your right thigh will there be a very slight softening of the right hand backwards to the right forearm, at this point now the shaft should be parallel to the ground, your toe line, your ball/target line, the butt end of club pointing to target (not to the ball a ways)

Just keep making this small takeaway motion as described until you can get this down right, it’s absolutely crucial.
From this point all that then happens is as the shoulder keeping turning in you spine posture your left thumb will point upwards, skywards (not behind you) your right arm will fold, so when your left arm is parallel to the ground, toe line ball/target line the left thumb points as described so the shaft is now somewhere around 90º to you arm. So again just keep practicing getting to the left arm parallel position as described (this is all importantly without a ball not hitting anything at all.)

Helps doing both these position drills if once you’ve done it a few times, do it with your eyes closed, stop when the shaft is in the 1st parallel position open your eyes & check to see if your right. With eyes closed is often easier to feel the motion is moving in the right direction. Do same with the slightly longer swing to left arm parallel shaft at 90º as described.

Once you’ve done that to get to the top of the backswing all you need to feel is completing the shoulder turn until left shoulder under chin, then everything stops together at the top. You can practice this exactly the same as the other drills, some eyes closed to the top too. Without sight you can feel the positions much more.

When you get to driving range or practice ground, first off just repeat these a few times, just the part backswing drills to the top. Then still just at first without a ball make the move back to the top, & feel, from here the weight into left foot & then the right shoulder moving downwards towards the ground so arms hands & club first move is downwards too, they are not moving outwards here at all. (check your slow-mo swing & you’ll see from the top currently your right shoulder arms hands & club move outwards so that shaft is steep & out away from you moving towards the ball/target line, this all has to move downwards first then when the shaft gets parallel too the ground in the downswing from there the clubhead moves outwards to the ball because of the rotational centripetal forces of your body rotation) It’s the hands moving first in the takeaway that’s making it very hard for you to get the swing path direction you need to have the club head approach from inside the line so then swing to the right, if you can get this the strike will be completely different. Anyways it all looks not doubt a bit long & involved but if you just work through all this & get it it will simply transform your game.

As well as doing the drills I described, this is a great drill both to feel the one piece takeaway & to feel how the arms & club are connected to the body turn, both going back & coming through.  It’s also great for stopping that independent hand & arm action you currently have from the get go, as if you do that the butt end of the club will come away from your body.

Another great little drill (to the 8 o’clock position) that will help to eliminate the independent hand/arm action from your move away at the get go.

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