Pull for a perfect takeaway - 6 of 7

So many golfers try to perfect the takeaway in the swing and they constantly fight an uphill battle because they spend most of their time worrying about swing plane and clubface position. What if I told you to stop looking at the club completely and just focus on a simple 2 inch body movement that I guarantee would solve all of your problems for good? Crazy right? The club will NOT move on it's own...I promise you! In video 6 of 7 in the "Keys to RST" series, I will show you how the physics of pulling will move your club into a perfect takeaway position every single time. No more worrying about the club, let's focus on the way you move your body!

  • Learn the difference between push vs. pull and how it relates to the golf swing. 
  • Move your body and the club will react. 
  • Avoid trying to aim the club into a position 

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Mike
My No. 7 on the left of the video says, Should you play golf while learning your new swing.
January 23, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Michael. The 5 Minutes to the Perfect Takeaway Video is the best at explaining all the takeaway details.
January 23, 2020
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Mike
where is the 7 of 7 video on the take a way?
January 23, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Michael. The "7 of 7" Video is Keeping Clubhead Speed As You Get Older - 7 of 7.
January 23, 2020
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Chad
so Im left handed and I think I pull on the down swing pretty good but I think I push on the backswing. So are you saying I should pull back with my right and pull down with my left?
January 19, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Chad. (Left handed, but playing from the right side of the ball). Exactly. Pull back with trail (right) and pull down with lead (left).
January 19, 2019
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richard
when playing on the course, I have a 150 yard shot, I hit my 7 iron, do I want a full shoulder glide here or is it better to start my down swing before I complete my back swing and the shoulder just gets there before my change of direction
November 5, 2018
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Andrew (Certified RST Instructor)
You should try to perform the shoulder blade glide on every stock shot.
November 5, 2018
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John
Hi Chris, I am working on the setup (per last lesson) and pairing that with the backswing work. During the takeaway, do you turn so your shoulders feel a bit steeper or do you keep your shoulders more level? If I feel my left shoulder pointing more down during the takeaway, it is easier for me to keep my right arm straight (similar to how it looks in this video from down-the-line). If I turn my shoulders more level, I seem to lift my hands up to avoid the club going too far inside and my right elbow bends before the takeaway is completed. How can I check to ensure I am turning my shoulders back on the correct angle? Thanks, John
August 11, 2018
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi John, the best way to look to see if you are turning them on the correct plane, take a video from down the line and and check to make sure the shoulders at the top of the swing are perpendicular to the spine, without the spine changing it's angle during any part of the backswing. Because there is an angle to the spine at address, the trail shoulder will feel like its's working more up behind the head and the lead shoulder will feel like its working more under the chin as a result. Just be careful not to turn too steeply.
August 13, 2018
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John
Ok thanks for the info--I appreciate it.
August 13, 2018
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Hector
ANY SUGGESTION HOW I MOVE MY RIGTH SHOULDER BACK ? TOWEL DRILL ? GIVE ME A DRILL PLEASE < I DONT FEEL THE SHOULDER BLADE , ANY HELP
January 21, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Hector. Towel drill is definitely a no, no. All you are doing is taking your trail shoulder and pulling it straight behind your head. I think you are over thinking the move. You need to get into a mirror and watch yourself doing it. Your awareness can also be in your torso/core rotating.
January 22, 2018
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Hector
how I can move my shoulder back ?? I understand the concept but I don't know what I should feel? whats the feeling or tell me any drill
May 8, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Hector. RSA Core Drill to feel a good rotation. Your shoulders (especially upper) are too tense and it will be hard to feel the pull down. I would do a lot of shoulder shrugging up and down. When you come down feel the pull of the blade down and exaggerate it. From this position rotate towards the spine. That is the down and in move.
May 8, 2017
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Hector
he is not maintaining the right knee flex at the backswing, he is straightening the knee, I don't understand this concept of the shoulder blade yet..... give me some hints what I should feel in the backswing to rotate the right shoulder back without pushing the left side . when I try to pull the right shoulder back I bend the right elbow pretty soon '''' help
February 17, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Hector. Ignore Chris's slight loss of trail knee flexion. It isn't completely straight, but with Chuck guiding him around sometimes one can get lost on other fundamentals. I can't think of another video to provide for the feeling of the shoulder blade glide. I know you have watched the vast majority dealing with the motion. Try to feel you are pulling your shoulder blade back to aim it at the target. Back and away from the ball.
February 17, 2017
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T David
It seems that the first part of my takeaway to A2, that I was shifting weight and allowing the hips to turn. I tried allowing the pull action to shift the weight and delay the hip action until just before A2. This seemed to help my stoke a bit better. Does this make sense? I want to make sure I get this right. Thanks in advance for your help.
October 2, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. The pull of the trail shoulder won't shift the weight for you, but it will start to pull on the trail hip to help create rotation. You can use stable hips and allow the pulling motion of the trail shoulder to start the rotational portion of the trail hip.
October 3, 2016
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T David
Great info. Thanks, Craig!
October 3, 2016
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T David
In the takeaway demonstration, I noticed Chuck make a slight adjustment at the A2 position. This makes it seem that there should be a slight wrist cock starting to happen at this point in the backswing. Can someone clarify this?
September 25, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. There is a slight amount of set in the takeaway (25%). Take a look at the 5 Minutes to the Perfect Takeaway (about 22-23 mins in), Using the Wrist Effectively and Efficiently and the RST Pencil Tee Drill.
September 26, 2016
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T David
Great information! Thanks! It also appears that the hips are quiet in the takeaway until A2. From there, the hips begin to rotate as a reaction to the upper body rotation. Is this correct?
September 27, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. The trail shoulder blade will begin to pull the hips late in the takeaway and in the backswing. Very little rotation in the takeaway, and roughly 45 degrees by the time you reach the top.
September 28, 2016
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Oscar
Hi Craig, I have a problem of my left hand working out towards the ball in the takeaway - and not doing that feels super steep to me. I tried this drill and it works better, but the club gets a bit behind me rather than up right shoulder. Suggestions?
August 9, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Oscar. Rotation blended with proper elevation. Use the 4 Square Drill and the Pool Noodle Drill to blend elevation without pushing the hands out.
August 9, 2016
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Loran
Then, if I have a unified backswing, rotating in the takeaway with shoulders, arms, and upper torso, then there should be no reason why there is a right shoulder push? Or reverse pivot?
May 28, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Loan. Yes. With proper trail side load and axis tilt. All should be well.
May 29, 2016
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Loran
Then, to safely conclude, the takeaway is a smooth ride, which does not require a lot of force and momentum? By the fact that the left shoulder is quiet? The takeaway is mostly for position and support in the golf swing? How do I keep my right elbow from folding, unlike Chuck who keeps it straight to the end of the takeaway?
July 21, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Loan. The takeaway is a smooth ride that doesn't require a lot of force or momentum from the club. Yes, the lead shoulder stays passive and keeps away the pushing force to throw it ajar. Better trail shoulder rotation with quiet arms will keep the trail arm straight. Take a look at the Role of the Right Arm Video. The 2 Inch Hand Drill will help.
July 21, 2016
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Charles
I am unable to find the remaining six parts of this series.
May 21, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Charles. They are all located in the Advanced introduction Section.
May 21, 2016
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Jason
if I do the move from the front side I see that my head dips in the takeaway. if I do the move from the right trail side, my head seems not to dip. does that at least mean I am moving the takeaway in the right direction?
May 16, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jason. Sounds correct.
May 16, 2016
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Peter R
Which is it? In this video, the takeaway is demonstrated by pulling back the right shoulder. In the Takeaway video, the takeaway is demonstrated by pulling down and in toward the spine the right shoulder blade. I'm unable to consciously control the movement of my right shoulder blade, but I am able to pull back my right shoulder. Are these methods presented in the two videos mentioned equivalent?
September 8, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Peter. The motion of the blade for a proper turn (down and in) towards the spine. If you are settled and stay in the box. Moving the trail shoulder behind you is what you are trying to achieve. It's just technically that is the motion the actual blade performs to create motion. In the box and trail shoulder behind you will achieve the down/in motion.
September 8, 2015
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simon
like the down cock drill, the pull take away etc?
June 17, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
The Downcock Drill is located in the Advanced Downswing Section. The Move 1 Video is located in the Takeaway Section. Any other video you can't find I would be happy to help. Or, use the search bar at the top right of the page.
June 17, 2015
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simon
where do i find the videos you constantly refer to at the end of your videos?
June 17, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Simon. The recommended videos tab at the top right of this page.
June 17, 2015
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Greg
Some things I like about this: promotes a repetitive take away, no upper body tension on back swing, seemed to add swing by promoting a bigger turn. My biggest hang up with it is that drawing the right shoulder back pulls the club back to the inside on the take away. Also , it's true what Chuck says about moving the right shoulder a little move the club head a lot; for me it made my swing a little too quick on the take away some times. Any suggestions welcomed..good video
June 16, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Greg. Take a look at Understanding Shoulder Elevation and the 4 Square Video in the Backswing and Advanced Backswing Section. Take your time to move the 2 inches. No rush to pinch the blade in as fast as you can.
June 16, 2015
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Greg
Will do, thank you Craig
June 17, 2015
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thomas
Although everything you say about the golf swing makes a lot of sense, this one tip has revolutionized my swing. By starting the turn with the upper back muscles vs. the arms has allowed me to easily accomplish a full back swing but, most importantly, it has put my swing on plane and automatically increased my lag. I am short in stature and 68 years old. In the past I have always had an inch removed from my driver, thinking that would help me get into the proper impact position. Now I am able to use a normal length driver and even hit cuts and draws almost at will. After watching this video, I practiced in the living room in slow motion for an hour or so. Went to the range the next day and was hitting all my clubs longer and straighter than ever before. Out of a couple of hundred balls, only a few shots were blocked. I used this yesterday in a match and was very happy with the outcome. I, also, found it much easier to loosen my right hand grip which really helped in releasing the club. I, now, have to begin working more on stacking my left side since I am hitting the ball every high, although deep for me, even with the driver set to 8 degrees. It's funny how one little tip like this can make such a big difference. Thanks!
June 9, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Thomas. Thanks for the post! Great to hear your progress. Keep getting that good turn now.
June 9, 2015
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Anthony
When you actually swing the club to hit a shot, should you be thinking or try to feel all the main body movements you talk about in the takeaway, backswing, weight transfere, downswing, release and follow through or concentrate on swing sequence. Or is there some global swing thought you would recommend. I seem to get into analysis paralysis trying to think of all the pieces.
June 5, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Anthony. When drilling you need to think about the proper body movements. One of the reasons we stack the principles on the site is to not over think. Own a position then move on. It is hard to think about all of the different positions in 1 and 1/2 seconds.
June 6, 2015
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Freddy
Very well said, Craig. Over thinking is my achilles. Last time out, my best results came when I would go to the ball, and be initiating in short order. Standing there kills my swing. If my brain insists and won't quiet down, I go with one thought : "turn-swish-turn" . And the 2" shoulder blade glide gets it started with a degree of confidence.
June 6, 2015
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james
don`t know how to get to the 2 inch video and the video of practice drills
June 5, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jim. Look at the Recommended Tab at the top right of this page. Move 1 Video Located in the Takeaway Section.
June 5, 2015
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Mark
I may need to make your last 2 sentences into a Golf poster. Mrt.
June 5, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
RST Mantra.
June 5, 2015
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Mark
I think for most of us over mechanical people the statement to move your body and not worry about the club may just be the key. I am hitting way more solid shots since starting the program. The problem is that my scores are not reflecting this because I am also hitting more bad shots too. Ingraining the right way is difficult no matter what we do. It is hard to remember everything when distracted by club position. Club position is an indicator of body position. I was able to pull this off for one practice session. I just concentrated on my body. Unfortunately, as these things often do, that morphed into something else and the good went away. Maybe you can expand on this line of thinking.
June 5, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mark. It does take time to ingrain the new positions. The issue is the focus in golf instruction has gone so much to the placement of the club rather than moving the body. The club doesn't move unless we tell it to. It can't create a swing plane, lag, release, and etc. If you move the body efficiently and correctly the club takes care of itself. Then, its getting in front of a ball and not trying to steer/guide the shot, but letting it get in the way of the new motion. Trusting you have done all you can to send the ball where you want it to go. Club position is necessarily an indicator of body position. I can place the club in a lot of great spots without engaging any big muscles. Don't get distracted by positioning. It can lie to you. Hone into what you are feeling your body produce.
June 5, 2015
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Thomas
One thing I have found that works on the backswing is to close my eyes . I open them on the downswing. This helps me make and feel the proper body movements while ignoring the club position. I have played in tournaments this way--with no negative effects. Give this a try.
June 6, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks for the suggestion Tom!
June 6, 2015
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terence
wow, that makes more sense to me than anything I have ever learned in over 50 years of golfing.
June 4, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks Terrence. Appreciate the post and compliment.
June 4, 2015
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PAUL
I understand that move but how does the arms break from a straight right arm to elevate ?
June 4, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Paul. Are you asking how do you elevate from the takeaway to the top position? Or, how does the trail arm bend from the takeaway position?
June 4, 2015
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gregg
Can you expand on how the push / pull concept works in the downswing and especially at the start of transition?
June 4, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Greg. In the downswing, you pull your weight over with a little lead hip abduction, pull from the lead oblique to open the hips, and pull with the left lat to bring the arms back in front. Pushers drive with their trail hip, foot and arm which typically leads to a casting and spinning move from the top.
June 4, 2015
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gregg
Craig Thanks for the response. Very much appreciate it Gregg
June 5, 2015
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Andrew
Great video, it makes perfect since!! However my question is my club face is closed just like his in this video because I am trying not to rotate my wrists or anything. How much rotation or what would be the proper wrist movement to get the club face in the perfect position at the top of the takeaway. Thanks in advance for your help love the site!!
June 4, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Andrew. In the takeaway there is a little forearm rotation (Bucket Drill and Unleash Your Thumbnail for Power in the Takeaway and Advanced Takeaway Section). Also, 25% of our wrist set happens (Using the Wrist Efficiently - Introduction Advanced Section, 5 Mins to A Perfect Takeaway - Takeaway Section, and Pencil Tee Drill - Advanced Takeaway Section). Thanks for the compliments of the site.
June 4, 2015
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Stevie
so simple
June 4, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks Stevie.
June 4, 2015
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Patrick
always great information - thoughts on drills for separating top and bottom half of body ?
June 4, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Patrick. The Golf Body Rotation Video in the Advanced Backswing Section and the Role of the Right Arm in the Advanced Takeaway Section will get you started.
June 4, 2015
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Loran
Should my hips move at all at this point in the takeaway?
June 4, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Loan. Ideally you want the hips not to rotate very much in the takeaway.
June 4, 2015
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Dave
Do you actively resist with your hips and legs (thinking "x-factor" here)? Or do you just want them passive at this point and they turn as much as they want? I have heard differing stories on this lately, especially from a particular TV analyst who wants his subjects to actively turn the hips rather than minimize their turn.
June 12, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. If you are used to overly rotating them off them ball you might need to train a little resistance. However, the goal is to allow the trail shoulder blade to pull them into action. If you don't manually turn them and allow them to get pulled open. Then you will be doing it correctly.
June 12, 2015

Over the first five videos in the "Keys to RST" series, we discuss how simple physics relate to the movements of the body in the golf swing. We discuss why so many golfers struggle getting into a tour quality impact position, as well as show you how to get more speed for your perfect release.

In this next video, I am going to show you a simple and effective way to perform a perfect takeaway in the golf swing with a simple 2 inch pulling movement. Sounds crazy right?

Most golfers struggle with getting into proper position because their focus is purely on the direction of the club and NOT the movements on the body that caused the club to move in the first place.

Let's stop and think about this for a second...

As creatures of habit, and always being so dependent on one very common term talked about in the golf industry known as "swing plane", our focus is always trying to aim the club into a certain direction/position. Sure, it can look like it has solved your problems of that dreaded inside takeaway or shut club face position but, is it permanent?

Simple way to look at this is...If we move, the club moves.

Let's make it even easier to understand. If you are hanging onto the golf club and you were to pull your trail shoulder blade (also known as shoulder blade glide in the Move 1 - Takeaway video) 2 inches in towards your spine, your shoulders would begin to rotate quite a bit. This would cause the arms to move and thus, the golf club would respond accordingly right into a perfect takeaway position every single time.

The more scientific look at this movement, is to think the rotation of the body you are creating by pulling your shoulder blade in towards your center (spine), as centripetal force, which is best defined as centered rotation moving towards the force of movement. The result of this movement would be centrifugal force. The golf club would be moving out and away from you as a result of this simple movement. Where does it go? The same place every single time.

This is how you become more and more consistent in the golf swing. We all want a golf swing that works the same way each and every time we play right?

So, after looking at the golf swing from physics standpoint and understanding how either a push vs. pulling can strongly affect the way your club moves into the takeaway position, it should be more than clear that your focus not be fixated on the golf club and swing plane, it should be purely focused on the movements of the body. You can train your body to learn new movement patterns through repetition.

We have several premium videos that will walk you through how to a step by step process on how to make your takeaway position perfect each and every time. Check out: Move 1 - The Takeaway and 5 minutes to master your takeaway now. 

If you recall in the very first video of this series, I talked about the concept, the physics concept of pushing versus pulling and how all movement is a push or a pull. When it comes to the golf swing, as we've gone through this video series it's a critical concept that you understand pushing versus pulling. That applies right for the first foot that you move the club off the ball. We're going to talk about the takeaway with that. I have my assistant here, Chris. I'm going to have him hold this club against his shoulders. I'm going to have him just stand there without doing anything. I'm going to move him around. I'm going to be his force of movement as we talked about in the first video.

          The first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to push him from either side. As I push him, ... Oh don't fall too far off. I'm going to push him off here, and then I'm going to push him from this side. You're going to notice that his head is going to tend to want to move around. Now watch what happens when I pull from the other side.

   Now when I pull, notice how his head stays really centered and he's not moving around much at all. This concept is critical, because as I pull, I'm beginning to move towards center, towards a fixed point. Now when you push something where does it move? A push can move in any direction away from center. It's always moving away from the force of movement and a pulling motion is moving towards the force of movement. If you remember my little toy truck I had at the very beginning of the first video, that concept is applicable here in the takeaway.

    If I get Chris to pull, pull his right shoulder back, and in towards his spine, it's going to get the club to move out away in the right direction and the right spot every single time. Chris, go ahead and get in a set up position here. All I want you to do is focus on taking that right shoulder back and pulling it back as you take the club back.

    Notice as he does that, the club goes right into the right spot. Now let's turn down the line and let's do the same thing. Again, I don't want you to do anything but just focus on pulling your right shoulder back as you take the club back. As he does that, and let's just keep doing this back and forth. Just focus on pulling the right shoulder back. Not moving his arms or club or hands or anything at all. He's just moving his right shoulder.

   The club goes into the exact same spot. Thank you. Every single time. This is a critical concept. If you want to stay centered in your takeaway and get the club to go in the same spot every time all you really need to understand is again this concept of pushing versus pulling. I've got a great video on the takeaway. I want you to take a look, that's going to walk you through how to get into these great positions without any effort. You're going to go from moving the club nine feet, you're going to focus on moving two inches in this little video on the takeaway. 

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