Fix Inside Takeaway - Forward Press

If you've ever wondered whether or not you should have a forward press at setup, this golf instruction video answers this question and shows you why. Inside you'll learn the proper golf club shaft position at address and how to achieve it.

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Alejandro
Hello Craig. First comment on the website. This forward lean is something I have been doing for years: basically, I create a straight line with my left arm and the club shaft at address. Now, after some time of working on the dead drill, my swing is getting much better but, trying to change to a parallel shaft at address makes me feel insecure and don’t let me swing fluently. To compensate with the lean forward setup, the club head looks a little open at address which, in my mind, even encourages me to better release the club head at impact to let the club face square, so to speak. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.
March 27, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Alejandro. It may seem to be open, but you could've had it shut for all these years. However, you will tend to see most of the better players if they miss at setup will tend to be a hair open. Just try not to make it excessive or hand have backwards lean at setup.
March 27, 2021
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Dan
This might be a variation on a previously asked question. If the hands stay directly in front of the sternum, once you add axis tilt, does it not force a little shaft lean? Craig, as you well know, I have more shaft lean at setup than I ideally should. So I’m just trying to understand what the adjustment is. Is it that I don’t have enough cup in my left wrist? Is it that I have too much axis tilt? Is it that the ball is being played too far back? I’m trying to understand the logic of where the hands need to be, where the shaft needs to be, and how that all ties together.
July 23, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dan. The lead hand should be just on the inside of the lead thigh. There should be a little cupping in the lead wrist at setup with a proper grip. Changing ball position will affect where the shaft will rest. However, adding tilt shouldn't be a determining factor unless you are much overdoing it. I didn't see that as the case in the last review. When adding the trail hand with the addition of tilt (ala 5 Min Perfect Setup) you can see there is very little change. Or, even Right Side Dominance at Setup Video.
July 23, 2019
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Bill
Got it Craig! So at 62 this is something that I shouldn't be trying to do...Bill
June 22, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Bill. Agreed!
June 23, 2019
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Bill
Hey Chuck - any thoughts about the "single" plane golf swing that's now all the rage a la Bryson DeChambeau, and the set-up required for that? Thanks, Bill G.
June 22, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Bill. Single plane will tend to limit elevation which will require more rotation to create decent speed. Basically, you have to work harder to achieve the same thing versus the free speed from extra leverage. The setup tends to have the arms further away and more disconnected from the body which will require the golfer at some point to reconnect to their body to add speed from core rotational force.
June 22, 2019
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Linda
So I struggle with where to have the club at set up and whether or not to forward press. If the ball is set off the shirt's left side logo, then the club head/shaft sits slightly off center of my body. How do I maintain the "Y" keeping the shaft straight?
June 20, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Linda. Take a look at Common Setup Faults and Fixes. Also, Golf Grip Checkpoint Tips. Chris will show you how to get the club setup properly without the addition of the forward press.
June 20, 2019
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Jack
Having my hands forward with shaft lean at setup (not really a forward press to initiate the swing) helps me create my axis tilt normally without thought. It also seems to limit the amount of active wrist motion/set I need in the backswing. I think it also subconsciously helps me get back to a better impact position (getting back to where I started from - with the wrists, and with the spine angle down the line [little less upright]). Is it really that bad of a thing to start out with shaft lean?
June 8, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jack. See my reply to Cy below about the difference in address and impact. Ideally, you don't want a lot of shaft lean at address. Before giving you the green light one of our instructors would need to see if your setup position is helping you create the positions you are referring to, or if it is a feel versus real type situation.
June 9, 2019
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Jack
Craig, you recently reviewed my swing. I start with a forward press, am a bit toe down in the takeaway and closed at the top (on purpose) as it seems to help me close the clubface early and get into a better impact position. Dustin Johnson does this. This should be an easy fix, but might mess with my ability to get my wrists where they need to be at impact. What are the big downsides of being closed at the top (with a bowed left wrist)? Is my wrist and club position at the top pathologic and going to cause me a lot of issues - or is it just not ideal?
July 19, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jack. Take a look at Using the Wrists in the Golf Swing Video for further info on the proper positions. When you preset the bow. It will affect how how the face rotates. The club is always rotating and if you properly release a shut club you will tend to hit hooks. At some point you will either have to push the face through to keep it from being shut, or hold off on the release. You are negating the design of the club. Also, it will limit your ability to control your ball flight. Dustin is an outlier when it comes to this position.
July 19, 2019
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Jack
Thanks. That makes sense. I started out with a wrist roll in the takeaway, got open at the top and couldn’t recover and needed the flip at impact. I intentionally overcorrected in drills and Close the Clubface Early and am able to get into a good impact position. I guess I now need need to get to neutral at the top but still use the close the clubface early thought to get me to a good impact position. In the Using your Wrists video, he says not to do anything with the wrists in the downswing and not close the clubface early though. What am I missing? Which is more proper/better for me in your opinion?
July 19, 2019
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Anthony (Certified RST Instructor)
My intention is not to forward press. My guess is I was young and not very strong, so subconsciously, my first move is to press the club forward just a small amount. Do I need to retrain my brain?
February 12, 2019
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Dean
Yes, but getting rid of a forward press should be easy to change as it is a static position. Once you start moving and complex motor patterns are involved it will take more time to break the old habits. Use a mirror and squash the press.
February 12, 2019
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Cy
If you keep the same type of "Y" that is there with a forward press, then would you not already be set for a perfect impact position?
May 15, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Cy. The issue is address and impact are 2 different positions. One is static and the other is dynamic. There are numerous reasons why you wouldn't want too. Wrist position, takeaway, etc.. But, to recreate a dynamic feeling impact with forward lean you more than likely would have to over exaggerate hands ahead of the ball which wouldn't allow for proper release. And, the more likely scenario you create more tension to reach the impact position with proper lean and the trail hand dominates due to the tension creating earlier release.
May 15, 2018
One question I get asked quite a bit is should you have a forward press at setup, or what is the correct golf club shaft position at address? Now, a forward press has been taught for a long time for a bunch of different reasons, but as you've probably noted on the site, I advocate a vertical shaft with no forward press. Now, I want to talk about why and what's gonna happen when you tend to put a forward press in there. 
So, first of all, what is a forward press, exactly? Simply, it's having the shaft leaning toward the target. That's the simplest way to think about a forward press. You're pushing your hands forward. A lot of people use this as a swing trigger to get the swing started. So, they start normal, the proper, with the vertical shaft, and then they push their hands forward and then take the club back. 
Now, what tends to happen is that, obviously, when you put your hands forward, what are you doing to the relationship of your hands and club head? So, now my hands are already in front of the club head. My club head is behind my hands. Now, for most amateur golfers, they already do that quite well. This is the number one move for most amateurs. They put their hands forward and then rip the club way back to the inside, lift it up, and then hack down over the top. 
The last thing on Earth you'd ever want to do is put your hands further ahead of the club head by doing a forward press. Your hands, for most golfers, already tend to get the club head way too far behind, because you're overactive with your hands. You'll notice that most tour pros set up with the shaft vertical and then just turn their body, and the club head is very, very quiet. There's no hand movement whatsoever, and that is a huge, huge thing. 
When you're wanting more consistency in your golf swing, the last thing you want to do is add variables. When variables are anything, extra movement that you add to your swing that you don't need. In this case, if I just set my wrists, I've not moved my body at all. I've only set my wrists, but I've moved the club four feet. Now, I've got to unwind that at some point in the downswing. Now, I want my golf swing to be as ridiculously simple with as few moving parts as humanly possible, so the last thing I want to do is get my hands overactive in the swing. 
I want my hands to be very quiet, and I want the club head to stay in line with hands and in-sync with my chest. So, as I turn back going really slow, the club head is perfectly in line with my hands. As I focus on my takeaway move, notice the club head is gonna stay in line with my feet and with my hands, and it's right where I want it to be. If I did that with a forward press, look where the club goes. So, that's why I don't advocate a forward press, because you're presetting your hands in a position where they're already way ahead of the club head, or the club head is behind your hands, and now you've got to try and do something to unwind that in the downswing. 
So, the simplest thing to fix that, don't do it. Don't add a forward press. If you take the club back with your body, your hands are gonna stay in line with the club head, and your golf swing will be much, much simpler.
Next, learn the correct golf stance width for your body to increase your swing speed.

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