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Golf Swing Takeaway & Drills

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The golf takeaway has been described by golf instructors countless ways, so many ways that it's impossible for the average golfer to have any real idea how to take the club back. Think of the fundamentals you may have heard or know about the takeaway and list them out now. Perhaps you said set your wrists early, shift to the right, lift your arms, put your left shoulder under your chin, point the club down the line, etc. The takeaway is a crucial part of the golf swing, but it's not that hard, in fact, it's only 2 inches of movement.

Video Practice Points
  • The most efficient takeaway involves only 2-3 inches of movement
  • Keep arms and shoulders connected to your core
  • Move the right shoulder blade in and down, toward your spine
  • Stay centered and rotate around your spine
  • This small movement provides 45 degrees of shoulder turn, with minimal hip rotation

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Golf Takeaway

Mastering the golf takeaway is critical to getting your golf swing started off on the right foot - and the way we do it with RotarySwing Tour is incredibly simple! In this golf instruction video, you're going to see just how simple the golf swing takeaway can really be and learn how to get your golf backswing started down the right path everytime.

You'll see that the way you've been trying to master the takeaway has caused you grief because you've probably been fixated on moving the golf club rather than your body. The trick is I'm going to teach you how to move your a specific part of your body only 2 inches and that will move the club about 6 feet!! Crazy, right?!

It's true. And this movement is so simple a cave man could do it! It will give you a simple mental key to focus on while mastering your new move, making it easy to pull the trigger to get your golf swing started. 

So, if you've struggled with your takeaway and want to simplify your golf swing, watch this video!

Swing Tips and Drills

The golf takeaway drills in this instruction video are so incredibly simple, you won't believe it at first. That's because Rotary Swing Tour focuses on moving the body rather than the golf club. You see, the club head is going to move hundreds of times further throughout the golf swing than the body. For the golf takeaway, we're focusing on moving just one part of the body about 2 inches to move the club 72"!!! 

For a proper golf takeaway, it's going to be a LOT easier for you to learn how to move your body two inches than it will ever be for you to try and move the clubhead 36 times that far! If you're looking for golf takeaway tips, that's a pretty darn good one!

So, if you're trying to master the golf takeaway, no one is going to teach you how to do it simpler than Rotary Swing.

The takeaway is one of the quickest ways for you to mess up your golf swing in the first couple inches that the club moves back. It's such a critical part of the swing. It's not the time that you hit the ball. That's the most important part. But it sets up what's going to happen before you hit the ball. So getting the takeaway right is not an option. It's so easy to get right.

                I promise you, when you go through the golf swing drills that are in this video, you will be able to master the takeaway, and you'll be as good as any tour pro in the world. You're literally going to focus on just moving your body this much. About 2 inches is going to move the club all the way from here to here, about 6 or 7 feet, and you're going to move 2 inches.

                Let's look at how we need to get our body to move, to move this club into a perfect position. The key comes down to one simple thing, and that is understanding your shoulder blade. Now, everybody's got these shoulder blades back here. It's just what allows your arm all of this great mobility. It's a gliding joint and it can move all over the surface of your ribcage back here.

                The key point that you're going to focus on is one simple movement, and that is imagining if my hand was my shoulder blade, and this was my spine, I'm going to just move my shoulder blade in towards my spine. Now technically, it goes slightly down, partly because the muscle fibers on your trap are oriented that way. But we also want to stay connected to our core. So as that shoulder blade's moving slightly down and in, but I want you to focus just on in. That's going to move the club all the way back during the takeaway.

                But the important thing is, it's pulling. The pulling motion is going to move your spine. You move your shoulder blade in towards center. That's a critical part of the swing. The swing is rotational in nature, hence the name rotary swing. I wasn't that clever when I came up with the name. It's just describing exactly what's going on. You're moving your body in a circle, and that's creating centripetal force. The result of that is going to be, of course, centrifugal force. That's what's acting on the club.

                So may golfers want to use linear force and just move the club around with their arms and hands and try to push it all over the place. It won't move nearly as fast as just moving your body really small amounts. By definition, the idea of efficiency is you moving as little as humanly possible to get a great big result to move something else a long ways. Learning this 2-inch shoulder blade glide is the epitome of that. It's going to get you to move the club 6 or 7 feet, and you're literally only going to move your body 2 inches.

                That shoulder blade glide, so many people, when I talk about moving down, they start tilting their shoulders. It's really important that you understand the plane that your shoulders have got to rotate on. By taking a club and just putting it across my shoulders while standing straight up, what I'm going to do is try and feel pulling my shoulder blade back in towards my spine. This is key, because as you'll notice, as I pull my shoulder blade back, my head stays nice and centered.

                If I focus on what so many instructors talk about with taking the lead shoulder and pushing it under my chin, well, all of a sudden it becomes a moving target, because pushing moves away from center, away from the force of movement. Think about it. If you're pushing a chair across the room, it's trying to move away from you. You're the force of movement. It's going to tend to move. It's not going to want to travel in a perfectly straight line, because it's going to want to rotate around its center of gravity.

                When you're pulling something, though, we've all played golf in a push cart or a pull cart, depending on how you want to use it. If you pull it, it travels in a perfectly straight line right behind you. But when you push, it tends to kind of zigzag down the fairway. When you pull something, it moves in towards center, in towards the force of movement, and it's center. Center's a specific point. We can be very, very specific about the center.

                But when you're trying to push something towards a target, pushing's always moving in 360 possible different degrees away from center. This is why so many people, when they take that advice of pushing their shoulder under their chin, their head moves all over the place, and all of a sudden their swing is no longer centered and becoming a consistent ball striker becomes really tough.

                We want to have as few moving parts as humanly possible with a rotary swing. We're trying to stay very quiet and very centered, while still recruiting a lot of muscle fibers, because we need that for power in the swing, and we're going to really rely on the muscles in our core, and our trunk, and our legs to produce that power. So right from the get go, we're going to start engaging them.

                But the first thing I want you to understand is this shoulder blade glide, that while you're standing straight up, as I pull my right shoulder straight in towards my spine, and only turn about 45 degrees, that's all we're trying to accomplish during the takeaway, that my shoulders rotate perpendicular to my spine, or parallel to the ground while I'm standing straight up. Now as I tilt forward, they're still going to do that. They're still going to rotate 90 degrees to my spine. But because my shoulders are now on an inclined plane because my spine is hinged forward. Now it's going to look like that left shoulder goes down.

                This is a critical piece of the swing. So many golfers turn flat. Then to make up for this flat shoulder turn they've got to do a bunch of work with their arms to try to get the club up in the air. If you get your left shoulder to go down, that will help your hands go up. If you turn really flat, they're going to be wanting to go really flat. So it's really important that you understand pulling the shoulder blade back in towards your spine. Your shoulders should be on an inclined plane.

                Now in doing this, this should move the club all the way to here. The check point for the takeaway is the club should be parallel to the ground, parallel to the target line, and right over my toes, with the club face toed up. All I have to do to accomplish that, pull my shoulder blade back and shift my weight to the right. Now all of a sudden, the club goes right where we want it to without me having to worry about moving the golf club.

                I'm not trying to move the club as I do this. In fact, I don't want you to try to move the club at first. I want you to learn this just by moving your body. Put your arms across your chest. Get into your setup. Pull your shoulder blade back while shifting your weight to the right. As I do that, you'll see my left shoulder goes down. My right shoulder goes up. But I'm not pulling it up. I'm just pulling it in, straight in towards my spine. Now I've made a perfect takeaway. This is all it is, literally. If you can't do this, you can't play golf. It's this simple. Anybody can make a perfect takeaway.

                Where people go wrong with the takeaway is they're doing way too much. They're doing way too much with their arms, and hands, and their wrists, and they're trying to just move the club all over the place. Don't get fixated on moving the golf club. Move your body. That will move your arms, which will move the golf club. Understand that sequence. Every movement in the swing is happening from the inside out.

                So many people try to move from the outside in. They try to get fixated on this club and hitting the ball, and then golf becomes nearly impossible to play consistently. All we're trying to do, pull the shoulder blade back. If you pull it back, it's going to turn your body. It's going to keep you nice and centered. As you shift your weight, takeaway is done.

                Now the shoulder blade glide, it's a great movement to initiate centered rotation. But it's not the only mover. The primary mover of your torso in the takeaway is your obliques, these muscles on the side. These are what rotate you. As you're doing this drill standing just straight up, you also want to feel your obliques starting to engage. If you try to keep your hips pretty quiet during the takeaway, you can feel these muscles, this one's starting to stretch, and this one's trying to contract.

                But as they twist you, it's like you're just going to turn and talk to somebody. Don't get too fixated on trying to feel so much and get really tight. Just think if you're going to turn and talk to somebody 45 degrees away from you. That's it. Just start to feel these muscles engage. They're the primary movers of your ribcage. If you combine this feeling of twisting your ribcage using those obliques, while pulling the shoulder blade back, you're going to stay perfectly centered and have a perfect takeaway every single time.

                Start out without a golf club. Get into your setup. Get your axis tilt, arms across your chest. Pull your shoulder blade back, and feel your ribcage twisting from the obliques while pushing your right ankle to the ground. If you can do these simple moves, then take your hands, let them hang out nice and relaxed, and do the same movement. Notice how little my arms and hands are moving. They're going to do a little bit, and what is that little bit?

                Well, one, there's going to be a little bit of arm elevation from the shoulders during the takeaway. It's only going to be about that much. My hands are going to go from here to here during that takeaway move. We need some elevation, otherwise our hands are going to be really low and shallow, and we're going to lose a lot of width during the takeaway. You're going to move your hands. If I don't move my hands with no elevation, this is where they'd be. We need a little bit of width. So they're going to go up and down a little bit during that takeaway move.

                There's also going to be a little bit of rotation to get that club face toed up. The club face is always rotating throughout the entire golf swing. The worst thing that you can do is try to hold the club face square to the target line the whole time. The club face is designed as a tool to rotate around the hosel. That's why they put the hosel in the heel, instead of in the center of the face. So a little bit of rotation in your forearms is required, just a small amount, to get that club face toed up.

                Then the last thing is there's going to be a little bit of wrist cock. Not a ton. It's so subtle. It's really just your body responding to the weight of the club. If I didn't set my wrists, this is going to feel really awkward. I want to just set my wrists as the hands get about a foot outside my right thigh. The club is going to set to parallel to the ground. That's it.

                The hand movement and the arm movement is really natural. It's not anything you're trying to manipulate. You want to focus on moving your body. Learn to move your body correctly, 2 inch shoulder blade glide in towards your spine, feeling the muscles in your obliques work, pushing your right to the ground, and you'll have a perfect takeaway, as good as any tour pro in the world.

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"I think he's come very close to a golf swing model that appears to be ideal...It's a big muscle, motor-driven swing that's repeatable...You don't have to be a super athlete."

-Dr. Jeffrey Broker, Assoc. Prof. in Biomechanics at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Former Senior Biomechanist for U.S. Olympics Committee

"I started playing at 70 years old, at the beginning I was scoring around 100 plus... Following the RST 5 Step System my scores are in the 80 to 86 range. I am out-hitting guys in their 40's and 50's, thanks to you and your system. My back or other muscles never ache, nor am I tired after 18 holes. I am so glad I found your technique and system."

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"I can honestly say that Rotary Swing has completely revolutionized the way I think about the golf swing...The website is without a doubt the best golf instruction resource anywhere on the internet."

-Sam Jarman, PGA Golf Instructor in the UK


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