In order to perform a successful hit, every stage of the swing needs to be executed seamlessly and flawlessly. The downswing is where you’ll generate your power, but the backswing is the first step of every strike and needs to be performed with a lot of care.
Jack Nicklaus, one of the game’s true legends, once stated that the takeaway was the most important moment of any swing, and it’s easy to see why. Setting up the backswing is highly important.
A good takeaway can make it so much easier to line up your shot and follow through on the rest of your swinging motion to produce a satisfying, efficient hit.
On the other hand, if you make any slight mistakes at the start of your backswing, you’ll need to make additional movements and alterations to fix those errors, and your shot will undoubtedly suffer as a result.
There are a few key elements to consider when trying to start your backswing efficiently and effectively, and we’ll be looking at all of them in this article. Don’t just pick one technique and rely on it as your only source of improvement.
If you can employ all three of these key movements and notions into your swing, you’ll see some big improvements in your game, without a doubt.
Every golfer’s swing is different and it’s something that becomes part of your DNA the more you play, so it can be hard to make big changes to something that you’re so familiar with, but the key here is practice and patience. Don’t give up.
You might not see immediate benefits, but it will take time for your muscles to adapt and your mind to understand the new movements. With a little patience and effort, you’ll begin to reap the rewards of these techniques.
The best part about the takeaway is that, if done properly, it will dramatically improve you ball striking, and you can practice it in your living room.
Patience – Low and Slow
The first tip also concerns patience, but this time we’re talking about patience in your actual swing. Don’t rush it. You’ve surely heard the phrase “low and slow” being used countless times by golfing aficionados, and that expression is so popular for a reason: it’s accurate.
Each swing should begin with a strong, flowing movement. It takes some muscle power in the shoulders to start your swing. Too many amateur players begin their swing with a sharp, snapping movement, tugging the club back or lifting it up without paying any attention to how they lift it.
The biggest mistake you can make is using your hands or forearms to start the backswing; instead, you should be focusing on using your upper body muscles in the torso and shoulders to lift the club.
Keep the clubhead nice and low at the start for as long as you can. Your hands should also be low down as the club begins to rise. Try to perform this whole movement smoothly and relatively slowly, allowing you to keep as much control over the club as possible. Ensure that your lower body remains very still.
Hands + Wrists = Club Face
Next up, let’s look at the ideal club face position. Your hands and wrists will influence the position of the club, so you need to focus on your grip and hold the club in the right way.
This is all about finding a balance between a grip that is too weak or loose, which will cause the face to open up, or a grip that is too firm, which may cause the face to close in.
With the right firmness, the club should be square to the ball. As the left arm stretches back, the left thumb should be pointing up in the air, along with the bottom of the club face.
When the club shaft is parallel to the ground, the back of the left hand should be facing forwards rather than up or down. In order to train your body to perform this style of movement, try practicing without any club in your hands.
Stand with your feet at shoulder width, with a little bend in the waist and knees. Let your left arm drop down and then lift up and reach out as if you’re shaking someone’s hand. Notice how most of the movement is controlled via your shoulder and upper arm, rather than the hand or wrist.
Understanding Your Swing Plane
Our next and final tip concerns the path of your swing. Essentially, the club needs to be swung straight back from the ball for the takeaway, rather than at an angle inside or outside of the ball.
Visualize a straight line, running parallel to your own body, and move the club along this line when pulling back. To train yourself, you could even use an object or draw a line along the ground to mark out the perfect swing path until you get used to moving the club in a perfectly straight line.
The slightest movement away from this line can ruin the rest of your swing, so it’s vital to start the right way. Avoid swinging the club inside or outside the target line to prevent any mistakes and use our other tips too to make your shots as accurate as possible.