The Golf Swing

This blog is dedicated to the golf swing. Please feel free to discuss any tips, techniques and methods that you use to improve your swing.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Fixing Common Mistakes - The Takeaway

We've looked at how a bad grip and an improper set-up can lead to all kinds of bad shots. If your grip is good and you're setting up to the ball properly but you're still have difficulty the next area to look at is your takeaway.

The Fault - Improper Takeaway

The importance of starting your swing correctly can't be over emphasized. The entire swing takes somewhere between 1.5 and 2 seconds to complete. Scientists have proven that the muscle to brain and back to muscle reactions simply are not fast enough for a golfer to consciously direct the swing in that small amount of time. For even the slowest swinging golfers once they are about two-thirds of the way into the backswing the rest of the swing will be purely reflexive. So what can we take out of this scientific data? It's quite simple really. When you swing the club your actions are under your full conscious control only during the initial takeaway motion from the ball. That means that the beginning of the swing is pretty darn important.

The Cure - Slower is Best

In my opinion it's not possible to start the swing slowly enough as long as the club is swung and not taken away from the ball. By that I mean as long as its part of the fluid motion of the swing and not a conscious effort to take the club away form the ball without the rest of the body taking part in the motion. There are several reasons why.

1) The slower the backswing is started the more control you'll have over the initial path of the clubhead and the alignment of the clubface. Since this is the only part of the swing we can consciously control if you perform this part wrong whatever mistakes you've made will be magnified at impact. The faster you move the club away from the ball the less control you have over its attitude and direction.

2) The faster you start the swing the harder it is for you to coordinate the rest of your body and make a full upper body turn. If your initial motion is too fast the smaller muscles of the hands and arms will react faster than the larger muscles of the shoulders, hips and legs. This will cause your body to get out of sync resulting in lots of ugly shots.

3) The pace you start the swing back on will dictate the tempo and timing of the entire swing. The faster you take the club back the less likely you are to properly complete the swing.

So if nothing else has worked try slowing down your takaway and strive for a full shoulder turn. With a good grip, a proper set-up and a nice slow takeaway you should find that any swing problems you've had should quickly disappear.


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