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The One Piece Takeaway In Your Golf Swing

For your short iron hits your backswing is not as long as it is for your longer irons and woods. One conscious move, done correctly, is all you need to get your golf club far enough away from the ball from where you can apply the desired hitting force. However, there is an important “but".

Oh yes! Along with the “one conscious move" there is a whole bunch of “don't move this and that". But, don't think you have to remember all the “don't moves". They are remembered by the thought of “controlled body movement".

By following the instructions of control and movement in my upcoming putting and swing modules, you will automatically be doing a ‘one-piece takeaway'. In fact, I have designed a putting method which uses the first inch or two of the takeaway movement of your basic chipping, pitching, and full swing skills.

Amazing! You can practice the early part of your ‘one-piece takeaway' by learning and using my putting technique.

The instructions which tell you how to do the one piece takeaway are in Part 2 of this title. But, first....

Some Body Awareness Stuff

When you stand at ease in your attention position your body, arms, legs, and head have a beginning, natural position to each other. There are basic movements which you can do which will maintain most of your natural body position. Three of these movements are:

  1. Bending forward at your hips
  2. Bending your knees evenly
  3. Reaching your arms forward from your shoulders

(Hmmm! Do these 3 movements or positions remind you of something you do when you golf? Or when you see other people golf?)

When you swing your golf club you will do one or more movements which cause part of you to move away from your natural body position. If you keep these unnatural movements to a minimum you will have far less trouble with your golf swing.

It is easy to recognize unnatural movements. Think of how comfortable you are in a standing position without being rigid.When you make any movement from this position you will use some muscles. You will feel less comfortable, even though some movements are done within an acceptable range of comfort.

As you read this try a variety of bending or turning movements in various parts of your body. You will find some which are harder to do and which feel quite uncomfortable.

Hold both comfortable movements and uncomfortable movements at a position away from your starting position. You will become aware that within seconds it becomes harder to hold these positions.

Now, make a comfortable movement to a comfortable position and hold it. While in this position try a second movement. Think about how hard it is to maintain the first position while you do the second movement. Repeat this idea by firstly moving into an uncomfortable position to begin this test.

The final test is to hold your left thumb with your right hand and then try a variety of movements. It does not matter if they are golf related movements or not. Your hands and arms will be in the same position as they are when you hold a golf club. As you experiment with a variety of movements ask yourself:

  1. Does this feel comfortable?
  2. Does this feel uncomfortable?
  3. For how long does a test movement feel comfortable?
  4. When does a test movement begin to feel uncomfortable?
  5. Does a test movement change the pressure of how you hold your
  6. Does one part of your body begin to feel uncomfortable as you move another part of your body?

Let your thoughts wander around trying different variations of this test to find positions and movements which feel comfortable or uncomfortable.

This test will help you to learn more about movements related to your putting and golf swing. When you begin to follow my instructions involving basic body movements and control you will be more aware of your positions and movements which are comfortable or not.

The goal is to guide your golf movements towards total comfort and control. This includes being comfortable during and at the end of the movement you are doing. Incredibly, you will find that you will be establishing takeaway motions which will give you a feeling of weakness but which set you up for explosive and accurate power in the return part of your golf swing.


Do You Get Tired While You Golf? Here's What Might Be Happening!

No matter what your physical strengths are you will experience some level of tiredness as you play the last few holes of your round of golf. You may not notice this tiredness if you are fairly strong. But, it will occur in the “small" muscles used to control your swing movements.

You will be using one or more movements which take part of your body, arms, or hands out of their natural alignment. Tired muscles will make it more difficult to either maintain unnatural positions or make it more difficult to do the adjustments built into your swing which control unnatural body positions.

The first collapse in this scenario will be that your timing of 2 or more movements will fail. You will feel awkward or weak during a golf shot. Often, you will blame some technical part of your swing such as your grip or weight shift or whatever. As you become more tired you will have problems doing one or more of your takeaway movements. The result is a poor golf swing.

A Move Which Can Cause An Unwanted Move

Many golfers have learned to rotate their hands to begin their takeaway or backswing movement.

When you rotate your hands you also rotate your forearms. This causes pressure in your elbows and shoulders as your forearms move out of their natural position to your body.

This turn of your hands can be a contributing factor in “the flying elbow" movement. (“Flying elbow" is the name given to the “flaring outward" of the right elbow from the body as you raise your arms, hands, and club part way through your takeaway. Left elbow for left-handers.)

When you begin to lift your arms you feel additional pressure at your shoulders and elbows. As well, you are trying to position the golf club in the ideal parallel position to the target line. Moving your elbow out from your body is the easiest way to relieve the pressure and to align your club at the top of your takeaway.

If you do not move your elbow sideways from your body you will have to develop an opposite turn of your hands and forearms to remove the discomfort and to align your golf club for a better swing back to the ball. This opposite rotation of your hands and forearms starts part way through your takeaway --- about the time any movement is reaching the end of its comfort zone. Movements become difficult and the harmony of movements suffers. This happens more often as fatigue sets in near the end of a round.

True. Golfers are successfully doing this corrective move. But, it is an additional movement in their takeaway which has to be done in time or in harmony with other movements. Any additional or unnecessary movements take time to do. OR, they occupy some of your swing thoughts.

You can add these movements if you think they will help your “grooved swing". But, you must understand that you will have to practice more often just to maintain your harmony of more movements. You must realize that if you start getting poor results with your swing that the early stages of the problem most likely will be a breakdown of your timing and not some fault of a part of your swing movements.

Here are the movements in this example:

  1. Turning your hands
  2. Turning your upper body
  3. Lifting your arms
  4. Moving your elbow sideways OR
  5. Turning your hands the opposite way from the first move in this list.

This is a lot of work just to get the golf club far enough away where you can generate a desired blow on the ball.


The One-Piece Takeaway Movement

This is a brief outline of what is in my lesson modules. (Note: the references are for a right-handed golfer. I am a left-handed golfer, myself. Please think left in place of right if you are also a left-hander.)

You have positioned yourself at your golf ball, set up in a comfortable posture, and you are now ready for your first movement to take your golf club away from your ball.

The start of your first move is to draw your right shoulder and armpit area back towards your right heel - in a straight line. The completion of this move will place you in a position which features:

  1. The front of your shoulders closely in line with your right foot.
  2. Your shoulder blades facing the green or fairway area where your ball will land.
  3. During this single movement action you are to maintain your posture angles.
  4. You must also maintain the position of your arms to your body and of your hands to your forearms.
  5. There must NOT be any sideways movements of your arms to help you turn.
  6. There must NOT be any turning of the hands.
  7. There must NOT be any “flipping" or “hinging" of the hands at your wrists during the early part of this movement.

An often used instruction to start the takeaway is to initiate the movement with your left arm and left side. Little thought is given to your right side. Your right side has to move backwards, out of the way, for your left side to arc comfortably down and under your chin.

And, guess what?

Correctly pulling your right shoulder area back to your right heel will comfortably draw your left shoulder under your chin without any difficult pushing activity.

So, how do you pull your right side backwards as indicated above? First, a practice exercise.

  1. Stand up right. (Do this in front of a mirror if you can.)
  2. Put your hands on your shoulders to prevent arm movement.
  3. Firm your whole body.
  4. Pull your right shoulder straight back to be above your right heel.
  5. You must feel the weight of your body about half way between your right hip joint and your tailbone.
  6. The front of both shoulders should be above your right foot.

Did you notice what muscle carried out this movement?

No! OK, repeat the movement following the above instructions. As soon as you begin the movement try to identify what muscle is pulling your shoulder and armpit area backwards.

Still can't quite figure out which muscle it is?

It is the part of your large back muscle where it passes over your right kidney area. At least you will feel more tension at this spot of your back muscle.

Your back muscle is very powerful --- when it is stretched out and then tightened aggressively. The effort needed by this muscle to draw your right shoulder backwards is not very much. In my lessons, I use an arbitrary number like one twentieth of its power.

This is the only conscious movement you need to do the “one piece takeaway".

In the pictures and videos on my website you can see how my upper body responds to the one movement described above.

The One-Piece Takeaway Movement — In Posture

  1. Set up in your usual posture when addressing the golf ball.
  2. Place your hands on the front of your shoulders.
  3. Firm your whole body.
  4. Be aware that your spine is now angled forward.
  5. Pull your right shoulder straight back to be above your right heel.
  6. But, since your spine is angled forward your right shoulder also arcs upwards as it moves backwards.
  7. Feel your left shoulder arcing forward and under your chin area.
  8. As above, your arms must not move out of position to your body to assist the turn movement.
  9. You must feel the weight of your body about half way between your right hip joint and your tailbone.

This turn in posture must feel comfortable. You should not feel any pinching and stretching in your sides or backbone areas.


Remember, the more movements you use or allow in your takeaway movement then the more problems you will have trying to make all these movements work together. You can do this. But, you will have to practice more often.

If you can learn to do the biggest part of your takeaway with one movement you make it easier to have a good golf swing with less practice.


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Golf Vacations - Your resource guide to planning your golfing tour or golf vacation


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