This may seem like a very strange title for an article, but it’s a great way to practice and know that your swing is starting properly. “Perfect takeaway” are not the ideal words for the start of the back swing. The words “perfect takeaway” connotes that the hands and forearms set the swing into motion, when it should be done with core muscles. If you view the video clip that goes with this piece, it will be easier to follow exactly what we are discussing.
Try heaving your arms and club to a spot in the backswing where the club-shaft is vertical to the ground. If the arms and club are heaved properly, with the trailing elbow leading, the club will stop there without having to physically stop it. In a proper back swing, the drop of the elbow into the “slot,” will cantilever the club through the twelve o’clock position and it will free fall to between two and three o’clock for the start of the downswing. If you do not allow your right elbow to drop at the vertical position, you can open your hands and the club will plummet (grip first) straight toward the ground. The ability to do this is an indicator that the origin, intensity, and duration of the heave are correct. Obviously, in the swing you would not open the hands, but the wrists would be totally tension free at the vertical position and the cocking of the wrists would begin at the perfect time and continue into the downswing.
Heave (takeaway) exercises can be done in a right-hand, left-hand, or two-handed mode, and are a great way to practice proper arm routing, both in normal swings, and one-arm only swings.
When you are hitting shots on the range, it is very beneficial to practice doing three-mode drills where you hit a right-hander, then a left-hander, then a two- hander, then start over. Changing modes after each swing, puts a fresh set of muscles into the motor program, and diminishes the brain’s ability to compensate improper power application. If you miss-hit a shot, do not give yourself two or more chances at the same mode – switch modes with every swing. This will stop your brain from cheating and powering the swing incorrectly. Study the video carefully and pay particular attention to the timing and the effortless change of direction. Don’t forget to begin referring to the start of the swing as a heave, not a perfect takeaway.
Study these subtleties – it will pay big dividends! David Lee