Golf Takeaway Drills To Improve Your Game

In this golf takeaway drills video, PGA pro Ben Emerson gives his tips on how to get your swing started on the right track

PGA pro Ben Emerson demonstrating a good and bad golf swing takeaway
(Image credit: Future)

It’s one of the most important parts of the golf swing. Get it right and it will make the game a little easier. Get it wrong and it can spell disaster. So, in the video and article below, PGA pro Ben Emerson shares his golf takeaway drills that will ensure you get your swing started correctly...

The takeaway in the golf swing is one of the most common areas that golfers struggle with and it often means costly compensations are required in order to get back on plane. Even if you have a good golf swing posture, that first move can so easily send the club too far on the inside or too far on the outside if you aren’t careful, leading to slices, hooks or both if you don’t keep on top of it.

It’s so important to understand what the clubhead has to do in this initial part of the swing. Many people think they need a one-piece takeaway if they want to play their best, but that can often be their downfall as it can encourage the club to move inside the ideal plane. 

From there, it’s hard to rotate properly and complete the backswing. Instead, golfers either have to lift their arms up to get close to parallel, or they are forced to swing over the top, which will result in weak shots and poor strikes.

To understand better, remember that the club has to travel the furthest, and a good drill to help can be done using one of the best golf accessories - the simple alignment stick

Put it into the ground in line with your heels and your bum, with the idea being that you want to take the club back without hitting it. If done correctly, it will pass without any trouble, but if you’re still struggling with an inside takeaway, you’ll clatter into the stick time and time again.

Ben Emerson demonstrating an inside takeaway in the golf swing

This drill is great at providing instant feedback. If you take the club away too far on the inside you'll hit the alignment stick

(Image credit: Tom Miles)

There are also some handy checkpoints that’ll help you figure out if you’re achieving what you’ve set out to. Firstly, when the club gets back to parallel with the ground, you want the right forearm to be looking down on the left. If you swing on the inside, you’ll notice the arms are pretty level or, in extreme cases, the left can even be on top of the right, which also fans the face wide open and leads to slices.

Ben Emerson demonstrating a good golf takeaway drill

It's important to keep the right arm on top of the left and set the club so it matches your spine angle in the takeaway

(Image credit: Tom Miles)

So, rehearse this move, checking to see if the right arm is above the left - like the picture above - in the takeaway position. Secondly, you want the clubhead to be matching your spine angle. If you’re able to work on both of these things, you can be confident that you have put yourself in the best position possible to play some really good golf.

All that’s left to do is swing to the top, rotate coming down, and hit some nice shots. Simple!

Ben Emerson
Top 50 Coach

Location: Sand Martins GC 

Ben’s modern approach to golf coaching has seen him become one of the most sought-after coaches in the country and teaches none other than Robbie Williams. His honest, modern and fun style of coaching has help thousands of golfers of all ages and abilities and he has been coaching for over 20 years.

Advice for practice:

Start with slow, small swings. If you can’t do it small and slowly there is not a hope in hell of doing it at full speed with a full swing! In other sports such as rugby or martial arts they slow learn new moves/plays before making them at full speed. 

Teaching philosophy: 

‘Why guess when you can access’ Ever new student goes through a full TPI movement screen, 3D motion capture and pressure plate analysis as well as TrackMan and 2D video analysis. Coaching is based on facts and not guess work. 

Most common problem:

A lack of clubface understanding and awareness. I get golfers to aim the clubface directly at the target and get them to make a slow swings and deliver the club to the ball with an open face, then repeat the same thing again but with a closed face, followed by one at the target. Giving them full awareness based on feelings errors to find a happy middle ground.