Takeaway In The Golf Swing - The Key To Better Ball-Striking

In this video, PGA pro Paul Foston shares his tips on how to fix your takeaway in the golf swing

PGA pro Paul Foston swinging a golf club and working on his takeaway
(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

The takeaway in the golf swing is one of the most important elements to get right but many golfers tend to whip the club away on the inside, making it difficult to return to impact with consistency. In the video and article below, Golf Monthly Top 50 Coach Paul Foston shares a simple drill that'll get your swing back on track.

It is important for every golfer to understand how takeaway and swing path are linked. But first, I want to talk about the fault I see most often at the start of the swing and that's the inside takeaway.

Golfers are not stupid and they know an in-to-out path through impact will help them hit the draw they've always craved. Therefore, it makes sense to pull the club away on the inside, right? However, this tends to leave golfers in a position where they need to make a compensation in the downswing. This can cause the dreaded over-the-top move and can be a reason for why you pull iron shots or hit big slices.

This is one of the best golf takeaway drills if you want to develop a more neutral swing path. As you can see, I have set an alignment stick in the ground at an angle and all I am looking to do here is swing back without hitting the stick. If successful, it will mean I'm not dragging the club away on an inside path. However, if you do hit the alignment stick (as in the picture below), you will need an inside takeaway golf fix.

PGA pro Paul Foston swinging a golf club and working on his takeaway

Set up this drill to hone a better takeaway

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

One more point I'd like to make is about rhythm. The golf swing should have a steady build-up of pace, reaching its maximum through impact. Do not snatch the club away to quickly but let the first move in the swing be as smooth as possible. This is the best way to develop the rhythm you need to get your arms and body working together and will also help you create that one-piece takeaway that we are looking for.

This is a very simple drill but it works really well to help you develop the most consistent and repeatable golf swing possible.

Paul Foston
Top 50 Coach

Location: Paul Foston Golf Academy

Paul has worked with a number of Tour professionals over the years, and is proud to have successfully coached over 40,000 students. In 2005, he set out to design his own academy with a ‘world class’ coaching infrastructure of technical advancement and a tailor made short game layout to practice every real life challenge experienced on course.

Greatest success story:

Fulfilling the dreams of five international players - Paul Way, Mark Roe, Craig Parry, Jamie Spence and Peter Mitchell, taking them to European Tour victories and one to Ryder Cup success.


Teaching philosophy:

Golf is one of the most challenging sports to accomplish. To play well consistently requires you to invest time in lessons, practice and play in equal measure; this will give a solid foundation and enable you to develop skills across the whole spectrum of the game. Identifying an individual’s learning style is key to coaching and effective communication. My imaginative mind and use of analogy is a creative, easily understandable method to convey instruction and simplify technique.

Significant teaching influences:

I have amassed a great body of knowledge by researching the world’s best players and their unique ability to play golf at the highest level. I have also kept pace with technology and golf equipment advancements. These findings have given me a deep understanding of swing dynamics and techniques which have been incorporated into my classic coaching style.