4 keys for a ‘one-piece takeaway’ to improve your ball striking

Golfers are often told that the beginning of the golf swing should all be one piece. This “one-piece takeaway” simplifies your action and gets everything moving together from the moment you start the swing.

This teaching has long been the standard in golf instruction, but the concept is often not well understood. Saying “one-piece takeaway” and doing a “one-piece takeaway” are two very different things. In order to do the move correctly, you have to understand the basic principles of the move.

For help with explaining a “one-piece takeaway,” we’ve enlisted the help of GOLF Teacher to Watch Jonathan Buchanan. Check out the video above, or read below for four keys on creating a “one-piece takeaway.”

1. Feel the arms as a unit

The first key for creating a “one-piece takeaway” is to feel both your arms working as one unit. Sometimes golfers will start the swing with a wrist action, but that’s often not a recipe for success. Instead, feel like your arms are connected and begin the swing by moving them away from the ball together.

2. Go inside to outside

A great way to get the proper feel of the “one-piece takeaway” is to use your stomach to initiate your turn. You don’t want your arms moving back too fast and leaving your body behind. You want to instead use your stomach to move the club back.

“It’ll feel like I moved from inside to outside,” Buchanan says. “My core will move the outside, which is the clubhead.”

3. Use your shoulders

Once you get the core engaged on your takeaway, you must make sure your shoulders are working as well. If you get too wristy or use too much hand action to initiate the swing, this is a great element to focus on.

“We want to make sure that we use our bigger muscles, our shoulders, to move the club back,” Buchanan says.

4. Engage the legs

While the upper body and core are important to a “one-piece takeaway,” so too are the legs. You want to make sure they are engaged from the moment you start your swing to get the best results.

“So often in golf I see students come to me trying to take the club away, but they struggle because they have no motion in their body,” Buchanan says. “A good way to do that would be to feel like you kick the club back with your front foot… I want to feel like I kick the club back. This will allow my front knee, my left knee, to kick in and allow my stomach and my shoulders to move the club back.

Zephyr Melton

Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF.com, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf.

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