Your Takeaway is All in Your Mind

The hardest thing to do in any sport is to start accurately from a dead stop. What normally happens it that initiating motion starts with a jerk. It might be a slight jerk, one you don’t even notice if you aren’t paying attention, but it’s there.

In golf, that little jerk is enough to throw your golf club off track and put tension into your body in order to keep the club from getting even farther off track. Forget about getting it back on.

This is true for any stroke. The effect is equally damaging in every stroke. With a driver, it will cause you miss the fairway. With an iron, either from the fairway or around the green, it will cause you to mishit the ball in any number of ways. With the putter? You can fill in the blanks.

It is my opinion that many good swings from good setups that result in poor shots were doomed in the first inch the club got taken away from the ball.

The way to solve this problem is to use your mind correctly.

A fact of life is that mind leads body. Whatever you do with your body, it occurs in the mind first. Then the body follows and expresses in the physical world what already happened in the mental world.

What I want you to do, then, before you take the cub away, is to imagine that the club is going back. Take the club away first in your mind, then do it again with your body. There should be no more than a quarter-second delay between the start of your visualization and the start of the club.

Since your mind is already moving, it is easy to have your body follow smoothly. Trust me, this works.

Try it with any club, any shot. Start the club back with your hands, arms, body, whatever you use, and monitor the physical feeling you have at the moment of takeaway. Then set up again and imagine the club moving back while you stay still, then let the club follow that mental image.

I think you will find your takeaway to be much smoother. If you continue your stroke into a full swing, you will also find it to be more relaxed and controlled all the way through.

Now your good setup and good swing will lead to a good shot.

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