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Low and Slow Takeaway

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  • Low and Slow Takeaway

    Hello All:

    I was looking at some video footage of a low handicapper today and noticed the very low position the player kept the clubhead to the ground on the takeaway withthe driver. In slow motion, it was clear that the club was moving back on a mostly straight path from the ball for nearly two feet before being lifted in the backswing.

    I reviewed the clip several times because I realized that I used to emulate this move when I was in a more "backswing" contemplative mode. I have since gotten away from that low and slow mindset and now I am lifting the club rather abruptly on my takeaway.

    I wanted some thoughts on others methods of taking the club back with the driver. I have read many times that the first move away from the ball sets up the success or failure of the swing result. What are the advantages of the low and slow takeaway?

  • #2
    Re: Low and Slow Takeaway

    Creates a longer arc. If you use your shoulders to do this first move (maybe the first 6-10 inches), then this allows the arms/hands to be able to set later in the backswing. A longer arc results and you generate more power with less efforts.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Low and Slow Takeaway

      With long irons too?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Low and Slow Takeaway

        The idea of taking the club head "straight back" is discussed at some length in the Three Skills book that everyone's tired of hearing about. In any case, I decided on my own some time ago that this is a "golf ruse." That is, it's an idea that doesn't correspond to reality that is intended to produce a desired effect. The club head does not, and cannot, come straight back, unless you literally lean over, following it with your upper body. The swing path is tangent to the target line, intersecting it at the point of impact. If the idea of taking it back low is to keep the arms and club fully extended, and to turn the whole chest and not let the arms collapse against it early on, then I think that's the way to think about it.

        As for the "slow" part, I think what feels slow may really just be unrushed. This has something to do with what I was thinking (and writing) about as "pause at the top." But pausing at the top is another golf ruse. There really is no pause. What feels like a pause is really just a matter of letting the club decelerate naturally, then reverse direction without being forced. What feels like a pause is really a momentary cessation of effort. The advantage of this, for me anyway, is that if I force the transition to downswing, I will almost certainly jerk my spine out of alignment, one way or another, and that's the beginning of the end of that swing.

        Until recently (this, by the way, is not from the Three Skills book), I was puzzled by the fact that when I "pause at the top," I hit the ball farther. I could understand why I'd hit it better, but the increase in distance (even compared to my best shots when I didn't "pause") was hard to understand. When I looked at recent and older videos, I finally figured it out. It's actually pretty simple. First, as I just pointed out, there's no real pause. Second, by letting the club decelerate naturally going back, it goes further back, without my thinking about it or trying to get it there. It just goes there.

        I haven't read the book "Tour Tempo," but from what I hear, it's based on extensive measurement of Tour Pro swings, most of which aren't very slow. I think slowness isn't what actually matters, but letting the club decelerate naturally does matter. For me it does, anyway. In fact, when I take a practice swing (which I've resumed doing), I'm not thinking about anything mechanical at all. I'm just rehearsing the tempo. And I try to get that "pause"/deceleration feeling with every single swing, including chips and putts.

        So if "low" means stay extended, and "slow" means let the club decelerate naturally going back, then I'm all for low and slow.

        (Disclaimer: I am a high-handicap windbag who has arrived at these opinions as a result of extensive trial-and-error and ugly golf shots. These ideas seem to work for me, but they might ruin your swing, cause your hair to fall out, and give your dog diarrhea.)

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Low and Slow Takeaway

          Tod is correct in saying the club cannot be taken straight back in the takeaway. I think a better image is that the clubface points at the ball as long as possible. If the club is taken too far inside/outside or the wrists are rolled back or forwards during the first 18 inches or so then the club will already be pointing off plane and this will need corresponding adjustments somewhere to get it back if good contact is to be made.

          The check when halfway back to see if the toe of the club points straight up and the clubface points directly forward validates the correct takeaway.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Low and Slow Takeaway

            Originally posted by BrianW View Post
            Tod is correct in saying the club cannot be taken straight back in the takeaway. I think a better image is that the clubface points at the ball as long as possible. If the club is taken too far inside/outside or the wrists are rolled back or forwards during the first 18 inches or so then the club will already be pointing off plane and this will need corresponding adjustments somewhere to get it back if good contact is to be made.

            The check when halfway back to see if the toe of the club points straight up and the clubface points directly forward validates the correct takeaway.
            Well, even here there's room for variation. The first "magic move" in the Joe Dante book is the early wrist cup. This move involves cupping the right wrist early, while keeping the club facing the ball, i.e. not rotating. But this is the very opposite of a low takeaway. I was unable to get this to work very well for me, but judging from the feedback on Amazon, others have done well with it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Low and Slow Takeaway

              A lot of the issues talked about are resolved to a large extent by a one-piece takeaway. I suspect this is where the feeling of 'slowness' comes in as the shoulder turn basically drives the process without any additional momentum from the arms. Hence the feeling of a low-slow takeaway.

              Certainly agree with the comments regarding the straight take back. The clubhead should basically trace an arc throughout the swing. There are no straight lines in an arc; creating one will disrupt the swing plane. For people who really scoop to the inside, the idea of going straight back (whether or not they actually do it) may be a good concept. These things get taken too far though, creating other problems.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Low and Slow Takeaway

                Originally posted by ubizmo View Post
                Well, even here there's room for variation. The first "magic move" in the Joe Dante book is the early wrist cup. This move involves cupping the right wrist early, while keeping the club facing the ball, i.e. not rotating. But this is the very opposite of a low takeaway. I was unable to get this to work very well for me, but judging from the feedback on Amazon, others have done well with it.
                Hi Tod,

                Yes, again you are correct. Joe Dante's early wrist break is a variation to the one piece takeaway but should still result in the club being correct at the top. We were talking about the one piece takeaway here though (Low and slow)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Low and Slow Takeaway

                  I am not a fan of taking the club straight back; the swing is not an upright circle but rather one that lies at an angle. Taking the club straight back leaves the hands behind the clubhead in the backswing when they should be ahead in bs.
                  Also, the right arm needs to be folded in the tray position in backswing and taking the club straight back makes this impossible.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Low and Slow Takeaway

                    Hello All:

                    Thanks for the replies as always.

                    I realize that the takeaway cannot be straight back from the ball for more than an inch or so without moving on an arc. The thought of "straight back" is to avoid the "straight inside" move. What I have been doing of late has been a disconnected inside lifting with a quick jerky tempo. No good.

                    I had experimented previously with a very connected set-up resting the upper portion of both arms against my chest. It felt contrived but did seem to form a unit keeping my arms moving with my torso. This was the sensation during takeaway and throughout the swing. Connected. My ball dispersion was tighter but I just felt that I could get more pop with my arms swinging more freely away from my chest. This dissconnection is an old habit and probably another bad one. Born from the desire to hit it further direction be damned.

                    I am going to try to keep the connection with the left arm against the chest but try to feel softer with my right arm. Another bad habit for me is trying to hit with right side before I even address the ball. This shoots my right shoulder out from set-up to impact so I need to focus on keeping the right arm supple and more into my side without feeling cramped.

                    Finally, how much weight should I have on my right (back) foot at the top as far as percentage?

                    Thanks.
                    Tim S

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Low and Slow Takeaway

                      Originally posted by takinitdeep View Post
                      I am not a fan of taking the club straight back; the swing is not an upright circle but rather one that lies at an angle. Taking the club straight back leaves the hands behind the clubhead in the backswing when they should be ahead in bs.
                      Also, the right arm needs to be folded in the tray position in backswing and taking the club straight back makes this impossible.
                      I don't think it's possible to take the club straight back , is it? You should trace an arc with the left arm.

                      The right arm bends into the tray position after the takeaway position as the arms reach the top of the backswing?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Low and Slow Takeaway

                        Originally posted by Timothy Slaught View Post
                        Hello All:

                        Thanks for the replies as always.

                        I realize that the takeaway cannot be straight back from the ball for more than an inch or so without moving on an arc. The thought of "straight back" is to avoid the "straight inside" move. What I have been doing of late has been a disconnected inside lifting with a quick jerky tempo. No good.

                        I had experimented previously with a very connected set-up resting the upper portion of both arms against my chest. It felt contrived but did seem to form a unit keeping my arms moving with my torso. This was the sensation during takeaway and throughout the swing. Connected. My ball dispersion was tighter but I just felt that I could get more pop with my arms swinging more freely away from my chest. This dissconnection is an old habit and probably another bad one. Born from the desire to hit it further direction be damned.

                        I am going to try to keep the connection with the left arm against the chest but try to feel softer with my right arm. Another bad habit for me is trying to hit with right side before I even address the ball. This shoots my right shoulder out from set-up to impact so I need to focus on keeping the right arm supple and more into my side without feeling cramped.

                        Finally, how much weight should I have on my right (back) foot at the top as far as percentage?

                        Thanks.
                        Tim S
                        In my case it's 70% down the inside of my back foot.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Low and Slow Takeaway

                          That's what I said.
                          Originally posted by BrianW View Post
                          In my case it's 70% down the inside of my back foot.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Low and Slow Takeaway

                            Originally posted by takinitdeep View Post
                            That's what I said.
                            Sorry!! I thought Timothy asked that question?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Low and Slow Takeaway

                              I was replying to post # 11.
                              Originally posted by BrianW View Post
                              Sorry!! I thought Timothy asked that question?

                              Comment

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