Most of you struggle with your golf short game because you swing the club too far inside on your takeaway. When we videotaped the best short game players we found when the club reaches parallel to the ground on the takeaway the club was parallel to the target line.
So how do we learn the “On Plane” takeaway? Put an alignment rod on your toe line parallel to your target (Photo 1). Then dress-rehearse the takeaway several times, where you stop when the club is parallel to the target line and above the alignment rod (Photo 2). This takeaway blends the right amount of inside takeaway with the proper attack angle coming back into contact.
Many of you hit behind the ball because the club is coming in too shallow from your inside takeaway (Photo 3). That causes the chunks you leave short and skulled balls across the green. Some of you might be swinging the club outside the plane (Photo 4), but usually this doesn’t happen because the deeper divots you make don’t lead to many good shots.
Once you have mastered this takeaway, try to hit the ball with that specific length swing, as I’m doing in Photos 5-7. We call that “Blocked” practice. You really shouldn’t hit to a target when you are working on your technique, but just work on proper contact and hitting the ball on the intended target line.
Now that you are comfortable with this technique, you can start using other clubs and other swing lengths to hit to various targets. But what you have done in ingraining the proper takeaway that will lead to better contact.
Shawn Cox is Director of Golf at the Grand Golf Club in San Diego, California