Golf tip no 1 - Take-away triangle

The classic golf tip series:

1 – Shoulder turn
2 – One-piece takeaway
3 – Downswing
4 – Weight transfer
5 – Golf club release
6 – Backspin
7 – Chipping and pitching


A classic golf tip about a chicken leg on-the-go? No, not at all. I don’t think anyone can take credit for coining the phrase ‘one-piece takeaway’ but it’s certainly become common parlance in the golf instructor’s handbook. When executed properly, the ‘one-piece takeaway’ golf tip is extremely useful.


Golf tip no 1: Take-away triangle

At the core of the one-piece takeaway is something that is referred to as the ‘takeaway triangle’ – in simple terms, the triangle made by your two arms and shoulders. To execute a one-piece takeaway, the first movement in taking the club back must involve the moving of both arms and the shoulders at the same speed so that the ‘takeaway triangle’ keeps its angles.

Another way of describing the one-piece takeaway is that the whole club moves backwards as a single unit, so the grip and the clubhead move at the same speed.

As you continue to turn the shoulders, the wrists should naturally begin to break, ending up in a powerful, loaded position at the top of the backswing. Now let’s see why this golf tip came into being – and what happens when it’s misunderstood…


Avoid the golf tip no 1: Overcocked

One of the most common amateur takeaway errors is overcocking of the wrists. When the wrists take over too early (2a), the backswing becomes weak and steep and the body does not have time to coil correctly (2b).

This leads to a choppy, weak downswing, normally ‘from the outside’, causing loss of power and directional problems.


Avoid the golf tip no 2: Overcooked

So how do people get this golf tip wrong? When thinking of the one-piece takeaway, the golfer doesn’t realise that the takeaway triangle really only refers to the initial part of the one-piece takeaway and thinks that he or she has to ‘keep the triangle’ all the way through the backswing.

Taking the wrists out too early (3a) leads to over-turn and a high backswing (3b). There is loss of body control and the high right elbow means the club cannot swing down on the correct plane.


Achieving the one-piece takeaway: The butt drill

The trick with this golf tip is really to understand that, there should be a slight movement in the wrists to get the movement of the clubhead to blend in with the movement of the body and arms.

Hold the club down the shaft with the butt of the grip sticking into your belly. As you turn your arms and shoulders, you’ll feel how everything moves back in one piece. Keep turning your shoulders and you’ll feel the club pulling against the fabric of your shirt – and pulling away from your belly as your wrists cock.