Find Perfect Golf Backswing Swing Path, Use One Golf Piece Takeaway

After explaining the grip and stance in the first two articles of the series ‘how to teach golf’, the third article deals with the beginning of the swing.

One-Piece Takeaway

After taking up the correct stance, the beginning of the swing should be made with a coordinated movement of the hands, arms, and shoulders as they sweep the club back in what is known as a one-piece takeaway.

If the grip or any part of the stance is incorrect, a good start of the back swing becomes extremely difficult.

This move sets up the line of the swing and is responsible for the path of the club coming back into impact.

In a good swing, the line of back swing and downswing is almost identical, so making sure you move the club correctly away from the ball for the first two feet is directly linked to the pupil learning to hit the ball well.

Drills to Feel the Correct Back Swing Path

Take a club, take up your grip, and then slide the hands down the shaft until the butt end of the club is sticking into your tummy – the club will effectively become attached to your body.

Now, practice taking the club away for a foot or so. The club and body must turn together in what is also known as a ‘connected’ or ‘one-piece’ takeaway.

Another exercise to feel the right path is to take up the stance and place a ball behind the club, not in front, where it should be. If you start the back swing incorrectly, with your hands alone, the ball will quickly slip off the face of the club and roll very little distance.

If you turn with everything working together, the ball will be swept back correctly and will travel a few yards, slightly behind you.

Practice the One Piece Takeaway with Chippong

  • There should be no hard-hitting and no hand action in this small swing, just a small pendulum movement letting the ball get in the way – back two feet and through two feet – no longer. Use your imagination to invent a few games to make this practice interesting, and congratulate your pupil when they hit a good shot.
  • Make sure you stress to your pupil the importance of practicing this small chipping movement before you move on to a longer swing.
  • Make it interesting for the pupil by getting them to aim at a target on the range. Throw a ball onto the range so it’s a few yards away, and has a competition with your pupil to see who can chip closest. Make sure you let them hit the shots off a tee, to begin with; there is nothing better for confidence than seeing the ball in the air.


This is a simple drill if the pupil realizes the importance of it and does not hurry onto a longer swing. Discipline is the key here. Don’t buy many balls – have a putt if you finish early.

The putting stroke is almost identical to this swing, and practicing either will improve both.