Golf Swing Takeaway – One Piece Takeaway and On Plane Backswing by Herman Williams, PGA

hey guys Herman Williams here with
Herman Williams Golf and the Get Hermanized Project. I’m coming to you
today to talk about the golf swing takeaway I get a lot of questions about this on my website and YouTube channel and I’ve never actually done a video
dedicated just to the takeaway itself mentioned it and a lot in other videos but
never done one directly on this topic so let’s dive right into the subject.
the first thing I wanna say it’s been like four years but you might want to look at 2 older videos about the setup. we want to get generally good posture in a good
setup position to start that take away from really quickly one important things we
talked about in those videos was how when you grasp the club in the lead
arm as a right hander, that’s going to be my left hand here, grasp it at my side and then get the
left arm up over the top on my left pec muscle up on top of the chest. Watch Tour players pull
that front sleeve up and get on the body when they’re getting set up. so I’m gonna
turn to the side here and kinda put myself in that setup position with left
arm over the chest now I’m in a ready position here. at least I advocate that the safest best type of golf swing takeaway for all skill levels of players is a fairly wide one piece movement what I mean is that it’s
got a lotta width to the arc there’ve been some real successful tour players that have
done an early wrist set but I I think
it’s more complicated I think it’s tougher to learn if you do it that way now and you can
keep the club on plane, stick with it. you may have no problem but I think in my estimation over all the
years I’ve been teaching and all the film I’ve taken watching amateur players do
this, a wide, simple, one-piece takeaway works the best. So let’s get back and set up to talk about what to
do.So the move that we want to make you literally going to start the motion thinking about your arms and the club as one big unit you can think about the arms as a
triangle which if you include the shaft you could think about a capital letter Y here and i wanna get that “Y” or that
triangle started in one piece moving away from the golf ball. notice
it’s not low that’s a sweeping takeaway that’s been real
popularity in the past. players keep the club along the ground sweeping
and coming way inside too early. that’s no good. we’ve all been warned over time , be wary of picking the club up too. but to
be honest I’d say more often I see the sweepers versus the outward pick up
people. so anyways I want thee club to move back – it doesn’t swing along the ground. it comes up right out of the ground first come up in the air that’s gonna
move up into a position as I arrive roughly waist-high you can see it’s almost a perfect
straight line out from my shoulder and left arm, down the shaft to the clubhead. the
other thing I want you notice if you look closely is the clubhead itself is
not perfectly straight up. you’ll see a lot of on the older books and a lot of videos
probably tell you swing back waist high with the toe up well I’m gonna argue that its upward but not straight up. it’s actually got a
ten to fifteen degree angle of tilt when it’s done properly. so go back and look at the set up. You’ve got the triangle, got the Y like that one-piece press back and you
can see the clubhead has mild angle to have done no manipulation now we get some players that are pretty
capable of taking it straight back to but if they roll the left arm and fanned
the face open, no good. gonna lead to problems later on.
Then we get the other group which takes the club inside or and then we’ve got the last group that takes it outside. well
every one of these is going to lead to a problem at the top of the backswing. you can be laid off cross the line with a cupped wrist and open clubface. when you get all these compound issues and start moving down, the downswing will be over-the-top, casting. so you can kinda see the way I teach deals with general cause and effect. on other thing and we wanna as early as possible in the backswing eliminate the mistakes that just get
further and further compounded as you move down. you know by the time you get back to impact, most of you guys are pretty desperate because there were five errors all stacked up on top of each other. okay so what do you want to feel on this
move? I’m gonna actually grip the club in one hand with my left hand here and what I want my left arm to do is make a left-sided push. I’ll go ahead and push straight back the right side is pulling, left side pushing.
I’ll go with less pull and push more often than not I’ll also add, although it’s a little different some players do better with the idea of the right shoulder blade and upper back feeling like it pulls out of the way. It
swings the chest open nicely but I’m definitely aware of pushing with
my left hand. so all the drills I wanna give you just picture pressing your palm straight back should be pressing it straight
toward you into the camera here so straight Press over down the line like
so good to train these at home one-handed.
it helps strengthen the hands wrists and forearms help you train with a presser club
straight away you’ll see my chest is turning body’s going with that Fanning and open
not leaving it that closed either you know closed clubface is a problem facing straight down, again no good.
alright so that’s one exercise and literally just feels like pushing
something straight back straight outta the way facing the camera the whole
time I’m pushing and for the record the left wrist is gonna pick up while
you do that I’ll get a lot of confusion about that. Hey Herman I watched your videos about the flat wrist at the top and mine is not flat when I begin the
swing. it shouldn’t be when you grip the club in the setup correctly, you will have a little
bit of a cupping at the beginning and its gonna pick up throughout the
beginning at take away that gets us to waist-high. hopefully now
you’ve managed to do it in one piece you’re not sweeping in, you’re not
handing out going in a straight line and you’ve got
the clubface at the proper angle roughly waist-high. now how do we get
from here to the top? two moves in there that I can combine. I just
want to know about how those work together to get the club on plane with the entire left
arm. Of course right arm as well has got to rotate and is going to rotate
from this face position it looks slightly closed as we’re gonna rise the next two to
three feet to get to the top going to rotate the left arm and hand all in one move. so we go from here at waist-high and rise about a foot and a half as the forearm rolls – entire arm rolls it gets the shaft laying off behind me as the
wrist begins to hinge. depending on flexibility you know to continue to move the shoulders to pivot in the backswing you might get all the way to parallel
might be three quarters might just be right here but you have an on plane golf swing with a square clubface a nice flat wrist if you kinda subscribe
to my neutral grip and the flat wrist we’ve
talked about in previous videos. so that would get you to the top of a
really great golf backswing. showing that almost no excuses for what to do
coming down I think the pitfalls you should know about as I said earlier I mentioned that already fanning it open, taking the club inside or picking it up outside Also if your chest does not turn
a little bit here you know you’re going to have a hard
time. you can’t just arm this thing away. you get your right arm trapped behind
you. so another drill that I like is for you to just take the butt of the club and attach it right above your navel and grip down on the shaft. just practice kinda making these one
piece movements – a one piece takeaway. it is a coordinated move with this triangle it gets the core moving right away and the face is not rolling or manipulating. alright so just one more time from the
top set it up, make a straight-back Press rise and rotate, and hinge into the flat
left wrist position at the top of backswing. okay guys that’s it on the golf swing takeaway hope that gives you enough ammo to get out there and start practicing your golf swing as you try and improve your golf. I’d appreciate it if you’d like the video, favorite it, tweet it out to your
friends. just let the world know if it helped you with your golf Let all your friends and golf buddies hear
about it as well. Also be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and check my website at As always I’m Herman Williams and you’ve just been Hermaized.

77 thoughts on “Golf Swing Takeaway – One Piece Takeaway and On Plane Backswing by Herman Williams, PGA

  1. 25 degrees with wind chill factor making it like 16 so  we did not play today. Finding this fine video to see was a nice thing. You are a wonderful teacher and I will continue to follow your videos and website, so keep em coming and thanks.
    By the way, I hope you have a very nice Thanksgiving holiday.

  2. Nobody has ever explained the second move into the top of backswing like you just did!! Why won't others explain that 2nd part? Thanks so much as now I can finally get on plane!!

  3. As always Herman, a superb explanation of the take away, clear as a bell. There seems to be a problem with the back drop though. Looks like you were superimposed on a screen, and a lot of the time I couldn't see the shaft of your club. Good to see you passing on your thoughtful tuition again,  thank you! 

  4. Thanks Herman, I think maybe I've been cocking my wrists too soon and not turning my chest enough. Those bad habits creep back in.

  5. Hey hermin. a few months ago i had a big problem with taking the club way inside and wrap around my body. i fixed it now but i feel i cant start the take away unless i use a forward press but i always pull the wedges and hook my irons or block irons and my driver. i dont use the forward press with the driver though can you help me please Thank you !

  6. Excellent description and "tips" for take-away and transitional move to the top!  Intermittently I use a mirror behind me to check my position is correct at the end of the take-away before I transition to the top.  Just as you point out I check that my club face is turned down slightly and my hands are neutral.  THANKS!!  

  7. How do you square the club without looking at it?  Just by feel?  Also, why do you put your left arm on top of your left chest?

  8. Hi Herman,  now I understand why Rory always pulls his left sleeve up before hitting.  Regarding squaring the club, I see you putting the club on your left side.  This seems to be step # 1.  I didn't see you looking at the club face at all yet you manage to square it.

  9. I saw another video about the takeaway and it talks about a 2-inch right shoulder blade gliding downward towards the spine.  Will this work also?  Your left hand press works for me.

  10. Hi mate , I would say the three critical points for me being a right hand golfer, are the left arm over my chest in the set up, then the pushing away of my left hand on the take away and the most helpful part was how you explained about the left forearm rolling over and the wrist pushing down in backswing,I have always had a struggle with that transition and you just explained it perfectly it's changed my hole swing and what's awesome about it is that it loads my hips and makes me feel like I can clear automatically .

    Can't thank you enough

  11. Thank you lots and lots,I am fourteen years old and before I would struggle taking it to the outside or too much around me, but after watching this and hitting the range, I was finally able to shoot my best round of 68, hitting my driver and irons straight as an arrow. I will keep up with your videos.Thanks!

  12. hi Herman,i would just like to ask are you teaching the one plane swing?it looks like it,iam just getting my head round after 7years of play what i need to ignore,and what to take onboard..ive decided to go down the one plane swing route and stick with thanks for your time and keep up the very good work.

  13. Thanks for this video.  You're clearly an excellent teacher and communicator.  I've watched many of your videos and you are more clear and precise than others I have found.

    I'm an "analytical golfer" (because I started late I think) and I think too much.  I'm having trouble with the "two step move" to rotate my left forearm.  It feels much more natural to me to start rotating early (on the take away), but that produces the "inside sweep away" you said not to do.

    Why is the timing so important on the rotated left arm?  Thanks.

  14. I just wish all of the 'What not to do' could be edited out. Otherwise excellent.

    So much instruction is spent endlessly speaking about what not to do that it almost ends up having the opposite affect.

  15. Very thorough and practical without being overly technical.  Covered main bases of the takeaway from address to waist high, then from waist to top of the swing.  Great way to show wrist rotation at top of swing.

  16. As always, excellent instruction. Detailed but not confusing. I love you already know the questions you'll get so you answer them ahead of time. Nice job!

  17. Thanks for this video.  I watched it and today got my left arm over my chest.  The results were amazing, especially on my drives.  For the first time in forever, I was able to hit the ball hard without fear and I actually broke 80.   What sort of bugs me is that I have paid a lot of money for lessons over the years, and no one ever spotted this issue.  Thanks, again!

  18. as usual, very detailed and nice teachings, Herman! Perhaps you can put a link for people that overswing on their top of back swing in relation to this video.

  19. Great lesson. Where do you instruct golf? This is the most logical explanation I've seen including the transition

  20. Thank you. Can't believe how many teachers say the club should point straight up during the backswing. I did that for decades and could never figure out what I was doing wrong.

  21. The one thing I find a bit confusing is the rotation of the left arm as you raise the arms. Can you explain further? Thanks

  22. Hello Herman, thanks for that great video that I have watched over and over. It helped me tons. I can good contact with the ball and get the distance, however I cannot do the transition to step 2 which is the left forearm roll over together with hinging the wrist. I reckon if I manage to do this part correctly I could get a few more yards to my strike. Did you have any experience on other students facing the same difficultly and what is a perfect drill for that? Thanks a lot.

  23. Hi Herman
    I love your takeaway video which I have adopted into my swing.
    My practise swing looks great in the mirror but when I put the ball down I get too quick and start to rotate early and get really flat on my backswing. Do you have any drills that ensure I fully complete the takeaway before I start folding and rotating.

    Many thanks Alan

  24. Your video was recommended to me, and you emphasise the same points my PGA teacher showed me.  Today on the range using this takeaway,  I started hiittng it straight and no more shanks.

  25. Herman Miller continues to provide exemplary golf teaching, for my money the best on the internet. ¬†He takes time to explain the small details, views the swing organically—that is, as a piece by piece buildup to the finish, each piece integral to the success of the next. ¬†For Herman and for all of us, the knee bone is connected to the thigh bone. ¬†It is all connected, which is why teaching golf at a high level of success is rare. ¬†There are plenty of teachers, some inordinately famous, some famous for being famous but Herman Miller is the real deal. ¬†This takeaway video is superb!

  26. Hello Herman.
    Excellent step by step instructions. Too many other instructors try to compensate for existing issues with fixes that may be temporary until another gremlin steps into the swing. Correct it before it starts…..what a concept! Love it.
    Wondering if you can comment on an issue I have. I have a slightly more muscular build causing my left arm to bend as my right elbow hinges. Very difficult for me to keep the left arm straight.  Placing my left arm over my left pec muscle at address, as you describe, does help a bit. I know it is a flexibility problem due to my size. Just looking for possible tips.
    Winters in New England (especially this one) leave nothing else to do but go to the gym until the snow melts in June at this pace.  Thank you for the best online videos available.

  27. I am stuck with what you say in the takeaway max extension in this video before you rise and rotate or just past the thigh in what happens with the right wrist video whats it to be?
    Thanks Lee West Ayr Scotland

  28. Should you go inside slightly lets say on the 7 o'clock "route" over the first 12 inches or just straight back until waist height?

  29. Any drills to fix or thoughts on getting clubface shut at the start of takeaway? My club seems to start little bit outside the target line and the result is closed clubface. Perhaps my right hand is twisting to be on top of the clubshaft? please help as this might be the cause of my shanks…

  30. very similar to the Dalton Mcrary take away very helpful with that left hand push prevents problems just hard to stick at it thanks

  31. One of the best online videos out there Mr Williams, nice job. There are a lot of so called golf instructors out there on YT and some are messing people's swings up.

  32. I Herman I tried this today on the golf course and holy crap I played the best golf in a long time,thank you Herman I have been hermanized.

  33. I Herman I tried this today on the golf course and holy crap I played the best golf in a long time,thank you Herman I have been hermanized.

  34. this is one of the best tips ive ever had.tried it yesterday and holy crap i was hitting it for miles.thanks herman

  35. Just incredible how one video can put me back in the game. I was taking the club inside from an Iphone video from behind then coming over the top. This caused shanking with my irons. I took this to the range and after a bucket of balls was introducing Mr. Clubface to Mr. Ball…what a feeling after 8 months of struggling. Switched to hybrids for a quick fix prior to this. Feels good to have the irons back in the bag. Herman, you present the material in a very easy to understand lesson. Thank You!

  36. Agreed… this is the best takeaway in my view as used by Aam Scott for example… but I would be curious to have your opinion on David Leadbetter's A swing where he clearly hinges out on the takeaway

  37. I fixed my takeaway today and suddenly i started hitting the ball better than i have in 13 years. It felt magical! I couldn't miss. Now I feel like i can become a scratch golfer!

    I've never put much emphasis on my takeaway since i first started playing and read Hogan's book. Apparently he thought it was one of the two most important moments in the swing. (Other is transition)

    How does the takeaway affect the swing? Why is it such a big key to the rest of the swing?

  38. Hi Herman. I am 70 years old and have been watching way too many You Tube golf instructions over this pass winter season; including something 'new' coming out of Australia called 'Channel Lock'. Not sure yet; because I still have snow on the ground; but, I think this video will become number one on my list. It's just makes total sense to me. And at 70 years old I think I need to find something good and consistent in my swing once and for all now that I am an official retired senior golf bum. ??

  39. Had the pleasure to get a lesson for myself and my son with Herman recently. Just a great experience. If you can't get to Raleigh to see him in person, do the personal video instruction. This is a gifted teacher. This is also a very nice gentleman.

  40. Wow, what a fantastic video.
    This answers exactly what I should "feel" in the takeaway. I couldn't figure out why sometimes the takeaway felt find and other not so. I focused on turning shoulders steeper – no that's not it. I focused on keeping the clubhead outside the hands but couldn't do it. I lifted the club up at 8 O clock – no that's not it.
    The most IMPORTANT point is AT ADDRESS keeping the left bicep in contact/touching the left peck, chest muscle. This allows the bigger muscles to start the swing and keep the clubhead outside the hands.
    Thanks very much Herman this for me really is a lightbulb moment.
    I'm a One Plane Swinger and this suits my game to a tee.
    As you say over that side of the pond, "Herman, YOU'RE THE MAN !"
    Thanks very much

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *