Because the golf swing is a chain reaction, having a good takeaway is vital. But it’s very difficult to know if you are taking the club back on the right path. Here's a tip to help you find out.
Take up your stance in the address position with a ball directly behind the clubhead, making sure you know where you are aiming. Then swing back to the top of the back swing and as you do so the ball will be sent rolling away.
To understand whether you are taking the club back on the correct path, all you have to do is watch where the ball has rolled.
On a good swing the ball will have been rolled away on an inside path, reflecting a swing path that sweeps back slightly behind you. If, however, the ball rolls either straight back or worse, away from you on an outside-to-in path, you know you have taken the club back incorrectly with a tendency to cut across the ball at impact.
With a few practice swings and without an object ball next to the clubface, it will give a very strong feeling of what to do when you hit a shot - sweep the ball away on slightly inside path for the best results.
John Hoskinson has been a professional golfer for over 30 years, during which time he has had the privilege of playing against many of the top players in the world. He's written four bestselling books including a fictional novel, and has spoken to over 80,000 young people at schools, about making the right choices in life. He is also the top golf writer for Suite101 where he has written over 300 golf articles.
Article first published June 2009, updated April 2013