One-Piece Takeaway Drill

By | on December 13, 2018 | 57 Comments | Array


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Paul Wilson is the creator of Swing Machine Golf and founder of Ignition Golf. Paul's golf swing technique is based on the Iron Byron swing machine. YouTube Channels: Paul Wilson Golf and Ignition Golf Tips. Please Join me on Google+

57 Responses to “One-Piece Takeaway Drill”

  1. January 28, 2013


    good evening paul,,,fine piece of advice..i presume that one-piece,one inch preliminary takeaway applies to both irons and woods ?? correct ??

  2. January 28, 2013


    Hi Paul,
    I wish you had given me this drill right from the start. All I can say is that it’s
    smart. Thanks.

    • January 28, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      Just thought of it a couple months ago. Then I was hesitant because I didn’t want people to over do it. Glad you liked it.

  3. January 28, 2013


    Hi Paul,

    My question is as follows:

    You swing is with the upper body for you the left shoulder.
    Is the one inch takeaway also with the left shoulder or something other than the left shoulder (I know its not the hands) ?

  4. January 28, 2013


    Hi Paul, I use the two piece take away and I definitively will give this a try. My question is then when to hinge the wrist. I started to do the two piece takeaway because it gave me the impression of putting the wrist in the correct position instead of the “let go” feeling that I have doing it later.

    I don’t know if this makes any kind of sense, but I feel I can control better how the club face will be at the top of the backswing with the two piece takeaway rather than the one piece takeaway where at some point I feel I don’t control the clubface at the top (pointing at the sky or down, etc)

  5. January 28, 2013


    Hi Paul, do you do this one inch move in your regular swing on the course?….or is it simply used on the range to help promote a one piece takeaway?

    Chris R

    • January 29, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      Try this takeaway drill on the range first. Get a feel for it. Then if you want to do it on the course until you are positive you are taking it back in one-piece then do it. After you are sure you are doing it the shoulder coil should make this happen without the use of the hands and arms.

  6. January 29, 2013

    Steven D

    I had noticed in some of your videos something that looked like a slight lag in the takeaway and I’m glad you expressed it this way. I haven’t had a chance to try it yet but it would seem to me to be a good way to keep the wrists from starting out stiffly in the backswing – as long as one doesn’t overdo it, as you said.

    • January 29, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      Past students seem to have good results doing it this way. Give it a try.

      • January 29, 2013

        Steven D

        I tried it today and it feels very natural to me. What a valuable tip!

        • January 30, 2013

          Paul Wilson


          That’s great news. I didn’t know how this one would be received. If I can even help 1 person it is worth it.

  7. January 29, 2013


    I’ve been doing a forward press before coming back in a one piece takeaway but it seems I’ve been buckling my right knee (lefty) too much. I’ve recently stopped the forward press but it does seem odd start from a dead still position. I’ll give this a go this evening so in theory it good replace my forward press?

  8. Paul, it has helped me too. Really good tip !

  9. January 30, 2013


    o.k. for the one step take away, but why exactly the small one inch move?
    is it just to start a dynamic or is there another reason. I love the whys, which you address so well, so please, enlighten me on that point.
    michel wandel, brussels

    • January 31, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      I say why about 3/4 of the way through the tip:

      1. You will look like an idiot doing it too much.

      2. You will have to flip the club to get it to the top which will cause your backswing to be out of control.

  10. February 1, 2013


    how can i be sure i’m not rolling my hands in the take away?

  11. February 4, 2013


    Hi Paul,
    I can do this one piece takeaway without moving the inch is that ok?

    • February 4, 2013

      Paul Wilson

      Paul, If you are already doing the one-piece takeaway you do not have to do this drill.

  12. February 15, 2013


    Forgot to say What is the role of the left leg in the take away/ backswing, mine seems to stick out, away from my right leg or if you like folds away from my body i think Hogan said it should go in towards your right leg?

  13. February 15, 2013


    also my friend told me today i am sliding my hips in backswing like a reverse pivot so my left leg moves to the right and collapses if that makes sense and i dont keep my balance

  14. June 13, 2013



    This really helped me, even with my one piece take away I have always used… Not sure why it works, but seems to slow me down on te way back. This helps me after I set up with my elbows close together in the “Y” – keeping my arms “powerless”.

    • Hugh,

      That’s great news because going back slow really helps in so many ways. Please keep doing this.

  15. I notice Paul that you waggle the club before your one piece take away Why?

  16. August 5, 2013


    Hi Paul,
    Love your work. Paul I’m told that when I try to keep my back swing wide and in one piece I not only move my head but my whole backwards off the ball. May I ask for some clarification please.
    Love your work.
    Thank you,

  17. August 29, 2013


    Hi Paul,

    Thank you for your clear instruction. I am a big fan. You have done wonders for my OTT move and I thank you !!

    I feel that with my laziness of standing too tall and not extending my arms, the club would be way under plane at the initial takeaway (way under shaft line) even with maintaining the triangle and rotating the shoulders. Perhaps I was also still pulling with right arm without realising. However, your other tips have helped alleviate this. However, to get to the halfway point in correct position I feel its actually my club head straight back which triggers the takeaway. This rotates (not see saws ) my shoulders prefect and I get loaded onto my right axis point. I have been having trouble with the trigger being the left shoulder thrusting around or the right shoulder moving, instead if I maintain the triangle but focus on club head straight back (even though its not really straight, rather a arc) this seems to get me in right spot. even though I feel the club head moving back with arms my shoulders still rotate and the arms don’t overtake. Is this acceptable?

    Secondly, this gets me where the takeaway starts to trace the shaft line at address for first foot or so, is this ok.

    Thanks for your great site and vids. I hope to be in US mid 2015, and grab some lessons when in Vegas. I have looked at a few online methods, but yours by far has really helped. Keep up the great work.

    • August 29, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      Glad you like the tips and glad you are improving. I love hearing it and appreciate the feedback.

      I am okay with your takeaway move for now because based on what you were doing before this seems to be working. I would think that once you have done this for a while you will start to feel the shoulders moving it back but if you don’t and you are in great position at the top you should be able to keep doing it.

      Just let me know when you are in town. It would be great to work with you.

  18. January 16, 2014


    Paul, I am struggling to get the club in the correct position at the top of the backswing. I have videoed myself and I seem to end up too long and across the line. When I take the club back using the one piece take away do the wrists set naturally at the top of the swing? Do you consciously lift your arms and point your thumbs towards your ear after the club is level with the hips? Kind regards Paul B.

    • January 17, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      Crossing the line is a tough on to fix. I did a couple of tips on it here:

      Crossing the Line:

      How To Stop Crossing the Line:

      It is usually caused because you are hitting with the back hand. This stop the back wrist from folding properly at the top because when you do it feels out of control. People don’t like this feeling so the try to control it with this back hand. This stops it from folding properly at the top. People can also take it too deep inside. The more deep you go the more it will cross the line as you get to the top.

      Follow the tips and do nightly practice swings with a mirror of your side. As you watch yourself watch the club position at the top make sure the club is down the line or even laid of. This will counter-act the crossing of the line. Also make sure the right wrist is folding fully. This out of control feeling disappears after a few practice sessions.

      You can also lay an alignment stick on the ground. Go to the top thinking about matching the shaft to the stick. If the club is down the line at the top it would be parallel to the stick. So keep going up and feeling this parallel position then copy this feeling when hitting your shots.

      I did a tip on shortening your swing here:

      How To Shorten Backswing:

      As I said, this is tough to fix so don’t worry about where the ball is going and hitting great shots right now. Just fix the position. Worry about the ball later.

  19. January 17, 2014


    Thanks Paul. Do you have the facility for me to send you a video of my swing. I play off 8 and am a reasonable golfer but to become a category one golfer I need to be more consistent off the tee. I hit the ball well but the top of my back swing has never looked right on video. Many thanks.

  20. June 7, 2014


    Hi Paul,
    Is there a time when a two-piece takeaway is useful?

    • Eriab,

      No. The only time you may want to do this is if you had a tree limb that was restricting your backswing and you had to immediately hinge the club.

      • Hi Paul;
        With regards to this tip, I’ve been checking out some training aids recently & found 1 that will promote the proper 1 piece takeaway as well as the proper chipping technique. However, these can cost upwards of $25 or more. This product can be replaced with nothing more than a men’s belt which I imagine most men already have. All I did was loop the belt as if to wear it, & slide it over my arms being certain to have the right size loop so the belt can’t slide down your arms. It should be placed just above the elbows to be certain the 1 piece stays intact. From that point, as you’ve shown, with just a bit of a weight transfer, just turn your chest to swing back & thru which keeps the Y in place with no hand movement. This can also be used for waist high half shots to promote full extension thru the impact zone by swinging toe up to toe up. For this you actually can use the hinge & unhinge you recommend for longer pitches. This might even be useful for developing a putting stroke. I hope you might find this useful for technique as well as to save others their hard earned cash to play golf rather than an expensive aid that is easily replaced.

        • Michael,

          I like it. I do have a training aid that is similar that wraps around the elbows but I remember way back I used a belt too. Whatever works.

  21. October 28, 2014


    Hi Paul,

    I was taught to put the hands slightly ahead at set up, so this already has moved the but of the golf club ahead, this takes away yet another thing to notice, so you can just focus on keeping the Y intact! Is that ok to continue doing?


    • October 28, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      You don’t want your hands too far ahead of the ball. Slightly is fine. I say hand even with the ball not ahead of the ball. Even with the ball is ahead of the face.

      If you hand the hands too far ahead you cannot do the proper neutral grip. Your grip will be too strong.


      How A Faulty Grip Affects Your Swing:

      Be careful.

  22. November 11, 2014


    Hi Paul

    My huge problem is the take away and the correct back swing! I still have not broken the 100! So I must be doing something wrong. I wish I had someone to video me, because then I would certainly be doing lessons with you by video.

    I thought if you move the but of the club one inch you are activating your hands!! Which you don’t want. I guess I should not do that as would become a bad habit for me.

    How do I get rid of the fear I have about whether I am doing the move correct? My other great fear is how do I use my right shoulder to move.? Is it moving at 90 degrees or at 180 degrees? What is does it feel like?

    • November 12, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      If you are shooting 100 I guarantee you are not doing my Follow Through positions. Forget the takeaway for now. Work on it in the exact order I have below. Forget working on the daily tips as they will be added to the archive anyway.


      Left Hand:
      Right Hand:


      Set Up Steps:

      Follow Through

      Legs Touching:
      Secret of the Starting the Downswing (using triggers – off big toe curve):
      One Of The Secrets To The Golf Swing:
      Spine Angle Follow Through:

      Once you master these I will send you the ones on the backswing.


      1. The butt would move before the clubhead because you are turning your body. The club would then take a split second to gain motion.

      2. Fear – you get over this by knowing the positions you are working on work on them. Look for the feedback in every position and FORGET the ball.

      3. You should not be thinking about your right shoulder you should be thinking about your left shoulder and turning it back until you feel torque. Again, for this for now until you have the Follow Through mastered.

      4. You are tilted at set up. You are turning while still tilted. You cannot turn your shoulders at any other angle than 90 degrees to your spine.

      5. Your shoulders move the most at 90 degrees. As you coil back to 90 degrees you feel tightly coiled like a spring.

  23. February 24, 2017


    One ” to the right

  24. February 25, 2017


    Hi Paul. Been seeing great improvements with your instructions and “powerless arms” concept. In conjunction with this latest takeaway tip,I have a question on the hingeing at the top of the backswing. Are you activating the hands/wrists to hinge? Or is it just the movement of shoulders and arms back that performs the hinge?

  25. February 27, 2017


    Thanks very much Paul for the additional videos. I did have an additional question. Is there a sequence to completing the backswing? Is the hingeing the last thing after you feel afte maximum coil? Or are you not focusing on the hinge because after enough practice you just know the hinge will go on it’s own after you have coiled.

    • Avatar photo

      February 28, 2017

      Paul Wilson


      I am not really thinking of hinging because my wrists are loose and I have done it so many times. I am thinking more of coiling getting the torque.

  26. October 18, 2018


    Good idea. I will try it. I have another possible approach that you might consider. If you hover the club above the ground (ala Nicklaus), holding with both hands and feeling the weight, there is less of a tendency to snatch it away with the right hand. What is your opinion on this?

    • Avatar photo

      October 18, 2018

      Paul Wilson


      Although I have seen numerous people over the years hover it no one has done it right. Nicklaus and Norman used to just barely hover it. The did this to no move the ball and incur a penalty. You can certainly do it but just a slight hover.

  27. September 15, 2020


    Hi Paul – this is an old thread so I don’t know if you check new entries or not. This morning I went to the range to work on no arms. Spent about an hour there and with about 10 balls left I had the thought of starting back with the handle, leaving the hands to follow. I was shocked at how well I hit the last 10 balls. When I got home I searched your site to see if this was something you recommend and I found this post. As light as I grip the club, without doing this I still was “handsy”, obviously putting tension in my arms. What a difference. Now to get it to the course.. Thanks!

  28. September 15, 2020


    I am finding that I can achieve this feeling of loose arms by just working on keeping my right arm (right handed) loose. I think that is probably the culprit in most armsy swings. It was easier to learn this since I have tendonitis or golfer’s right elbow, and it hurts to apply force with the right arm. I can’t recommend the tendonitis, but I think you get the idea!

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