One thing I am working on these days is the takeaway and its variations. I think most of us are following a right forearm takeaway (RFT) which is the standard by TGM for the purpose of maintaing the geometry. I think it is OK with the usual type of hitting because you are effectively loading your right arm and shoulder muscles for the thrust.
But IMO it is not the best procedure for what Lag is teaching where one of the key is to keep the right arm very quite. Now if you use it to take everything up with, it does not want to be quite becasue it is tense. I think a more left side pushing type takeaway will be more desirable with the right arm taking a ride. :question: Opinions please.

I perform the initial foot back away from the ball by only contracting my right upper middle back muscle (trapezius) to pull my right shoulder blade back without shrugging it up. It is hard to describe in writing and it is not something that I thought of myself. But this takes the concentration off of the right forearm and moves the whole triangle back away and slightly up. Then I concentrate on my shoulder rotation while having an awareness of where my hands are in space. I think as long as the arms don’t go too far behind me I am fine. This would probably be classified as a pivot driven takeaway in TGM terms (which is supposedly a no-no) but hands awareness is still a key. I also used the RFT but I was moving on the turned shoulder plane back and down whereas now I am between elbow and shoulder planes with my left arm running lower than my right shoulder at the Top.


History shows us a lot of takeaway options by many fine ball strikers.

There is a lot of room here for variation, personal style, and individuality.

However, we are going to need to get back on the 4:30 line.
We also are going to need to make a very strong full range of motion torso turn or rotation.

Everything that we do on the backswing is completely at the mercy of our M#1, M#2, and M#3 effectiveness.

The backswing and our position at the top has very little to do with our ability to fire our power sources.
The backswing does not guarantee a proper downswing in anyway.

Any fine ball striker can easily find their way back to impact, because they know what to do at P3.
For players who don’t know what to do at P3, the address and backswing become and endless source of experimentation, and ultimately endless frustration. A endless series of speculation, superstition, trial and error, here today gone tomorrow, and ultimately mystery.

The sooner a golfer realizes that the golf swing is not a chronological series of events that if set correctly in motion at address will logically lead to the next position… backswing, top, downswing and so forth.

It’s the players effectiveness from P3 to impact that is 1000 times more definitive of the golf stroke than address or the backswing.

We can think of the backswing as nothing more than drawing a nearly infinite number of possible curves between two points that will ultimately lead to one specific direction. Very much like our personal signature.

Now, is there an easiest, probable, and relatively efficient way to make a backswing? Certainly… but only assuming the other ducks are lined up in advance of the action.

We will be covering all this in a later module, once we have rehearsed our road map in advance about 20,000 times… :astonished:

I know what you are getting at. However, it is very tempting (probably getting ahead of ourselves but still tempting)to start analyzing things as a student of the Modules even if the aspect being analyzed isn’t part of one’s current Module. For instance, several individuals have noted progress after starting Module#1 and applying it to their current swings. It is really an odd experience as I can attest myself. :open_mouth: And a lot of the other golfers here are already much better than I am and I still hear the praises.

I would have to say that for me maybe the ideal scenario would be to get through Modules 1-3 before full swings are started because so many key interrelated elements are missing…like P4 and ground forces that I don’t want to groove something based on what I ‘think’ you are training us to do but what you are ACTUALLY training us to do. It is encouraging to see instant improvement and I have yet to meet someone who dislikes it. I also can see on variations in my backswing on video that still produce the exact same ball flight charateristics through impact which supports your opinion on de-emphasizing some of the backswing details. I now hit the ball knowing that it can only get better as the Modules flow.


Just remember this one golden truth…

The ball is not struck on the backswing.

I thought I would include this swing in the ‘takeaway’ section – to show there are many ways to hit a ball
Ed Furgol as a young boy of 12 broke his left arm falling from a playground trapeze. The arm was never set properly and even after 2 desperate operations it would never be normal. The elbow set into rigidity and the left arm would be 6 inches shorter than his right arm. Atrophy set in also in the extensor muscles from the elbow to the shoulder so Furgol would end up going through life with that area withered- just bone weakly covered with flesh and basically crippled.
What he did by taking up golf was downright amazing and he won 6 PGA titles including the 1954 United States Open

It’s a good thing we don’t hit the ball on the backswing… :astonished:
instead, we hit the ball on the downswing.

This is textbook shaft flex hold into impact, then driven through with great post impact pivot thrust into textbook PV5

Remember, we do not hit the ball on the backswing.

Twomasters and Lag,

What follows may be off topic, but this documentation of Ed Furgol is a great example of a human spirit bootstrapping itself upward into the upper heights of athletic achievement. This is liberating, inspirational, really powerful.
Thanks a million.

Sure is teebox,
I started a thread in another part of the forum about great golf stories…feel free to add anything you think is a remarkable story that shows inspiration and courage and shows us that anything is possible if you put in the work

This is a topic I have gone back and forth on.

I have to admit, I understand why Lag says the basckswing doesn’t matter…really I -understand- why he says this.

For myself I have found if I have certain tendencies in my backswing it DOES negatively or positively effect my downswing. :open_mouth:

The truth of the matter is I tend to get inside on the way back, but when I start taking even more inside, I notice my arms don’t stretch that well across the barrel of my chest, and my hands tent to compensate by breaking the wrists excessively (shutting the face) at the end of the backswing. This move I found actually causes a closed face shot…

My cure? I found my backswing thoughts MUST be adjusted. The fix is simply I -start- my backswing by imagining someone is standing astride my left shoulder, and pushing my left shoulder under me, away from the ball. So I essentially start my backswing with my left shoulder! Weird eh? SO it does matter to me what is going on there, and I think I can get into positions that I can’t ‘save’.

Macs, I don’t understand the concept of a right forearm take away. What exactly does that mean?

Prot, I wouldn’t go so far as to say the backswing doesn’t matter… everything we do matters to some degree… but the fact remains that we do not hit the ball on the backswing.

We DO need to fully turn the shoulders, we DO need to cock and turn the wrists, and fold the right elbow. This actions can be done in about as many ways as there are hand written signatures.

When we get to the transition module, I will present what I feel is a very simple option for the backswing… however, history shows us that there are many ways of routing the club.

I do feel the array of options is greater for swingers, as they are often seeking a longer or greater swing radius, which of course can allow for longer, loopier actions.

The secret, if there is one, is understanding the transfer of energy from centrifugal force to centripetal force, then back again to centrifugal force. The intention must be correct for the protocol, and that things will be getting back onto the 4:30 line that will ultimately prepare us for the strike.

Hi Prot
The right forearm takeaway is the preferred procedure by most TGM teachers. I think in one of the posts on ISG there was an elaborate description by Loren. In simpler terms it means pulling a dead left side with extensor action by the right forearm. Even the wrists are passively cocked due to the right elbow bending.

There are a lot of ways to take the club back as history has show us… but as we learn and understand how to hit from the 4:30 line, I think most of you will find that there is a very simple and effective way to take the club back that is consistent with our objectives. Module #1 students may be doing it already.

Been filming my full swings and discovered an interesting thing (well probably not to Lag!!). Having not devoted one iota of time or thought to my backswing, and just when i couldn’t really care about it, my backswing is looking great. My shaft is more on line at the top. I believe because i’m naturally feeling a little more cup in the left wrist in anticipation of a more open and laid off clubface into P3 (tendancy is to get bowed). It’s also a shorter arm swing with a tighter, more poised look, and less over rotated lower half which for me has often been an unwanted characteristic in my swing.

Conclusion: Good looking backswings can naturally develop from good, purposeful, downswing/throughswing intentions?

That is the correct conclusion.

I learned this years ago while on tour watching all kinds of crazy backswings shooting 64’s.

After a bit of study, all these so called “bad” golf swings did a wonderful job of routing the club into the slot for a great 4:30 delivery.

The purpose of the backswing is to fully rotate the torso, cock and rotate the wrists and forearms, and supply a bit of structure to the left arm.

The transition is just that… it transitions this backswing loading motion into the downswing motion. The transition smooths out the change in direction seeking a flow rather than an abrupt reversal.

Once the function of the backswing changes from posing to purpose, with the intent of setting us up for our release into impact,
we are well on our way to swinging the club with much better conviction.

Well the thing that worries me is long term. I don’t think when Lag was learning the golf swing, he did module 1. I’m just guessing…

But you look at Justin Tang’s student. He got her going on Lag’s stuff. Look at her takeaway, it looks just like mine. She stops a lot shorter at the top (below shoulder line) just like I do. Why does this happen? Why does someone who is actually learning the golf swing get this ‘look’ from module 1 when adapting it to the full swing?

Well I’ve thought about this for months. What I’ve come up with is when we do module 1 we are not only training how to handle the club from P3-P4, we are also training our brains to get the club to the P3 position at the start of the backswing. VERY early. This is simply because the drill is comprised of a very short portion of the swing.

So people like myself, and Justin’s student… I didn’t come from a 10+ year history of golf like many of you… more like 2-3 years. People like myself start to ingrain that as the backswing start.

I’m not saying it’s bad, but what I am saying is I strongly believe with myself that I started over doing it, and I’d recommend people to monitor it. I started coming inside so much on the way back, that my left wrist would break, shutting the face down a bit, and a… weird feeling set in.

I am now taking the club straight back for the first 2-3 feet in one piece before I take it inside. My ball flight is a bit higher, and a little more consistent from doing so.

nothing wrong at all with that Prot.

But because of all the grinding you have done with module #1, you know where you are trying to get the club at P3… so whatever backswing you use,
it now will have the proper intentions.

Short compact backswings with a full shoulder turn are wonderful, but you also need the hand speed to pick it all up at the bottom… and of course post impact pivot thrust to keep pressuring the clubshaft.

If you just take it back short, don’t turn the shoulders, slap at it with your hands and stall the pivot post impact… the ball goes nowhere because the proper forces simply are not being applied. So most people do all these things and go for a big over swing because they haven’t trained the hands and pivot to work correctly. They pick up velocity, but over accelerate, losing shaft flex and feel and all hell breaks loose… they can hit it longer but no control.

We want length and accuracy.