1/4 Backswing

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  • 1/4 Backswing
  • #246726

    In the introduction to hands/arms, at the 1/4 mark in the backswing, you say the hands should be around and just past the trailing leg.

    However, nearly every PGA swing that I see, their hands are much further away from the body.

    I’ve listened to your explanation about how one would hold a sledgehammer, but Rory Mcilroy, Jason Day, Adam Scott etc. generate tremendous power and have much more width to start their backswing.

    Just looking for more thoughts/clarity.



    Thank you for the question, this is a great and very accurate observation. One thing that is important to note is that the fundamentals taught throughout the program won’t always match up with exactly what you see in the movements of all current and great players. You will see a very similar motion in one of arguably the best swings of all-time from Tiger Woods from 1999-2002 or so.

    You are correct in your understanding of the Tathata Golf movements/motion that when the club is first parallel to the ground in the backswing the hands are roughly at the end of the back thigh. We teach this to help students to begin creating and storing width much sooner than the players you mentioned. As the hands push down, it has a tendency to load the club/hands/arm. Since you are pushing your hands and arms down during the takeaway, you are actually creating more width and strength than these great players do that you mentioned. This isn’t width in the traditional sense of very little angle created by the front arm and club shaft but much more width as it relates the the hands and arms loading away from the chest with strength.

    Players that wait to load the club until later in their backswing will have a tendency for the club to “float” toward them in transition and at the start of the downswing. If the club is properly loaded in the backswing as you are learning, the club will want to fire out and away from the body in transition (think Tiger Woods 1999-2002 rather than Ben Hogan). Moving like this in the takeaway will also help to insure the club/hands/arms get fully loaded in the backswing as well for maximum strength and energy.

    Great observation as you relate your Tathata training to what you are seeing from the greatest and current players. We hope this explanation helps as you move beyond even some of their greatness in your training!


    Thanks! This was a fantastic response and exactly what I was looking for!


    Why is there no mention of a forward press at the start of the backswing?


    If you watch video 1 in chapter he will explain that.


    Is that in Chapter 2? Thank you.


    While I am presently more focused on other aspects of the swing, I have wondered at times about what the Tathata thinks about a “trigger” movement. I’m on day 27 and don’t recall seeing about this yet, but there is a LOT of detail and I may have missed it.

    Martin – Could you be more specific about where you found this mentioned in the program?


    I’ll bet that a good downswing trigger is to get the weight moving toward the left (target side) by widening the legs and moving the left (target side) knee toward the target. Executed properly, the left (target side) thigh should end up closer to the target than any other body part at impact. No matter what else you do right in the downswing, if your weight isn’t on your left side in the right way (target side thigh most forward) you will chunk, slice, or fail in some other way. Having your weight at impact on your left side is the sine que non of golf – you might as well start your swing with a movement that gets that done.


    I have gone through 19 classes and really like it. We just had a very warm day in Feb, in Boston. So I hit the course and tried a few things. Historically I come over the top. My divot is always left (back ) to right. Thus no ability to aim.

    So, I am going to try and see what I am missing. I am thinking my downswing is the problem, anything I should pay special attention to?


    Peter, try the following: 1) keep you left (target side) arm straight on the backswing and well after you hit the ball, 2) keep your right elbow bent and pointing at your tummy during your entire backswing, & 3) keep your right elbow bent and do not let it impact your downswing in any way. The best ways I know to effect suggestion #3 are: 1) put a driver’s head cover under your right armpit and keep it there until after you hit the ball, 2) make sure your right elbow stays bent, close to the body, and pointing at your tummy on the downswing. Think of the golf swing as a circle and consider the left arm the diameter and the right arm the radius. If you change either the diameter or the radius of a circle, you screw it up. I had your problem; now, I don’t because I did what I just wrote.

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