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Lessons from the pros: The Proper Takeaway

A popular myth in the golf swing occurs in the takeaway of the swing. Many people think the toe of the golf club should be pointed straight up to the sky when the club is halfway back in the backswing. In terms of a clock, the toe would be pointed upward to 12 o'clock.

This is incorrect.

The toe of the club should be turned inward slightly after the takeaway. Using our clock analogy, the toe of the club should point to 11 o'clock. To be perfectly exact, the angle of the clubface exactly matches the angle of your spine after the takeaway.

When you achieve the proper takeaway, you should have less slicing, increase your distance and if you hit the ball too high, this should lower the flight.

Please know it is critical to know HOW to implement this tip. I don't suggest going to the range and hitting a lot of golf balls right away. Instead, work on the swing position both morning and night for a minute. This would be about 10-15 repetitions. The brain learns very well this way.

When you go to the range or the course, practice this proper takeaway before you hit your golf shot; when it comes time to hit the ball, think only about your target and trust your daily practice.

— Gary Occhino, teaching professional, Orchard Park Country Club?

For Occhino's video demonstration of this tip, go to www.buffalonews.com/sports. WNY PGA club pros will offer weekly tips in Wednesday's editions of The News. Next week's tip is from Jerry Coleman, teaching professional, Brierwood Country Club.