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Tiger and Jack never did it, should you?

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Northbound Golf provides a comprehensive way to learn and play the game. Martin Ayers and Michael Powers have uncovered what great players do that makes them great. It’s an approach that you can adopt, irrespective of your current level of play. Martin Ayers is a former Australasia Tour player who has coached Major Champions Steve Elkington and Mike Weir, as well as 3 time PGA Tour winner Cameron Beckman. Michael Powers is a PGA Member from Boston, Massachusetts with over 25 years of coaching experience. At you’ll find over six hours of instructional video content, question and answer podcasts, plus personal online coaching.



  1. TZ

    Dec 26, 2018 at 11:44 pm

    Even the players who took a practice takeaway waggled the club before the swing. Very stupid to show a video of a player taking a practice takeaway then hitting a bad shot when we could show hundreds of great shots that follow, especially a tour pro.

  2. smz

    Dec 25, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    The “practice takeaway” is not helpful to the swing takeaway because your muscle memory vanishes completely when you then start your swing takeaway. Doing the practice takeaway is more like the “monkey see, monkey do” juvenile mentality so common in golf.
    Just take a deep breath at address and then swing away… and if you fail miserably that means you haven’t practiced your golf swing often enough. Maybe a New Year resolution will motivate you to practice… and maybe not.

  3. Speedy

    Dec 24, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    For woods, I like a short waggle to loosen muscles. For irons, a very short practice takeaway, not breaking wrists.

  4. Bill

    Dec 24, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    I like to think of a rehearsal takeaway as an “anchor” in sports movement. It raises our attention level for the task ahead and reduces anxiety as we get a feeling for the first movement. Every time Oscar Robinson crossed the midline in the NBA he nodded his head. He was probably not aware of it, but this movement help signal himself to see the floor and set the play going by triggering his attention and helped him gain confidence. I favor a rehearsal takeaway over a a waggle as it replicates the actual movement. I am not a sports psychologist although I have worked with some pro’s on the Symmetra and other tours. I am retired as a clinician and just wanted to add my two cents.

    • lance

      Dec 24, 2018 at 2:08 pm

      I submit that the “rehearsal takeaway” is a fully conscious movement… whereas the full swing takeaway starts with a conscious command and then quickly morphs into the unconscious mode. A fully conscious rehearsal takeaway may alleviate address anxiety but it mucks up the full swing takeaway neuro-muscular pathways. They are two very different psychological worlds.

    • Tom Tucker

      Dec 26, 2018 at 10:47 am

      This comment is right on. The rehearsal takeaway is something that I teach to all of my students, and it’s been very helpful in producing good swings. “Muscle memory” or more correctly stated – your neural pathway for a swing – is actually refreshed by this movement, not negated as mentioned in a previous comment. The rehearsal takeaway also helps focus on getting the clubhead into position for impact, an external focus which has been proven to be successful when teaching the golf swing. This video was way off the mark.

  5. geohogan

    Dec 24, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Though Freudian psychology is mostly discredited, most of our mental activity is indeed subconscious. Think about walking, engaging hundreds of muscles in exquisitely orchestrated coordination without thinking how and when to contract each muscle. The subconscious is playing a major role in everything we do.. Dr David Eagleman

    • geohogan

      Dec 24, 2018 at 1:17 pm

      David Eagleman is a neuroscientist and the New York Times bestselling author of Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain and Sum. He is the writer and host of the Emmy-nominated PBS television series The Brain. Eagleman is an adjunct professor at Stanford University, a Guggenheim fellow, and the director of the Center for Science and Law. He has written for the New York Times, Discover Magazine, The Atlantic, Slate, Wired and many others, and he appears regularly on National Public Radio and BBC.

    • lance

      Dec 24, 2018 at 2:02 pm

      subconscious (noun) — the subconscious part of the mind (not in technical use in psychoanalysis, where unconscious is preferred).

  6. Tom

    Dec 23, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    Practice takeaway can help reduce tension prior to actual swing. It’s up to each player if it helps….no big deal.

  7. Potus

    Dec 23, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    Articles on this site are fake news!!!!

  8. Tony

    Dec 23, 2018 at 4:38 am

    Settle down guys. It’s not that important.

  9. Dan

    Dec 22, 2018 at 6:47 am

    What a load of baloney!

  10. Southbound golf

    Dec 21, 2018 at 11:44 pm

    These guys are going south

  11. Steve Wozeniak

    Dec 21, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    Nope….the attention is NOT ON THE BALL!!!!!! Try again, can you think of what else that might have there attention???? I promise it’s simple.

    • ogo

      Dec 21, 2018 at 10:12 pm

      External focus on the clubhead? Target focus on where the ball will land? Fantasy focus on that babe in the crowd?

    • geohogan

      Dec 23, 2018 at 12:13 am

      @steve wozeniak, the fulcrum point

      • ogo

        Dec 23, 2018 at 3:05 pm

        Where is this “fulcrum point”? … explain yerself!

        • geohogan

          Dec 24, 2018 at 8:41 am

          @ogo, Ive replied to steve w, not to you.
          For you, a lump of coal. Merry Christmas.

          • ogo

            Dec 24, 2018 at 10:17 am

            I just gave you a chance to respond to your cryptic comments.
            IIRC, you believe the fulcrum point is between the hands, which of course is totally wrong… it’s the “pivot point” of a hand couple. I hope that’s not too technical for your shriveled Hogan Manual mindlet.

  12. 4RiGHT

    Dec 21, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    Every player has what works, why don’t you make a video about that! How many majors have you won?

    • the dude

      Dec 24, 2018 at 9:20 am

      I love the “how many have you won??” comment…..dork

  13. IMO

    Dec 21, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    The ball isn’t the focal point either. I visit many PGA and LPGA tournaments around the country. What I do notice is a good percentage of the players while on the range do rehearse among other aspects of their swing, a practice backswing as a part of their swing development.

    • Looper

      Dec 21, 2018 at 7:32 pm

      I agree completely with IMO. What Jordan, Justin, Ricky, and others that do have a practice backswing, it most likely came from a drill done with their instructors…

  14. Eric

    Dec 21, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    Doesn’t it depend more on what the player’s thoughts are during this time? Who cares what the movement is.

  15. James

    Dec 21, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    Just to be a contrarian I went to the range this morning and employed the “practice takeaway”. I’ve never hit the ball so well! So put me in the Justin Thomas/Mike Weir camp.

  16. Golfist

    Dec 21, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    The practice takeaway is definitely a distraction! I’ve tried both and for me the waggle is the most reliable method of starting the swing, allowing full concentration on the ball rather than thinking where the club should be going on the backswing.

    • lance

      Dec 21, 2018 at 7:22 pm

      So you waggle before starting the backswing. When you stop waggling do you pause to concentrate on the ball and engage the various brain neural waves… alpha,beta, gamma delta, theta… to enter into an inner peace to let the swing flow?

  17. lance

    Dec 21, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    I recall an early video of Tiger when he hooked up with Harmon and Butch made/forced Tiger to alter his BS takeaway for 6 months until his brain was reprogrammed. Tiger said he hated the drill… go figure…

  18. Bill Kroen

    Dec 21, 2018 at 11:41 am

    As a psychologist, I feel that the “practice takeaway” is a great idea. It is more of an immediate rehearsal than practice. It helps a player start the club back in the correct position and reduces anxiety. The waggle gives a feel for the club head only. Showing the tour players rehires a takeaway and then hit a poor shot is meaningless. Thomas, for one, had his best year since incorporating the move.

    • lance

      Dec 21, 2018 at 7:17 pm

      As a psychologist, you must be aware of the many “memory” modes that encode, store and retrieve when needed. How does a “practice takeaway” utilize the memory modes?
      Memory is not a perfect processor, and is affected by many factors, like neuro-muscular capability. We await your professional opinion on memory rehearsal and practice memory. Thanks.

      • lance

        Dec 21, 2018 at 7:21 pm

        So you waggle before starting the BS. When you stop waggling do you pause to concentrate on the ball and engage the various brain neural waves… alpha,beta, gamma delta, theta… to enter into an inner peace to let the swing flow?

    • geohogan

      Dec 24, 2018 at 8:55 am

      The golf swing is a preprogrammed chain action in the subconscious.

      The practice takeaway is a conscious contrived movement, totally separate and unique from the golf swing. The golf swing is too complicated and happens too quickly for it to be a consciously controlled movement.

      As a psychologist you must know, that a portion of our brain resorts to ritual, to reduce anxiety. Golfers go through many preswing rituals. The practice takeaway is a ritual. If it reduces anxiety, it serves that purpose only.

      The waggle can be done as a ritual or it can have a meaningful purpose, as Ben Hogan described in 5L.

      • lance

        Dec 24, 2018 at 10:26 am

        subconscious (noun) — the subconscious part of the mind (not in technical use in psychoanalysis, where unconscious is preferred).
        Properly, “The golf swing is preprogrammed chain action in the unconsious part of the mind.”

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