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Tour Report: Tip from Travis: Bradley’s takeaway

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Keegan Bradley's elbow remains close to his body on the downswing.

Chris Condon/PGA TOUR Keegan Bradley’s elbow remains close to his body on the downswing.

By Travis Fulton, Director of Instruction, PGA TOUR Academy

One of the things I really appreciate with so many of today’s professionals is their willingness to continue to work on their game and improve. Keegan Bradley is another example of a world-class player who obviously does so many things well, but yet wants to improve, and is willing to do whatever it takes.

Over the years, Bradley has done great work with golf instructor Jim Mclean. Jim is someone that many teachers of my era have admired due to the many books and DVDs he’s produced over his long career.

McLean has worked a lot on Bradley’s initial backswing. This part of the swing is something I have discussed many times over the years in the blog. Many amateurs get the club moving off plane right away during this part of the swing, and although you don’t hit the ball with the backswing, this particular error in the golf swing — when fixed — usually leads to a more repetitive impact.

Like so many other golfers, Bradley had a tendency to get the clubhead quickly behind his hands with the club face overrated too open. As a result, this would pull Bradley’s head off the ball and affect his overall balance. Now, the clubhead is in front of him, with the clubface square, allowing the body to stay more centered over the ball.

Here are a few tips to help you with this initial takeaway:

1. The clubhead needs to move up. If you error with the clubhead moving too low and quickly behind the hands, focus on either cocking the lead wrist and/or folding the trail elbow. This will help move the clubhead more up and to the outside of the hands going back.

2. The clubface is controlled by the lead hand. If you error with the clubface open (toe up), then focus on keeping the lead hand’s knuckles more to the ground and not the sky. This will help keep the toe slightly down where the angle of the clubface mirrors that of the spine angle.

3. The lead arm should stay close to the body. With the clubhead up and out in front of you and the clubface square, allow the lead arm to stay attached to the chest, resulting in the hands staying close to the body.

Travis Fulton is the Director of Instruction at the TOUR Academies at TPC Sawgrass and the World Golf Village. For more information on the TOUR Academy, click here.

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