When it comes to my swing, I’m like a lot of Tour players: I try to keep my thoughts pretty simple and take care of the details that I can control. One of these details is the position of the clubface on takeaway, which I check before every full swing. You can see me doing it in the photo above during a practice round in Japan ahead of a round at the 2021 Olympic Games.
My takeaway drill is pretty easy to do. Not only that, it can improve your backswing too.
Start by getting into your normal setup, rotate back, then stop when the shaft reaches parallel to the ground. Without moving anything else, swivel your head to the right and take note of what you see. I look for three things: 1) my arms are stretched in front of me, 2) the clubhead is in line with my hands and 3) the toe of the club is pointing toward the sky. I have a tendency to get the clubhead inside my hands on the takeaway (breaking my second checkpoint), with the clubface too shut. This leads to me getting the club across the line at the top and getting the club stuck behind me on the downswing as I try to save it.
When I mess up on any of these, I’m usually toast. That’s why I take a few seconds before every swing to check and make sure the club is in a good spot.
Justin Thomas is the Official World No. 6, victorious Ryder Cupper and winner of the 2017 PGA Championship.