Tip Tuesday: Body Position in the Takeaway

In this installment of our golf instruction video series, Dustin Johnson Golf School Director of Coaching Allen Terrell shows us a take-home drill involving an alignment stick that can help properly reinforce proper body position in each part of the takeaway.



Today our goal is to try to relay to you the proper movement in the takeaway – what actually moves, and what doesn’t, so you can make sure that the very beginning of your swing is in good form.

We’re going to use an alignment stick. You can get a smaller one if you want, and actually stick it into the end of your golf club, or you can just hold this to the side, and then grip that end to your hands. It’s going to feel a little uncomfortable, but you’re not going to really hit balls doing this, just (get) more of a feel.

What you’re going to do is at address you’re going to make sure that this alignment stick is on your side, over here hitting your left oblique. In the takeaway, what we want to feel is to get our hips and our chest moving a little bit. A lot of times, either people slide their hip too much, they reverse turn their hips, or they actually don’t move them at all. I would say most beginners don’t move their hips, and what happens is they try to create rotation with their arms, and right off the bat, they move the sweet spot in, and most of the times with an open clubface. From there, I have not found a good way of self-correcting that to hit good shots. That’s a very hard position to play from.

So, what we want to do is, knowing that the hands should move inward, we want to understand that the role of the body is to support that. The hips have to open a little bit to create room for the hands to stay close to our body. So with this stick against our side, if we just turn our hips a little bit with a nice centered head, no moving off the ball, you’ll feel this stick is still on our left oblique. And what you’ll see is the club head is still outside your hands here, and the hands are covering your right shoe. From there, the stick can come off by hinging of the right wrist.

But what we don’t want to do is rotate that stick off our side early. Now the hands are out, the club’s in, the club’s going to be too flat from here and you’re going to have to make adjustments. What I want you to feel is how your belt buckle, your sternum, how those start to move with no rotation of the left forearm. Most people move this, and not this. They rotate the forearm rather than rotate their body. Your rotation comes from your hip and your sternum, or your chest, and not from here. So you’re going to feel no forearm rotation. If you do that, the stick will stay on your side. If you rotate your forearm, it comes off.

So try this little drill at home to feel that the body rotates the club to here, rather than the forearm. Then from here, you’re going to be in a much stronger condition for the third part of your swing. Give that a try!