Travelers Championship

TPC River Highlands

Pre-swing check

You can spot Xander Schauffele doing this before (almost) every shot

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LOUISVILLE—You could spot Xander Schauffele doing it before his first shot of the day, and you could spot it again before his final full swing the day, an approach shot which found the green. Two putts later, Schauffele had secured a nine-under 62 during the opening round of the PGA Championship.

KSchauffele will no doubt be a fixture at the top of the leaderboard for the remainder of the tournament after his first round—"it was one the easiest nine-unders I've ever seen," playing partner Justin Thomas said afterwards—and when he is, his pre-shot adjustment will be right there with him.

What's the move?

It's easy to miss, but look closely and you'll see it before most of his shots. As Schaufflele sets up to the ball, he shuffles around, then drops his right hand off the club, and lifts the club into the air with his left arm.

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He shuffles around once more, then returns his right hand to the club, and gets ready to go.

Why does it help?

Xander talked about this exact move in our new Swing Thought Finder tool (which you can check out right here!). There are two big reasons why it helps.

  • Schaufflele's tendency is to stand a little far from the ball. When that happens, his right arm swings towards him. If his right drops directly down, he knows he's standing the correct distance from the ball.
  • In making this move, Schaufflele also pushes his left shoulder out, and his right shoulder back, which ensures proper alignment.

"Making sure your shoulders are square is a simple thing I focus on a lot," Schaufflele says.

This is especially important, because Xander's tendency is to align his shoulders slightly open, to the left of his target. When that happens, Schaufflele tends to send the club outside, and then land in a laid-off position at the top.

"The main focus is getting the club less laid-off," his coach, Chris Como, explains.

Getting his shoulders square is a simple way to make this move easier. Which you can see right here, when Schauffle does the move before a practice swing, which helps him move the club more around him so it's in-line with his hands at the top of the backswing.

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He doesn't do it before every shot (though he seems to do it before every tee shot), so look closely and see if you can spot it.

And again, hear Xander explain the move in his own words in our Swing Thought Finder tool right here.