RST Pencil Tee Drill

Have you found yourself struggling with a shut or open clubface in the takeaway? If so, you have to see this great way to overcome some of those troublesome faults. In this new premium video, I'll show you how a great way to use a golf pencil and some tape to give you a great indicator if your clubface is square into the takeaway. I'll show how to properly set up the drill and how to use this pencil drill to correct some of those issues that have plagued you for so long

  • With Pencil for T formation at end of grip.
  • Make sure Pencil is inline with the squareness of face.
  • Check Pencil is level to ground for square takeaway.
  • Check Pencil is inline with base of pocket for proper wrist set and elevation.
  • Use alignment rod 2 feet outside of takeaway position parallel to side of the body.  Align pencil to alignment rod to check inside, outside, or online takeaway.

 

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Joy
Brilliant! Quick question, is there a recommended club to begin practicing these drills with? Short iron? Thanks!
April 26, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks Joy. 7 or 8 iron would be a good place to start.
April 27, 2021
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Kevin
As I start my takeaway it looks my hands move out away from me initially. I drew a shaft plane line and stopped it at hip height. My positions look OK (I think) but I remember Chuck talking about keeping the hands in and the clubhead outside the “glass plane” in an early video. I also thought a root cause might be from setup if my shoulders are open and the right arm is high it might give an illusion on camera of the hands going out away from the body during the initial move - the picture shows how my hands are above the shaft plane line - maybe I should use the elbow plane line instead ?
July 7, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. Use the elbow plane line and you more than likely slightly pushed. But, this can't be far from off.
July 7, 2020
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Kevin
Thanks Craig - I just found the live lesson video - it’s the Mac o Grady and Chuck drew an line higher on the forearms to show the student rolled his left forearms early and inside. Mine just had the bad push out slightly
July 7, 2020
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Kevin
Top of backswing - shorter than my last review I think as I work to start the downswing before completing my backswing - very helpful video to stop the overswing and create a lot of lag / power
May 16, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Just a hair behind. But, wrists are solid.
May 16, 2020
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Kevin
Adding a picture just before the top - white line is the shaft plane line (not elbow)
May 16, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Gotcha.
May 16, 2020
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John
Craig, great video, really nice. Really something helpful for me and what I'm working on. Thx for all you do and contribute to RST especially the many replies to our student questions.
December 19, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. Thank you and much appreciative for the support.
December 19, 2019
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Tom
I find that i get pocket high with the clubshaft parallel to the target line and above my toe line, but my clubface is still slightly closed, why would this be? Thank you
October 1, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tom. If your grip is way too strong, or trail hand too much on top of the club. Take a look at the Shake Hands Drill and Right Wrist in the Takeaway Video.
October 1, 2019
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David
Hi Craig...so self analyzing my swing I notice I definitely do not have the club parallel to the ground when my hands reach my left pocket. (lefty) I get the theory and all but in trying to ge the club parallel to the ground I feel im manipulating a lot with my wrists when I thought In the takeaway you want to keep everything really loose and quiet. Could you point me to some videos on this?
November 13, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. You do want to keep everything loose and quiet. However, there is a slight amount of elevation and wrist set required. Take a look at the 4 Square Drill, Wrist Cock vs. Wrist Hinge, Using the Wrists in the Golf Swing, and 5 Minutes to the Perfect Takeaway.
November 13, 2018
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David
What are some of the swing faults that come as a result of not enough wrist set and elevation?
November 13, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. Lack of elevation will typically lead to the club and arms getting inside too early and not staying in front of the chest. Elevation is required to help keep the arms in front. Not enough wrist set the club will tend to get heavy. Players will either start float loading at the top creating a dramatic change in wrist position in the transition. Or, the wrist will never set and the added tension won't allow for lag.
November 13, 2018
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David
Thanks...what do you mean by "float loading at the top"?
November 13, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. Basically, floating the wrists at the top and manufacturing lag with your hands versus lag being a byproduct of proper body movement/change of direction with the body.
November 13, 2018
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David
makes sense, thanks. By the way, you guys are awesome. Spent 600 bucks on lessons this summer and got nowhere, seeing serious improvements after a month here and a gaining true understanding of the fundamentals. Really priceless stuff. so different than everything else out there!
November 13, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. Much Appreciative of the compliments. Great to hear you are having success.
November 13, 2018
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Jeffrey
Hi Craig, I have two questions - at trail pocket height/the end of the takeaway - Question 1: should i be able to see the entire of the back of my left hand including the back of the left pinky knuckle? or should i only generally see just the back of the first three knuckles (thumb, index and middle finger knuckles)? Question 2: I have a strong left hand grip and in order for me to have the pencil be parallel to the ground at the end of the takeaway position, it feels for me like i'm rotating my left hand inward a little bit, to almost where it feels for me a little bit like a cupped wrist. Is that an okay feeling to have or what should I adjust?
August 7, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jeffrey. The first three with a slightly stronger than neutral grip. Sounds like you have a strong grip though so you may see a tiny bit of the last knuckle. The wrist will maintain some cupping in the takeaway. Take a look at How to Fix an Inside Takeaway. However, if you are really having to create a lot of rotation. Your grip may be too strong. Because there isn't much required to reach the proper positioning.
August 7, 2018
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Jeffrey
Hi Craig, what is supposed to happen with the wrist after the takeaway? Does it maintain it's shape (cupped wrist) or is it supposed to transition into a flat/horizontal lead wrist? Or is there a good video you can point me to that explains this? Thank you in advance
August 8, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jeffrey. The lead wrist will gradually lose cupping from address to a flat positioning at the top. Take a look at Using the Wrists in the Golf Swing.
August 8, 2018
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Michael
Great drill Craig! This really helped me stop getting the club too far out in front of my body. A little velcro on my club and on my pencil makes for a quick transition on the range. Love your video evaluations you have been giving me too.
September 6, 2017
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Andres
Hello. I'm a little confused with some theories. The butt end of the club is supposed to point roughly at my belly button during the takeaway to ensure moving the club with the body and not with the arms only, right? But with this drill I can't seem to move the club where you suggest without breaking my wrists to early, hence the butt end of the club is not pointing at my belly button anymore and I feel like I am taking the club in too inside. Any comment to clarify my mind on this? thanks a lot
May 16, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Andres. Yes, roughly at the belly button. However, when coupled with a little bit of elevation (to keep the club in front of the sternum), forearm rotation (get the club toe up), and wrist set it will tend to look like it is pointing more down the target line versus directly at the belly button. Take a look at the 4 Square Drill.
May 16, 2017
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Andres
Ok perfect so it's safe to say that st the beginning it points more to the belly button and at the end of the takeaway it points more down the target line and not to the belly button ?
May 16, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Andres. Correct.
May 16, 2017
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Andres
This is one of the best drills I have ever seen. Realized I have always done the takeaway very differently and very handsy. Do you a drill like this for the rest of the backswing? It was really easy to understand and even without the pencil you can imagine one and you get it correctly every time
May 7, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Andres. Thanks for the compliments of the drill. We don't have one similar. But, the Pool Noodle may also provide a little visual cue as this one does even when the pencil isn't there.
May 8, 2017
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George
Hi Craig, This is a great drill, just want to ask whether is the 2 feet is universal distance. For a 5'4'' guy like me, I have to extend or push my hands in order to align pencil over the alignment stick. I have tried the drill a few times, 1 foot from the side of my body is about right. Your clarification is appreciated. Thanks.
May 1, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello George. Thanks for the compliments of the drill. If from a Face On Perspective using a camera or a mirror you can see the width. 1 FT might be the max due to your size.
May 1, 2017
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George
Hi Craig, piggy back on the comment below, Just want to add that for me the distance is about 1ft. Thanks.
May 1, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello George. If have rotated properly coupled with proper elevation and a straight trail arm. 1 Foot could be your position.
May 1, 2017
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George
Hi Craig, I want to clarify with you about the "2 feet" outside of takeaway position parallel to side of body. For a 5'4" guy like me, if I have my alignment stick at 2' outside of takeaway position parallel to side of body , I really have to extend or push my hands in order to align the pencil over with the stick. I don't feel naturally to extend hands. I have been working on the takeaway for years, and not sure what is the correct takeaway. This is a great takeaway drill. Thanks.
May 1, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello George. We are born with all the width we are ever going to have. Looking at your size and genetics. You probably to have to get 2 feet outside. Sounds like you would have to push, or protract the shoulders to reach that position.
May 1, 2017
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gordon
This video gives a usefully comprehensive description of checkpoints at various stages of the takeaway. I would appreciate your guidance for the follow through phase, specifically when the arms are fully extended and in-line with the club shaft. Would the pencil then be parallel to the ground (i.e. horizontal)? Where would the arms-club shaft be pointing, at or left of target(for a right handed golfer)? Incidentally is the Craig who is so promptly answering my RST video questions the same as the Craig in this particular tip? Best regards, Gordon.
April 30, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gordon. Yes, this is the same Craig. Happy to answer promptly. When the pencil is parallel to the ground and both arms are straight the pencil will be parallel to the ground. At this position in the completed takeaway the club will be pointing at the target (maybe a hair left-not much it can changed within a frame or two) because of the blend of rotation and elevation. The goal would be to have it not point anywhere right of the target.
May 1, 2017
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gordon
Hi Craig, as you know I am working on impact and, just to be clear, my question above relates to positions after impact, in the follow through rather than the take away. Specifically it would help me to know the postions of my head, shoulders and hips plus the direction of the club shaft at that point in the follow through when the arms at full extension. Of course knowing all that won't automatically generate it, but at least I will know what I should be doing! (Btw my next swing videos will be posted for your review on Wednesday). Best regards, Gordon.
May 1, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gordon. Gotcha. Okay. Follow through. Then, we need to reverse the answer. It would tend to be on the target line with the differential missing slightly right of target. Before parallel to the ground (with arms-shaft inline) it shouldn't be left of target. Remind me in your next review the follow up points about shoulder, hips, etc. Will be much easier to show you.
May 1, 2017
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Marc
Hi Craig very nice and clear video. I have a question though. If at the end of the takeaway the pencil is parallel to the ground and perpendicular to the stick on the ground and the the club face points at the sky, would the shaft not be a few degrees inside simply because of the way the club is built (grip and shaft at an angle to the club face). If the shaft is perpendicular to the stick the pencil will be parallel to the ground but in a slight shut position (about 10 degrees). What is the optimum takeaway shaft pointing straight down the line with pencil slightly shut or pencil perpendicular to the stick with shaft slightly inside? Best, Marc
April 28, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Marc. Thank for the compliments. The training aid is a rough guide because with a pencil it would be hard to get the exactness you speak of. However, it all depends on how you place the pencil and how good you are alining it with the squareness of your face. You would tend to give or take a few degrees of shut from the pencil rather have the shaft pointing down the line.
April 29, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Marc. Thank for the compliments. The training aid is a rough guide because with a pencil it would be hard to get the exactness you speak of. However, it all depends on how you place the pencil and how good you are alining it with the squareness of your face. You would tend to give or take a few degrees of shut from the pencil rather have the shaft pointing inline.
April 29, 2017
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Nick
I've been working this drill in between the 5 step reps. I've noticed that the right, specifically how it is gripped to the club, plays an imortant role with squaring the face in the takeaway. Too strong the face is closed, too weak the face is open. Is this correct? Also, if my club is outside my hands, what's the correctime action? Roll the elbows more?
February 14, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nick. (For right handed player) Typically, when the trail hand is weak the club will stay closed and will open when the trail is too strong. But, everyone can have mixed results. There isn't a whole lot of forearm rotation, but you need to allow for some. Take a look at Forearm Rotation in Golf Swing for Power.
February 15, 2017
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Lee
Hi, two months into RST. Very pleased and of course challenging. I live in the Northeast and just got outside today. My friends were intrigued by my progress. They noted I am still too quick on my takeaway. Also, when I approach the top, I seem to square the face consistently if I bow my left wrist, however does not happen naturally. I have been practicing the logo down at impact, etc. Lee
January 21, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Lee. Use the Takeaway Overview Video and the Winter Golf Training Program - Backswing. Work on a smooth rotation allowing the core and body to move the arms. You are seeming to want to move the club. Also, the Winter Back will help you get the proper lead wrist alignments at the top.
January 22, 2017
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Michael
This is a great drill. One I revisit often when I'm trying to go back to the basics. When I place my left hand on the club, it seems that there is a small cupping of my left wrist. I try to start the takeaway without changing the angle of my left wrist. Is that a correct thought process?
September 10, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Michael. Thanks for the compliments. Yes, there is a small amount of cupping at the beginning. You will gradually lose that cupping in the backswing. The key is not to lose it too quickly. Feeling like you retain some of it off the ball is definitely okay (5 Mins to the Perfect Takeaway and Using the Wrist Effectively and Efficiently).
September 10, 2016
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Pat
Excellent video Craig, never thought of the takeaway in this way before! Thanks again on my analysis on my takeaway, spot on and I am working hard on it!
June 14, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Glad you enjoyed the video Pat!!!
June 14, 2016
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gordon
Hello Craig! I "stumbled" across this gem today when following up your analysis of my swing videos submitted yesterday. Incidentally my compliments on the speed of your feedback, within an hour! The analysis of my problem was insightful and now I am focussing on takeaway. In this pencil drill video you do a superb job in explaining the desired positions (in all three dimensions), and what causes deviations from these. I now have a better, fuller mental picture of where to go in the takeaway. One additional piece would help complete this picture. At completion of the takeaway, before starting right arm flexion in the backswing phase, where should the club shaft be in relation to the target line and the line of my feet? I understand that the club shaft should be parallel to the ground and also parallel to the target line (as described at the end of your video, with the pencil perpendicular to a stick at right angles to the target line). Should the club shaft be parallel to and directly above an imaginary line through the toes of my feet? Sorry if this question sounds ponderous, it is not easy to describe accurately and unambiguously in three dimensions. Referencing the club shaft to my foot line at the end of takeaway would give me a reference point always available, in the absence of a pencil and during a round ( when in doubt, as can happen!). Thanks again for your review inputs Craig, best wishes, Gordon.
May 30, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gordon. Thanks for the compliments on the video and speed of swing analysis. It would be hard to say the exact point will be an imaginary line above the feet. However, most players it will be right around the toes or a hair outside them.
June 1, 2016
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Gavin
Hi when analysing my takeaway compared to Chucks, I notice that when I finish the takeway the club head is not in front of the body, it is more in line with my trouser pocket/hip. Chucks is in front of his body. Is the problem more my setup or pushing from the left?
February 10, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gavin. It could be either one. I'm assuming it would be push. Use the Pool Noodle Drill, Understanding Shoulder Elevation and the 4 Square Drill. Make sure you are rotating with a little elevation. Not overly rolling the hands to move the club back.
February 10, 2016
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nathan
Nice video. Is there any use for the old "club head tracing the target line" in the takeaway. It would seem that you would have to have shoulder elevation to trace the target line. Like a lot of people I feel like I do the drill right then when I look on tape I am way under plane. Very frustrating.
October 2, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nathan. You could run into the issue of the club staying shut or the arms running away. However, I see what you are getting at. Add the 4 Square Drill to the mix to help keep it from going under plane. Also, the Pool Noodle Drill. Thanks for the compliments on the video.
October 2, 2015
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Mike
Are you supposed to rotate your arms while elevating your arms to get the club head vertical at the end of the takeaway?
September 30, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mike. There is some gradual forearm rotation in the takeaway. You can see and feel it in the Bucket Drill and the Forearm Rotation in the Golf Swing for Power Video.
October 1, 2015
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James
A lot of the videos cover getting the club to far inside on the takeaway, I have the opposite problem mine is going outside of the ball and slightly closed (probably strong grip). My club starts immediately outside the ball, not extreme but noticeable on video. In this video Craig mentions you can "hold on to the wrists to much and push the club to the outside". Can you elaborate on that so I know what to do to fix my problem? I have made sure the right wrist is passive - no hinge - played around with when the wrist cock and cant seem to make it right on video. Thanks for all your help
May 11, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey James. Take a look at the Using the Wrist Efficiently Video. The lead arm will have some rotation to complete the takeaway. The Bucket Drill in the Takeaway Section should also give you a good feeling for the rotation.
May 11, 2015
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GARY
Thank you for this really good drill. I tried it at the range and my pen ended up 20 yards on the range , I will try and use stronger adhesive next time. When I do the drill I find that my face is still slightly closed, and the pen is not 100% straight. Do I need to rotate the arms slightly which will make the pen 100% flat? Many thanks
May 1, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Gary. Thanks for the compliments on the video. We are working on a more permanent device. I don't want you to lose all your pens! If you have the pen pointed down the face correctly. It should be pretty close to parallel with the ground. There is forearm rotation in the takeaway. Take a look at the Unleash Your Thumbnail for Power Video in this Section.
May 2, 2015
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ron
very helpful, one more question. A front on view of how far back the pencil goes behind you. How far behind your foot is the stick. Seems important to doing it right. looks to me equidistant to stance width?
April 19, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ron. I apologize about the Face On View. The distance will change depending on genetics. I placed mine roughly 2 feet outside my stance. I just measured it for curiosity. It is roughly 1 foot 10 inches. For others it could be larger or smaller. As long as the trail arm is straight and you are maintaining your width. You will be ok.
April 19, 2015
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Karr
Great Video!! I have had a major issues with a closed club face. The pencil gave me instant feed back. Be careful if do a full swing, finish high or the pencil will stab you in the neck.
April 18, 2015
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Tony
Imagine trying to explain that to the Doctor haha
May 21, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks Karr. Glad to hear the takeaway is improving!
April 18, 2015
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Michael
Great video. I can't seem to get the toe of the club straight up and down at the end of the takeaway without rolling my forearms slightly. Is that what I'm supposed to do.
March 21, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Michael. Thanks for the compliment on the video. There is some rotation of the forearms in the takeaway. Not a ton, but some is required. The club face will always be rotating. Take a look at the Unleash Your Thumbnail for Power Video in this same section for more details.
March 22, 2015
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Dave
Does the strength of your grip affect the pencil's position at all? For example, I have a somewhat stronger grip so my clubface is slightly closed when my club is parallel to the ground. I have tried to rotate my arms/wrists to compensate for this, but it seems unnatural. Thoughts?
March 13, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. With a stronger grip the club face will tend to be a little shut. You can use this position, but it will require more manipulation of the face to get it correct at the top. Try to achieve a grip slightly stronger than neutral. The Golf Grip How to Video in the Setup Section. The same grip I used will filming this video.
March 13, 2015
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Taweesak
What will effect if we take away with the close club face ?
March 5, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nuttaphol. Taking the club face back closed will require unnecessary manipulation to get it correct at the top of the backswing. And, you are getting in the way of the natural design. It can cause a big power leak. Take a look at the Unleash Your Thumbnail for Power Video in this section for more information.
March 6, 2015
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Stephen
hi Craig (Excellent Video) From my review, i am rotating too much, up to 65 degrees. I feel this is from over emphasining the 5 minutes to the perfect backswing video, were it says a big shoulder turn and a little arm swing. By perfroming the RST pencil tee drill correctly, will this help me to limit my shoulder turn to just 45 degrees? Stephen
February 1, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Stephen. Thanks for the compliments. If you start to get more than 45 degrees of rotation in the TW and everything is in proper alignment (not just pencil, but lead shoulder joint). You will notice two things that go awry. Your trail shoulder blade will be overly depressed and start to level out your turn. It will almost feel like the trail shoulder is below the lead shoulder. Also, you will have to push you arms back across your body to keep them in front.
February 1, 2015
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Kirk
Wow, cool video! Can't wait to get started. Ordered the "glassless" mirror in my profile pic to use with all the drills.
January 28, 2015
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Steven (Certified RST Instructor)
Kirk, Glad to hear you liked the video. And using mirrors is a great way to check if we are in good postions in the golf swing, especailly when learning something new or a new movement.
January 29, 2015
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Alf
So good. The drill is now in my "morning-stretch-backyard routine"
January 28, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks Alf. I'm glad you liked. Now, get that takeaway honed in!
January 28, 2015
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Keith
Great to see you on video Craig! I will certainly try this drill - looks like a simple way of correcting my takeaway. Many thanks.
January 23, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Keith. Thanks! Happy to see you liked it. Really appreciate the post.
January 23, 2015
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Christian
Craig, you do such a thorough job of explaining what you should do and what happens if you are doing it incorrectly. I am excited about trying this pencil out. This has to be one of the best drills on the site. Great addition. Keep them coming.
January 23, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks Christian. I hope it gets your takeaway going in the right direction!
January 23, 2015
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tom
This Video will not play. I've been trying for two day's
January 22, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tom. The video is working on my end. I hope the issue is resolved by now, but if not. Please contact Amy (amy@rotaryswing.com) in Customer Support. She will be happy to assist you.
January 23, 2015
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leo
great one - will take it to my practice - thanks
January 19, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks Leo! Good Luck.
January 20, 2015
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Jed
Craig Good one. As you may recall at Barefoot we used the pencil AND the eraser in the parking lot when we knew what the score was to beat....glad to see you doing so well with Rotary....now if you send a little more global warming to Myrtle Beach ....... Jed DuBreuil
January 17, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Jed. We never needed the eraser. Birdies were tough enough for everyone to come by. Thanks for the message and well wishes! Are you taking care of the beach for me? Or, at least taking my place on the range? I am sure its lonely from all the wear and tear I used to put on it. Hope all is well with the golf game and if I can be of any assistance. Please let me know. All the best.
January 18, 2015
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travis
@anyone hating on RST has no clue what talking about. RST and more specifically Craig got me from 120 score to shooting 85 consistently in about 6 months.
January 17, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Travis. I appreciate the post and the backing up of RST Principles. It has been a pleasure to work with you and get your game moving forward. We will continue to make better improvements. Thank you for your kind words about me helping your swing.
January 17, 2015
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Jesse
Awesome drill, and remarkably simple!!! You should market a club shaft attachment that holds a pencil, to get it on and off more easily than the tape. Thanks for sharing!
January 17, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Already working on it. Glad you enjoyed the drill
January 17, 2015
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Richard
A really nice visual. The tape was sort of unstable. I used a ratcheting, adjustable 1/2 inch self adhesive Kwik Klips cable tie designed to stick to a wall to support cable routing. The pencil sticks so tight it can not be removed. The clip opens to go on club and ratchets down tight on the club shaft. The ratchet is easily released to be attached, removed and reattached to any club in bag. Got mine at Home Depot. Cheap. Thanks for tip.
January 17, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Richard. Pretty inventive of you! I'm sure the members will experiment with a multitude of ways to attach a pencil, but this is one of the best I have heard yet. Thank you.
January 17, 2015
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William
What exactly is "shoulder elevation"?
January 17, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Bill - We use the terms shoulder elevation and arm elevation as the same thing. Check out this video: http://www.rotaryswing.com/videos/full-swing-basics/backswing/understanding-arm-elevation
January 17, 2015
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barwaut
I am really sorry, but the latest insights show that the clubface follows the spine angle in the take away. Look at the positions McIllroy is showing in Golf Digest...
January 17, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi Barwaut -- My question back to this is: Why should the clubface match the spine angle at the takeaway? All I have ever heard for a response from instructors around the world is that it makes the player more consistent. Here is what we say: The club is designed to rotate, that is why the shaft is placed where it is. The club should be rotating throughout the entire swing just as it was designed to do since we are swinging on an inclined plane. The club is rotating through the hitting area and in fact the toe of the club is traveling nearly 7 mph faster than the center of the club and 12 mph faster than the heel. Which is contrary to what magazines and the guys on tv say when they are preaching to keep the clubface as square as possible as long as possible through the hitting area. Golf instruction or magazines will show you what each player does in their swings but does that mean its the correct way or has a reason why. Rory's impact position is really hard on his body if you look at it. Would we teach someone to get into the exact same impact position just because he is #1 in the world?
January 17, 2015
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Martin
Brilliant video. What I have come to expect from RST, getting right to the fundamentals with focussed advice and a simple drill that is easy to practice. (Perfect timing as well..I had a minor fall over Xmas and hurt my left shoulder, so atm not able to swing a club. This gives me something to work on till I recover.)
January 17, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Martin. I am sorry to hear about your accident over the holidays. We all wish you a speedy recovery. Injuries are no fun. Thanks for the compliment! Happy to see you enjoyed it.
January 17, 2015
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René (Certified RST Instructor)
Great drill Graig!
January 17, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Rene. I hope all is well with you buddy. Thanks man!
January 17, 2015
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hubert
Craig outstanding video..This is a very important move (The takeaway). This will really help me. Keep up the great work.
January 17, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks Hubert for compliments and post!
January 17, 2015
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gig
This is a bunch of bull... he is suggesting you roll your hand to get the toe vertical... This is not Rotary swing... Wrong wrong wrong!!!
January 17, 2015
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Eric
Gig he never implied or said that...pay attention
January 17, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gig. I'm wondering where you are getting confused. I would be happy to help if you could explain in further detail.
January 17, 2015
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steve (Certified RST Instructor)
When did he encourage rolling of the hands? Are you saying a person can roll their hands instead of rotating shoulders and get the pencil in the positions he is describing?
January 17, 2015
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steve (Certified RST Instructor)
Craig - Love this video. This will help so many people. So simple yet so technically descriptive. Hope you are well my friend!!
January 17, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Buddy! Thanks a bunch. I hope your doing well! Good to hear from you.
January 17, 2015
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Ken
Craig, after stretching, this is the first thing I do when I step onto the practice mat at the golf range with a club in my hand. I consider it the foundation of a sound golf swing. Excellent video.
January 17, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks Ken! It all starts with a good takeaway.
January 17, 2015
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jeff
Hi Craig- Very timely drill since as you know we are working hard on my takeaway. Just another tool that can be used to get the immediate feedback I need to ensure I'm doing it correctly. Good Job.
January 16, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Jeff. Thank you. Your takeaway is coming along nicely. This should be a breeze for you now!
January 16, 2015
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Pierre
Great tip Craig...as I work for 4 months on the takeaway...it will help me for sure! Thank you very much!
January 16, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Pierre. Thanks! I appreciate it. Good luck improving you move.
January 16, 2015
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Mike
Hi Craig, simple but clever tip with the pencil and tape. Like the alignment rod behind and checking the club/pencil sits at right angles to this. I tend to be overactive and pick the club up too quickly so this is a useful way to check I am square to the alignment rod behind and rotate sufficiently with my shoulders/right shoulder glide. Thank you,
January 16, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mike. I'm glad you liked the video. Get that takeaway grooved!
January 16, 2015

Hi. I'm Rotary Swing tour instructor, Craig Morrow and today we're going to talk about how tape and a pencil can start correcting many of the flaws in your takeaway.

                If we're going to start correcting our takeaway with just a piece of tape and a pencil, we're going to have to set up our drill first. What I want you to do is take the tape and take the pencil and form a T formation on the golf club, directly below the grip, as you can see here. For the right handed golfer, let's put the eraser on the left hand side. For the left handed golfer, let's put the eraser on the right hand side. The other thing that we need to check is to make sure that this pencil is pointing directly to the squareness of my face. I don't want this pencil pointing off center, this way, or this way. We want this pencil pointing right down the squareness of our face.

                Now once we have our drill set up, there's a couple different things we can check. The first thing we can check is the making sure that our club face is nice and square. If you make your takeaway and the pencil's parallel to the ground or level to the ground, then you'll know that your club face is nice and square. If the eraser end is pointing down towards the ground, then you'll know that the club face is shut. If the eraser end is pointing up towards the sky, then you'll know that your club face is open. Do this little check, and make sure that this pencil is nice and parallel and level with the ground, which will mean that you have a nice square club end at the completion of your takeaway.

                The next thing that we can check is we can make sure that we have the proper amount of wrist set and the proper amount of shoulder elevation. For this, we can't do this on the range. We're going to have to get in front of a mirror to really work on these positions and for demonstration purposes, I can just use the camera. Once you go home and you get in front of your mirror, use the shoulder blade, use the obliques to complete the takeaway. At this position here, you'll notice that the pencil is pointing to the bottom of my right pocket. If that pencil's pointing to the base or bottom of my right pocket, then I know I have the proper amount of wrist set and the proper amount of shoulder elevation at the completion of my takeaway. However, if this pencil's above the base of my right pocket, then I know I have too much shoulder elevation. If this pencil's below the bottom of my right pocket, then I know I don't have enough shoulder elevation.

                If I complete the takeaway and I notice, well my hands are in line with the base of my white pocket, but my pencil isn't. That means that you're lacking the proper amount of wrist set, which, in the takeaway we need roughly about 25% of our wrist set. As you can see now, my wrists aren't set, but the pencil isn't in line with the base of my right pocket. If you set the club too early and get too much wrist set early on in the golf swing, now you'll see that the pencil's above the base of my right pocket. What we want to do is we want to make sure that that pencil's right in line with the base of my right pocket, which will mean that I have the proper amount of wrist set and the proper amount of shoulder elevation.

                The last thing that we can do is we can make sure that we don't roll the wrist too much off the ball, which would allow the club to work inside, or hold the wrist too much and start to push the club head to the outside. To do this, what you're going to need is a stick, an alignment rod, a golf club, anything you can find that's straight. What we're going to do is we're going to set it up parallel to our body, about two feet to the outside of our right foot. For the left hander, it's going to be two feet to the outside of your left foot. What we want to do is we want to make sure that this pencil's roughly just on top of this alignment rod. If you complete the takeaway and the pencil is directly on top of the alignment rod, or parallel with the alignment rod, then you know that the club head isn't too far behind your body, or too far out in front of your body.

                If you get into this position here where you allow the wrist to roll and the club head to get behind you, you'll now see that this pencil has formed a 45 degree angle with the alignment stick on the ground and the eraser's pointed out away from me. If you get into this position at the completion of the takeaway, where the club's too far outside the hands, now the eraser is pointing down in front of me and I've formed another 45 degree angle with the alignment rod on the ground. What we want to do is we want to make sure that that pencil is dead in line with he alignment rod, which will mean the club face is nice and in front of us at the completion of the takeaway.

                Go get some tape. Go get a pencil. Let's set up this little T formation directly in line with the squareness of our face and let's start correcting some of our takeaway flaws. We can make sure that the club face is square. We can make sure the we have the proper amount of wrist set, shoulder elevation, and that we don't roll our hands and get the club out on the inside, or hold our hands and push our club to the outside.

                If you need more information on how we achieve getting to these positions by moving the body as efficiently as possible. We have plenty of videos on the site that you can go check out. You can take a look at the five minutes to the perfect takeaway. You can take a look at the roll the right arm in the takeaway. You can take a look at the bucket drill. Many videos that will help you understand the positions that I was talking about today and how we'll use the body correctly to achieve these positions. Go set up this T formation and start correcting the flaws in your takeaway

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