5 Minutes to a Perfect Backswing Pitfalls

In this premium video, I am going to cover some of the common mistakes that RST students make while trying to build a perfect backswing. If you have been working through our extremely popular "5 Minute" series and you have found yourself struggling with your backswing, this video will show you how to correct your faults and get back on track.

  • Maintain elevation as you go into golf posture
  • Make sure there is no major amounts of tension in the shoulders. 
  • Shoulders should be in a neutral position 
  • Allow the wrists to rotate when adding flexion 
  • Only add enough flexion so that the lead arm stays straight

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Kevin
Hi Craig - I was watching Justin Thomas in his backswing and as he loads into the trail foot you can see the handle push down which helps cock the clubhead up on plane. What are your thoughts on that move? As I’ve been practicing the two inch hand rotation move I tend to keep my arms in front but do not have enough elevation (I know it’s a variable Working on getting more depth/extension at the top with my right arm seems to have the helped stop the overswing / cupping but depth has my arms a little lower
January 6, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. You don't want to get too wristy early in the swing, but the club will have to start setting/cocking to work up correctly. Not sure what Thomas does, but this position looks pretty good.
January 6, 2021
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Gerard
Excellent summary...well done Craig!
December 31, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gerard. Thank you.
December 31, 2020
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Gary C
Working on just the arm position without the club. I am 5’11”, 165 lbs, with longer arms (34-35 in sleeve length). I notice that when I get to the top of my backswing to achieve 90 degrees of flex ion in my right arm my elbow ends up nearly level with my shoulder. I know chuck mentions that those with longer arms will require more elevation so I am curious if I am getting the proper amount of shoulder elevation or too much? It seems that getting 90 degrees in right arm is a primary goal and for me to do that while keeping left arm straight puts my arms at a height where my right elbow is the same height as my shoulder.
November 22, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary C. I am 5'10 and (in the video). Long Arms as well. What I want you to notice is that most of the time I don't get to 90 degrees. No more than 90 degrees of flexion. I would would delete trying to get perfect 90.
November 22, 2020
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John
Really helpful thanks! I noticed I wasn't getting enough flextion in my trail arm (right), not being able to get it to close to 90 degrees, and it seems due to over-extending both my arms, especially my left, out from the shoulder socket. When I keep my arms more connected to my shoulder socket, I can get there and feel more in contol with my body. My question is... how to know I have the right amount of arm extension from body vs too trapped to it?
July 1, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. You should still feel some connection of the upper bicep/upper pectoral. If you are glued lower, or anymore than that you will be limiting elevation. Maintaining less than 90 degrees of flexion will create plenty of width.
July 1, 2020
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John
Thanks, Craig!
July 2, 2020
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Bernie
Thanks Craig. will you please also address the notion that as you transition to the ball the right hand should "cover the ball," and or be like you are " patting the ground" with the trail/right hand. I also find that if I do not flex my right hand back on the backswing, I have trouble getting the bow out of my left/lead wrist. Thanks again.
May 11, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Bernard. I don't think much about the trail hand positioning. But, the wrist will have some hinge to it because if it was perfectly flat you wouldn’t be able to apply speed from your body. Take a look at Right Arm Release Drill Video. The lead wrist should be flat at the top. It will hinge back on itself a little bit. Just not to the point the club is closed at the top and the lead wrist ends up bowed.
May 11, 2020
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Bernie
Hello Craig, Will you please address the trail wrist flexing to "to support a tray" on the backswing? I am not clear on the right/trail wrist positions on the backswing. Thanks.
May 11, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Bernard. If you are completely back on the trail wrist the club will be shut at the top. You are slightly back on the trail wrist. Half and half with set/hinge. You can see this in the Right Wrist in the Takeaway Video and Using the Wrists in the Golf Swing Video. If you are still confused after those I will be happy to elaborate more.
May 11, 2020
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Tony
Thought the instruction was very good. Difficult points to get over and this was achieved. Another example of the top quality stuff provided.
April 4, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thank You Tony.
April 4, 2020
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Roy
When practicing the backswing in slo-mo, everything looks good. However, when I recorded my swing I took notice that, although I turned properly, I continued to raise my arms after making a full shoulder turn. Another case of feel vs real (argh). What could be the reasons for this independent (excessive) arm movement?
February 25, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Roy. Over swing is caused by an over-active trail arm. The arm leaves "the box" and connection. Put some focus on the 3 Functions of the Right Arm and Overview: Fix Overswing/Across-the-Line Swing Video.
February 25, 2020
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Russ
When allowing the arms to extend and add flexion is this a conscious effort e.g pull the right shoulder blade down and back and lift and rotate the forearm or does this happen automatically as you rotate? Thanks
December 17, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Russ. More of this will happen automatically. As you rotate the momentum from weight shift and rotation will help carry the arms to the top. Allowing the lead arm to rotate from the shoulder socket will help set the plane and the trail arm should be there for support and not guide the club. The trail arm staying in front will keep the arms from swinging too much across the sternum.
December 18, 2019
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Bruce
Hi Craig - thanks for a great video. A question please. I’m a bit confused what the “perfect backswing” position drill is trying to achieve. I understand you’re showing us the correct ending, but should I be trying to get my arms in the correct position or just swinging? I’m sure I’ve seen videos on the site saying not to concentrate on your arms, right elbow etc and instead just focus on body turn. Which is correct focus - getting to the right end or doing the right movements? Thanks
December 11, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Bruce. Thanks for the compliments. Goal first is to get the body movement and sequence correct. Proper rotation and weight shift will do the vast majority of the work for you. However, some players end up swinging their arms too much which is why they need a little refresher where they are trying to end up. Take a look at My Golf Backswing Secrets Video.
December 11, 2019
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Scott
Great information, Craig. You should be in more videos!
November 2, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Scott. Thanks. This one has been here for awhile. I figured you watched all of them by now .
November 2, 2019
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Garth
Should the club be perpendicular to the spine throughout the swing?
October 24, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Garth. It will be close, but when adding elevation and some lead shoulder socket rotation it may not match perfectly.
October 25, 2019
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Kevin
I worked on the backswing a lot this weekend and keeping extension and connection with the right arm to the pec / chest. Would it help to try and feel the right arm connected to the chest from setup all the way to the top - similar to the classic towel or glove under armpit drills?
May 27, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. Using the Towel/Glove will inhibit shoulder elevation. I would advise shying away from those drills.
May 28, 2019
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Nolan
I started imaging that my left wrist is bowed at the top of my swing (when in reality, it’s flat). What I’ve noticed is that my hands move away from my body during the backswing when looking down the line (like DJ does). I get into a good position at the top and have been able to square up much better and hit much more consistently. Is it much of an issue having my hands move away from my body in the backswing even if the club head is moving in a good plane?
March 31, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nolan. Could you elaborate the "move away" a touch more? Are you meaning early on in the takeaway, or halfway back the hands tend to push further away from the body?
April 1, 2019
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Nolan
Sure. When looking down the line, the distance from my hands to my belt buckle increases (not much, maybe a few inches) during the backswing. When I video myself, my club head is not moving behind my hands and it travels up the elbow plane. Does that make sense? If you watch a DTL of Dustin Johnson, you’ll notice his hands move further away from his belt buckle.
April 1, 2019
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Nolan
As you can see, his hands are further away from his belt buckle in the backswing
April 1, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nolan. Ideally, I would like for you to shy away from pushing the hands in the takeaway. It tends to get the wrists more involved too early in the swing. Creating excessive tension. Width is generated by maintaining trail arm positioning. I would be happy to look at a swing review of your swing to show you pros and cons. Take a look at Belly Button Drill to help correct and Pushing with the Left Side in the Takeaway to understand what it can lead too.
April 2, 2019
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Tram
At the top, you talk about progressive wrist set and wrist hinge. I think according to the definition in RST, it should be wrist cock. Please clarify. Thank.
February 1, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tram. The lead wrist will have some gradually cocking in the backswing. But, the trail wrist will hinge slighty as the trail arm finishes its flexion. Take a look at Using the Wrists in the Golf Swing Video.
February 1, 2019
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Barry
When I rotate and add flexion I don't appear to have my hands as High as yours. When I put them higher I notice my shoulders slightly Shrug. If I stay connected with My Right Arm and relaxed it just appears My Arms are slightly Lower. Can I assume that someone like me with average torso Long Legs and Long arms . This is Normal? I am between 5'11-6' tall. I'm assuming any tension in the arms and shoulders is wrong. That relaxed is best even though it appears My arms are lower? I wear a Custom Dress Shirt with Arm length made to 35 inches. The average shirts in the Store (Off the Rack) are normally 32 inches
July 10, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Barry. I am 5'10 with roughly the same build. What it sounds like is you aren't allowing the lead arm to rotate properly when adding flexion of the trail arm. Take a look at How to Keep Your Left Arm Straight Video. As you fold the trail arm the lead arm will come up and rotate to help you achieve the height without the tension.
July 10, 2018
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Roger (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Craig, A really well done video! I have not played in two years due to left shoulder injury which is about healed. I am working through the process and stacking pieces. I have good reps in for setup, weight transfer, takeaway, and backswing with a heavy emphasis on passive arms/core rotation, pulling my right shoulder behind my head and loading. I'm ready to add some wrist set/hinge and had a question or two about wrist set that I did not find in detail in our manual or videos. Its the Engineer in me, I cant help it. Could you touch briefly on the mechanisms for initiating wrist cock/hinge? Is this function initiated by left or right wrist or both? Does wrist cock/hinge begin after the takeaway is complete and during right arm flexion? Thanks again for all you do for RST and its students! Roger
April 28, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Roger. Appreciate the compliments. The lead wrist will have a little bit of cock (25%) in the takeaway because you are 25 % done with the swing. The weight of the club will require this (5 Minutes to the Perfect Takeaway - about 23 Mins into the video). The trail wrist should stay straight and not a lot of hinge (Right Wrist in the Takeaway Video). As you reach the top the trail wrist will have some hinge and the lead wrist flat as well as cocked (50% Wrist Set). Using the Wrists in the Golf Swing Video and Wrist Cock vs. Wrist Hinge Video. Thanks a bunch for the kind words.
April 28, 2018
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thiraphong
A very useful video. Going through the 5 pitfalls in your video I can identify my pitfall i.e. having got the right elevation and flexion I fail to rotate properly so my trail arm goes back too deep behind me. I think that the problem may be caused by insufficient weight shift. When I try to consciously shift my weight as suggested by the weight shift drill I feel that my trail arm (right arm) is moved into the correct position. Do you think that this analysis is correct?
April 4, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Thiraphong. Thanks for the compliments. Weight shift is a vital component of the swing. If you take a look at My Golf Backswing Secrets. You will see how shifting properly will keep the arms nice an relaxed versus the first move of pushing the lead across the chest and trail getting deep.
April 4, 2018
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Patrick
Very easy to understand when demonstrated this way. Thanks
March 28, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Patrick. Thank you. Glad you enjoyed the presentation.
March 28, 2018
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Greg
Hey Craig....good lesson. Changed the drill to incorpora arm rotation and immediately felt wider. Will get you both sides of it on the next lesson. Looking forward to incorporating the other stuff too. Thanks!
March 20, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Greg. Appreciate the post. Fantastic. Keep getting that backswing buttoned up.
March 20, 2018
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John
Good video. Do you also consider early rotation of the left forearm to be a pitfall? Won't over rotation of the left forearm also cause the hands to get too deep at the top?
March 17, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. Yes, you can definitely over rotate the lead arm too soon. Leading to early club face rotation going inside, pushing across the chest getting the arms deep, possibly over correction from the inside early position to a lifted across the line, etc.. There is very minimal rotation until the trail arm starts to fold. Thanks John.
March 17, 2018
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Pierre
Clear explanations, I struggle with the back swing position and I am sure that this video will help me. Thank you for coming back with it!
March 16, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Pierre. Thanks for the post. Now, get loaded in that trail glute .
March 16, 2018
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Charles
After adding my elbow flexion so that I cover my right eye, then rotate, my arm is partially blocking my vision when in my golf posture. Am I going this correctly? It seems I block out the sight of the golf ball.
March 15, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Charles. When you hinge forward it will still be blocking. However, after hinging and rotating back. The hands will be right over the trail shoulder. This is due to the forward hinge and rotating around the spine.
March 15, 2018
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mark
Nice video. Thanks you. That looks like a lovely course you are on!
March 14, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mark. Thanks for the compliments. Par 3 200 yards all over water. It's a tough one.
March 15, 2018
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Gerald
Hello Craig, Perfect timing for me to use this video, as I was in the process of starting my academy training on the backswing (and grip) section, and it fits perfectly as tips on what to watch out for. Very clearly demonstrated and explained. Thanks a lot! Jerry
March 14, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jerry. Thanks for the post and much appreciative of the compliments. Good checkpoints to keep you on that good road of rebuilding that swing.
March 14, 2018
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Greg
Hello Craig. Excellent video and thank you for the great lesson. Already implementing the correct drill in my practice routine and I look forward to showing it to you in a couple weeks. Feels right!
February 14, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Greg. Good news. I'm glad you liked the video and looking forward to the corrections in your drill.
February 15, 2018
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James
Hey Craig, this is an excellent video and really focuses on the problems I have with making a good backswing. You mentioned to me in a video lesson I submitted some time ago the exact same instruction points you make here. Your video here really help to reinforce your points in that lesson. Appreciate the excellent work. Still working on my backswing. Thanks again. Jim
March 28, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jim. Thanks for the compliments. Keep up the hard work. Get that backswing down!
March 28, 2017
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David
Very good video i recognise a few of these pitfalls!! Anyway my question is how far should i take the club away before folding the right arm as i seem to take it too deep and get the club too flat and stuck.
March 23, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. Flexion won't begin until just after the takeaway. Thanks for the compliments on the video.
March 24, 2017
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Jeffrey
I have excessive wrist set (feels like a cupped left wrist possibly combined with a loss of grip pressure with the three fingers of the left hand), causing the club to get to parallel at the top of the backswing. Two questions. Is there something with the right hand that can provide support to the left hand to keep the left wrist from cupping and/or losing grip pressure and causing the excessive wrist set? It seems that increasing right wrist bend (toward the target at the top of the swing) helps the left wrist remain flatter and decreasing left wrist cup. Second, when I maintain a square left wrist with a tighter grip with the left hand (not bowed, but flat), the club feels closed relative to my normal feeling at the top of the backswing, which makes for a hold-off mindset on the downswing to avoid a hook. I've seen the Pitfalls video and understand the issue. Just don't know how best to cure it.
March 7, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jeffrey. Take a look at Using the Wrist Effectively and Efficiently. You can see how the trail wrist will hinge a little back to help with support and lack of cupping in the lead. You don't want to increase pressure too much. You need enough to stay in control, but not over bearing. Does it feel closed comparatively or is it actually closed?
March 8, 2017
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Jeffrey
Likely closed comparatively, but I'm used to the cupping so anything approaching flat feels closed. To the bigger issues, I understand the need for moderate wrist hinge, but other than saying "don't do that," what can I do to control? Is it possibly related to not enough rotation with the left forearm on the backswing. Should I try to get my left wrist facing more skyward and less vertical? I've done this forever and submitted first swing evaluation yesterday, and that wrist set was one of the feedback points.
March 8, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jeffrey. There may be a slight grip issue. If it tough for review instructors to always tell the grip position. Always check the strength and placement in hand if the club is closed at the top and the wrist is flat. Allowing for proper lead shoulder socket rotation will help a better arm position. Take a look at How to Keep the Left Arm Straight. You don't want the glove logo facing the sky, but allowing for better rotation of the lead arm as the trail arm folds can help you match the proper plane better. Like the Winter Golf Training Program - Backswing Video. You should be able to make a lead arm only swing and have the wrist matching better with the face. If not, check the grip and arm rotation.
March 8, 2017
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Jeffrey
Lead arm only swing has always been good for curing the wrist set (and many other things). Adding the other arm causes the issue. With regard to the grip, is it a too-strong or too-weak grip (and in which hands or both) that could cause (i) the cupping and/or (ii) the feeling of a closed club face?
March 8, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jeffrey. Typically, too strong (with grip-lead hand) would be slightly cupped and closed. Too weak with the trail and on top would lead to lifty shut position as well (Right Wrist in the Takeaway).
March 8, 2017
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Jeffrey
Thanks. I didn't get a grip-strength comment on swing review, but I will ask next time.
March 8, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jeffrey. It is tough sometimes on a swing review to see grip. The point of the "v's" are usually noticeable, but not the exact placement of the hand. Take a look at the Golf Grip Tips.
March 8, 2017
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GC
The first error where elevation is less is what I do. But I don't feel the power and hence I continuously drag my arm more sideways and hence lose the elevation. Dragging my arm more to the side I use more shoulder blade and feel stronger. The shots may not feel that way obviously. What's a good way to feel more powerful so I can ingrain this new drill to get the elevation back?
February 23, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello GC. The key in golf is speed, not power. You don't see many body builders on tour because you want to shy away from brute force. Using leverage, width and rotation help provide speed. Being relaxed helps prepare you to deliver the club. Think of cracking a whip. You don't yank the arm or try an feel powerful to have a good crack. You stay relaxed and allow the whip to crack. That way you have more speed. Load the glutes, engage the obliques, and feel a coil. Let the muscle recruitment create the club head speed. Not trying to stay so loaded good movements can't occur.
February 23, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello GC. The key in golf is speed, not power. You don't see many body builders on tour because you want to shy away from brute force. Using leverage, width and rotation help provide speed. Being relaxed helps prepare you to deliver the club. Think of cracking a whip. You don't yank the arm or try an feel powerful to have a good crack. You stay relaxed and allow the whip to crack. That way you have more speed. Load the glutes, engage the obliques, and feel a coil. Let the muscles recruitment create the club head speed.
February 23, 2017
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anthony
Wow. This cleared up a lot for me that I was missing-not thinking about. I see this a TON at the courses. Mainly the elevation and maintaining it with flexion. I was the guy you'd see with low hands at the top. This is going to change that. I had no idea the left arm would cover the right eye if you're facing your arms. I always wondered why my right elbow sat so close to my side at the top! Thank you for making this video!!
May 26, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Anthony. Glad the video helped your elevation issue. Appreciate the compliments.
May 27, 2016
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Lance
Hi Craig Recently after working on the 5 steps series Aaron pointed out that my right arm was working away from the peck some. I think that in my zeal to get better weight shift I somehow started overswinging. In trying to keep the right arm straight as long as possible I think momentum was moving my arms deeper than they should. Is there a way to keep the bicep and peck better connected? I tend to have less elevation than you recommend - in other words my left arm likes to stay lower (chin height rather than eyes). One focus I have had is the arm release rather than the body release. Does the higher shoulder elevation help get the arms releasing with more momentum from gravity? Can you recommend a good shoulder elevation drill video? Thanks.
May 18, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Lance. Elevation can be variable. It is okay that you don't get it quite to the base of the pectorals. You can create more speed with more elevation (How to Maintain Club Head Speed as You Get Older Video). Pool Noodle Drill and 4 Square Drill to help with elevation. I wish there were a better way to keep them connected (you can use the Rotary Connect), but sadly there isn't a tip cheat sheet. By maintaing external humeral rotation it will be easier to keep the scapula in the proper positioning and the arm in front however.
May 18, 2016
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Lance
Thanks Craig I think the issue was my takeaway getting sloppy in that the weight shift drills seem to promote immediate rotation of the hips. I find that it is better for the overall backswing to not rotate hips until the shoulders force the hips after the takeaway. Also the point about keeping the left wrist a bit bent during address and takeaway help eliminate using the hands in the takeaway. All this makes elevation a snap and promotes amazing width. Wonderful how reviewing the fundamentals for the takeaway was so helpful. The 4 square drill seemed to bring it all together. Thanks.
May 19, 2016
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Bill
I loved this video. Thank you for doing it. i was doing two out of three of the things that you mentioned.
May 9, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Bill. Thanks for the compliments. Appreciate the positive feedback. At one point I made all 3 errors when working on mine .
May 9, 2016
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Peter
Very poor video. Makes the back swing seem complicated. Raising the arms/shoulders frontally to reach the back swing position is not helpful. What you need to emphasize is natural shoulder/chest turning in the back swing to reach the top.
April 22, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Peter. I am sorry you didn't find the video helpful or informative. The discussion point for this video is for common errors that I see players make when drilling. If you watch the 5 Minutes to the Perfect Backswing, 5 Minutes to the Perfect Backswing Checkpoints, Understanding Arm Elevation and the 3 Functions of the Right Arm. They all start with training how the arms work from a frontal positioning and the start to add rotation to said arm movements. I didn't cover the rotation aspects because they were already completed in those videos. Merely pointing out when I see people start to train what their arms do that they don't always hit the correct positioning.
April 23, 2016
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Adrian
I have been focusing on the backswing drills for now but haven't found mention of a backswing trigger. Is their an initiation or a move recommended to start the backswing?
February 28, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Adrian. Most tour pros or better players that need a trigger to the backswing use their weight shift as a momentum starter.
February 29, 2016
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Jason
Jason I thought this would be a good place for this comment: I think I'm rotating in the wrong plane/ too flat: these are my symptoms tell me if I am correct: on the backswing when my left arm is straight, my right arm is NOT visible above it like some references say it is supposed to be......I hit balls that are slightly above my feet very well.......and lastly, my shoulders look nothing like the merry-go-round drill on this site......Is my self disgnosis correct?
September 15, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jason. With the Merry Go Round Drill your shoulders will not appear to be as open as described. It is a great drill to feel spine angle, but you need to make sure not to push through with the trail shoulder. The trail arm at the top of the backswing doesn't need to be above the lead arm. If you are really struggling with this. One of our instructors would be happy to take a look for you.
September 15, 2015
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Jason
no I meant at I believe 9 o'clock position, the trail arm should still be visible above the straight left arm according to a couple of articles I have read is that a correct check point?
September 15, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Ah. I was thinking you meant the top of the backswing. Yes, the trail arm will be slightly above. If you cannot see it. You are probably rolling the forearms too much off the ball and pushing with the lead arm.
September 15, 2015
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Jason
great. thx.
September 15, 2015
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Howard
Craig...just started working on this and the static positions look good except to get the left arm to cover my right eye while standing straight up there doesn't seem to be any connect between my right bicep and right pec nor when I get into posture and turn?
August 12, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Howard. They don't have to have a tight connection. The key is awareness that they are still together, not pinched.
August 13, 2015
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Don
It seems like the Right TRICEPS should barely contact the chest wall near the lateral pectoralis. Th biceps is anterior and not posterior to the humerus.
February 21, 2016
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Jason
I think I figured out something, when I was finishing move one, I was immediately bending right arm and winding up to low not enough elevation I think what I'm supposed to do is after move 1, continue rotating now, hips were quiet during move 1, but now have to be recruited into move 2. At this point I am supposed to keep rotating raising the arms until my triceps are at the base of my pectoralis down the line view of course my arms are behind me because they have to be, now last step, flex right arm no more than 90degrees at the elbow and I am at the top. is that correct? of course, keep right knee flex, laser beam, etc
July 18, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jason. Yes. You will keep rotating from the takeaway as you add the elevation, then flexion and finish the backswing. Take a look at the Move 2 Video in the Backswing Section and the 3 Functions of the Right Arm in the Advanced Backswing Section for more help.
July 18, 2015
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Jed
Craig....thanks for responding so quickly on my video submissions. I am sure I have seen you at Barefoot. Live in Edgewater since 2004. Graduated Dec 2000 from San Diego Golf Academy when I was 60 and gave young pups a go but now I am 74. Shoulder elevation and rotation not as easy any more (lazy) so you are spot on with your evaluation so thanks for the work and now I need to get with it. Back issues haven't helped thus the leverage focus but the box check you demonstrated is a big insight for that. Will send you a progress video - continued success with Rotary Swing. Jed DuBreuil
July 3, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Jed. No problem. I was in Cypress Bend from 2005-2010 (Lived with Will S). I'm sure we have crossed paths before. I still have divots growing back on the driving range from working on my Rotary Swing back in the day. Sorry to hear about the back. I know all to well those pains. Get as close as you can with the elevation and box. We don't have to be perfect just yet, but progress. Appreciate the post. Keep at it!
July 3, 2015
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Jed
Thanks Craig. Just paid for unlimited reviews with you so as the heat permits I will video my efforts to follow your instruction. One observation from a video stream yesterday is that I was standing so upright that achieving (mid pec level) elevation was impossible. So will be trying to get into a better posture (picked up on the Speith video) that by bending over more it makes elevation, rotation, flexion not only look better but doable. The issue of course will be can the back hold up and I can avoid early extension. We will see today. Working on hamstrings - the culprit to coming out of posture. What happened to the self video analysis feature? I need to be able to do that.
July 9, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Great. We will get some good work done! And, the good news is I won't require too much in the heat for the early going. The Self Analysis is still working. Are you having issues on your end?
July 9, 2015
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Jed
Just did 45 min video stream focusing on elevation. By getting into a more athletic stance (hip bend about 45) both views show the right elbow elevation to pec height improved. Your video demonstrating block the right eye kinda through me for a scary loop. But if you bend into address posture - then getting the hands up and wide was a piece of cake. Didn't hurt the back, no early extension and the swing was much more fluid and powerful with better width, rotation AND elevation------got rid of being trapped - praise the Lord. Felt great and I think on the track you want. Not rushing and know work ahead to get this ingrained. If I can figure how to clip video sections out of the stream I will send. I now feel the ground better to get the leverage and elevation....in fact all the movement- actually I look like I know what I am doing.... Thanks so much. Jed
July 9, 2015
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Lisa
Is there a 5 minutes to a perfect downswing pitfalls video?. Thank you.
June 21, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
There isn't one currently, but we are working on adding some new content for the members.
June 22, 2015
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Lisa
Very good detailed instruction. I like your demo about the wrong way and check points for the right way.
June 21, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thank you. Glad you enjoyed the video.
June 22, 2015
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Lee
Oh also, can you still hit the ball high with the proper amount of elevation? It seems like it is easier to hit the ball high with more elevation. Thanks.
May 19, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Lee. Elevation isn't the sole determinant of ball flight height.
May 19, 2015
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Lee
Oh ok so then how do you hit the ball high without that elevation?
May 19, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Lee. By changing the way you attack the ball. You make lead arm and hand adjustments to hit it higher. Take a look at the 9 Days to Amazing Ball Striking - Bonus Section for shot shaping and trajectory changes.
May 19, 2015
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Lee
Hi Craig. Ok, I will check that out. I would like for my normal shot to be a high long shot similar to that of Rory Mcilroy and lower it as needed. I know it is a huge advantage to be able to hit it high enough with distance to be able to stop it on the green even from long distances away. Thanks for the help Craig.
May 19, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Lee. Yes, hitting it high and far has its advantages. However, don't discount trajectory control. Your goal should be able to flight the ball on command. Not just one shot in the bag. Talk to Tiger the "traj" master . Its not always sunny skies and no wind.
May 20, 2015
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Lee
Absolutely, I was trying to say that I would like for my normal shot to be high and to hit a lower shot if need be, I think I said that wrong. I definitely was not saying that is all I wanted to do. I was just saying that is what I would like my base shot to be and then I would lower the trajectory as needed for wind etc which is also something that Rory does quite well. Ultimately, I want to be able to control the trajectory as needed for sure but to have my standard shot be a high shot. Hopefully that clarifies what I was saying. Sorry if I that wasn't clear there.
May 20, 2015
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Lee
What does having too much elevation cause? Why is it bad to have too much elevation and to get the hands too high? I have heard the higher your hands the more potential for power. Will you lose distance if you get your hands lower if you lower the elevation if you had too much? Thanks.
May 19, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Lee. You run into a problem of law of diminishing returns. Too much elevation of the arms starts to disconnect them from the box and you have to wait for the blades to get depressed on the downswing. Creating a timing issue. Some players do perform this move, but they have naturally performed it since they were young. You could lose some power by lowering them, but you will make it up with more efficiency.
May 19, 2015
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Lee
So you should still be able to get plenty of power as in more than enough to play professionally with the amount you guys suggest?
May 19, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Lee. Yes. More than enough. Chuck, myself, and other RST players that have played professionally and still do hit it plenty far for tournament play. Chuck and I are both under 6 feet tall. And, by using efficiency can really crank it out there. I often have my students ask how my swing can look so slow, but hit the ball so far (and straight).
May 19, 2015
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Lee
Oh ok, cool. That's good because I am too and want to be able to realize my distance potential. I am guessing Rory Mcilroy is pretty efficient then to hit it as far as he does since he is not that tall either from what I have seen and seems like he has some RST moves in his swing now including his backswing. So are you talking about top 10% tour player distance then? Sorry for all the questions just curious. Thanks for answering them.
May 19, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Lee. Yes, Rory definitely has some of the same characteristics as RST in his swing. Easily top 10%.
May 20, 2015
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Lee
Ok, thanks Craig. Sounds like doing this will allow me to reach my best distance and accuracy combination potential without sacrificing needed distance. I know distance is no good if there is no direction. I just wanted to be sure I could reach my "usable" distance potential this way too.
May 20, 2015
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Christopher
Great video. I'd love to see similar "pitfall" videos for other drills.
May 13, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks Christopher. We are looking at other ideas for future pitfall videos.
May 13, 2015
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Barry
HI Craig, good video on backswing pitfalls. Downswing pitfalls would be good. Regarding the amount of shoulder elevation and connection of the upper pec and biceps, I seem to reduce the amount of connection when shoulder elevation increases; i.e. elbow below the bottom of pec, versus the elbow at or above the bottom of the pec, keeping only in the vertical (not depth) dimension. In Chuck's "How Much Shoulder Elevation", he said it was a preference. Struggling with a long term flying elbow with the overswinging and stuck hook compensations, connection helps to keep my elbow pointed at the ground, the upper arm at 90 degrees from my shoulder from a down the line view at the top and gets my elbow in front of my hip in the downswing faster. I like the leverage/width more shoulder elevation provides, but where's the limit and how do I measure and feel when connection is lost, getting out of the box and disengaging my lats. Thanks, Barry
May 11, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Barry. Thanks for the compliments on the video. If you don't allow the elevation to raise above the base of the pectorals. It will be really hard to disengage from the box. It is a little tough to judge. All about camera work and awareness. If you want to keep it slightly below for connection because it helps you sync up the downswing better. No worries.
May 11, 2015
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michael
Craig, Thanks for reviewing my swing yesterday. I have come to figure out why I am not getting any elevation and low right arm at completion of back swing. It always goes back to the basics. I basically have not started my swing with the right shoulder blade and big muscles. I think correct me if i'm wrong but my turn is actually not even a turn . I did some drills in the mirror and and my right shoulder is going up and not back and down into the spine. At least I think that's the case. I feel much more free with my arms when I do it correctly and it's much easier to elevate. what Is uncomfortable is the actual rotation. I feel like I am not in control since my arms have been pinned to my body for so long. Let me know if any of this makes sense to you, thanks.
April 8, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Michael. That makes perfect sense. The shoulder needs to rotate properly. The proper positioning of the blade makes the elevation easier to produce. Good pick up!
April 8, 2015
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Scott
My clubface is always open at the top of my backswing. Can you suggest how I can fix this?
April 5, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Scott. You need to check your wrist positioning. Take a look at the Using the Wrist Efficiently Video in the Introduction Advanced Section. Make sure you allow the face to rotate and match the lead arm.
April 5, 2015
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Remington
Please clarify which muscle(s) complete the backswing from the end-takeaway position. I find that simply using the lats produces the most consistent and powerful result. However, there seems to be a suggestion that further upper torso rotation is required.
March 29, 2015
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Patrick (Certified RST Instructor)
Remington, the obliques and lats are the primary muscles that cause rotation during the entire backswing. You may be focusing on using the lats, but rest assured the obliques are aiding in the motion. You will feel the right deltoid (shoulder muscle) engaged at the top as well, since your right arm is responsible for lifting the club vertically during the backswing. Watch the "proper muscle activation" video so you what we mean by "engaging" our muscles correctly during the swing.
March 29, 2015
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Jay
Can you explain where my right thumbnail should point at the top of the backswing? Parallel to the target line? I have a tendency to hinge too much and my thumbs point almost 90* to the target line! I know this is wrong.
February 4, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jay. (For Right Handed Player). The thumbnail will be roughly at a 45 degree angle at the top. The right wrist will have a little hinge and set. If the right wrist is too flat the thumbnail will point straight down towards the ground. If overly hinged and set. It will tend to be more parallel to the ground. Tough to gauge just off the thumbnail though. Focus more on a flat left wrist and that the right wrist has a slight amount of cupping.
February 4, 2015
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Jay
Thanks for the reply. I was focusing on my right hand, because I want to ingrain a right sided takeaway. Ill have to try focusing on the left hand. I love the pencil drill, maybe there can be a full pencil drill for every step in the future.
February 4, 2015
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Gavin
Hi, before I began this method I pushed my left arm and across my chest and got the wrists stuck behind me. Now with the turn and elevation the club is travelling above the original shaft angle, the arms are too far away from my body at times. I have tried not elevating and just rotating from my right side, as well as s/blade glide, however at times it reverts back to too high and well above original shaft angle, which means I lose some rotation in my backswing and get a little flat at the top. Can you recommend a way that I can ingrain the correct take away position? Thanks
January 29, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gavin. If you are struggling with getting the proper elevation in the takeaway. I have a few videos to help. Take a look at the Pool Noodle Drill in the Advanced Backswing Section and the RST Pencil Tee Drill in the Advanced Takeaway Section. Both will help blend the rotation and elevation to fix your takeaway issue.
January 29, 2015
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Sunil
I have the first problem, where I'm losing elevation when I add flexion. Drill without the ball is fine! Even when I feel I have plenty of elevation on the backswing, my video shows otherwise. Stuck...
January 26, 2015
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Patrick (Certified RST Instructor)
Sunil, When you practice the backswing drill, make sure your elbows are in line with the base of each pectoral muscle when you perform shoulder elevation before you bend your right elbow. Remember that little bit of forearm rotation after you flex the right elbow. Once this is correct, rotate your right side until your shoulders have turned 90 deg.
January 28, 2015
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wayne
down swing quit spinning out
January 2, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Wayne. Did you have a particular question about spinning out on the downswing?
January 3, 2015
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Bill
Great video for me. All the pitfalls are in my swing. I will commit to drill every day and take to course for results
December 20, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Great Bill. Get to work! I'm glad it helped.
December 20, 2014
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Glen
Where exactly or at what point in the takeaway should your right eye be blocked by the right forearm>?
October 25, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Glen, It never will block your vision in your actual swing because your head is turned down towards the ball. But when you are doing elevation, right elbow flexion drill out in front of you, without rotation, your left elbow pit will cover up your right eye. R.J.
October 25, 2014
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WILLIAM
This is a GREAT video. Please post more pitfall videos.
October 21, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks Bill! We will put some thought behind it.
October 22, 2014
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Lawrence
Craig: Just watch your video and I have been putting in the time at the range but today I noticed I was concentrating on moving the top of my right shoulder (rotator cuff) and not the right shoulder blade. Back to the drawing board and focusing on the shoulder blade and allowing the rotation of the right shoulder blade and both oblique's to rotate instead of my right shoulder. Still hanging in there!
October 20, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Good luck, Larry. Let us know if you need anything! R.J.
October 21, 2014
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Steven
I'd really like to see a "5 Minutes to the Perfect Release Pitfalls" video. I think that learning a proper release would help most of us more than any other aspect of the swing. I know it would for me.
October 17, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Steven. We are having requests for a pitfalls video pertaining to the other 5 Minute Series. We will put it into our think tank.
October 17, 2014
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David
Incredible video!!! Thanks so much for doing this Craig. Like so many, I thought I had the back swing sorted but I was missing the elevation of the RIGHT arm. I drilled this for an hour, hit balls for an hour and then played 9 holes. I shot +1 playing off 12 and this trend has continued. This video has had the single biggest difference in my golf game. I can only BEG you to do "5 minutes to the perfect downswing pitfalls" and club release version.
October 16, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks David. I appreciate the compliment. Awesome work with your game. Keep it up! We have had some request for the other 5 minute series. Will talk to the team. Now, go take some of your buddies money and tell 'em your still a 12.
October 16, 2014
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earl
Great video....can you do a similar video on the downswing points....No matter how many left arm drills I do my right shoulder still wants to take over on the golf course. : (
October 15, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Earl. I understand the right shoulder being a pain in the rear. Thanks for the post on the video. We will take into advisement a possible downswing version.
October 15, 2014
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Mark
Hi Craig, When I try to cover my right eye with my left forearm as you show 2 minutes into the video, I am unable to keep my left arm straight. When I try to keep my left arm straight it increases the angle between my right forearm and right bicep (in other words it forces my right arm to straighten. I sure the same thing is happening in my backswing during my full swing.
October 14, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Mark, If your right eye isn't covered up when you do the elevation and flexion before the rotation, that means that your right elbow is getting too much flexion. You may feel like your arm is straight when your right eye is covered up, but if you video tape yourself, you'll notice that what you feel is straight is actually at 90 degree bend. I know that you can swear up and down that I am crazy, but check out on the camera from both camera angles. If that is not the case, then your right humerus might not be rotated enough externally. I hope this helps, R.J.
October 14, 2014
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Mark
Got it. Thanks for the quick reply!
October 14, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
You're welcome!
October 14, 2014
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Michael
Great instruction cristal clear the penny dropped at last. Many thanks
October 13, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Michael. Thanks for the post!
October 13, 2014
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Gregory
Sorry, still not understanding the elbow pits. Should they be facing each other or pointing up to the sky and do they stay in the same position ( which ever way they are at address) throughout the swing. Is there a video about the elbow pits. This is one area I think may be causing me to swing my arms across my body and get the club face outside my hands. One of my problems right from the set up! Thanks for you quick responses to theses questions. Much appreciated!
October 11, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Yes, the "right arm straight to turn" video will describe to you the function of the elbow pits and keeping the arms straight during the takeaway and backswing. Your right elbow pit should be facing the sky by the time you're ready to flex your right arm. This allows you to just fold your right arm to stay perfectly on plane as opposed to attempting to rotate the arm as you fold it up into the vertical plane.
October 11, 2014
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Gregory
RJ : regarding the elbow pits. When I use the rotary connect device at set-up, it forces the elbow pits to face inwards towards one another. Is this where the pits should be or facing up to the sky? A bit confused here. I will try your other suggestions. The rolling of the wrists is a hard habit to cure after all these years.!
October 11, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Greg, If your elbow pits are internally rotating when you are using the rotary connect, it might be on too narrow of a setting. If you are trying to force your arms together, it will pull your shoulders out of the box. It's a common issue for people with larger chests, like myself. The larger your chest, the more that your elbow pits will be naturally internally rotated. However, I have a rather large chest and I can naturally get my elbow pits pointed away from me if I don't try to pull my arms too close together. So, adjust your rotary connect so that you can get in it comfortably without letting your arms internally rotate. R.J.
October 11, 2014
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Gregory
Hi Craig: Excllent video! Some additional things to think about and check out. As you know from my videos, I tend to roll my wrists and take the club inside and then cross the line at the time with a lifting of the right elbow. I have worked on the videos you suggest, yet still have a hard time with that initiatl move off the ball. Perhaps you could make another video on the backswing with an emphasis on the initial move off the ball for us hand/wrist. no turn issues so we can see it and then have your demonstrate the correct motion. All in all, great presentation and style. Well done!! Greg
October 11, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Greg, I had the same issues a few months ago with getting inside on the takeaway. What I want you to do is instead of focusing on the shoulder turn immediately, make your first move the weight transfer to your right heel. This should pull the club away from the ball about 1-3 inches. This will get your swing started without you feeling like you need to move your arms to get the club to move. Also, the cupping/bowing in your left wrist at address, try your hardest to maintain that angle until the golf leaves your eye sight as you look at the ball. This will help you keep your hands in front of your body and keep you from getting inside. You're almost going to feel like your body is moving and you're leaving your hands at the starting position, but in all reality, they're moving with your body. From that point, you only have to focus on elevating your hands to pocket-belt height and getting a little bit of wrist set to finish up the takeaway. Boom! Perfect form. Also, if you're getting inside on the takeaway, double check that your right elbow pit is pointing away from your body because getting inside when you're trying to fold your elbow generally means that your elbow pit is pointed in the wrong direction. I hope these tips help. Please watch the videos in the takeaway section. Most of them are going to help you keep from getting inside. Rusty
October 11, 2014
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john
not fred it's craig . sorry
October 10, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
No worries.
October 11, 2014
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john
Fred, terrific video. I was dropping my right elbow. Now I use a mirror and cover my right eye and at the top I feel a tremendous difference in the power I can generate on the downswing.
October 10, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Great John. I'm glad the video helped!
October 11, 2014
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Martin
good video Crain. Quick question when you say keep connection between bicep and right pec. How much separation between the bicep and the pec is allowed? I've been told to place the towel under the right arm and not let it fall, I've also been told to let my arm separate to get a wider arc. What's the right balance?
October 10, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
In the rotary swing model, we're taught to keep the arms in front of the body. If you allow your upper bicep separate from your upper pec, two things will happen. One, you'll make yourself more prone to producing a flying elbow, which will cause over swinging and getting under the plane at the bottom of the swing. Flying elbows will also disconnect you from the box. Two, your arms will most likely get suck behind the body in the downswing, unless you're able to compensate and that compensation often produces hook shots from better golfers. The width that you'd be producing by allowing your bicep and pec to separate would be in the depth plane, instead of the vertical plane. That is not desirable in the RST swing model. Even if one were to produce a couple MPH more swing speed by getting their arms that deep in the depth plane, it's much more likely that this golfer would lose much more consistency and accuracy from having to make a compensation to get the arms back in front of the body in the downswing. Check out the Wide-Narrow-Wide video and the Right Arm Drill (Backswing)
October 11, 2014
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Michael
Hi Craig...nice video....need help on wrist cock...from a hand shake I can go down 45 degrees but up is even...nothing at all...is there a way I fix this problem
October 10, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Michael. Wrist cock isn't a ton. Make sure your grip is on the club correctly first. The thumb shouldn't inhibit the set. Also, take look at the Using the Wrist Efficiently Video in the Introduction Advanced Section.
October 10, 2014
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Gil
Very good video! Well presented.
October 9, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks Gil!
October 10, 2014
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Robbie
Hi Craig, great catch on the video! I found I was dropping my right shoulder when I introduced flexion, focusing on covering my eye with my left arm has solved that and the position at the top feels a) different and b) right! Thanks a lot!
October 9, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Robbie. Thanks. I'm glad the video is helping. Keep that elevation!
October 9, 2014
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bernhard
Thank you for this video. I like that you speak slowly and cleary. For me, as a non-native English speaker, this is very important and something I miss on other videos.
October 9, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks Bernhard. It's important to us that you get the knowledge. Glad it was easy on the ears.
October 9, 2014
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David
Great video! When you talk about "the connection" between the right biceps and right pec, does "connection" mean actual contact between them, or is "connection" just maintaining their position relative to each other? I ask because it seems like at setup it is actually the TRICEPS that is in contact with the pec. See Hogan pic below. The only way I can get the BICEPS to touch is by over rotating the humerus internally. (Maybe I just have small pecs. Or massive triceps.) http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/index.php?app=core&module=attach§ion=attach&attach_rel_module=post&attach_id=638255
October 9, 2014
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Don
What an outstanding insightful well presented video!!! My comments are only regarding RST semantics which are consistent but some what confusing on this and other videos. 1. The Triceps anatomically is much closer to,the chest wall along the posterior humerus. For some reason Chuck and his consultants use the word biceps to convey the concept when it actually confuses most of us ( even physicians). 2. Likewise here and elsewhere RST uses "the body is turned" rather than "the torso/ trunk" is turned " to keep hands in front of the sternal region. Your body includes all of your tissues I.e. trunk, head and extremities . RST overall has the best terminology of any writing about golf anywhere. These two changes would add incredible clarity!!!
February 21, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. Thank you. Its the connection between the upper bicep and upper peck. Not so much actual contact with them on your side as you describe and the image. The right arm and tricep will come away from the body. Take a quick look at your armpit with the arms in front of you holding a golf club. The connection is the awareness that this armpit won't fly open and let shirt sleeve get to far away from the chest.
October 9, 2014
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Pierre
Thank you for that clip...I am working on that part of the swing and it will be helpful. It complete Chuck"s and Clay's clips.
October 9, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks you Pierre. Get that backswing complete.
October 9, 2014
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James
I have taken lessons from Haney, Leadbetter, Harmon, even the skycap at airport. I have bought almost every book out and subscribed to almost all golf sites. Craig's lesson is the best lesson I have ever had. So easy to understand and change the bad backswing methods of the other instructors. I have a bad back and shoulder. I am 79 and usually shoot between 80-90. Today after watching Craig's lesson I went to the range worked on it for 10 minutes then played and shot 73 I am so excited can't wait to play tomorrow. Please don't let me wake up and not be able to do this. Thanks Craig
October 9, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. I am somewhat humbled by your post. I thank you for the kind words. I'm thrilled at how well you played today. Keep focused and working at it. You will wake up on the right side of the bed.
October 9, 2014
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Mike
CRAIG, I CAN DO THE PERFECT BACKSWING STANDING ERECT. WHERE DOES THAT SHOULDER ELEVATION TAKE PLACE FROM THE SETUP POSITION? Is it just a gradual lifting of the hands as I turn to the top? LEFT ARM COVERING RIGHT EYE? To do that I have to turn my head 90` from the target. Is this a good check to see if correct position is reached?
October 9, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mike. Shoulder elevation is gradual from the start of the golf swing. There is just a touch in the takeaway and the majority from the takeaway to the top. Take a look at Understanding Shoulder Elevation Video in the Backswing Section for information on the principle. Both 5 Mins to the Perfect Takeaway and Backswing will address the amount to add. I wouldn't recommend the check by turning your head once you have achieved setup and rotated to the top. It's more for understanding the arm placement and motion. Making sure you don't lose elevation and allow for rotation in the forearm.
October 9, 2014
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Mark
very good I thought I had this part down pat but realize now my hands have been to low probably giving away distance.
October 8, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks Mark. Use physics to your advantage!
October 9, 2014
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andrew
great video. Thanks
October 8, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thank you Andrew!
October 9, 2014
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Peter
Nice! pk Ooops. That's too short. How's your Mom? Or forgiving that, How's your wife? I was just passing a compliment on a clearly presented, concise set of guides.
October 8, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks Peter. Mom is doing okay. No wife yet. Thanks for asking. I appreciate the compliment.
October 9, 2014
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Ronald
Excellent explanation Craig. I have been reluctant to submit my next video because I have been unable to get to the position you discuss here. I get it now, so stay tuned, next video coming and can hardly wait to get to the next steps to retaining lag. thanks..
October 8, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ron. Happy to help. I appreciate the good feedback and lets get you into a good position! Get this down and next stop "Lagville."
October 9, 2014
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Vince
great video - would love to see the same lessons-learned videos for the other five-minutes videos !!!
October 8, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks Vince! We will take that into advisement.
October 9, 2014
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Jesse
This is great! Thanks
October 8, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks for the positive feedback Jesse!
October 9, 2014
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Blaise
Would you like to stop my subscription right now... thank You Blaise Larouche blaise.l@sympatico.ca
October 8, 2014
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kathy
Excellent video. You have hit the nail on the head with these two points : loss of elevation and the wrist set for me . Very well demonstrated .Kathy
October 8, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Appreciate the kind words Kathy!
October 9, 2014
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bill
At what point, in a real swing, does the left arm 'COVER" the right eye? How do you reconcile a straight right arm takeaway with the bicep touching the right side?
October 8, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
'Hello Bill. Standing straight up with the arms in front of you the arm will be close to covering the right eye. As you bend forward "add hinge, then rotation. The head will stay on the ball. The relative position it will "cover" is at the top of the backswing. The Upper Right Bicep and Pectoral will retain connection. Think about upper armpit location. Not as low as middle of bicep staying glued.
October 9, 2014
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prempree
Thank this vedio is exactly show what I am wrong in my back swing but how to maintain to keep shoulder turn and pushing the arm please.
October 8, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Prempee. If you are pushing the right arm you are probably letting the right elbow go behind. Learn how keeping it straighter going back will act like a piston on the shoulder blade in the Keeping the Right Arm Straight to Turn Video in Advanced Backswing Section. Also, the 3 Functions of the Right Arm in the Advanced Backswing Section to master.
October 9, 2014
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Mark
I would like to hear the answer to that too.
October 8, 2014
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Cory
Good explanation. I see too many players stop their rotation and allow the arms to swing the club independently from the shoulders. Keep the videos coming.
October 8, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks Cory!
October 8, 2014

Hi I'm rotary swing tour instructor Craig Morrow and today I'm gonna talk to you about a few of the common pitfalls I see when people are working on their drills to the five minutes to the perfect backswing. If we're gonna get into the correct position at the top of our backswing, we have to make sure that we're doing the drills correctly and it's something that I see on a day in and day out basis that our members or students are putting in the time and their putting in the effort but their getting into an improper position because they miss one or two things in the drills and they've spent tons of times ingraining the improper position. And we wanna make sure that you do the drill correctly so that you're getting into the correct position at the top. And so, what I wanna do today is I wanna show you a few of the common pitfalls that I see on a daily basis and to making sure you're ingraining a nice position at the top versus missing one or two key elements that's keeping you from getting into the correct position at the top.

                So, the first thing is, is that when people add their right elbow flection they lose their shoulder elevation. So, let me show you a little bit about what that looks like. They elevate to the base of their pec, but when they add their right elbow flection, they lose their shoulder elevation. Now you can see that my right elbow's more in line with the middle of my torso and that my left arm's coming more across my chest. This isn't a very powerful position. If I bend over and rotate, now my arms are deep. Now my hands are low. I'm not gonna wanna create any lag and I'm typically gonna drive hard with my right shoulder to try to get any speed or to get that club head working back out in front of me. And for those of you who've watched any videos on the site we know that right shoulder on the down swing is our enemy.  We don't wanna use him too much.

                So, let's make sure that when we add our elevation and fold our right arm that we don't lose that elevation. We want this left forearm blocking out our right eye. We don't want it below our head. We definitely don't want it up here. But we want this left forearm blocking out our right eye. Just as what we talked about in the checkpoints video. If we don't lose our elevation, this left forearm should be blocking out our right eye. The next thing that I see, is that people get the arm motion correct, they get the elevation, they get the flection, they get the left forearm rotation as the right arm starts to fold. All the good things in front of them, but then they lack the rotation going back. They move their move their arms independently from their body versus aligning their body to transport their arms and club a completed position.

                They get everything correct with the arm motion and then they go like this and they think that they've rotated to the top. Well you haven't rotated. All you've done is just moved your arms. You can see that I've lost my connection between my upper right bicep and upper pec and now my arms and hands have gone very far across center line. So, if I were to bend over, you can see that my arms are now behind me versus being in front of my sternum or being in front of my chest. The left arm's gonna cross center line a little bit as we continue to the top and as the right arm folds. We don't wanna manually get if to cross center line too much. This isn't very supported and it's not very powerful. So, what we've gotta do is we've gotta make sure that we maintain this connection between our upper right bicep and upper pec. And that we rotate back, using the right shoulder blade, using the right oblique.

                Not going like this. Keeping that connection and we're rotating back. The last thing that I see, is that people get either too little wrist set or too much wrist set. Now, wrist set throughout the golf swing is gonna be very gradual. It's gonna feel something like flipping a coin over your right shoulder. If I was in this position and just flipping a coin over my right shoulder nice and gradually, I add a little bit of set, and a little bit of hinge. That's all the amount of wrist set that we need in the golf swing. It's a nice simple motion. There's no max set. There's no too little set. So let me show you what the two differences look like. If you add elevation. Add a little bit of flection, if you get into this position, then your wrists are too tight and you're grip is too tight. You haven't allowed for any wrist set. The club's pointing up towards the sky. We wanna make sure that we have a little bit of wrist set. So, don't hold the wrist too tight. Don't hold the grip too tight.

                If you have too much wrist set, now the club's gonna be pointing down towards the ground. That means that my grip is too light and my wrists are too supple. I'm not controlling the club anymore. Now I don't know about you guys, but I still wanna be the boss of my club. I don't want him telling me what to do. And if you get into that position, he's gonna dictate what you do. So, we've gotta make sure that we keep a nice grip pressure and that we're kind of actively controlling it, but not controlling it. We allow for a little bit of wrist set and we maintain control of the golf club. We don't give up on it, allow too much wrist set.  We don't hold off on it. Not allow any wrist set. Use this as your checkpoint. If you get into this position, where you have this box, then you have about the proper amount of wrist set. If you form an L, then you know that you're not allowing your wrist to set and that you're holding it too tightly. If you form this kind of right triangle looking thing, where the club is pointed down towards the ground, then you know that you're not controlling the golf club enough and that you're allowing for too much wrist set.

                So, make sure, that as you go through the drill, that you just form this little box. It's not gonna be perfect, but just form this little box and that'll mean that you're allowing for the wrist set to happen and it's in a good location. So, check those pitfalls. Make sure that when you're folding the right arm, that you don't lose your shoulder elevation. That when you get the arm motion correct, that you use rotation to transport the arms. You just don't move your arms independently of your body.  And that you have the proper amount of wrist set at the top. It's gonna be very gradual. Just a little bit of hinge, a little bit of set. We're not gonna give up control. Get too much. We're not gonna not allow the club do anything by controlling it too much and getting this wrist too tight and not allowing it to set. So, take a look at those. Let's make sure we do the drill correctly and let's get into the correct position at the top of the backswing.

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