Flagpole Concept - Losing Your Balance

Stop losing your balance in your golf swing by understanding the concept of force of movement and leverage.

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Kevin
Finish for swing below - right foot down and rolled but lost tush line. Hit this shot well
July 2, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. You were already off the tush line back. Recovery would've been hard. From this position in the follow through it is perfectly natural to start letting the trail foot come off the ground.
July 2, 2020
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Kevin
Craig - I’ve been working on my balance and not falling in toward the ball on the backswing per my last review. I’ve improved that part and only slightly moved in but came off the tush line quite a bit although my right knee still has some flex. Assuming I just need to work on loading deeper with the right glute - miss is still a two way miss hook/ block
July 2, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. A little deeper load may help. But, you can see you pushed the lead arm a little across the chest into the depth dimension. This can cause the same issue.
July 2, 2020
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Kevin
Thanks Craig for the quick reply - should I focus more on my lower body or fixing the arms? I think we were hoping improving my balance would fix the arm issues
July 2, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. I think the arms would be more the priority.
July 2, 2020
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marshall
I seem to have a problem getting my hips to turn fully through the shot. I don't seem to be able to attain the "belt buckle to target position". Any drills for this?
August 14, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Marshall. The hips at impact or in the finish?
August 14, 2017
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marshall
Finish
August 14, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Marshall. If you are getting the impact proper and release. I wouldn't stress about it too much. Or, if something is off it may be a lack of weight transfer with the upper half and lower half.
August 14, 2017
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Steve
Great analogy- makes things so easy to understand!
November 21, 2016
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Sanjay
Thanks for the video. This is definitely something I struggle with, especially when taking full swings. I notice that I'm much more balanced (and make purer contact) when I take semi-swings. I'd love to understand what sensation I should experience when I've completed my backswing so that shifting my weight and rotating my hips seems more natural. Right now I really seem to have to think about it a whole lot. (Swinging and Thinking = not good, for me at least) Esoteric question i realize, but I'm not sure how else to describe it.
July 2, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Take a look at the How the Lower Body Works Video in the Downswing Section and the How to Swing from the Ground Up in the Introduction Advanced Section.
July 2, 2015
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Sam
Hi, this is a really big problem for me as I've been playing like this for about 3 years now! Are there other drills to combat this swing from the top? Love this site, it's taking me a lot of reps to groove anything due to years of playing but am slowly beginning to reap benefits!
May 26, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Sam. The Proper Muscle Activation Video in the Introduction Section, Stop Coming Over the Top in the Downswing Section, LADD Video in the Downswing Section, and the Over the Top Stick Drill in the Advanced Downswing Section.
May 26, 2015
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Sam
Hi thanks, they're all really good. I hit mostly a controlled fade or slight pull (but playable) now, do you think it's better to accept that as natural shot shape (fade) or continue working towards draw? I play off 14, end goal is low single figures?
May 28, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Sam. Mechanically speaking with the RST Swing you should have the tendency of a slight draw if not straight. If you already have the shape of a fade, learn to use the draw. If your goal is low single digits. Be comfortable working it both ways.
May 28, 2015
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colin
Hi, Great flagpole illustration and visual regarding balance in golf swing. Regards Colin.
February 25, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks Colin. We appreciate it!
February 25, 2015
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Christian
would "hip spinners" be guilty of swinging too much from the top? I am having a hard time getting out of what I have done for years.
February 24, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hip spinners typically get the lower half going too much, too early. But, it can be coupled with throwing the club from the top.
February 25, 2015
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Tim (Certified RST Instructor)
I have been trying to convey this principle to my students for the better part of a decade. This flag pole reference is so unbelievably simple but yet incredibly visual and familiar to everyone. Just wanted to comment on how helpful this has been to me and my students! To hit from the ground up you must first stop hitting from the top down. Just slide your flag (arms), down the flag pole Tim in Denver, CO
February 23, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks Tim. As a fellow RST Instructor. Keep on learning!
February 25, 2015
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Clint
My half swing is getting pretty consistent after working with the videos on lag, 9-3 drill and on the 5 minute release. What video would help guide me in bringing the club to the top? Thanks, Clint
February 22, 2015
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Clint
February 22, 2015
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Steven (Certified RST Instructor)
Clint, I few videos to help bring the club to the top would be Move 2-completing the backswing, 5 minutes to the perfect backswing and understanding arm elevation..just to name a few. one thing to keep in mind as we are bringing the club to the top is to remember to continue rotating by pulling the right shoulder back (assuming RH). Dont forget to do that very important otherwise we can get disconnected and things can go wrong. Best of luck Steven
February 22, 2015
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edward
Where is the search feature on the new website? I could not find it. Thanks, Ed
February 20, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Edward. It is located under the Testimonials Box at the Top Right of this page.
February 21, 2015
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edward
I don't see a testimonials box. Even if I had that it would seem to be a strange location for a search function.
February 23, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Edward. I see Amy has contacted you. Hope everything is corrected now.
February 24, 2015
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Ken
The light went on in my head when Chuck described how the hips SHOULD function: as a rotating/twisting form of leverage from the ground up, not as dead weight to stop you from falling forward. Just seeing where Chuck's hands ended up as he turned/shifted/transferred his weight was enlightening. I watched that segment over and over. Back to work. Thanks again.
February 19, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Great Ken. Force of movement from the top can be deadly. Swing from the ground up. Get everything in sequence.
February 19, 2015
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Anthony
What is the best way to stop the hit impulse, that seems to make me want to hit from the top, especially under pressure.
February 18, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Anthony. You are fighting natural instinct. It is tough. The way I relate it to my students is the swing only has one speed burst. The swing is too short in time to have multiple. You don't want the speed burst on the backswing or at the top because you are wasting energy before you get to impact. Wait as long as possible. Deliver the speed when it matters.
February 18, 2015
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Robert
I wonder if in explaining being able to use the lower body to start the downswing, it might help to add that gravity can be a big help ? In other words, by maintaining the angle of the right leg, there might be a tendency to "fall" back to the left before the lead leg stabilizes and braces. I also wonder if allowing the head to move ever so slightly toward the target to reestablish balance and can make it easier to get the weight back left ? In other words, it might be that it starts from the top.
February 18, 2015
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Ken
If I may, I think that Chuck demonstrated quite well the proper effect gravity was having on his hands as his hips were turning and shifting to the lead leg. Note the video from 2:20 to 3:00 minute mark, where this is specifically addressed. As to moving your head forward to "reestablish your balance, " one should not be out of balance in the first place, so I find the comment moot. Now, if you are saying that the downswing or the transition move begins with your head... This is a thoughtful proposition that you've put forward, but it is not a tenet to which I or, to the best of my knowledge, anyone at RST believes, teaches or practices. What say you, Craig?
February 19, 2015

If you ever tend to lose your balance in the swing, typically it's what we call a problem from the force of movement, or where your movement is coming from at the top of the downswing. When you tend to fall over, if you've seen this guy at the range, we've seen this a lot, right, you go to the top of the swing and then they're like ...

                What's happening there is that the golfer is taking all of their force of movement, making it come from the top, when in reality you need your force of movement especially during the transition from the backswing to the downswing to come from your lower body, your core. We've all head this concept of you should swing from the ground up, but what does that mean exactly? Well, I'm going to tell you. Imagine a flagpole, so we're going to use my golf shaft here as a flag pole. Imagine a flag hanging off the top here. As that flag's whipping around in the wind, that flagpole, even though it might be made of steel or heavy medal, it can start to whip around because the flag, if it's a big enough flag, is using the flag pole to whip around because it's got a lot of leverage on it. If you took that same flag and moved it all the way down to the bottom of the pole, and then still had the wind whipping around, there would be way less leverage on the flag to move the flagpole around, and that's because there's just less leverage, right?

                Think of a crowbar. If you're trying to pry something open, if your pry bar is very very short, and you're trying to pry something open, you don't have nearly as much leverage as if you have a long crowbar trying to pry something open. That's why all of our golf clubs have a little bit of leak to them. They're not three inches long. Well, when it comes to leverage, that applies to everything in life, including your golf swing. When people swing from the top, their force of movement is from the top, their force of movement's from the top, like this flagpole idea. They go to the top and they use their arms and hands and shoulders in a futile effort to produce a lot of speed early on. What happens is they're taking a lot of leverage against their body, so their hips no longer work properly in the swing to try and shift and rotate, their hips instead try to stabilize and keep them from falling on their face.

                When you start swinging from the top, that's what's happening. You have a lot of leverage, and your body then tries to stop to keep you from falling over. Of course, what you want to do, is as you get to the top of the swing, your first move is shifting your weight, getting into that squat move, and beginning to rotate your hips. Now, because my arms and hands are relatively passive during this phase of the swing, there's very little leverage in my swing in terms of pulling the club out towards this way, towards the ball, which is what's causing you to want to fall over that way. If you're losing your balance, focus on shifting your weight from the swinging from your core, shifting your weight and using your hips to bring the club down. If I try to leave my arms up here as long as I can and just do nothing but shift my weight and rotate my hips, look how low my hands are already. Now I've got all this leverage to then release into the ball. So if you're losing your balance, think of a flagpole, start swinging from the ground up.

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