Pushing vs. Pulling - Golf Swing Physics

This 7 part video series walks you through the keys of RST. This first video shows you a simple physics lesson that will change the way you view golf instruction for the rest of your life.

This single fundamental of RST and physics principal can you give you another 5-10, even 15 mph clubhead speed - instantly! More importantly, it will give you more control and help you hit the ball further with less effort.

BONUS VIDEO: Reshaping Your Swing for Lag

  • Eliminate pushing from the trailside in your golf swing for more speed and consistency
  • Understand how important pulling can be for speed and control

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John
I have been through the Dead series now but was curious - I have not seen a single video that talks about a pre-shot routine. Any advice?
November 12, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. Take a look at the Trust Line Video. Also, we don't have a lot of pre-shot info on the site. My apologies.
November 12, 2020
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Aman
When I start my downswing by shifting my weight to the left and I can feel that I am pulling the club. Is the sensation that one should feel is that the left arm is being pulled or should the sensation be that both arms are being pulled together? Thanks!
June 25, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Aman. The lead side is doing the pulling. The lead lat aids in pulling both arms in front of the body.
June 25, 2020
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James
once one shifts their weight, does one then begin the pulling motion (from the left hand, assuming one plays as a right handed golfer)? is it, shift the weight, the hands drop and shallow, and then the pulling begins? Thanks
November 11, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. The downswing will be a blend of pull and gravity. When you shift your weight you are blending the pull from weight/core with staying relaxed in the upper half to allow the arms to shallow out. Basically, stay relaxed and do nothing with the upper half. Softness, and weight/core pull will bring you down onto plane.
November 11, 2019
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Andrew
When analyzing your swing from down the line, should the hands and club be tracing down the elbow plane line into impact?
January 5, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Andrew. From the hosel of the club through the back of the trail elbow.
January 5, 2019
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Andrew
After drawing the elbow plane line, when analyzing the downswing do we want the hands and club to be on the elbow plane line? Or should the hands be above or below the line?
January 5, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Andrew. The hands and club will be above it at the top of the backswing. As you start coming down they will start too match the elbow plane line as you lose elevation. And, into impact the hands will be a hair above it with the club pretty much matching albeit hands hair above.
January 5, 2019
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Scott
I have 5 yo daughter who is left handed. Given that the swing should be left hand dominate, would you guys recommend that she learn golf as a right handed player? She's already petite and will likely need all the power she can get out of her small frame.
January 26, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Scott. We have discussed this topic on many of the forums. It all depends on her training. Is she already well versed at using her left hand for writing, throwing, everyday activities, etc? If she is already proficient at using her left for those types of motions. It would probably be easier to train her right hand to be the control hand and left hand to stay her speed hand for now. Just start early on getting that right hand to be in control.
January 26, 2018
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James
Suggests there are certain times (such as during the back swing) when the right side is more active/dorminant than the left side?
April 16, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. During the backswing the trail shoulder pull will more than likely feel the most dominant. Body Rotation in Golf Backswing Video will help you feel the pull.
April 17, 2017
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Andrew
Good Lord, never mind. I spent 10 minutes looking for it, then sent you the question, then looked one more time with different parameters, and there it was! Mea culpa. Andrew
March 25, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
No problem Andrew. Glad you found it.
March 25, 2018
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Andrew
Hi Craig, I'm wondering whether the "Body Rotation in Golf Backswing" video may have been re-named since your reply here? I can't find anything by that name in the video library. Thanks, Andrew
March 25, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Andrew. I just typed Body Rotation in the search bar and it was the second video on the list. Keep me posted. You should be able to see it.
March 25, 2018
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Andrew
That's what did it for me. I made the mistake of typing in the entire name, and got a lot of hits. Sorry to have been a doofus.
March 25, 2018
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Eric
That's ok, I just read the comments below. As a suggestion, you folks might want to think about making these videos a bit easier to find. I've been using the search a lot, but it would be nice if they could somehow just show up on the main menu. Thanks.
October 20, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Eric. I apologize for the confusion. Hopefully, the below post helps.
October 20, 2016
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Eric
Hello. I notice in many videos (like this one) a "bonus" video or is mentioned at the end. Where do I find this video? Thanks.
October 20, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Eric. These videos were filmed under the old design of the site. It would be hard to go back a re-film to take some of the bonus comments out. I apologize for the confusion. Use the search bar and type in Reshaping Your Golf Swing for Lag. That is the video Chuck mentions.
October 20, 2016
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Ashar
my major problem is bring the hand down and release. I just shift weight, rotate, elevate and complete my back swing but from here to bring hand down and release either fat shot or chunk. Not getting that feel. I also tried gravity by training my hands independently. Go to back swing and just drop. needs help. On driver this is scary.
September 18, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ashar. Have you uploaded a video for review recently? We would be happy to take a look. Does your lead arm only swing look proper on camera (practice and ball)?
September 19, 2016
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Ashar
ok. I would do that on date fixed but there are my videos reviewed.
September 20, 2016
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Seth
This makes perfect sense but I'm beginning to question if golf as a whole is taught incorrectly. After watching the open, I did a little digging only to find out that while H. Stenson plays right handed, he's LH dominant. And Phil is a known righty who plays lefty clubs. J Speith is also a "flip-flop" player. If the the lead side does a majority of the work, why is golf not played from the right side of the ball for RH people and the left side of the ball from LH people? I'm a RH player who committed to getting better 2 years ago so I'm still in the phase of fighting my trail side from taking over may lead side but now I question if I should have picked up a "lefty" set of clubs. Do you have any thoughts on that?
July 17, 2016
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Andrew
Try being lefty for some things (e.g. throwing, shooting, kicking, pool, bowling) and righty for some things (e.g. eating, writing, tennis, batting)...and wondering whether I'm *ever* on the correct side of the ball!
March 25, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Seth. It might be a little late in the game to switch sides on the ball. The orientation switch would really take a long time to recover from. However, you pose an interesting question. Maybe it is taught on the wrong side. You might see in the future more players as you described above making their dominate side their lead side.
July 18, 2016
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Salem
Sorry i found it under recommend videos
July 11, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Salem. Great!
July 12, 2016
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Salem
Im looking for Reshaping your swing for lag. I looked in the search area. Thank you
July 11, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Salem. It is in the recommended category.
July 12, 2016
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Salem
Where is the bonus video?
July 11, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Salem. I'm glad you found it.
July 12, 2016
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John
Many of the f the videos refer to moves 1,2,3 &4. I have not yet found an introductory video that covers these together giving more of an overview of the complete swing and defining the four moves. Please help me find this.
November 12, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jack. The basic overview of the swing is in the Introduction Section. Use the search bar and type RST Overview.
November 12, 2015
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Preston
I have a tendency with my right arm flexing more on the downswing in effort to maintain lag. Is this an incorrect move? I swing under the plane very much and am trying to understand how to maintain the angle. I feel like if i don't allow my right arm to flex more on the downswing (where it becomes an acute angle on the downswing) i cant maintain any leg? Thanks for your clarification and suggestions!
June 7, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Preston. You want to increase the wrist angle and not the trail arm angle. Increasing the flexion and dropping the trail arm can lead you to being stuck and underneath the plane. Take a look at the Key to Creating Lag in the Advanced Downswing Section to understand how the trail arm should work. When you watch it though. Remember it's still lead arm control we want, but how the trail arm works down.
June 7, 2015
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Juan
Chuck There is something that I can't understand. We are supposed to swing with our leading side. Why then, we swing from right to left and not the other way?? if the arm and hand that is doing most of the job is the leading one, then for a right handed , the leading arm should be the right and not the left!! Take any sport (tennis, baseball, basketball, handball, volleyball, etc) and in all of them, a right handed uses primarily his right hand....but in golf we are supposed to use our weakest arm and hand..it just doesn't make sense to me. Can you give me some good explanation? thanks!!
May 25, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Juan, The most important part of golf is impact and controlling the clubface at impact. We teach you how to become consistent and to control the hitting area first, and then to ramp your speed up. If you look at the one common thing among all of the greatest players in the world it would be the position of the lead hand/wrist at impact. Pushing moves away from you in any direction and pulling moves towards to force of movement which can be consistent. The trail side of the body does have a huge impact on speed and we will teach you how to ramp that up once you get control.
May 28, 2015
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Juan
OK, sounds good!!. I hope some day I can reach that control with the leading side in the course, because the lack of speed makes my brain to get force from the right side during real "competitive" golf game, so I cant take the good technique from the practice (where I don't have any pressure) to the course
June 1, 2015
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Fred
Where in the menu system do you find this series?
May 15, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Fred. Only Parts 1-3 have been released. They are located in the Advanced Introduction Section.
May 16, 2015
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Fred
Excellent. Thx! Sometimes it's hard to find specific videos with the menu system. Have to do a lot of exploring. Search helps some but not always sure what to search for. A printed TOC would be nice. Great site....luv it!
May 16, 2015
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jim
In part 1 of the 7 part series Chuck refers to "reshaping your swing for Lag"; I am unable to locate this drill through the search window. Jim
May 14, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Jim. The Re-Shaping Your Swing for Lag is located in the Introduction Section and the Recommended Videos Tab to your right.
May 14, 2015
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Preston
I don't mean to ask a question on a video that I am not commenting on directly...but I am having serious trouble uploading my video from my iPhone video to the website. Not is under 30 seconds. And when it tries to compress the video, It just quits
May 6, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Preston. Please use the Contact Us Link at the bottom of the page an notify customer support. They will be happy to assist you. I apologize for the inconvenience.
May 8, 2015
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Preston
Thank you!
May 8, 2015
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JOE
RST ,, I PULLED A BICEP MUSCLE IN MY RIGHT ARM YESTERDAY. I WALK 9 HOLES MOST EVERY MORNING. I WAS NOT GOING TO GO BECAUSE OF MY ARM SO I DECIDED TO JUST PLAY WITH MY LEFT HAND AND JUST LET THE RIGHT HAND TAG ALONG. I HIT THE BALL WITH NO EFFORT AND STRAIT. I WAS SHOCKED TO SEE HOW FAR I COULD HIT IT. SO I KNOW NOW WHAT YOU RST BOYS ARE TALKING ABOUT WHEN YOU SAY HE RIGHT HAND IS A PASSENGER !! THANKS, JOE
May 5, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Joe. Awesome! Sorry to hear about your right arm, but it helped teach you to be more lead arm dominant and hit some effortless shots. Appreciate very much the kind words of our instruction.
May 5, 2015
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Fred
Interesting anecdote! It is confusing when on one hand, the right hand is felt to be not dominant yet in other mentions, the right hand provides speed. Seems contradictory.
May 16, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Fred. The trail arm does add speed. However, the majority of golfers way over use it. Being how it is usually their dominant arm. Once you get control with the lead arm you can start to add back the trail for added benefit.
May 16, 2015
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Neil
I searched for Re-shaping Your Swing for Lag and an "unable to find" comes up. I have looked in the introduction system and there are no recommended videos. Still cannot find part 2
May 5, 2015
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Neil, Part 2 of this video series hasn't been released yet. Chuck is still working on it. If you look to the right of this video in the video player, there is a tab that says "recommended videos" that's where the re-shape your lag video can be seen. Also, it is listed under introduction videos but you have to click on the "show more" button and it's at the bottom of the play list. Here is a link to the video if you're still unable to find it. http://www.rotaryswing.com/videos/full-swing-basics/introduction/re-shape-your-golf-swing-for-lag R.J.
May 5, 2015
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William
I searched for Re-shaping Your Swing for Lag and an "unable to find" comes up.
May 4, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
The Re-Shaping Your Swing for Lag is located in the Introduction Section and the Recommended Videos Tab.
May 4, 2015
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john
Great idea but I can,t find the drills to accomplish the stroke.
May 3, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. The First video to accompany this one is Re-Shaping Your Swing for Lag Video in the Introduction Section.
May 4, 2015
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Evan
I like it and feel it . But reshaping wasn't added to video or is it in part 2. I will look in downswing section of video.Thanks
May 3, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Evan. The Re-Shaping Your Swing for Lag is located in the Introduction Section and the Recommended Videos Tab.
May 4, 2015
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Frank
May 3, 2015
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Evan
What?
May 3, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
If you have video number 1 loaded and then you look to the right of the video player, there is a tab that says "recommended videos" click that tab and you will see the re-shape video.
May 7, 2015
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Paul
What's the best drill for developing the feel of the "soft" forearms to allow lag to be created? -----Best, Paul
May 2, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Paul. The Re-Shaping Your Swing for Lag Video in the Introduction Section and the Recommended Videos Tab. Also, the Proper Muscle Activation Video in the Same Section.
May 4, 2015
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Jerry
Chuck, The reason why you are the #1 Golf Instructor in the World BY FAR!!! is that you actually explain how stuff works and why stuff works and how to do stuff right vs wrong. Most big name coaches (and you know who they are) talk about this theory or that theory of how to swing the club, but never give the student any road map for actually getting from point A to B. I started with RST as a 6 handicap, now I'm +2... RST works, plain and simple. I never understood my swing mechanics before; now I have a very simple road map thanks to RST. Thank you for all you do for golf! Jerry Lopez @JerryLopezGolf
May 2, 2015
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Jerry, you're the man! Congrats on your improvement. Let us know if you ever have any questions. R.J.
May 4, 2015
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robert
RE "Fire the right side", we have to remember Hogan said he started life left-handed. Other "natural" lefties who played right handed were Johnny Miller, Curtis Strange, Greg Norman (?), Nick Price, among others. While lefty major winners Michelson, Charles, and Weir were "natural" right handers (at the very least write right-handed). I always wondered if they didn't have an advantage because their lead "pulling" side was their dominant side. I suppose "Firing the right side" doesn't mean necessarily "levering" the club thru impact with the right hand. When considering that retaining lag relies on a loose grip and free unfettered hinging and unhinging of the wrists I wonder if "firing the right side" and "three right hands" was Hogan's way of saying he was just trying to keep up with the pulling of his dominant side?
May 1, 2015
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Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
Hogan most likely did fire his right side through, hence why the club was stuck way behind his body and his right elbow was so close to his body at impact. This is a recipe for approaching the ball too far from the inside and leads to hooks. He spent most of his career trying to learn how to fix this, hence all the "band-aid" fixes in his swing and his book (weak grip, cupped wrist at the top, etc.)
May 5, 2015
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Dwight
Are the other six videos on the site or will they be posted later
May 1, 2015
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Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
See below, coming over the upcoming weeks.
May 1, 2015
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Dwight
Thanks
May 1, 2015
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Melvin
I am new to this process, however, am I to view more of this part 1 video? in order to fully understand?
April 30, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Melvin. It is recommended to watch the Re-Shaping Your Swing for Lag Video after viewing this one. It will help you understand the concept better of what we want to achieve coming down into the strike.
May 1, 2015
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Gabriel
I understand the logic but feel the "pull" better than "push" is over-simplified here. In the video's truck example, its clear pulling is better. But what about the example of trying to skip a pebble over water (for a RH person) -- imagine using your left hand vs right hand? Or pulling vs. pushing a lawnmower or shopping trolley? With "pulling", I have 2 main problems: (a) because my lead left arm is where it is, it tends to create an upper body spin (or perhaps I'm not braking efficiently), and (b) I feel there's less power. My round a few days back was based on a weight shift to the left, followed by a narrow drop of the arms down to the hips before "pushing" or firing with the right hand. I was able to still maintain the lag and iron shot were very crisp and I felt, better directional control I would describe myself as a "technical student" of golf and always searching for a more efficient golf swing that will be easy on the body and last through time. Any comments/advice from the instructors would be appreciated
April 30, 2015
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Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
There is both pushing and pulling in any rotational movement. Most golfers way over use the pushing movement and so I focus on pulling because it's the non-dominant hand for most golfers. The pulling is subtle, it's not a yank, it's basically exactly what you said, you shift your weight and the arms are guiding the club, but not pulling on it hard.
May 1, 2015
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Gabriel
Thxs Chuck, I saw the Reshape Your Swing for Lag and that was very very helpful too. Thxs!
May 1, 2015
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Dean
I've heard from time to time experts (Nick Faldo and others) say you need to "fire the right side" through the into and through the impact position. This seems more like a "push activation of the muscles". I've learned through RST it's more efficient and consistent to pull with the left side and oblique's through impact. How does this observation relate to the Push vs. Pull concepts Chuck is emphasizing?
April 30, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dean. You are correct in your diagnosis. A simple physics lesson (truck and trailer) would teach anyone that pushing with the trail side is a good way to lose angle. Hence, why Tiger has regained some of his club head speed with current swing change. From forcing/pushing the body/club head through. To a pull and release of his angles.
April 30, 2015
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Anthony
Craig, I understand the importance of the lead side in the pulling motion in the downswing and not using a trail side pushing motion but what is the role of the trail side and how do use the trail side in the downswing or is the trail side used mainly in the backswing. Thanks
May 2, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Anthony. The trail side is mainly used in the backswing. However, once you master the lead arm motion. The trail side can add a little bit of speed. And/or players that have too much pull need to get rid of lag earlier. The Throw the Ball Drill and Right Arm Release Drill in the Downswing Section are examples of that.
May 2, 2015
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Lee
Brilliant video, solidifies what I've learnt on the site with push verses pull, looking forward to future videos in the series.
April 30, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks Lee!
April 30, 2015
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Randall
Where are the bonus videos?
April 30, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
The Re-Shaping Your Swing for Lag is located in the Introduction Section and the Recommended Videos Tab.
April 30, 2015
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
If you click on the recommended videos tab to the right of the video player, you'll be able to find the re-shaping your swing for lag video.
April 30, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks R.J.
April 30, 2015
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David
Look to the right of the video - "Recommended Videos"
April 30, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks for the help for our members David. Much Appreciated!
April 30, 2015
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Joseph
Don't quote me on this but they may be talking about this video from earlier this month. http://www.rotaryswing.com/videos/full-swing-basics/introduction/re-shape-your-golf-swing-for-lag
April 30, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
You got it!
April 30, 2015
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Peter
good first video, how do I access the other 6 parts of the 7 video series?
April 30, 2015
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Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
Videos will be released over the coming weeks.
April 30, 2015
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Seth
Where is the "reshaping" video?
April 30, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Seth. It is located in the Introduction Section and the Recommended Videos Tab.
April 30, 2015
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John
Great stuff. Where is the "Reshaping" video??
April 30, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. It is located in the Introduction Section and the Recommended Videos Tab.
April 30, 2015
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PHIL
Where can I access the bonus video "Reshaping your swing for lag"?
April 30, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Phil. It is located in the Introduction Section and the Recommended Videos Tab.
April 30, 2015
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les
you guys didn't add the bonus video of "reshaping your swing for lag" that Chuck is talking about here, unless it is coming later on ........ Les
April 30, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Les. The Re-Shaping Your Swing for Lag is located in the Introduction Section.
April 30, 2015
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les
thanks for your quick reply Craig. I have found the video now and will watch again. Mostly the key for me is keeping my wrists supple on the course without trying too hard because then I tense up a bit and lose speed and timing , but I guess that is all part of the game ........ cheers , Les McF
April 30, 2015
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Lee
It's under 'recommended videos', at least it is for me
April 30, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Lee. You are correct. Located in Recommended Videos as well!
April 30, 2015
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John
OK I found the re-shaping the golf swing (older video), but I still don't see any of the "6 parts of the 7" videos?? It would make it much easier if they titled the same and numbered 1-7. I do love the videos but seem to get lost trying to follow a recommended sequence!
April 30, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. We are uploading them sequentially. Part 1 is the only version currently released.
April 30, 2015
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Lee
I would imagine that they are to follow sequentially over time, I might be wrong though bud and they may be uploading the additional ones as we speak.
April 30, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Lee. Do you work for Rotary? 2 for 2
April 30, 2015

Do you understand the physics of the golf swing? There are tremendous forces at work, acting on both the golf club and your body. One of the most important physics concepts you need to understand to really improve your golf swing is to understand the forces of pushing vs. pulling in the golf swing which I discuss in this golf instruction video you're about to watch. Most golfers try to "push" everything in their golf swings. The push the golf club back with the left arm during the golf backswing and then they push with the right side during the downswing. This pushing motion feels powerful, but it causes the golfer to lose the most important force in the golf swing - leverage.

Leverage gives the golfer the ability to multiply force exponentially without increasing effort. By using leverage in the golf swing created from the angle between our wrists and the club shaft, we have tremendous potential energy that takes very little effort on our part.  This leverage is often completely thrown away, a motion referred to as casting, when the golfer pushes from the right side.

Chuck Quinton founder Rotary swing golf.  My pursuit in developing the Rotary golf swing was all about developing an objective and analytical view of the golf swing.  That was based on fundamentals such as science anatomy and biomechanics.  I took a lot of time learning the scientific aspects of the golf swing to develop a very black-and-white objective point of view on the golf swing.  In this video today I want to talk about the physics perspective of the golf swing using my awesome little truck and trailer example that I use all my golf clinics.  This will illustrate a concept that I use as the foundation for all Rotary golf swing teaching and that is the concept of pushing versus pulling in the golf swing.

Think for a second and let me know if you've ever seen a truck pushing a trailer down the highway before.  I bet you haven't.  But do you know the physics basis behind this.  Well, if you've ever tried to back your trailer up into your driveway you found the going even very slowly can be a serious challenge.  The reason behind this is that a posh moves away from the force of movement in any direction and a pull always moves in towards the center of the force of movement.

In the example of a truck pushing a trailer the trailer tries to rotate around its own center of gravity when being pushed from behind.  This is what causes the trailer to want to turn very easily.  However when you pull the trailer from the front it instantly straightened itself out, and aligns its center gravity with the center of gravity of the truck pulling it.  This is a critical concept to understand in the golf swing.

When you push a golf club through the hitting area the club face also is trying to rotate around its own center gravity.  However when you pull a golf club through the hitting area with the left arm the club face stays very quiet throughout the entire golf impact area.  This amazingly simple little illustration of me pulling this trailer with the truck should help you instantly understand how simple the golf swing is when following the Rotary Golf Swing mechanics and the RST Five Step Golf Swing Training System.  That is because we teach you how to align yourself with the laws of physics because no matter what you're never going to outsmarts Sir Isaac Newton.

If you wonder why the tour pros consistently hit the wall so straight compared to the average amateur this is the number one reason why.  Hitting a golf ball straight has more to do with doing less and abiding by the laws of physics that does to do with your hand eye coordination and the number of golf balls hit everyday.

Hi, I'm Chuck Quinton, founder of Rotary Swing Golf. When I developed Rotary Swing, it was all about getting an objective view of the golf swing, based on biomechanics, physics, and anatomy, and how the brain learns new movement patterns. In doing so, I took a tremendous amount of time researching these different aspects of the swing to come up with a very objective and black-and-white view of the swing.

                                One of these things I want to talk about is the physics perspective. I'm going to use my awesome little toy truck here to give you a really clear picture of a concept that we use a lot, which is pushing versus pulling in the golf swing.

                                I'm certain that you've never seen, and if you have, I'd love to see a video of it, of a truck pushing a trailer down the road. Obviously this would be very difficult to control. If you've ever tried to back up a trailer, you know how easy it is to get the trailer moving in a different direction all the time, any time you're pushing it.

                                But now what happens when you change that, and you pull it down the highway, which is how you see all cars going down the highway when they're pulling a trailer. The trailer falls in a perfect straight line behind the truck the entire time, with no effort on the driver. He just pushes the pedal, and it goes straight in a straight line.

                                When you're pushing something, it tends to move off line. Why is that? The reason is you need to line up the force of movement, which in this case is the truck that's moving the trailer. The trailer's not going to move itself, so the force of movement coming from the truck must line up perfectly with the center of gravity of the trailer. If it's just off to the side slightly, this trailer will rotate around its center of gravity. It will move it off line, and it will not be able to track in a straight line.

                                Believe it or not, this is a perfect example of how you should swing a golf club and why it's so difficult for most amateurs to swing a golf club. The reality is that most amateurs, because they're right-handed but playing from the left side of the golf ball, tend to use their dominant hand, which is their right hand, of course, to push the club and to impact it. It feels more powerful, but it actually creates more problems in the golf swing.

                                Now let's go and take a look at it with a golf club in the hand, and take a look at what this pushing and pulling looks like in the golf swing.

                                Now let's take a look at this push versus pull concept with a golf club in our hands. With the club, it becomes very easy to understand and self-diagnose problems that most golfers have in their swings. The most common one that we see is when they take the club, and from the top of the swing, the club starts to go out. You'll understand this as losing lag, or casting the golf club from the top. The club starts to look like this as it comes down. They look very scoopy, and the right wrist is pushing through and flipping the club through.

                                The trick is understanding what causes that movement. Let's look at it. How would I get the club, even though this is an unwanted characteristic in most people's golf swings, how would I create that movement if I wanted to?

                                Let's see what we can do here. The first thing that I would try to do to get the club to move out that way is to take my right wrist and push against the shaft with my thumb. As I'm doing this, this is going to allow me, or I can yank down on it with my hand here, to try and get like a hammer motion. That would make the club do that. We understand that if I could do this with a club on purpose, I don't want to do this. I want to do the opposite, so this right wrist must be relaxed at the top of the swing. I don't want to be pushing against the club to try and make it throw out away from me.

                                The second way is to take my right arm, and move it from my elbow, and that will also cause the club to throw out away from me. We don't want to do that. The other one is I can take my thumb, my left thumb in this case, and push against the shaft, and make the club go out that way.

                                Those are three common causes. We know we don't want to do those things, and all three of them involve pushing. What would we want to do? If we want to not do those things, we've got to do the opposite. Let's relax all of these muscles. As we start down and shift our weight, and my wrist are soft instead of pushing out against the club, now my wrists maintain that lag angle.

                                This motion going from this to this is what dramatically changes and will revolutionize any golfer's game who casts the club. You will not have any club head speed if you cast the club. The vast majority of your speed comes from the leverage that's produced from your wrist. About two-thirds of your overall club head speed comes from just that motion of releasing the angle you set in your wrist. It's important to understand and develop this motion to keep our wrists and our arms soft at the top, and use our weight shift with our lower body to help bring the club down.

                                Now the great thing is I've got some really simple drills that I want you to focus on in this video, as a bonus video, called, "Reshaping Your Swing for Lag." It will help you work through this motion training both hands independently, so it's easier to understand and develop this motion. Take a look at this bonus video, and it will help you tremendously in building way more lag in your swing and get rid of this dreadful motion of pushing against the shaft and throwing the club out away from you at the top.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the physics of the golf swing?

Think for a second and let me know if you've ever seen a truck pushing a trailer down the highway before.  I bet you haven't.  But do you know the physics basis behind this.  Well, if you've ever tried to back your trailer up into your driveway you found the going even very slowly can be a serious challenge.  The reason behind this is that a push moves away from the force of movement in any direction and a pull always moves in towards the center of the force of movement.

In the example of a truck pushing a trailer the trailer tries to rotate around its own center of gravity when being pushed from behind.  This is what causes the trailer to want to turn very easily.  However when you pull the trailer from the front it instantly straightened itself out, and aligns its center gravity with the center of gravity of the truck pulling it.  This is a critical concept to understand in the golf swing.

What is the secret to the golf swing?

If you wonder why the tour pros consistently hit the wall so straight compared to the average amateur this is the number one reason why.  Hitting a golf ball straight has more to do with doing less and abiding by the laws of physics that does to do with your hand eye coordination and the number of golf balls hit everyday.

What forces are doing work on the golf ball as it swings?

When you're pushing something, it tends to move off line. Why is that? The reason is you need to line up the force of movement, which in this case is the truck that's moving the trailer. The trailer's not going to move itself, so the force of movement coming from the truck must line up perfectly with the center of gravity of the trailer. If it's just off to the side slightly, this trailer will rotate around its center of gravity. It will move it off line, and it will not be able to track in a straight line.

 Believe it or not, this is a perfect example of how you should swing a golf club and why it's so difficult for most amateurs to swing a golf club. The reality is that most amateurs, because they're right-handed but playing from the left side of the golf ball, tend to use their dominant hand, which is their right hand, of course, to push the club and to impact it. It feels more powerful, but it actually creates more problems in the golf swing. 

How the body moves in the golf swing?

I take my right wrist and push against the shaft with my thumb. As I'm doing this, this is going to allow me, or I can yank down on it with my hand here, to try and get like a hammer motion. That would make the club do that. We understand that if I could do this with a club on purpose, I don't want to do this. I want to do the opposite, so this right wrist must be relaxed at the top of the swing. I don't want to be pushing against the club to try and make it throw out away from me.

The second way is to take my right arm, and move it from my elbow, and that will also cause the club to throw out away from me. We don't want to do that. The other one is I can take my thumb, my left thumb in this case, and push against the shaft, and make the club go out that way.

Those are three common causes. We know we don't want to do those things, and all three of them involve pushing. What would we want to do? If we want to not do those things, we've got to do the opposite. Let's relax all of these muscles. As we start down and shift our weight, and my wrist are soft instead of pushing out against the club, now my wrists maintain that lag angle.

This motion going from this to this is what dramatically changes and will revolutionize any golfer's game who casts the club. You will not have any club head speed if you cast the club. The vast majority of your speed comes from the leverage that's produced from your wrist. About two-thirds of your overall club head speed comes from just that motion of releasing the angle you set in your wrist. It's important to understand and develop this motion to keep our wrists and our arms soft at the top, and use our weight shift with our lower body to help bring the club down.

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