Phil Mickelson vs. Lexi Thompson - Lower Body Power

Congrats to both Lexi Thompson and Phil Mickelson for their awesome final rounds at the KPMG and the FedEx St. Jude Classic. In this video, I'll show you how Lexi and Phil use their legs for **BIG** power and stability in the swing. I'll also show you a really simple way to get more lag in the downswing by focusing on width in your takeaway and backswing.

  • Stay wide with both arms in the takeaway. 
  • At the completion of the takeaway make sure the club is parallel to the ground 
  • Use the lower body to pull the arms down into the release point of the swing. 

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Lisa
For a right hand player.., I don't see Lexi elevate left hand over the right eye as mentioned in 5 min down swing pitfalls video?. Please explain.
June 22, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Awesome. Lexi does get good elevation. However, her arms tend to get a little deeper in the swing and therefore not as much in front of the chest.
June 23, 2015
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Ray
I noticed that both golfers rotate their heads to their right. Does this mean anything?
June 19, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ray. The head is connected to the cervical spine. Some players when trying to get max rotation of the shoulders going back have to allow the head to turn for some freedom. Nothing you need to work on. If you are nice and relaxed with good rotation and the head rotates a little. No worry.
June 19, 2015
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Conrad
The video shows that Lexi's heels come off the ground through impact. Before I started watching your videos, I started doing the same thing by first getting into my left side to initiate the downswing and then thrusting my legs upward as hard as I could through impact while maintain my spine angle and covering the ball with my upper body. The best shots I hit were the ones that I realized my heels were off the ground at impact. Is it OK for the heels to come off the ground through impact with this motion or best to drive up through the left heel while keeping it on the ground?
June 17, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Conrad. When the heels come off the ground you are maximizing leverage pull from the ground. The problem is it causes a little stability loss in the lower body. Preferably, the left heel will push in into the ground and the feet won't rise too much into the air.
June 17, 2015
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David
As far as wide narrow wide. I do not get it. I practice Chuck's 5 mins to the perfect back swing relentlessly. But I fool around once in a while with it. I do it turn my head to see where my hands are. I will do it with a club, take it to the top and see where my hands are. And lastly, I will begin my back swing set my wrists and go to the top and see where my hands are. All three times my hands are in exactly the same place. I understand narrow and wide on the thru swing. But not wide on the back swing. My left arm is " X" long. Either way, my hands wind up in the same place at the top of my swing.
June 16, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. You can get to the same position a few different ways. The key is which is more efficient into getting a position that sets up for a solid impact delivery. Take a look at Using Your Wrists for Speed Video 5 in the Introduction Advanced Section.
June 16, 2015
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joseph
What happened to the weight moving laterally to over the left heel? Move lateral or rotate? What's a confused golfer to do?
June 16, 2015
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Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
The weight must always move laterally first
June 16, 2015
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joseph
Thank you.
June 16, 2015
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Lloyd
What's your take regarding the left thumb on the grip (for a righthander)? It seems that a long thumb would allow the wrists to cock more on the backswing and make it easier to retain lag on the downswing. Lloyd
June 15, 2015
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Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
You don't need that much wrist cock and the long left thumb also encourages a push from that thumb. Ur thumbs primary role is to keep the club from falling into ur palm at the top of ur backswing so shorter is better for this as it keeps the thumb connected to the side of the hand
June 16, 2015
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Jesse
I have been trying to relax my right thumb [I'm left-handed] and I have noticed a dramatic increase in club-head speed. I usually push too much with my thumb and it causes all kinds of problems.
June 19, 2015
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rick
Is this different than sitting into the left heel with the slight squat that is talked about on the site?
June 15, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Rick. No, but I see how you might be confused. The first move down the lead leg actually externally rotates to get stacked over the lead ankle joint. Therefore, you can really sit into the lead glute and push the lead heel into the ground.
June 16, 2015
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Jim
Chris Tyler talks about 'external rotation' of lead leg to initiate the downswing. Can you talk more about how this is best done?
June 15, 2015
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Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
Jim did you watch the frisbee drill? The little first step you do in that drill is the same motion just without the lower part of the leg moving off the ground
June 16, 2015
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Martin
Can you comment on the hip position at impact. I see most pros having their belly button facing the target and I am assuming this is very powerful provided my weight is over my left hip. Is that position after the sit to square position You guys talk about often? Thx
June 15, 2015
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Tracy
Martin, you don't want to be a 'hip spinner', so your belly button should not be facing the target until the ball is long gone. I believe most of the video's show the hips only open 15-20 percent at actual impact. So the belt buckle should NOT be facing the target.
June 15, 2015
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Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
We use a range of 30-45 degrees open at impact. Anywhere in there is fine. Your belly button facing the target would be 90 degrees and that would end in a trip to the chiropractor!
June 16, 2015
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Tracy
Thank you Chuck. You are The Master. I must say your teaching system is the best I have ever seen. It is so simple to understand. Tiger should call you. --Really-- Thanks for the help!
June 16, 2015
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Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks Tracy for the very kind words!
June 16, 2015

Phil Mickelson and Lexi Thompson have powerful golf swings that are built from the ground up. Do you?

What does it mean to have a powerful golf swing from the ground up? Well simply put, it just means to use your lower body to drive the entire downswing.

Your lower body, if used properly, can be used to boost your club head speed by drastic amounts. Golf professionals do a really good job of making efficient clubhead speed by sitting into the left side to start the downswing and then using the ground as a big source of leverage.

Phil Mickelson and Lexi Thompson use a key move to initiate the downswing just like most of the other powerful players you see in modern day golf. What do they do? They make a very athletic external rotation of the lead leg/hip to help shift the weight and begin unwind the hips. This simple yet extremely effective move starts the downswing sequence and begins to pull your shoulders and arms down into the release point of the swing.

After golfers transfer the weight into the lead side, they must work to stabilize the lower, making sure you do not get your lead side outside of neutral joint alignment, which is extremely common for a lot of golf related injuries. Check out a great video that will kill a lot of the common myths about where you should set up with your weight at address called "Weight on the balls of your feet".

For years, we have heard many big name golf instructors pass along instruction that really has no clear answer is to how or why you would want to swing the club in a certain manner. At RotarySwing.com we provide clear black and white instructions on just how to move your body in the most efficient and safe way possible.

Back to Phil and Lexi...

In order to build a powerful golf swing you must understand that every move in the swing has a cause and effect relationship. If we are working to build more leverage into the swing, which is often derived from lag and release, you must learn some simple ways of getting the job done. The best way to start to build more lag into your swing is to stay extremely wide in your takeaway and well into your backswing. This will allow you to narrow the arc while you are working to shift your weight into your lead side. Check out a great video called the "wide narrow wide swing shape" for some great drills to build a swing shape just like the tour pros.

My main point is to allow yourself you get the golf swing started off in the right direction. You want to learn what the role of the right arm is in the takeaway, then work on making sure you rotate as big and as full as possible. If you are having a hard time making a full turn in your swing, then check out the “keep the right arm straight to turn”, this video will teach you how to properly prioritize your takeaway and backswing and get the swing started off perfectly.

Once you are loaded up at the top of the golf swing, use your lower body to start the downward move and put more power and more club head speed back into your game then you could ever imagine. See the “How the lower body works” video and get on your way to building a golf swing that is efficient and safe.

Good Luck!

Chris Tyler

Hey, hey everyone. This is RST instructor Chris Tyler and we are back with this week's tour analysis once again.

                We're going to be flipping over to both third place finisher's from the LPGA tour Lexi Thompson and from the PGA tour Phil Nicholson. I'm going to show you guy's how both player's stay very wide early on in their golf swing and then they initiate their downswing with a really strong powerful lower body move. This is going to ultimately help you put a lot more speed in your game, so you will want to pay close attention to this, if you want to hit your driver much further than you have before. So, let's go ahead and get started.

                Okay guy's, so as I said in the opener we're going to be focusing in on Phil Nicholson and Lexi Thompson, who both finished up with great rounds on this Sunday. You know, this is no offense to Fabian Gomez or to Inbee Park, there's just not really a whole lot of video's out there for us to be able to analyze their golf swing's properly. So, congratulations to both those player's on their win's on both respective tour's.

                I want to show you guys a great way to understand how you can put more lag into your golf swing, just by doing very little early on in the golf swing with the hands and the arms. What we want to look for here, from both player's is, we're going to look to stay as wide as humanly possible here. So, you can see that both player's turn extremely well into their take-away positions. So, here's where we would signify a completed take away, where the club shaft is parallel to the ground. Both players have turned their chest and their shoulder's 45 degree's. Yeah, you can see here, both arms are nice and straight. Lexi does a fantastic job. Pretty much a textbook looking take away as well here. So, you can see both shoulder's have got, both player's have got their shoulder's turned 45 degree's.

                Now, one of the thing's you will notice is they have got just enough wrist set here to support the club. Where you may have heard a lot of instructor's in the past say, "set the club very early on". Now, what that can do is it actually can load up your wrist and when you get your wrist fully loaded up, it's just like any other muscle group, their going to want to try to fire very early and that can cause you to throw the club and make it very difficult for you to maintain any sort of lag. So, you want to have just enough to where your club shaft is parallel to the ground. You also want to stay as wide as possible, early as possible.

                A couple video's on the website that are going to help you out with this, we have "The Roll Of the Right Arm" and "The Take Away". These video's are going to be over to the right hand side of the video player underneath the "Recommended Video's" tab. Just go ahead and click that. Again, any video that I mention throughout the analysis will be in that tab.

                So, "The Role Of The Right Arm" is a great video for you guys to take a look at. Just to make sure you understand how we're going to work into a wide take away position. Also, you know, the wide narrow wide swing shape that's done really well for us to kind of really explain what a lot of the tour player's are doing as far as an overall swing shape is concerned.

                Another great video to give you a clear understanding of what's going on. But again, so you want to just have enough wrist that you want to stay as wide as possible, so let's get both player's up to the top of this swing now.

                Okay, you can see Lexi loads up her right side and makes a humongous shoulder turn, here.

                All right, Phil goes ahead and works up into the vertical claim here. Okay, you can see that Phil's hands get a little bit closer to his trail shoulder here.

                Both player's actually have a little bit more of a lead knee that kind of kicks inward. You'll see Phil here, look's like he's a little bit more unstable but he actually gets it very stabilized on the way down. Now, this is the big move right here, is that, when we get to the top of our swing and we're ready to start to work and transition, how do we get back over to our lead side? What do we start with in the downward move? And you're going to see both players do this extremely well. You're going to see this leg right here, externally rotate and start to pull things over to the lead side. So, you're going to see that leg right there, is externally rotating much like you would think of throwing a baseball or a softball.

                If you were to pick your leg up, your lead leg, plant your leg, you would pivot on your hip, so there would be some [inaudible 00:03:37] rotation. You can see that, that's a very big powerful move there, with the lower half. So all this appearance from the hands and the arms and the shoulders moving is actually been dictated by the lower half. So, go ahead and let' watch Lexi work, here. So, you can see that external rotation of the lead leg, starting to pull her over to the lead side, there. And now you can see both players have been able to maintain a ton of lag because they just didn't do anything with the hands and the arms. So, you can see this really big angle between the forearm and the club shaft here.

                All right, lots of lag there, both Phil and Lexi. And then, ultimately what their going to be doing, is there going to be continuing to drive the lower half and that movement from the lower half is going to allow them to pull the hands and the arms down into the release point.

                Okay, so Lexi's going to start to post up here. That movement right there, now she's getting ready to release this golf club and she'll be at max speed as she start's to fire through the hitting area. So you can see she's got a lot of ground leverage here, as she kind of comes up off the ground and she's at full extension and she move's the golf ball really well. So, same thing, kind of move here with Phil. You'll see him start to post up. He actually take's down a little bit more lag than Lexi does. And then he fires. And at full extension, so... It's just a great way for you guy's to be able to get a lot more lag as to stay as extremely wide as humanly possible, very early on in the golf swing. That will allow you to narrow the arch.

                Also, what you want to look for is that you don't have a ton of wrist set to get the club moving very early. Just get enough to support the club at the completed part of the take away to where the club's shaft is parallel to the ground, and then as you start to work up to the top of the swing, think about your lead leg starting to externally rotate and start to pull you over to that lead side and you'll be bombing the gold ball further than you have before. With the proper downswing sequencing.

                All right guys, so good couple video's. "Keep The Right Arm Straight To Turn". "The Role Of The Right Arm" and "The Take Away". "Move One, "The Take Away". Another great video for us. "How The Lower Body Works" and then "The Wide Narrow Wide Swing Shape." Those are all very good video's that will help you kind of understand and further [inaudible 00:05:42] about what I'm talking about.

                So, let's get out there. Let's play some great golf, and make it a great day. 

 

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