Right Knee Downswing Drill

If you struggle with early extension of your spine in the downswing, hip spinning or even a sore lead hip or knee, this video is perfect for you. I will show you a simple drill that will help overcome some common faults in your downswing and get you striking the ball more solid, more frequently.

  • Set an alignment stick up a clubhead width inside your trail foot. 
  • As you sit into the lead side and begin to clear your hips, try to not allow the trail knee to pass the line. 

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sean
Love this drill. Couldn't stop the lateral slide even when not pushing from right side - till this dril.
June 21, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Glad you love the drill Sean! Keep working hard at it.
June 21, 2016
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Matthew
I feel doing this drill properly and taking it to the course in my swing is causing me to hang back on my right side. Leading to pulls and toe shots. How do you do this properly while still shifting into the left side?
June 9, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Matthew. This is a drill/feeling for extreme trail side pushers. You can still get the weight on the lead side by keeping the trail knee back. What you might need to do is allow for a little more roll off the trail instep. Take a look at the Role of the Right Foot.
June 9, 2016
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Carole
I'm confused. Yes, I clearly have this problem and need to fix it but am confused with how this syncs up with "Role of the Right Foot". How do you keep you right knee out and yet roll the right foot in? Is this a sequence thing where you keep the knee out as you shift left and THEN roll the right foot? Or is this instead of the foot roll? I know they are both addressing the same relative issue of how to use the right leg/knee/foot in the downswing, but it's a little confusing.
May 10, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Carole. Yes, it is a sequence issue to where the trail knee needs to stay out of the equation as you shift to the lead side. Then, allow the trail foot to roll in. This drill is designed for players that have extreme pushing problems to help create an exaggerated feeling of stopping trail leg push. I would also advise working on Step 1 and Step 2 of the RST 5 Step System to help stop push.
May 10, 2016
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Tom
What is the difference between "secondary axis tilt" and maintaining a proper spine angle during your setup, backswing and downswing?
January 11, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tom. Axis tilt is the tilt you create at setup and try to maintain throughout the backswing as you rotate. Secondary Axis Tilt is the change in the original tilt as you come down into impact.
January 12, 2016
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Ted
Chris, hi, just found this drill. I have had lateral meniscus surgery (took a lot out) on my right knee a year ago and it is still problematic. I often wear a knee brace (j brace to help keep gap from bone on bone on outside of right knee). Anyway, I know I do this early extension often and am trying to come up with a better swing to take torque or stress off my right knee. I am going to go to the range and try this, but if others have tried it and found it worsening the knee issue please comment here. Thx
September 12, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ted. I hope this helps and sorry to hear about your knee. Hopefully, you can take this drill and not cause any further pain.
September 13, 2015
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Thomas
would have been good to see an example swing demo'ing this. i assume the knee eventually moves past the rod after impact? ( Just not during the sit to the left move).
September 5, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tom. After you strike the ball the knee will start to move past the rod as momentum pulls you to a full follow through.
September 7, 2015
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Mads
My right foot doesn't come off the ground, and my right knee doesn't buckle in. Yet I still loose my tushline/spineangle and my right hip moves forward towards the ball What other things might cause this loss of tushline/spineangle?
September 3, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mads. Weight moving towards to balls of the feet, poor setup, and major casting can lead to loss of tush and spine.
September 3, 2015
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Barbara
Should I get the feeling of leaving my hips more square to the ball during impact? I just had my video review and was told I was pushing from the trail side and getting stuck.
August 13, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Barbara. Feeling the hips slightly square at impact for your push/spin will not be a bad thing.
August 13, 2015
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Peter
As my granddaughter used to say, "No yike it." You're proposing a drill to prepare for a sequence that takes less than a fraction of of second to complete. If you think about it, it's already over. Essentially, you're proposing a weight shift, hip turn, and slowing of the hips...at the START of the downswing. Michelle Wie, in a recent article in Golf Digest, suggested bowing one's legs slightly at address. Surprise!! As a good young athlete, Chris, you do it already, without thinking; it's the way you were put together. But back to Michelle. I'd humbly suggest that her redistributed center of balance facilitates: !. An automatic move to the left as one moves to the top. 2. A guard against "collapse" of the right leg, rather than saving it as a power source. 3. A more parallel-to-ground rotation of the hips, rather than one that's pointed upwards. 4. A tension between hips and core which develops naturally based upon one's new "stabilized" center of gravity. 5. And finally, since it's fairly "automatic", based on muscle stretch & tension, it doesn't take much forethought and concentration on sequences of movement that are over before you know they're there. pk Peter S Kennedy, M.S. M.D. Have a great summer. And for Goodness' sake, Play Golf!.
August 11, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks Pete for the feedback and this is a drill that can help give a different reference point of "feel", while students are out hitting balls. Of course, I would rather dive into the body movements that are causing the issue, but unfortunately, not everyone has the patience to get off the range and the course for a bit to work it out. You can start this drill at slow speeds and still see some good results.
August 17, 2015
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Peter
Many thanks for the response. pk
August 20, 2015
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John
See your previous video and how much Troy Merritt's right leg moves on the downswing, somewhat contradictory advice. Please explain.
August 10, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey John -- When we do a tour analysis, we try to pick a specific topic to focus on and then showcase what the player does well and rarely do we try and point out parts of the swing that are not in line with the RST method. We do not want to bash players. We want students to learn and we are dedicated to giving you ways to correct swing faults and help you reach your goals within the game of golf.
August 10, 2015
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Thomas
I tried this on the range before playing and had a great round. Not sure I was always executing this correctly but I hit the ball well and shot even par. Definitely kept me from early extending as much as I normal do. This is easy to execute.
August 10, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Awesome stuff Tom. I think a lot of people would take even par and glad to hear that it helped your correct some of your swing faults. Keep working hard!
August 10, 2015
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randal
Major problem for me. One well known instructor on line will have you stick into the ground an old broken shaft half way between the toes and just inside the toe line so that your trailing knee does not hit the shaft thus avoiding early release. Another product, the "posture pod" is expensive and also designed to help with this very common problem. Could you guys do more on this issue???? Thanks RWW
August 9, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Randal, I am not overly familiar with the drills you are speaking of but I can tell you that having early extension of the spine or creating too much secondary axis tilt is a common problem in the golf swing and if you can identify the cause of the problem, you can work to correct the problem . There is no substitute for training your body how to move safely and efficiently. I will see if I can dig up more info on what you speak of and give more feedback.
August 10, 2015
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randal
Thx for the reply. The tip came from Wayne de franseco, online and can likely view video for free without membership. Posture pod as I said is expensive but designed to prevent early extension. Thx for answering my question. Been a member for some time, shame on me for not ever sending in a video. Got an i pad and will try this weekend to grab some swings. After A LOT of lessons ,online teachers etc. ,think you guy's have helped the most. Like many others I was ready to give up.
August 10, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Ahhhh yes, now I know where you are coming from and I will just say with the utmost respect, please beware of things you have heard or worked on in your past We will do what we can to continue to provide you the best instructional hep we can and we are happy to have you with us.
August 10, 2015
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terry
In most recent Golf Magazine, Brooks Koepka suggests that key to power is to "thrust right leg toward the target to move energy toward impact to deliver the club on a power-rich path." This seems logical to me, but seems to violate Rotary Swing theory on role of right leg
August 9, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Terry, The guys you see on TV playing this game will tend to pass along information to golf informational sources as more of a "what they feel" kind of thing, in hopes of helping people with a quick tip. Generally, there is no information on how or why on what they say and there is no real indication on how it can make the body move more efficiently and more importantly so...safely. We try our base to teach you the information that has always lacked in golf instruction.
August 10, 2015
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jeff
This is an awesome drill. I have this problem and when I levale the range and hit the fairway I spin my hips. I used this drill and dramatically helped me during my round. Thanks chris for this drill. Jeff
August 9, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Jeff, So glad to hear you got some good results from this drill. It's simple and can help fix some issues for sure.
August 10, 2015
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Adam
Experimenting with a piece of titanium rod at work, it seems this drill might eliminate the last part of my slice. It feels like this would delay impact just enough to close the face to square after all of the other improvements I've made. It also feels like it would reduce the possibility of toe impact. I'm gonna run this drill immediately!!!
August 7, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Adam. Great. Happy to hear you like the drill!
August 8, 2015
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David
This drill seems to be contrary to all other instruction concerning hitting from the ground up.
August 7, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. The drill is designed to help shy away from trail side push. When you swing from the ground up you want the lead side to pull the trail leg through. This drill aids the feeling of letting the leg get pulled versus overly pushing.
August 7, 2015
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David
Thank you.
August 7, 2015
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Evan
Great drill and I can feel/see how it makes you want to push down on left heel and rotate . Question is after impact my knee will move forward and pull trail toes/feet etc, is that acceptable.
August 7, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Even. Yes, you should allow for the trail leg to get pulled through into the finish.
August 7, 2015
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Thomas
Wow you must have made this video just for me, did you? Glad my crapping early extension downswing gives you ideas for videos. LOL Great idea for a drill I will try it. This working on me will be a true test! Your student Tom Spriggs
August 6, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tom. We won't discuss where the ideas come from . But, glad you like the drill.
August 7, 2015
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Thomas
I was half joking that these were about me anyhow.
August 7, 2015
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Michael
I was just looking at this while my 2 handicap is gradually becoming a number I want to forget and start bowling.....But this drill is an unreal mental picture in the transition!!! Thanks and might have to put picking up bowling as a hobby on the back burner !!!!!
August 6, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
No bowling...just golf. I used this drill with a playing professional this afternoon who is getting ready for q-school and he loved it and got awesome results. Now get back to work and put the bowling ball and shoes away
August 6, 2015
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Stuart
Might this promote hanging back and staying too much on the right (trailing) side?
August 6, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Stuart -- Id try to make sure people could see and hear me say while you are sitting into the lead side. If have used this drill with quite a few students and have not run into the issue of hanging back. Again, it's just a drill that will help correct areas of struggle for some players.
August 6, 2015

Have you been finding a really difficult time correcting your tush line, where you see that your hips are coming forward in your golf swing? Have you noticed that your right foot or your trail foot's way up off the ground? Have you also noticed that your right knee's way in over towards your left or your lead leg is out past neutral? I've got a very, very simple drill today that's going to help you correct a lot of those problems.

                Okay, guys. In today's video, I'm going to show you guys a really simple drill that's going to help you overcome a lot of those areas that we struggle with most. I know a lot of us want to go out to the range and bash a lot of balls. If we have a good focus point on how to fix a lot of these things, then in turn, it becomes less frustrating. One of the big mistakes that we see from a lot of our golfers is that we tend to drive or push too hard off of that trail leg. If you've noticed yourself on camera where you see that your trail foot is way up off the ground here, or if you've noticed that your trail knee is really kind of buckled in here towards your lead leg, maybe your lead leg is out past neutral; this is a great drill that's going to help you correct a lot of those issues. In turn, it's also going to be able to maintain your spine angle while you're releasing the club through the hitting area.

                What you want to do here, is you're going to go ahead and set yourself up in alignment stick. I'm going to do this from a face-on perspective today. You're going to set yourself up in alignment stick. About a club head width inside your trail foot here. Have it far enough back to where you can still see it out of your peripheral vision here. I can see this. What I'm going to be focusing on is when I sit over to my left side, when I'm shifting over to this side, I don't want my knee to move in front of this line. That's going to be our focus point is that we don't want to see it going like this, we don't want to see it going like that. I'll turn from down the line here, so you can see that. This or this. You want to try your best to keep your trail leg behind this line. It's okay, obviously, if it does move in front of it when you look at it in full speed, but a good focus point, again, is to try to not allow your right knee or your trail knee to move in front of this line at all, at any part during the swing.

                That movement alone, like I said, can cause a lot of your secondary access tilt problems. It can cause early extension of the spine. It can cause you to actually spin your body open. Try this drill out. Put an alignment stick in about a width of your club inside your trail foot and focus on when you're sitting left and you're releasing the club that you don't want your trail knee to go in front of it. 

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