Winter Golf Training Program - Backswing

Snow on the ground? Too cold out? No problem! NOW is the BEST time to work on your golf swing! Dial in your backswing in time for spring.

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Kevin
Hi Craig - I was working on this move last night and as I keep more cup in my left wrist in the takeaway - I start to feel confused on how to get to the top. It’s how the club and lead wrist transition from cupped to flat. I seem to try and do this with wrist cock and end up cupped at the top. Do you focus on the left arm continuing to elevate up (variable) or the right arm flexion to get to the top from the hip parallel position?
December 18, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. I focus on continued rotation. Slight elevation and flexion. The trail wrist will hinge back on itself slightly which will un-cup the lead wrist. Sounds like you are trying to take it up with too much lead tension.
December 18, 2020
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Kyaw Thet
Hi Craig, My club position at the top (when doing slowly) does not reach parallel to the ground. But when I do the whole golf swing, my club position at the top is parallel to the ground. Is that over swing or over wrist cocked or any other problem? Do I need to fix this?
September 13, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kyaw. Sounds like you are letting the arms run away. I would check for excessive trail arm flexion and the arms being a little too deep. The club shouldn't reach all the way to parallel if the arms are connected.
September 13, 2020
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Kyaw Thet
Hi Craig, thanks for your reply, yes you are right, excessive trail arm flexion issue. how should I fix that?
September 13, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kyaw. Take a look at 3 Functions of the Right Arm and 2. Overview: Fix Overswing/Across-the-Line Swing Videos.
September 13, 2020
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Kyaw Thet
Thanks a lot Craig. I was surprised you could tell my problem right away even without looking.
September 13, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kyaw. I've given a lesson, or two . No problem for the help.
September 13, 2020
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Tony
My natural swing position at the top is shallow, but have always fought this. Shortish arms and body seems to promote shallow. Glad to hear Chuck say that natural plane is essential, shallow is ok. That will make my life easier. Another shit load of drills coming up!
April 5, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tony. Elevation is variable in the swing. As long as the arms aren't going deep/behind the height is up to the player.
April 5, 2020
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Tony
Thanks Craig. I use your method of keeping the right arm as straight as possible and this keeps the plane up. Right elbow at the top is also in the right spot doing this. Never would have worked this out.
April 6, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tony. Great. No problem for the help.
April 6, 2020
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Jens
Or am i turning with too much force creating the rotational momentum in my wrists that gets the club layed-off.
March 15, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jens. You may just be adding some excess lead arm internal shoulder socket rotation. But, you may be more on to something with the previous post.
March 15, 2020
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Jens
Hi Craig, struggling to get the club in a non layed-off position at the top. If i just focus on the turn and sort of unconciously add some elevation the momentum of the turn pulls the club in a layed off position. Do i need to feel that i have more of a concious elevation move after the takeaway to get moving more vertical than diagonal?
March 15, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jens. If the arm is going slightly deep combined with the laid off you might need to allow for more vertical elevation.
March 15, 2020
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Evan
And here’s one with just one arm. Thanks
February 2, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Evan. It looks like you knees are moving a little too much. I would focus on some of the leg work (Laser Knee Drills For Stability). Also, the arms position is pretty good. Elevation in rotary is variable. The more you practice the move and relax. It will increase a little.
February 3, 2020
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Evan
Hi there, Just posting an image to see what your thoughts are-due to my body habitus this is about as far back as I can comfortably swing the club, my chest really gets in the way of things. Would love your feedback. Thanks!
February 2, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Evan. It is a bit low. It may be due to some flexibility, or tension. I would check you hand height to see what is comfortable. Work on the 5 Minutes to the Perfect Backswing and see if that elevation point is comfortable, or not. That way you know your max. I also left notes above that pertain more to your current move.
February 3, 2020
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Kevin
Craig - I just went and hit balls for the first time in a month after doing Dead drills daily. I can make the perfect swing with one arm and the rotary connect. I experimented today will a bigger turn on the backswing and it did not help. For me to keep my arms more in front of my chest it needs to feel like a shorter turn - similar to Tony Finau almost - curious to get your thoughts
December 7, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. The picture doesn't necessarily look like a shorter turn. However, the wrist are fairly loaded already and the upper half looks like it is hanging over. The depth isn't that far off from where we want it.
December 7, 2019
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Kevin
Thanks Craig and I thought of this after I posted - this picture was from my large turn. I experimented after with a shorter swing with less depth. I shanked two balls though when I got my left arm steeper in an effort to bring the right arm more in front of my chest (too steep I assume)
December 7, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. May have been too steep and in front.
December 7, 2019
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Ronan
Hi Craig This swing with one hand seems very natural, but the thing is the club is to me not steep enough and goes too far inside (and too low compared to the hands on takeway). If we take a close look at Chuck's swing path on the video, it goes inside and low. I totally get the no right side dominance idea making these moves, but how can this not affect the swing path ?
December 2, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ronan. Lead arm only full swings can have the tendency to get a little under going back. I would combine with How to Fix and Inside Takeaway and the 4 Square Drill. That way when you start going back you know not to cross the alignment rod to get the club working up on plane and the wrist will quit excessive roll.
December 2, 2019
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Kevin
Craig - just wanted to checkin on my backswing which so far has been difficult to fix. Does the right arm need to be straight up (90 degree angle)? I’ve been coached in reviews to get a “window” above my right shoulder which I have my the right arm is angled in different from chucks. What else can be causing this? Right wrist set angle?
November 22, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. The trail arm doesn't have to be straight up and down. You want to get as close as you can and the elbow/shoulder will be near perpendicular to the chest. On my end, the trail arm has over elevated a little bit and has pushed the club a little high and in front. You can see myself and Chuck here that the trail arm is a little lower, but the angle relative to pointed down is slightly different. Both are correct however.
November 22, 2019
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Kevin
Craig - just looking for a little clarification from my swing review today. You mentioned how I need to get my left arm deeper and over my right shoulder. In the past I had issues with the right arm getting too deep and found it was when my left arm was getting pinned to my chest - the rotary connect helped me learn to not push that left arm and get so deep. Just trying to understand the happy medium
November 11, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. Yes, I know you have an issue getting deep. And, wholeheartedly agree we don't want to start pinning the lead arm against the chest. Don't worry so much about placement. My goal with the review is just to be in the ball park. I don't want you to start over doing keeping the arm in front where you would almost be blocking your head. The hands will have to come across centerline a little as the trail arm folds. I have attached a still image. Just make sure you don't start over doing trying to keep it way out in front.
November 12, 2019
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Nolan
How loose should the shoulders, arms and hands be on a scale of 1-10, 10 being tight?
April 9, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nolan. Take a look at Proper Muscle Activation Video. It's tough for me to put an exact number because a 2 for me maybe a 5 for you. Feel can be a little subjective. The goal is loose and ready to engage/work. Not dead (1), or conversely over controlling (10).
April 9, 2019
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Ronan
Hi, I have a hard time doing this left hand only drill because i feel a huge amount of tension in my left shoulder trying to bring the club at the top of the backswing and support it. I have strong muscles shoulders that are maybe not flexible enough, i don't really know what is going on.. any idea? Ronan
February 9, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ronan. Typically, it is because you aren't engaging the core and trying to do it solely with the shoulders. Take a look at Proper Muscle Activation Video.
February 9, 2019
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Ronan
Thxs Craig I'd never seen this vidéo (proper muscle activation), where was it on the website? Its not in the dashboard... I'm wondering if there are other videos that i have missed by not navigating properly on the site
February 10, 2019
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Dean
Ronan, use the "search videos" window located in the upper right area of the website itself. That's where you can use key words to find videos that are of interest. I checked it and that one is there.
February 10, 2019
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Ronan
Hi, I've been working on my takeaway with the printable sheets, and reached 3500 reps roughly I'd like to now work on my backswing, 20 minutes a day What exercice would you recommend me doing apart from the "5 minutes to the perfect backswing" in those 20 minutes? could you think a small program out? Thanks a million
January 19, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ronan. The one above is great to blend with the 5 Min to Perf Backswing. The 5 min will help you hone in correct positioning and the one above will help you make a smooth blend from the ball.
January 19, 2019
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Ronan
Thanks Craig
January 19, 2019
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Joseph
Question about grip pressure when doing this drill with the left hand only: I attempt to do 400 reps per day. If I follow Chuck's recommendation to do this left hand only for the first ten minutes, my left fingers/hand begins to fatigue to failure. Should this drill be done with a check for proper grip pressure on the bottom 2 fingers of the left hand? Or, is it okay to engage the four fingers, to help keep the wrist flat at the top of the backswing? Please keep in mind the volume of repetitions (400), my daily goal. Thank you. ⛳
December 8, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Joseph. The last three fingers should be primarily where you feel the pressure. But, you should monitor that your pressure doesn't increase immensely from address to the top. The other fingers/thumb will help with some support, but the majority will be in last 3. However, my concern is the amount of reps. With the goal of hitting 400 per session I would be worried that form and mental exhaustion would take a back seat. Chuck and myself would max out around 300 for a really intense session taking a few hours to complete. Once you start getting to those higher numbers your brain will get tired and the quality of movement starts too diminish.
December 8, 2018
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Joseph
Thanks for your quick reply Craig. It probably tells me that I'm going through the reps too fast, and that's why my left hand fatigues soo quickly. I guess what I'm doing is keeping pace with the speed and tempo that Chuck is doing in the Backswing video.
December 8, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Joseph. No problem. Any further questions please let me know. It does sound like a little fatigue.
December 8, 2018
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Ed
I'm still having trouble getting to the top with one arm. If I just do the takeaway and look in the mirror, my position half way back looks pretty good. Whenever I try to take the club all the way to the top from setup, at the half way back position the club is low and inside and the face is shut. I've tried and tried to fix this with no luck. Can someone help please? Thanks.
November 23, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ed. Sounds like you stop allowing for face rotation and start pushing the arm across the chest. Focus on keeping the arm in front and gradual rotation. Use the 4 Square Drill and Pool Noodle Drill to understand how the arms stay in front. Use the Shake Hands Drill, Cupped Left Wrist and Left Arm Straight Video to help with rotation and how the left arm works up while rotating.
November 23, 2018
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Harry
I have trouble with overswinging so Craig prescribed this video. I’ve been doing lots and lots of reps. The problem is that when I let rotation move my arms, the club gets too far behind my body, so I tried to get to a proper position at the top by pushing in the take away. For me right now, it’s one or the other: arms in front of me at the top, or proper core rotation. How do I put them both together?
November 4, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Harry. Remember the arms should only work in the vertical dimension. You need both the body to rotate and the arms to remain in front of the sternum. Focus on elevating keeping them in front (Pool Noodle Drill). This will help you move them up and down blending with rotation. Also, keep the trail arm in check (3 Functions of the Right Arm).
November 4, 2018
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Eric
I have been a Rotary Swing member for over two years. I have known that when my elbow is pointing down almost everything in the downswing becomes automatic, proper shallowing etc. When I have a flying elbow, it is a battle and the more tires I get during a round he more I pull the ball or even hook from an over the top movement. I hit the range for 4 hours yesterday. I hit about 40% of my shots great, and I hit one of the best two irons of my life about 230 yard. What I was thinking about was these drills focusing on right shoulder and arm control and weight shift into the right heel. I think I accomplished it when I hit the ball well. What I realized at the range is that I don’t always do it. I hit over 200 to 300 balls with half and three quarter swings. When my left arm and shoulder gets involved the club face shuts and mybclub gets ahead of my body rotation. When I feel my right shoulder down to my elbow at the top I am golden and when I feel my left top shoulder in am in trouble. It feels so sweet to hit properly from a proper right shoulder arm pull backswing (long and straight with snap) and drudgery from an left shoulder arm push. Outside of right arm only drills, what can I do to keep the left arm and shoulder out. I am trying to feel in practice if I notice the left arm tensing or the right arm getting pushed out, but that won’t help on the course. Help!?
September 16, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Eric. We appreciate the opportunity to help you for the last 2 years. It's odd that the lead arm does this too you. I would have to see the swing to make a better assessment of when the lead arm tension changes your swing. But, in the meantime make sure you are rotating your shoulders on plane (Golf Backswing Shoulder Plane Drill). This will help you keep the focus on the trail shoulder will rotating around the spine properly and may allow you to get the lead shoulder into proper position without much thought/triggering. Also, use the My Golf Backswing Secrets Video. If you use the body rotation and weight shift. Allow for the momentum to help you versus adding tension.
September 16, 2018
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Eric
Ok, I know that I have seen Chuck talk about it multiple times, calling it the left arm push. He tries to correct it with this video, which is actually on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjWzSK-8Azw
September 17, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Eric. The Role of the Right Arm and the 5 Minutes to Mastering Rotation would be the closets to that particular lesson.
September 17, 2018
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Alan
The problem I have with this drill is I have some left shoulder impingement. I can't currently swing my left arm around and then hold it there long enough to get my right hand up to the club. I can swing left arm only, but I immediately have to bring it back down. Will this suffice?
August 16, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Alan. That is fine. Gradually, try to gauge the new position and add light fingertips of the trail hand for support if you need too. Also, make sure you allow for the proper lead shoulder socket rotation to help with the impingement.
August 16, 2018
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Alan
Just went out and swung to the top and stopped. Rotated lead arm both ways to see which one sort of laid the club off and success!!. I can now feel it going straight back and basically retracing the same path down after the hands fall straight down. It also seems to uncup the left wrist at the top. It feels like I'm not doing anything but turning with the arms following. Nothing weird at the top. But the ball was jumping off the club face with seemingly no effort. Now I'll go through the drills and try to ingrain it. I like to know what the drills are supposed to help and this one had me stumped. Thanks Craig!!
August 16, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Alan. Yes, it should definitely help with the cupped wrist (How to Avoid Cupped Left Wrist Video) as a supplement. Sounds like progress. Let's keep it going.
August 16, 2018
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Tyler (Certified RST Instructor)
What if i have the opposite problem? I have always had a problem with pushing with my left hand. Should i still do this drill? Or is there a different variation, like using my right arm instead?
January 1, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tyler. Focus more on your rotation. If the lead is pushing, more than likely you aren't pulling with the trail shoulder. Look at Pull for a Perfect Takeaway Video and Pushing with the Left Side.
January 2, 2018
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Thomas
Chuck's last words in this video, "training this left side of the body to move the club up to a good position at the top" seemed contrary to his axiom of pulling the club with the right side along with use of the shoulder blade slide?
October 15, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Thomas. Chuck is without a doubt still pulling with his trail side. However, some players will start to over do this move. You need to learn the balance of what the trail side and lead side jobs are in the backswing.
October 15, 2017
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Mark
I am so glad I got the swing reviews which led me to this video. Thank you for sending me here, you nailed my swing review! It might seem like a minor thing, but getting my hands over my ankles, instead of my toes, at the top of my backswing has made other things fall into place that I just couldn't get before: I had trouble getting my left wrist flat at the top, this drill made it possible; my swing is shallower; I can feel my right glute and my right scapula engage a lot more in my backswing; and my weight transfer just feels right because I'm not so steep on the downswing. Sure I had to get the other bits right first, but now it all makes sense. This is a very important video for me. Thank you guys.
September 1, 2017
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Mark
...and this leads to an actual question, soon. I had nice straight shots at the range (which is great!) but I wanted to try play a fade so I changed the position of my hands at the top of my backswing and had them directly over my toes instead of deeper over my ankle. It seemed to produce fades by getting a steeper swing plane again. Is that a valid way of changing shot shape or should I produce fades a different way and keep my hands deeper over my ankles at the top of the backswing?
September 4, 2017
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Gary
Mark, no you don't want to change the position of your hands and the arms at the top of the back swing to produce a fade. The top of the back swing position shouldn't ever change. Take a look at Chuck's 9 days to amazing ball striking day's 5 & 6. He discusses using just a slight bit of chest rotation and holding off the release slightly to produce a fade.
September 20, 2017
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T David
This video series has been really helpful for me. One question I have is about the position of the chest going back. In a different video, Chris talks about keeping the chest pointed at the ground, which makes me think of this more in a concave position. Though here, I t seems that Chuck is moving to a more flat position at the top with the chest facing to the back. How should we be thinking of the chest as we move to the top on the backswing to get into the right positions. Any videos that focus on this?
August 4, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. You are still rotating around a hinged forward spine. Therefore, at the top you shouldn't be completely level. I relay to my students it would be like if you were going to rotate the torso/shoulders and shake someones hand behind you. Closer to your facing to the back feeling.
August 4, 2017
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T David
I have started working on this drill and video taping my swing position and using self eval on this site. Trying to fix the steepness issue at the top of my swing (from my last review). When I compare my swing from setup to the top I noticed that Chuck has a bit more bend at the hip and stands away from the ball a bit more. Adding the axis tilt I am missing with these elements appears to bring the shaft at the top in a correct position. Does this make sense?
July 26, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. You will tend to stand a hair further away when doing lead arm only (How Far to Stand from the Golf Ball Video). I don't believe in your swing (at least from last review) you need more hinge from the hips or more tilt.
July 26, 2017
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T David
Thanks for the input, Craig. As I took a closer look (trying to correct the "steepness at the top" issue), I realized that I was starting the swing with the Shoulder Blade glide... but pulling back only and not back and down, as I believe it should be... thus leaving my trail shoulder a bit more higher than it should be... causing the steepness issue. Does this make sense?
July 27, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. It may be a reason for the steepness going back.
July 27, 2017
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user107441
I have been reworking my swing for so many years, with so many thoughts in my head and feelings in my body that I have too many swing thoughts and feelings from swing to swing and it kills my consistency and natural flow. I'm pretty athletic and in tune with my body and the whole coil and release aspect of this swing method, as you well know, overthinking is the death of your game. So my question is, what YOUR actual swing thoughts and swing feelings in both the backswing and the downswing, if you wouldn't mind sharing? I feel like if i can lock in and finally focus on one thought and one feeling in my body for the back and downswings, I'll finally be able to have one swing I can use for the rest of my life, like Chuck says, rather than being so in my head every time I get over the ball for real. Thanks. Trevor
March 22, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Trevor. Chuck doesn't really have one or two specific swing thoughts with regards to position of the club (mechanics). He keeps it fairly simple. Focusing on rotation and/or weight shift. Take a look at My Golf Backswing Secrets Video. Downswing same thing. Focus on proper weight, passive upper half and using the legs (You Hit the Golf Ball with Your Legs).
March 23, 2017
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user107441
Thanks for that. Makes complete sense. I can feel the power provided by my legs when I'm hitting it my longest and straightest. I also feel more like I'm hitting with my body as well. Is that a thought and feeling that is in line with what you want to feel as you progress with the rotary swing method? Really do appreciate the response. Thank you.
March 23, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Trevor. Sounds on par to me. You use the body to swing the club. The legs help provide the power. Using the legs efficiently create a good trigger for a proper release to happen.
March 23, 2017
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user107441
Awesome! That really helps. Thank you.
March 23, 2017
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Douglas
I was using the right shoulder blade to initiate the backswing after the heel stomp. Question do drill as shown and then "graduate" to a combination after 2 weeks? Doug
January 29, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Douglas. Using the weight shift or trail shoulder to initiate the swing is personal preference. No need for a graduation. Figure out which syncs your move better. Players that need a trigger or tend to get stuck over the ball like to shift (feel stomp) to get momentum going before the shoulder. Others use the trail shoulder to help pull everything into action.
January 29, 2017
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Jim
Hi Craig, that drilled help a lot. It also makes it clear if you are not rotating, there is a reverse pivot. It seems like I have been cranking around too much on the backswing thinking I would get power.I'm seeing it doesn't take much to have a full shoulder turn if you rotate properly. I've noticed Chuck, and you, on the backswing do not have the club at the top horizontal to the ground. I always thought this was a sign of full shoulder turn. Is this a misconception. Thanks much! Jim
January 28, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jim. Yes, the club being parallel to the ground is definitely a misconception of making a full shoulder turn. One may easily make a full rotation without the club getting parallel. Also, it is preferred by us that the club doesn't reach that position (exception sometimes with the driver due to momentum).
January 28, 2017
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T David
Working out at the range today with this concept on the backswing. I ran into a bit of a dilemma... I noticed that I could get higher in the backswing if allow the backswing to continue back. How do I know if I am going too far/high? And, what is the feel of the right hand on the club at this point? I tried to get the feeling of the club between the thumb and first finger (like I feeling the pulse, maybe)... And the right hand is like holding a tray at the top, so the club shaft shallows a bit with a flat left wrist. ones this make any sense?
October 29, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. When you add your trail arm. If the trail arm requires more than 90 degrees of flexion or elevation higher than the base of the pectorals. You will know that the lead arm more than likely ran away from the body. The trail hand when added should feel as if it supports the club. Both arms have a role in the backswing. Like a tray, but the trail wrist shouldn't be completely hinged back on itself at a 90 degree angle with the back of the hand.
October 31, 2016
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Ryan
What is the ratio in muscular effort between the left and right arms in the backswing? The reason I ask is I know the right arm is doing the pulling in the backswing, yet this drill has you using exclusively the left arm.
October 28, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ryan. Both arms have a role in the swing. You should feel pretty balanced with them going back. However, the trail shoulder pull (should feel a little more dominant) and allow the lead arm to swing/rotate properly.
October 28, 2016
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T David
Great video. I usually tend to think about golf position geometrically. If I look at the lines from the bottom to the top of the swing, it appears that shaft of club pointing at the ball at the bottom, ate in line with club shat at the top... And also inline with shoulder plane. Does this make sense? I was in a different training program that had me lifting my hands straight up as I approached the top of the swing. So, I have a bit of re-learning to do.
October 26, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Dave, yos, your explanation makes sense for sure and we don't want to just lift up our arms into the backswing, we need to make sure you continue to rotate as you add flexion and elevation to the top of the swing. Lifting the arms up can load the shoulder girldles and make it hard for you to turn your body as much as you need. Hope that helps.
October 26, 2016
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T David
That help a lot! Thanks, Chris.
October 26, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
My pleasure Dave! Good luck and let us know if you need anything at all.
October 26, 2016
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Lee
Hello Craig, as per my last review I have been working on this and see that the left wrist is flat at the top of the swing which as I understand makes sure that the club is inline with the left arm and that the clubface angle is parallel with the left arm angle or square. When I make sure my left wrist is flat at the top it severely limits the angle I can create between my left arm and the club to less than 90 and causes tension also can't downcock for lag because at max already. Am I doing something wrong or should that be the case with the left wrist? Thanks as always.
September 3, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Lee. I responded in your email.
September 4, 2016
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Derek
so kinda on top of what Stehpen was asking. Like if I had a piece of rope hanging down from the back of the lead hand it would pretty much dangle right at my trailing heel right? As i have been going too deep and not enough width, just trying to clarify
August 11, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Derek. Yes, it will be close or roughly where you are referring too. The lead hand should be over the trail shoulder.
August 12, 2016
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Yuefeng
Hello, just following on the correct hand position at the top of the backswing, is it ok for the lead hand to be exactly over and above the trail shoulder, or should it be over and BEHIND the trail shoulder (viewed from down the line) like Chuck does in the video? Thanks.
August 22, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Yuefeng. Ideal placement will be over the trail shoulder. Chuck may seem to be on the back edge of the shoulder on some swings. But, the goal is to not be behind where as you would start getting deep and swinging too much across the chest.
August 23, 2016
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Yuefeng
Thanks Craig. I guess this would also depend on the different length of club? If it's a wood, is it normal for the hand to be more behind as compared to an iron? Btw, is there any video that talks about how to adapt the swing fundamentals (setup, backswing, downswing) to different clubs?
August 23, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Yuefeng. The driver since it is a specialty club can tend to get a little deeper due to posture and length. The swing is the same for all shots. The only adjustments needing to be made will be completed in setup. Take a look at the Proper Tee Height Video or Driver Setup Adjustments Video to see the driver differences. Therefore, you don't need to change the base fundamentals for each club.
August 24, 2016
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Stephen
Hi Craig, when chuck performs this drill and he gets to the top of the backswing. If u draw a line down from the club it is at chucks left heel. Should I be trying to achieve this?
May 6, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Stephen. That exactness of that line is dependent a little on body genetics. The goal would be for it not to be behind the lead heel or trail foot.
May 6, 2016
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Stephen
Hi Craig, when I perform this backswing drill, the momentum of the club brings the club into my chest. Is this ok? How do I prevent this? What fault does this cause by bringing the the arm close into chest . Thanks Stephen
February 24, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Stephen. You don't want to create so much pace that you can't control the lead arm. You want to shy against pressing the lead arm against the chest because it would lead to a little more rounded swing, but more importantly a deep swing. Make sure you are getting the elevation and stay wide.
February 24, 2016
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Stephen
Hi Craig, does the elevation happen naturally? Or should I still use elevation to the base of the pecs. Stephen
February 21, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Stephen. You might have completed enough reps to get proper elevation. But, some players have to consciously make sure they allow the arms to have a little vertical movement versus horizontally moving across the body too much.
February 21, 2016
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Joseph
Thanks for the quick reply. One additional question: How much emphasis should I place on bringing the club to parallel and pointing to the target on the backswing?
January 15, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Joseph. None. The club should be neither parallel or pointing to the target on the backswing. With exclusion of the Driver "specialty club." Due to the length and nature of the Driver it will sometimes reach parallel or pointing towards the target. Not that it would be your goal to do so.
January 15, 2016
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Joseph
I'm an older but still reasonably athletic golfer working through these drill slowly. My goal for 2016 is to once and for all get rid of my tendency to start my downswing from the top with a complete loss of lag and an outside-in swing. I am working to increase my flexibility with some stretching exercises and noticing a definite improvement in my backswing. My question on the backswing concerns how straight should I try to keep my left arm? I can get to a 10 o'clock position with a straight left arm, and to 11 or so with some bend in the left arm. Is it more important to keep the left arm straight or to allow some arm bend to get more coil in the backswing? Joe
January 15, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Joseph. The lead arm needs to stay straight. If the lead arm is relaxed and there is a touch of bend I will allow. But, you don't want it adding too much flexion. Make sure your trail arm doesn't bend more than 90 degrees to the top to keep it in check.
January 15, 2016
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Michael
Hi, I'm doing this drill at the suggestion of Steven Maes after he noticed my left arm is getting a bit steep and disconnected at the top of my backswing. After this drill I can see in my self-videos that i'm much flatter (left arm close to parallel with shoulders), but I'm wondering how to tell if I'm getting too flat/shallow.
January 6, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Michael. You want to check and see if the lead hand is above the trail shoulder versus being across the chest.
January 6, 2016
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Dave
Hi Craig. I am working on being too flat on the top of my backswing caused by lack of rotation and left arm pushing the swing plane. I have now managed to get plenty of rotation and right shoulder round fully but my hands are still quite low. When you say the lead hand should be above the trail shoulder do you mean directly above or is above the line of the trail shoulde and to the right acceptable if the right arm is straight and connected to the body? I am having real difficulty knowing if I have good rotation but a lower plane or whether I still need to work on the backswing. Thanks in advance
January 25, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. It can be a little club depending. However, it will typically be right above the trail shoulder. Your checkpoint is elevation and depth. If the arms are elevated to the base of the pectoral and trail arm is still in front (non-flying elbow) you should be okay.
January 25, 2016
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Loran
When I finish my backswing, my shoulder elevation gets too high, and I am short in stature. Is golf mostly body momentum or hands, wrists, and arms? On the backswing, I should only concern the body rotation that leads both arms to the top? After all, they are pivotal points that support both arms moving? I try not to manipulate both arms because they become a variable and harder to minimize errors.
December 25, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Loan. The body is the engine to the swing. The momentum created by the body will help move the arms. (weight shift and rotation). Yes, use the rotation that helps the arms get to the top. R-E-F (rotation elevation and flexion). For some the flexion will come naturally.
December 26, 2015
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robert
where is "shoulder elevation" in this move??
December 24, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Robert. There is still shoulder elevation to the base of the pectorals. The swinging of the lead arm to get the hands over the trail shoulder will require you to add it without too much thought.
December 26, 2015
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Dave
What happened to the third winter program on the downswing, it disappeared?
December 9, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. The video should be back up and working now.
December 9, 2015
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Robert James
Craig, this drill has taught my left arm about momentum! I had to put my right arm across my chest with my hand under my left arm pit and then do Chuck's drill, making sure the rotation came from the right shoulder glide with no push from the left. I must have the dumbest left arm in the world. After a short time my left arm learned about momentum and repeatedly got to the right place and I could just rotate my right arm up to support the left and everything was perfect. I struggled with elevation for so long and now it is just a natural thing. I think my right arm was doing all the elevation and now is relegated to only flexion. I was so pleased that I used the same technique to teach my left arm about momentum in the down swing. Now my right arm is only providing speed at impact when it straightens. Better impact positions, forward shaft lean etc. I am so glad I heard Chuck say "momentum" the third time I watched this video. My right arm is finally playing nice with the left for the first time and my swing has rotational momentum without any compensations.
December 5, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Bob. Fantastic. Happy to hear you enjoyed the drill, but also have a better understanding of the role of momentum and both arms. It seems as though you are making nice progress with this drill. Keep it up and thanks for the post!
December 5, 2015
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Todd
Chuck- Great video! In my garage I can swing with the best of them! Get me on the range and the right hand villiian is the problem! This also cause me to come out of my spine angle whenever I have tension! Thanks again- long time student!
November 30, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Todd. Glad you enjoyed the video. Trail side dominant players can sometime struggle taking the practicing swing to the course. First, take a look at Perfect Practice Makes Perfect. Understand how to practice better when at the range. Secondly, when you go to the range start very small. I can't tell you how many times I'm working with a student on nice and slow swings drilling the correct movement. That we the ball is placed in front of them. The gas it trying to to win the Indy 500. Get the motion down and perform it slowly teaching yourself even if you can only hit the ball (25% power) the proper movement and position.
December 1, 2015
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Tom
Chuck: During the last year Chris Tyler and I have worked hard to make sure I have a good top of backswing position. As a result of his patient instruction, I now have one and thought I had achieved all I could on this part of the swing. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the backswing drills in this video helped me achieve a coiled AND a much more relaxed top of backswing position. The benefit has been my trail side is much more passive in my downswing and my ball flight is more penetrating. Thank you for the added insight. Tom N.
November 29, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tom. Happy to hear you feel less tension now and (with Chris) you have made some great progress. You could've been over using the trail side going back limiting the potential for a good position back & through. Not much added insight because you described very well what you should be achieving with this drill.
November 29, 2015
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James
Cmom guys listen to the man ! It gives us something to work on without getting wet would you rather pay for a lesson with a pro who will feed you bullshit for 6 months ! You go back 6 months later and he tell you something he could have told you in the first place keep up the good work RST !
November 27, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks for the post James. We appreciate the support of RST. I understand how the video could sound mis-leading to the other members. But, fear not all is well.
November 28, 2015
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Ken
Wow, I have to disagree with the others here who seem to think Chuck is contradicting previous RST instruction with this series. If you care to listen to Chuck in the beginning of each of the lessons, he makes sure that the you are aware that this series of lessons is not meant to replace or supercede basic RST instruction; it is meant to build upon it. Make use of it or do not, the choice is yours. Personally, as a relatively intelligent man, I am able to grasp and commit to both feeling my rear shoulder blade moving in and slightly down AND swinging my lead arm back and through my backswing motion to the top. I can multi-task! Think of it! I bet you can too. Stop picking for picking's sake. As the political types like to say, there's no there there. There's nothing in it. You didn't catch him teaching any "contradiction." Try to remember your basic RST set-up and backswing lessons and incorporate the movements Chuck is (really nicely) laying out. And no, I'm not getting paid for this. I only wish I could make a living out of such a great game.
November 26, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ken. I appreciate the post and well worthy advice for the members here on the forum. You are spot on.
November 28, 2015
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Raymond
I gotta agree with you Ken. If I get in a proper setup and I am in the box, both arms should be connected to the cut of my midsection and the removal of the right hand has no effect of my left still being connected. Pulling back still feels the same.
November 26, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Raymond. You are correct!
November 28, 2015
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Thomas
To me these backswings feel drastically different. People are different so as an intelligent person you should recognize this and not criticize others comments. I'm waiting for an instructor to comment.
November 27, 2015
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Ken
Hey, you're the original critic. If you don't like what the instructor (Chuck) is saying or showing, dismiss it or figure out a way to ask for help without roasting the guy. That's all I'm saying. I'll keep and use my 1st Amendment (free speech) Rights, thank you very much.
November 28, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tom. This drill or motion might feel totally different. But, the reasonings are as stated in the forum. To help answer the age old RST question "what does the lead arm do going back?" and "can you over use the trail side going back?" . You shouldn't replace this drill with the principles that the backswing is a push. You are still pulling from the trail side. Just a better understanding of how the lead arm works and how to remove some tension.
November 28, 2015
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Raymond
Wasn't meant as criticism just my point of view.
November 27, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Raymond. All good here.
November 28, 2015
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Michael
cant view the winter set up video.. video says embed code invalid...please advise
November 26, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Michael. All glitches should be fixed now.
November 28, 2015
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James
Hi can we have some videos for high handicappers ie. 17,18,19........ Thanks James B
November 26, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks for the suggestion James.
November 28, 2015
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thomas
I agree with the others - this video contradicts other videos on the site where you say that the left arm should be pulled by your right side in backswing.
November 26, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Thomas. Hopefully, my answers below will help guide you that we are not trying to confuse or contradict other RST principles.
November 28, 2015
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TOM
Really confused!!?? This new video completely contradicts an earlier video of Chuck's -- "Creating a swing plane" in which he focuses on pull vs push. Which direction are we going in? Help!!
November 26, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tom. Don't look at this drill as a contradicting video to other RST moves. You still need trail side pull and origin of movement from rotation. We are simply trying to help alleviate the question of what the lead arm does or should feel like in the backswing as to not over do the trail side usage.
November 28, 2015
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TOM
Thanks for the clarification . Over the weekend I worked on incorporating the moves that Chuck demonstrated in his recent backswing video. This video along with Chris' proper impact training.... It appears all the pieces are starting to fall in place. Thanks again for all your support.
November 30, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Tom. No problem. I hope you had a good holiday weekend and very happy to see that the swing is starting to click for you.
November 30, 2015
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David
Once again this video completely contradics other videos, backswing is vertical acording to RST and here chucks swinging his left arm across his body! Is the RST modo to confuse everyone so they keep there subscription? Sorry to be harsh but I know I'm not the only one thinking it and it needs to be said.
November 25, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. The goal of this video isn't to confuse our students. Both arms have a job to do in the swing. We have had a lot of talk of what the lead arm should do or feel going back. This video helps alleviate a little of that question. You are still rotating back and with pull from the trail side, but this will help you not over use it and teach the lead arm's motion.
November 28, 2015
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Lance
Hi David Chuck does combine proper rotation so as to keep arms in front of the chest as I watched this video carefully. I for one have not trained/engrained this rotation without the right arm pull. Maybe this drill will help with that. Through my swing reviews so far I have learned to keep the backswing wide per my response to Tom below. My advice would be to keep at the takeaway videos until you have the feeling of width in front of your chest with 90 degree shoulder rotation. With my back to the target and arms in front of chest I am finally getting comfortable with the downswing and release without wanting to rip the shoulders 180 degrees to the target. Don't be discouraged - I have made verifiable progress over the last several months. When I get stuck it has been very helpful to review each recommended video from the swing reviews from first to last over again. Again if you can do the swing reviews every two weeks, the rst instructors can really help. Take care.
November 25, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Lance. Thanks for the help and advice for David. As well as the positive feedback about our review system.
November 28, 2015
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Anthony
When I do this drill my left elbow bend too much compared to Chuck's left elbow. Is the cause not enough left arm rotation or something else. Thanks
November 25, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Anthony. It could be the left arm not rotating enough or keeping too much tension and the wrist not setting a touch.
November 28, 2015
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ys
I have a question that I always have thought that.I have learned swing from coach. He told me backswing starts from club head to foot and the downswing starts from foot to club. But I think body twist from the foot , hip ,shoulder,arm,and in downswing untwist first from the starting point,foot to head.is it right?
November 25, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello YS. The club or momentum of the club will be started by rotation or triggered with a little bit of weight shift. Pushing with the Left Side or 5 Minutes to Master Rotation.
November 28, 2015
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James
I'm having difficulty getting the setup video to play it say oops! Thanks! Can u help me understand shifting weight to the right side without shifting my hips and swaying? I have been shifting my hips with cause me to lose axis /tilt. It's been awful help please Thanks
November 25, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. The setup video should be fixed by now. Weight Shift Video Part 2 should help with the sway.
November 28, 2015
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Thomas
ok this is a bit confusing. doing the left arm only drill makes me think that the backswing is a push move versus a pull. I thought we wanted all moves to be pull moves in the swing???? Explain? Also, at the top of the swing should the right lower arm (elbow to wrist) be near vertical (perpendicular to the ground). Looks like that in most of the videos. My lower right arm is usually pointed behind me even when the shaft is parallel to the target line at the top of the swing??
November 24, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tom. You are correct. We do want all moves in the swing to be a pull (you can attain a little lead shoulder push at the end of the backswing for more turn/and trail leg push for extra power coming down), but overall all pulling moves to be exact. Yes, the trail arm will be near vertical or perpendicular to the ground (3 Functions of the Right Arm, 5 Mins to the Perfect Backswing).
November 28, 2015
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Lance
Hi Tom My sentiment exactly on your pull with right arm understanding versus this drill pushing the left back. I just reviewed the video "Keep the right arm straight to turn" For me this is the key - i get good width and the right arm folds without trying as chuck states
November 25, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Lance. Even though you are supporting the club with the lead arm going back you are still pulling with the trail shoulder blade. The pull from the trail side or rotation is still the engine or origin of movement. Both arms have a job to do in the swing. This drill is to help teach what the lead arm will be doing/feeling as the trail shoulder back.
November 28, 2015

All right. Our next video is to take us from set up and weight shift and a little bit of the takeaway all the way to the top. You'll note that I didn't spend a lot of time or any time really discussing the positions of the club and all of that stuff during the takeaway. Again it's assumed that you've already worked on those takeaway drills in the five minutes perfect takeaway video. What we're going to do now is focus on getting you all the way to the top and give you some unique drills that you've probably never done before to help you understand how probably over dominant you are with your right side and how to start breaking that habit.

           The first thing we're going to do, we're going to use a club for this. You can take a club and flip it upside down. But you also can do this without a club, depending on how comfortable you are with the movements on the club on the swing plane. What we're going to do is revisit what we did last time. We're going to shift, pivot, turn on that right hip from a good setup position with axis tilt. Because that's what's going to keep you from slicing if you're setting up like this. This is what is getting you swinging over the top. You're going to feel like you're set up behind the ball with axis tilt.

   But with your left hand only, I want you to do the same takeaway drill that we did, the weight shift drill. Get all the way to the top. Heres what I want you to focus on. From down the line, this would be a lot more obvious. When everybody swings their left arm up, not everybody but for the most part most everybody, you never see this. You never see a really steep left arm, but it's something we see all the time with amateur golfers, swinging over the top. They get their arms really steep and then they have to cross it.

                                When you're moving your body correctly, you're using your body rotation and weight shift to create momentum to help swing your arms to the top. Your arms can stay relatively relaxed. As you'll do this, notice that I'm using my ... Still using my little stomp drill. As I do that and I start to return it gets some momentum for my arms. Notice how shallow my arm is at the top of my swing. It doesn't really feel like work even with the club upside down to get my arm up in this position. It's uncomfortable, versus just letting it swing where it naturally wants to go. This is how you're going to start understanding how to create a natural swing plane without trying to manipulate it the whole time.

                                But the main thing I want you to focus on here is now if I bring my right arm up, notice how shallow my arm is. Now we've talked a lot about the amount of elevation that you can have in your swing, and how it's a variable. But when you do this naturally, your right arm is going to tend to be very low and in front of your chest. This is a perfectly acceptable RST position at the top. So is this. But when we start seeing all this stuff and the elbow is way out here, we know that you're being very right arm dominant because your left arm just doesn't naturally want to swing up into that position.

                                That's why I want you to focus on using your weight shift and hip turn and shoulder turn to swing your arms up into a natural position and then bring your right arm up there just to support it rather than kind of being the driver of the show. As you go back, your left arm and right arm are learning to play together nicely, instead of one overpowering the other.

                                Because so many golfers tend to be too right arm dominant, we're going to do all of these drills left arm only using our weight shift and turn to swing the club up to the top, right arm comes up to support it. Left arm swings up, right arm comes up to support it. If you're checking yourself in the mirror, which I hope you are, you're going to see that my elbow is still in front of my torso. Not out here, and that the club, we'll do it again. Swing up to the top.

                                The club face is going to basically match my forearms give or take a little bit here or there. Just don't want to see a really hooded. Don't want to see it really open. But my left wrist, nice and flat at the top. My arms are basically similar to being on plane with my shoulder, but probably just a slight bit above my shoulder plane. Again, it's a variable here.

                                But from here, this is where we're trying to get. The trick to doing it? Letting your left armswing up there naturally. If you're one of those people when we work move to the downswing section that you tend to do this and swing over the top, you're going to find right away that you probably doing that with your right arm. What you're going to find when we go to the downswing stuff is the club's naturally going to shallow out and swing plane from the inside.

                                Your goal with this exercise is 20 to 25 minutes if you can, 15 at the minimum. Try to give me 15. Turning back, letting your arms swing up to the top. Keep doing it. Just left arm only for the first 10 minutes. Feel what that feels like to get into a good position at the top. Load it up on this hip, and then start bringing your right arm up there to support it. That will get you into a great top swing position and start training this left side of your body to help move the club up to a good position at the top. 

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