Lydia Ko - 3 steps to better impact

Lydia Ko is the youngest person in the history of golf to winner a major championship. In this video, I'll highlight 3 features of her swing that makes her a great ball striker round after round.

  • Shift your weight and then rotate your body to load up. 
  • Externally rotate your lead leg to start the downswing. 
  • Head down, heel down, release. 

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Mark
Is it ok to perform step 2 by starting the downswing by rotating the left hip to a squatting position where the weight is on the left heel and the left leg is in neutral joint alignment (to thereby advance the left hip towards the target (a couple of inches) with the left arm being pulled to a parallel to the ground position. Won't this hip action necessarily serve to "externally rotate the lead leg."
August 4, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mark. Typically, players that try to start rotating the hip to a squatting position will not shift their weight efficiently. You are starting the swing from mid-body and not the ground-up. The weight is pulled by lead hip adduction and the hip moves more as a function of pulling the lead oblique. Don't over think the knee. It is a very small motion followed by weight pull and hip rotation. Also, you can tend to get into a hip slide if the lead leg doesn't externally rotate.
August 4, 2017
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Lance
So while practicing today I started wondering about my head position at impact and realized that when my shoulders are too active, my head ends up in front of the ball. When this is the case the ball goes left with either a pull or hook shape. It varies from shot to shot but is more prevalent with the mid-long irons. So if I keep my trail heel and head down behind the ball, will that combo help keep the shoulder's from ripping open? It seems that this is the move I have been searching for to brake and release without the right side dominance. Are there any good videos or drills that explain and engrain this movement?
November 3, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Lance. I can't think of a particular video other than the Face On Impact Alignments or Rotary Golf Downswing Overview. But, yes controlling the trail foot and head will help the shoulders. If the weight hangs back you could still get some shoulder spin. But, it is important to reach the positions you describe to shy away from the excessive spin.
November 4, 2016
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Lance
So does the weight shift movement on the downswing only move the head position back to where it was at setup?
November 4, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Lance. It will move it back to the original position and varying to maybe an inch ahead. But, no more than that or slightly none at all.
November 4, 2016
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Kevin
Looks like she looks to the right when the club is lowering. Where is she looking?
September 19, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. I don't think it is a particular spot. Just a reaction to try and keep the head behind the ball.
September 21, 2015
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Kevin
September 19, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. I responded above.
September 21, 2015
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Steve
Great lesson. Chris. Hits on all points. is there a video of external rotation of lead leg. I know what I think it is (which may be wrong). Do you have a video explaining?
September 16, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Steve -- Glad you enjoyed it. Check out this recent blog and video done by Chuck on external rotation....https://www.rotaryswing.com/golf-lessons-blog/want-to-learn-an-incredibly-easy-way-to-start-using-your-legs-for-power-in-the-golf-swing/
September 16, 2015
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John (Jack)
Awesome, Chris! Lots of info there but you did an excellent job explaining and then reinforcing the three key points. As always, the challenge is to make it happen as you outline. Thanks for the clarity.
September 15, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Jack -- Glad you liked it. People always wonder why I talk so fast hahaha...I have a lot to say hahaha. It's hard to keep those videos short.
September 16, 2015
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Tom
Chris - Excellent job. This video is very helpful in checking my positions while practicing. Thanks, Tom N.
September 15, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
My pleasure as always Tom.
September 16, 2015
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Stuart
How do I get the self analysis tools that are used for video analysis? I use my iPhone 6 or iPad to take my videos. Thanks
September 15, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Stuart, upload your swing from your device to your rst account and then access the self analysis feature from a desktop computer. It is not mobile friendly at this point because it is flash based.
September 16, 2015
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Stuart
Thanks Chris
September 16, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
My pleasure.
September 16, 2015
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jeff
I guess I'm confused. There has been A LOT of discussion on RST about squating (The Tiger Squat and Snead Squat) and keeping the distance between the knees open and not allowing the right knee to come forward. She sure seems to be allowing her right knee to come forward PRIOR to impact. I know this isn't the focus of the review but I would like to know if what her move is is ok or if it is not what you prefer for an ideal RST swing. There were several videos about being able to hold a ball between your knees and using the rotary connect training aid to keep the width between the knees as you come into impact. Could you tell me what you are wanting regarding knee separation coming down? I have no problem letting the right knee come forward but have worked against allowing that to happen because I understood that was not idea. Thx.
September 15, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Jeff, bottom line, we do NOT want her right knee action at all. That can be dangerous over time and can also cause a massive amount of swing faults. If you properly sit into the lead side and transfer your weight properly and then clear the lead hip with the lead obliques, trail heel down, the trail leg will do what it is supposed to do into the hitting area.
September 15, 2015
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Richard
Lydia Ko has added/adopted David Leadbetter's A swing. The swing used in this analysis is quite different than the swing she used to win her first major.
September 15, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Richard, I only touched base on the body movements like rotation and load, transition and the release. I did not want to go into the plane of the swing or the shift in plane of the swing for various reasons. The movements that she makes with her body even in her new swing are very similar I can assure you.
September 15, 2015
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joseph
Question about externally rotating the left knee/leg to start the downswing ... Aren't we supposed to start with a lateral shift? I tried rotating the knee ... it brought me right to hip spinning. Thanks.
September 15, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Joseph, the external rotation of the lead hip will allow the hips to make a lateral shift into the lead side. Generally speaking, at full speed, there is a good bit of help from the trail side to help get the weight moving over to the lead side. If you are running into hip spinning issues, make sure you get enough of the weight transferred to the lead side and control the hip rotate with the lead obliques and with the trail heel staying down on the ground.
September 15, 2015
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Ray
Here also the devil is in the details. Two aha's for me: lead arm horizontal during forward weight shift, and allowing your torso to slide forward a bit. Thanks much!
September 15, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Ray, glad you found some of the information useful.
September 15, 2015
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Christopher
Yes, this was also an "aha" moment for me. Question to clarify: Are you saying that if you find your arms below parallel at this point in the swing, it's likely an indication you're pulling with your arms?
September 15, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
That is more likely the case but could also be directly attributed to how much rotation and elevation you have in the backswing and also how loaded up your shoulder girdles are.
September 15, 2015
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Grant
HI Chris, great videos, all the time. Thanks. Would you please explain more about the shoulder girdles. Thanks
September 16, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Grant - Thanks much! Check out the golf setup posture video and then also check out golf body rotation video. Let me know if that helps and I can actually add a video to the list for production discussing this very topic.
September 16, 2015
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Alan
Hi Chris. I would echo Evan's and Robert's observations that she has a very closed club face that doesn't look very RST. I'd be interested in a video that explains the relative merits of a closed / open clubface, cupped / bowed wrist position on the backswing.
September 15, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Alan -- I didn't mention anything on the clubface in this video because it was not a focus point. Have you seen the using the wrists effectively and efficiently video? I can certainly take your request and try to work on putting more info together for the near future.
September 15, 2015
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Ken
Chris, very informative video. I could take just this one as my off-season range practice, it is so full of great instruction and video analysis. It's a bit of a shame, really (in my opinion, although immediate results seem contradictory), you can see the influences of Leadbetter's "A-Swing" on Lydia's form - early wrist set, not a really wide motion on the backswing, loop at the top - but we'll see how that holds up for her. She seems talented enough to incorporate any "system" into her game and win with it (youth is wasted on the young!). I wish her the best of success. She could rock the LPGA for many years to come if she wants.
September 14, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Ken, glad you enjoyed the video. She is going to be a great player regardless of the style of swing she goes with. She has a great amount of patience and a great understanding of what it takes to win. She will need to sort somethings out in the future that could possibly cause some injury.
September 15, 2015
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Evan
It looks like on the way back her club face is closed. And on another subject what is and where Can I find info of a reverse K . I think I know just not 100%sure.
September 14, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Her club is a bit closed but that was not a focus point of this review. Just some body movements that relate to the way we teach. Are you speaking of info on axis tilt?
September 15, 2015
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Evan
I guess is that where I would find it?
September 15, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Setup section or use the search tool in to the right of the video player just above. Just type axis tilt and all the videos that are on that topic will populate for you.
September 15, 2015
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jeffrey
The last point you make in the second step where the upper body moves forward allowing good compression of the ball.....i have noticed, for me, that i accomplish this by feeling that my right shoulder stays in the lateral position that it has gained in the backswing, which in fact is closer to the hole than at address. Holding the right shoulder at this location at the start of the downswing automatically assures that the upper body makes a dynamic lateral move towards the target.
September 14, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Jeffrey, that is a very good understanding for sure and it allows the upper body to be pulled into the hitting area for the release with proper impact positions and sets you up for a very speedy release.
September 15, 2015
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robert
Hi Chris, as usual great analysis, BUT I think you missed the 2 most obvious features of her swing 1) look how closed the face is at waist hi in bk swg 2) how the dwnswg plane is well UNDER the bkswg plane.When I skim read Leadbetter's book I said " holy crap this is Furyk lite". I read he was trying to get her to hit rt to lft, she can't miss with this swing BUT I don't think its RST!!! Now I can understand why Furyk is such a good ball striker!!! Thanks for the observations.
September 14, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Robert, thanks and glad you enjoyed it. When doing the tour videos, we have to take things lightly and relate certain parts of the players swing to what we instruct. I make it a point to not say anything negative about the players and just show the areas that are key so that you students can learn how to put certain parts into your swing for good results.
September 15, 2015
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WILLIAM
Back in May, Chuck included in his remarks about the "Use Your Wrists for Speed" video some negative comments about David Leadbetter's new A Swing. If you showed a more recent video of Lydia Ko's swing, you would see that she has incorporated many of the elements of the A Swing into her own swing.
September 14, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey William -- I only touched base on the body movements like rotation and load, transition and the release. I did not want to go into the plane of the swing or the shift in plane of the swing for various reasons. The movements that she makes with her body even in her new swing are very similar I can assure you.
September 15, 2015
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Richard
Google Leadbetters A Swing All Stars and you will see Lydia featured.
September 15, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
I am not going to comment much on the a swing as it has a ton of holes in it that can lack efficiency AND safety.
September 15, 2015
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Anthony
Chris, enjoyed the video, after step TWO when the lead arm is parallel to the ground is it the post up move and the turning of the lead oblique that brings the club down in front of her trail thigh and then in step THREE it's the trail foot down and steady head position that slows the body down so she can release the club, is the the right sequence. It is amazing how long her head stays back and down in the follow through. Thanks
September 14, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Anthony, glad you enjoyed the video. It is hard to think about the full swing in these 3 pieces but yes, you have it correct. Take your time and work on it piece by piece and then tie it all together. She, like most pros, will keep the head and trail leg very quiet while releasing and extending the arms through the hitting area. Fun to watch.
September 14, 2015
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Anthony
Thanks Chris, in watching the video again it almost looks like when she keeps her head stable and behind the ball and her trail foot on the ground her body boes out towards the target and resembles an archer's bow drawn back to shoot an arrow. When she releases the club her arms act like the arrow firing from the bow. Is this a good image or feel to have. Thanks
September 15, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
No problem and that is definitely an interesting way to look at it and I like it. That may have given me a good idea for a video
September 15, 2015
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Thomas
When the right heel comes up like Lydia usually the tush comes off the line. It looks like that might be the case here but the tush lines was not shown on the downswing. Since I have this problem I'm always looking for it in others.
September 14, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
She keeps the hips back pretty well in transition and into the hitting area. If they do come forward much it all, it is certainly hard to see.
September 14, 2015
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Donald
Looks like her tush line is good just through impact, then she comes off it slightly.
September 14, 2015

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