Preventing Hip Pain

Injury Prevention Golf Series - This video lesson will show you how to achieve neutral joint alignment and avoid hip problems during your golf swing. Tips on preventing over rotation of your hip and preventing hip injuries while golfing.


A huge part of the RotarySwing golf swing methodology is to provide the optiomal biomechanical and scientific positions for acheiving the perfect golf swing.  This video will illustrate exactly how to prevent hip injuries and maintain a healthy golf swing for years to come. 

Swings have changed through the years and using your legs as a power source in your golf swing. Sometimes, golfers get too much lower body motion which causes hip problems.

If we find our neutral joint alignment, which means that our knee, hips and ankle are all lined up, you can see that certain golf swing movements can drastically strain your body.  A key indicator that you are putting pressure on your hip is that you consistently raise yoru right heel off the ground during the golf swing. Another indicator to this problem is if you have too much secondary axis tilt.   If either of these problems ar happening, here are the keys to moving the safesty way during the golf swing.

1. When you start your golf swing, think about PULLING your hips to the right side.  When you start to pull your weight from the right to the left side of your body, your body automatically keeps your body in neurtral joint alignment and this is the key to preventing hip problems during the golf swing.

2.  The golf training drill we recommend is to take your neutral swing position and drag your left leg on the grass, with your weight on your right leg, about 10 to 15 times.

3. Once you have gotten the feeling of dragging your left leg back, you need to plan your left foot and practice shifting or pulling your weight forward into the planted left leg.  After about 20 repetitions, you should see that your golf swing momentum is controlled will prevent you from moving past neutral joint aligment. 

Practice this golf drill regularly for a few weeks and you will have the key to avoiding hip pain in your golf swing.  Plus, you will build a solid movement path for improved accuracy and distance. 

In today's video, we're going to be discussing a very serious topic in the golf industry. That's lead hip pain. I'm going to show you why you could possibly be running into hip pain or why you could be putting your hip into a dangerous position, number one. Number two, in the second half of the video, I'm going to show you a great drill that's going to help you move more dynamically back over to your left side the safest way possible. Let's go ahead and get started now.

Golf Swing Hip Pain

                Okay, everyone, so in part one of this video, we're going to go ahead and define why or how this could potentially be putting your hip into a dangerous position. Here's what I want you to think of, is that the hips are making a very dynamic move in the golf swing. They are shifting and they're rotating. It's when we start to have way more of one of those things in the golf swing that start to put the hip in a dangerous position. If you're getting too much lateral shift or you're getting too much rotation of the hips, you're going to have some problems or you could potentially be putting the hip into a dangerous spot.

                Now, I want you to look at golf as a whole, like golf instruction and how it's evolved over the last 50 to 60 years or even since the beginning of time. You look at the Hogan era and then you look at the Nicholas era. There's a lot of big free flowing body parts in these golf swings, lots of big movements. Where you look at the modern day golf swing, it's very compact. It's very put together. Not to say that any of those guys were doing anything wrong, but what I want you to think of now is what are most of the guys that were going through the Jack Nicholas era of golf, what are they battling with now? Well, you'll see a lot of those guys having had hip replacements or battling with hip pain now.

                Well, if you look at why that's happening, this is what we're going to define. That big move back in the day was a big drive off the right side, really fire the right side of the body. That's a really important power source in the golf swing. I agree with that. The legs are a big, big power source, but it's how we use them. If I were to continue to drive off of my trail side here, you're going to notice that my hip gets out past what we call neutral joint alignment. Now, neutral joint alignment's just a fancy way for us to say if you were to take all the skin and fat off of me and I was to stand here and find the center of my hip socket, which is right around two finger widths inside of that pointy pelvic bone in the front of your body, or usually you can use this belt loop too on the front of your body as well, but if I were to stand here, all the skin and fat off me and I were to drop a string right down through the center of my hip socket, what you're going to notice is is that my knee, my hip, and my ankle are all lined up. That means I'm considered in neutral joint alignment.

                Now what I want you to notice is if I push off of my right side, you can now see that my hip socket is way out past where it's supposed to be. Now what can this do? Well, this can start to put a lot of stress on the outside part of the hip girdle. You can start to run into labrum tears, which are no fun at all. This is why a lot of people start to suffer lots of hip pain. It can actually start to move some of this stuff down to the knee as well. We'll get into that in next week's video. A lot of the problems that come from your golf swing are caused from the trail side pushing too hard. If you're pushing, if you've noticed on camera that your heel is way up off the ground at impact or if you've noticed that your hip is way out past neutral and you've got a lot of secondary axis tilt where my spine is leaned way back, then you're going to want to pay very close attention to the second part of this video because I'm going to teach you how to move safely back into the lead side with one extremely simple drill that will make sure that you're safe every single time you pick up the club.

                Okay, so now that we've identified what the problem is or why we're battling with some of that hip pain, let's go ahead and lay out a really good detailed game plan about how we're going to move perfectly in the golf swing so that you move the safest way possible and the most efficient way possible. The golf swing is much like any other hitting or throwing sport. We're making a very athletic style move. What I want you to think of is think of a baseball pitcher first. If I were to pitch the ball back at you at home, you were home plate, and I were to go into my wind up, I would lower into my trail leg here and you would see that my lead leg here would start to externally rotate. Now, that's not the correct anatomic term, but we would externally rotate our lead leg. We would plant our foot. We would rotate our hips. Then we would throw the ball. That same sort of move is actually happening in the golf swing. When I go ahead and I start my golf swing, I'm going to load up to my right side here. I'm going to feel as though I'm making that same sort of external rotation to pull my hips over to the left side.

                Now, why is it important to pull? Well, we're going to go back to that safety mechanism that we talked about before. If I extend my arm out here, my body's not going to let it extend any further than that. It's just the way of us being able to protect ourselves. If I were to start to pull from my left side, I'm going to use these leg muscles to help pull myself over. It's not going to allow me to pull myself out past neutral. We identify that in the first part of the video, is that being out past neutral joint alignment's going to start to put that stress and that pressure. If you were to start to pull yourself over there, now I'm in to neutral joint alignment and I can start to rotate. I can start to post up and I won't ever feel that stress or that pressure ever again.

                Now, here's a drill I want you to try out. If you're like okay, how do I actually even make that happen in the golf swing, well, here's what I want you to do. I want you to stand up, proper stance here. We set up about two inches outside of neutral joint alignment on both sides. All I want you to do is drag your left foot towards your right a couple times. Drag it on the ground towards yourself. You can see that I'm ripping up the grass a little bit here. Do it about three or four or five times. As you're doing that, I want you to feel the muscles that are engaging to move that leg over to the right side. You start to feel a little bit more in the inner portion of your thigh here. Then what I want you to do is rather than dragging the foot in, I want you to plant it in the ground and I want you to use those same muscles to pull yourself over to the left side. You can see here, I've loaded in my right side. I'm going to pull myself over to my left. Now I'm perfectly in neutral joint alignment. I've pulled myself into the hitting area. Now I'm ready to start posting up and releasing the club. This is a great way for you to be able to move dynamically in your down swing and also move as safely as possible.

                Try it out. If you've been battling with some hip pain or if you've noticed on camera that your right foot's coming way up off the ground, or if you notice that your hip's getting way out past neutral joint alignment, then you want to make sure that you're focusing on using the left side of your body to pull yourself into the lead side so you never battle hip pain again. 

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Kevin
This is my face on view with implementing more Snead squat which from DTL helped me maintain tush. I am feeling zero push but the lead hip is out ahead even while I’m feeling a post back. Should I try and feel my upper body shift back left earlier to help get it stacked up right. Can’t seem to nail this
December 12, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. Get the upper half stacked earlier, but you have to still be adding some push for that hip to be outside. Do it slowly and watch yourself in a mirror.
December 12, 2020
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Alan
I have been working with this drill and struggle to get my lead hip far enough over to be stacked above the knee and ankle in joint alignment. Any recommendations or help to work on this?
September 14, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Alan. Try How to Swing From the Ground Up and Which Muscles to Feel in Golf Swing Transition. Sounds like you just need the shift to be a little more dynamic.
September 14, 2020
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Alan
Thanks Craig, The How to swing from the ground up was good, I will work on that. Really like the triggers of lifting, then planting your heel. You had recommended the other video in my last review so had already watched that one. I don't want to move on too quickly if I am not 100% comfortable with the lead side stacking.
September 15, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Alan. Gotcha. Sometimes tough to find what are the best cues to help you perform the action. Why we have multiple options to choose from.
September 15, 2020
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Alan
Thanks Craig, I had noticed that. Also I have just noticed that reading some of the comments on each video has also been helpful too. A
September 15, 2020
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Don
This drill has given me the feeling I need to pull with my left, instead of push. I seem capable of really pulling very fast to the post-up. Should I strive for a “fire the hips” move or more of a gradual/tempo turn. Thanks!
July 4, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Don. Take a look at the Dump Truck and the Drag Racer Video. No need to race the hips during transition and into post up.
July 5, 2020
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Jackson
Hi Chris. In the drill that has us drag our left foot across the ground, I can feel myself using muscles on the inside of my left leg. Am I supposed to use the muscles in the inside of my leg to pull my weight over during the golf swing, or am I supposed to use other muscles? In the video called Which Muscles To Use During The Transition, Chuck talks about using your left glute and hamstring.
November 4, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jackson. Yes, you are supposed to use the lead side inner thigh adductors and glute. The drill above is to help you feel which muscles you are using to make the initial pull. Both videos are trying to relay the same message.
November 4, 2019
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David
Chris, this is something i struggle with. After a round sometimes the next day or even two days later i get pain around the outside of my left hip and into the high part of my glute- it is sometimes difficult to post up as wight bearing is a bit sore. On the follow through i sometimes notice that my weight is on the outside of my left foot and due to early extension, which doesn't do wonders for the lower back, my hips haven't cleared. I was previously told to rotate the hips as fast as you could for speed and maybe i have taken the weight a bit too far. Any advice or videos to focus on? Aside from the injuries the ball striking is surprisingly good.
May 19, 2019
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi David, we do want the hips to rotate fairly quickly in the downswing BUT we also want to protect the body as much as possible. I would suggest that you send in a swing for review so we can take a look to see where the swing shape is at and offer some suggestions at that point. Otherwise, check out the fixing weight transfer video here...https://rotaryswing.com/golf-instruction-videos/full-swing-advanced/downswing/fixing-golf-weight-shift
May 21, 2019
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Marcel
Is there rule of thumb how much your hips slide laterally when pulling from your left hip / leg (for a right handed golfer)? When one makes a bad connection / swing with the ball, can you than analyze what you are doing wrong with the hip movement?
April 30, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Marcel. You will shift about the width of your pelvis in the downswing. If you are solely pulling with the lead side muscles you will pull into NJA. Pushing will be the only way to get the hip outside of that position. Ball flight isn't the best predictor at proper mechanics. But, most players that move too much laterally tend to slide and hit the ball thin.
April 30, 2019
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Marcel
Thank you. The width of a Pelvis seems a lot to me. Let me ask it to be certain in another way. How much inch will the center of your pelvis shift horizontally (laterally) from left to right in the backswing and how much inch from right to left in the down swing
April 30, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Marcel. Laterally it will be about a 3 inch shift from right to left. Lateral plus rotational it will be about 6-8 inches.
April 30, 2019
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Marcel
Thank you: makes it perfectly clear
April 30, 2019
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Daniel
Any idea what might cause trail side hip pain in the golf swing? (not enough transfer to the left?) I believe I have always been right side dominant but I don't think I have ever had the habit of moving outside neutral alignment on my backswing. My hip pain has always been in the trail side hip. Thanks Dan
February 18, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Daniel. Improper loading of the trail glute can cause hip issues. Make sure you aren't breaking the hip line. Weight Shift Video Part 2.
February 19, 2019
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Chris
Is there a swing thought we can think if we struggle to with starting our weight shift to the lead side?
January 26, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Chris. Take a look at the RST Tempo Drill and How to Swing from the Ground Up for some triggers to help with weight shift.
January 27, 2019
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Anders
So to shift to your lead side, you first need externally rotation of the lead leg, then sit to the lead side or do they happen simultaneously? Is the Squat movement the same as the sit to the lead side?
February 26, 2018
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Anders
ok. I'll try to work on it and i will submit a new video for you Craig so you can check if i am doing it correctly.
February 27, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Anders. The lead knee will start the motion. But, the external rotation, pull from the inner adductors, and sitting into the glute will be a chain event. One leading the next. However, it happens so fast it may feel simultaneously. Shifting the weight and squatting are sort of the same. You shift into your squat. But, sometimes we refer to squatting meaning shift your weight and settle into the glutes.
February 26, 2018
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Mariam
Hi, When I watch Chuck make his weight shift, it looks like the first step is external rotation of the left knee. Are you saying to (like a pitcher) externally rotate the left knee and then pull from the medial thigh muscles? I'm a little confused about the exact order.
January 4, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jay. Yes, the first move is slight external rotation of the lead knee followed by inner thigh adduction. (Fixing Your Weight Transfer Video). However, the 2 movements may look or feel like they are happening almost simultaneously.
January 4, 2018
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GC
If the left hip is beyond neutral joint alignment during the impact phase - I find the hips naturally straighten up, is that right? Perhaps that’s a good way to spot if the weight shift is too much?
October 29, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello GC. If the hips are beyond NJA during the impact phase you probably still have a little push aiding in moving your weight to the lead side.
October 30, 2017
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Kevin
I want to say this video has totally changed the way I turn my body and is probably my favorite video on the site. When I get fulled loaded in my trail glute in backswing, I then immediatelly start pulling with the inside of my front leg and that's the only thing I think of in the swing (my arms stay as quiet as possible). Is this correct, or should I be "falling" into my front (left) heel and with most of my weight, and THEN pulling like in this video? Second question, when I do this, I just pull as this video demonstrates all the way through impact. It seems almost impossible to switch from the pulling described here to suddenly pushing off the front heel to post up. When I do this pulling it seems to automatically straighten my front leg. Is this considered posting up and I don't need to worry about the pushing up from the ground?
October 9, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. You need to pull your weight over and sit into the lead heel/glute. Depending on how much squat you add. You won't require a massive post up. But, you will have to post slightly to clear the hips. Some players do this automatically and others do not. Glad you liked the video presentation.
October 9, 2017
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Kevin
Hi Craig, thanks for the quick reply. My video shows I don't release so I don't believe I'm posting up. I think my biggest confusion is on the transition between sequenced. Is there a few moments in the downswing where you transition from the pulling motion described in this video to then pushing off the ground and you let the arms fall while keeping back to target? Is that correct?
October 9, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. Sounds correct on my end. You basically are describing the 5 Step System.
October 9, 2017
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Kevin
Thanks again Craig. It's just such a small time frame to pull and sit before you have to post-up, I just wanted to be sure I had it correct. It's funny, when doing this I assume correctly, it really does feel effortless. No upper body (or really lower body) effort, just the posting up to release the lag.
October 10, 2017
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Joseph
I tend to get feel a strain in my left hip in the 3 o'clock position, doing drills like 9 to 3 and the various impact drills teaching us to keep our right foot down and maintain secondary axis tilt. Seems like something has to give (eg right foot needs to come up, left arm needs to fold, and/or lose your tilt, etc). Any tips/suggestions here?
July 2, 2017
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Joseph, as long as you see things are stable at impact and the right heel is down, then you can allow your right foot to come up a bit to take any strain off the lead hip. Also, double check to make sure the lead hip is not getting past NJA at any point of the downswing or post impact. The hip needs to move into NJA, then rotate by using the lead obliques. If the hips gets past NJA, then you will start to put stress on the joint. Start slowly and perfect the movements without pain and then add speed to them as you get more proficient.
July 6, 2017
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john
Wow. I think the light just went off for me. I have tried other methods of shifting my weight but too often that led to a hip slide and all the nasty stuff that can come from that. But this works! I pull myself over and am in a great impact position when I swing the club down. I cannot wait to take this to the range! Thanks so much, Chris!
June 16, 2017
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey John, I am so glad to hear this video gave you some clarity for your move into the lead side. Good luck and looking forward to hearing about your progress.
June 20, 2017
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RANDALL
I am a right handed golfer who has been playing for 1 year but unlike most golfers I am developing a lot of pain in my right hip. My father who is also right handed and has been playing for several years developed the same problem and had his right hip replaced. Obviously I would like to avoid this surgery but there is very little information out there about right hip issues with right handed golfers.
May 6, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Randall. It usually is due to improper loading and rotating of the trail hip. Take a look at Weight Shift Video Part 2 Video. If you start to break the hip line and not allow for rotation. You can start to put a lot of stress on the hip joint.
May 7, 2017
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mark
Wow!!! Thank you so much. I missed three weeks of golf because of left hip pain. I will definitely do this drill. Can I also put my hip in a bad position chipping? The reason why I ask is my hip really started hurting after I spend a couple of hours at the chipping green. My physical therapist, who is also my golf partner, gave me stretching exercises that really helps a lot.
May 6, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mark. You can certainly get the lead hip too far ahead pushing against the socket wall chipping. Glad you liked the video.
May 6, 2017
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Daniel
Hey guys, Trying to use the inner lead leg muscles to pull me across. It sometimes works sometimes I feel I haven't enough leverage to pull myself across. Like I've lost too much contact with the ground. I end up pushing off the right. Drives me crazy. So is the squat to square or moving the lead knee towards the target something to do first before pulling with the inside lead leg? Thanks
April 3, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Daniel. The lead knee motion is first (Fixing Your Weight Transfer). The Squat to Square combines the lead knee motion, pull of the weight and sit into the lead glute.
April 7, 2017
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David
Where is this lead knee motion described? Don't see it in the article. Thanks
May 3, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. Discussed more in Fixing Your Weight Transfer, Weight Shift Part 3, Perfecting Lower Body Stability and Step 2 - Core Rotation.
May 3, 2017
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Ryan
If you are a trail leg pusher, will doing this correctly have you feeling flat footed at impact and (feel) that your weight is more evenly distributed ? I can feel the lead leg muscles you mention but am having a hard time transferring from no club to with a club. The best feeling I can get that I can actually swing with is allowing a natural weight transfer while feeling my inside lead leg muscles. Leaves me feeling compact and pretty flat footed with my weight more evenly distributed. When I do it slow mo I can tell the weight isn't actually even though it seems to be about what it should be
August 29, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ryan. You should still feel more weight planted on the lead side, but it may feel a little flat footed.
August 30, 2016
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Ryan
Follow up question, your upper body will be forward more but your hips will feel more compact and actually further back than with a big slide/push correct? It seems like such a small movement in comparison
September 25, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ryan. Yes. The hips will feel more compact and back (moving away from the target), than a big slide towards the target with tilt.
September 26, 2016
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Greg
I've really struggled on the follow through keeping my body down and through the shot. My left hip stops turning and then all sorts of bad things can happen. It seems the only way I can get myself to stay down and through the shot is to focus on transferring enough weight to the left side to allow me to swing through the shot and not at the ball position. Is this the right idea and are there any drills on the site for working on ball first contact and then divot or pinching the ball?
June 7, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Greg. Take a look at Play the Best Golf of Your Life in 6 Weeks Video 3 and 4 of 6. Also, the Taking a Divot Video. Both will help with ball-divot strike.
June 8, 2016
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Loran
Then, the transfer is just not a lateral hip bump? More of a controlled, rotational and lateral movement, pulled to the left leg?
March 25, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Loan. To create the transfer you have to pull with the lead side. It is a pull with the lead leg, but some players thinking bump naturally perform the the move. You don't want to relate bump as if you can allow hip slide.
March 26, 2016
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w
On the more recent videos, I am having a problem with the playback video and voice syncing up. The voice keeps going but the picture tends to freeze up. I have to keep going back to a place on the video to try to get them to sync up. In this video, I can't see what Chris is doing in the drill when he says on the second part of the drill "I don't drag my left foot back, I just stomp it into the ground" . This is an important piece and I'l like to see that motion in isolation like he is doing on the video. Can you possibly try reloading this video? I don't think the problem is on my end as on the original older videos there is no problem with the syncronization. Thanks. Gerrie
March 21, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gerrie. The video is working correctly on my end. I would like for you to notify customer support. But, before doing so. Are you using Chrome and/or Firefox? Flash and updates all current?
March 22, 2016
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w
Hi Craig...thanks for the response. I'm using Chrome. Not sure about the Flash and updates. I'll take it to my local "tech geek" and have him check it out.
March 22, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gerrie. Using Chrome. Go to Settings (Under the 3 Horizontal lines at the top right). Click About. Check to Make Sure it says up to date. If all setting are a go. Check with Customer Support. They always have a few neat tricks and helpful hints before you pay a techie.
March 22, 2016
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redfield
could you do a video on issues with the righthip? I have had right hip pain for 10 years after playing golf. even recently had to have a right hip replacement. it seems as though my right hip and pelvis are extending out towards the ball too much causing irritation and pain in the hip flexors.
January 22, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Redfield. We are tackling the trail side in future videos. In the meantime, make sure you load the trail side properly. Weight Shift Video Part 2.
January 22, 2016
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Rune
Great tips, thanks. I had trouble with my left hip last year.
January 22, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Rune. Great. Good to see you back!
January 22, 2016
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Lea
this is the first time I really understood how to pull from the left. It really activated my gluts and automatically helped me swing from the inside instead of over the top. Keep up the good work.
January 21, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Lea. Great! Thanks for the compliment.
January 21, 2016
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Richard
hi kriss. i've been watching your video's for a few months & signed up for rotary golf swing. your very precise in explaining how to make your body work in the golf swing. my swing has improved alot n my body doesn't hurt. i'm having a great time learning n practicing all types of golf shots. thanks so much. richard
January 21, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Richard. I'm glad you are starting to swing pain free and enjoying the process. Appreciate the post.
January 21, 2016
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Ken
Chris, one of the most clearly explained video drills I've watched here. I don't personally have any issues with hip pain, but with this video, I'll be sure to avoid any in the future, I'm sure. The key words here are "injury prevention."
January 20, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Ken. Yes, injury prevention. It is no fun being hurt. Thanks for the compliments. I will pass the good word to Chris!
January 21, 2016
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Alan
Hi Enjoying the injury prevention golf series. As a right handed golfer, pulling from the left side is something that I need to work on over the winter months when unable to play golf. My left hip is sore when I rotate my left hip on my back swing. The soreness could well be from sliding my hips on the backswing or on the downswing from moving my left hip past neutral joint alignment. Hopefully from your video and working on pulling from left side , that the soreness will reduce. Keep up the good work on this series.
January 20, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Alan -- Very glad to hear you are enjoying the series. Make sure you are sending your swings in for review so we can double check for you on the movements to help you avoid any further pain. Injury prevention is a big focus for all of our instructors. Hope you get some good results from this video.
January 20, 2016
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craig
thanks Chris. big problem in my swing for sure. can you recommend any other drills that would help prevent this from happening?
January 20, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
As long as you pull from the left side and keep the right foot rolled in, you should be able to correct your faults. I would suggest, sitting into the left side and role of the right foot in the downswing. Hope that helps.
January 20, 2016

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