Step 4 - Add the Golf Club

Now we add the golf club back into the drills.

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Phil
Hey Craig, When I open up the video "self analysis" the videos I have uploaded come up but the tools are not available underneath and the load left and right don't work. I tried refresh but that did not solve it. I actually had it up before in the past but I got to it from some other page rather than the home page.
November 7, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Phil. Hmm. Do you make sure to have flash activated? If flash is activated and refreshing isn't working. Email Customer Service. The tech team should get you straightened out. Apologize for the error. I tested it on my end and self analysis seems to be working fine. I haven't heard of any other errors from members.
November 7, 2019
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Mark
Should my hips be 45 degrees open at impact?
August 16, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mark. 30-45 Degrees open at impact.
August 16, 2019
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Lee
How many correct reps should you do with the club upside down before you turn it right side up or should you do all the reps for this step with the club upside down?
July 25, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Lee. After about 1000 you should be pretty proficient at performing the move without thought. You can start to challenge yourself with it flipped correctly then.
July 25, 2019
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Lee
Ok, thanks Craig!
July 25, 2019
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Mathew
I am curious to know what you guys think about marathon practice sessions. If I can maintain quality reps and focus, is there any benefit to getting in 300-600 reps in a single session?
June 1, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mathew. Typically, 300 would be about the max I would recommend. After that amount the brain starts to get tired and quality will diminish.
June 2, 2019
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Mathew
Thanks Craig. Another question, when I go to play, as a part of my pre shot routine, should I do my drill as far as I am, I am currently getting proficient with just the lead arm, or should I make a practice swing with both hands on the club focusing on what I’m working on?
June 2, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mathew. I would try to stick with the drill you can do correctly. If you can do the lead arm only efficiently. I would stick with that. Maybe at some slight/light trail hand keeping the same feeling. Then, have at it. The goal for your practice swing is to keep reinforcing what you are trying to change until you own it on the course.
June 3, 2019
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Steven
Hi Craig Thanks for the review you provided yesterday. I will practice 750 reps of 9-3 with the left hand as you suggested. I was confused with your feedback on weight shift where you said I was not transferring my weight at the start of the backswing and it was more happening at the top of the backswing. I move my hips laterally with weight shift, then begin my swing. Is this correct, or should I shift weight as part of the initial takeaway, or wasn't the initial weight shift obvious enough? Some clarification would be appreciated so I do the 750 reps correctly. Thanks so much, Steve
June 1, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Steven. The initial weight shift was under cooked. You shifted weight in the backswing. But, it tended to be really late and closer to the top position. Weight shift should be completed by the end of the takeaway. Take a look at My Golf Backswing Secrets. Start to shift your weight and rotate back. We shouldn't see a clunky type move. It will tend to look more blended.
June 1, 2019
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Richard
Should this drill be done full speed, stopping at impact or both?
March 18, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Richard. Start at a slower pace to get the drill correct and at impact. Once, you gradually can add some speed keeping the correct mechanics. Start allowing the club to release to 3 O' Clock.
March 18, 2019
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Scott
So basically the core and body rotation are what squares the club face? Then the forearm rotation is the result of the core and body movements?
February 27, 2019
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Dean
Hey Scott, check out "How to Properly Square the Club " video/article to get all the details about what is involved. A good grip and flat lead wrist at the top of the backswing with gradual rotation though out the swing are a big part of the equation as well. On the downswing my arms are very passive and I don't have to do any manipulation with it to square it off but the takeaway requires some manipulation with rotation/elevation and wrist set to get on plane. "Pencil Drill" video for the takeaway is an excellent drill because rotation alone isn't enough. I have a pencil glue gunned to an 8i and it's great feedback.
February 27, 2019
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James
Hi Craig, yes the 2.45 section is very easy to understand and I am working on this in my study this evening. Like Chuck said using the lower body to lead things down and letting the club's movement happen as a result is so simple. What annoys me is that I have looked at this video so many times but have failed to utilize its teaching enough. Will doing so now. Actually using the club the reverse way makes it easier to reach the top as with a wedge in my hand I do not hit the ceiling. When I do it freaks out the dogs in the sitting room above me and annoys Veronica!! Will continue to work on this and the other drill of using the legs but with the latter it has to be outside because of that ceiling height restriction! I will do my utmost to warrant that next review - will keep you posted.
February 20, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. After many years of trial and error. I have found life is much more enjoyable when my golf swing work doesn't disturb the dogs, or lady. Your point has already been implemented on my end . Great. Let the lower body lead the way and the proper plane will be yours! Simple and efficient. Let's get this big transition key worked out.
February 20, 2019
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Ian
Hi Craig I'm back to the program after a layoff since Jan.( fell off a ladder ). Before the layoff I did many thousands of swings with only the left arm (no ball) but now in trying to hit even small with a ball shots it flies to the right with a little spin . This happens even when I work on logo down . It seems that the roll over of the hands is happening too late . I tried the 5 minutes to a perfect release but it doesn't seem to help with this problem. Using a driver with both hands I have found that watching a spot about 6 inches behind the ball helps the swing roll over earlier. I have spent many fruitless hours in the past chasing down incorrect paths and would like some direction of where to go from here . In the not too distant future I will be sending you my next video.
June 9, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ian. Sorry to hear about the injury, but glad you are back. Go to the 9 to 3 Video. Work on smaller sequenced shots where the body is decelerating so the club may accelerate in the release.
June 9, 2018
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Ian
Hi Craig. I am presently working on the 9 to 3 ( fantastic drill ) and showing a lot of improvement. Thank you. The stage I am at in the 5 step program is left arm with club . Could you please clarify the level of expertise needed before I can move on to the final stage. I understand the need to be able to hit all the checkpoint positions however is the ability to hit balls with a full left hand swing necessary and also with the required amount of lag. I have definitely not yet achieved the state where the left hand will , without conscious thought control the swing . My thinking is to persist with the 9 to3 and commence a parallel left hand only 9 to 3 . Depending on the level of expertise required will then progress to full shots . Please clarify the correct path for me . The 5 step program is way the best I have come across in 60 years of golf
June 22, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ian. Thanks for the compliments of the program. I like you thinking. Once, you can get comfortable around the parallel arm position lead arm only. You may start to dabble in adding light trail hand starting with the 9 to 3 and working all the way up to full Step 5 length.
June 22, 2018
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Ryan
I notice at the 1:14 mark Chuck has a bent left arm which is something that I am trying to get rid of. When I try to keep my arm loose without tension it creates that little bend. Is it ok to keep that bend so that I have reduced tension?
March 26, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ryan. It is okay to have a soft lead elbow. You just don't want it overly bending at the top with the drill.
March 26, 2018
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LK
Hi Craig, I tried the 9 to 3 and it is a lot easier to do. The swing looks really good with the lead arm only. In the downswing, when my hand is by my right leg the club is parallel to the ground and at impact I have forward shaft lean so all good. Then I thought let me add the right arm and still do the 9 to 3 drill. Oh boy, what a difference, my club was parallel to the ground way before my right leg and I lost the forward shaft lean at impact!!! What is going on? So then the next swing, I pretended that I was only holding on to the club with the lead arm, even though the other arm was also holding it and the swing almost came back to only having the lead arm on the club. Can you please explain the body mechanics of what is going on? Thank you!!
November 30, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Latha. Great news in book that it came back. The issue is your trail arm/hand is over powering the lead hand coming down. You pinpointed exactly why golf is so hard. Because your non-dominant hand is overridden by your dominant side. I want you to practice exactly as you mentioned. Lead arm only until repeatable. Then, slowly adding the trail hand still feeling it is doing nothing. All the release videos are geared towards getting the lead arm/hand being dominant. Golf Swing Physics - Part 1 of 7 Video.
November 30, 2017
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LK
Hi Craig, I am using the pga video system to send you the videos for our reviews and this drill is difficult to execute with the club turned around, I can't really get the ball to move and therefore the video does not get captured. So then I tried flipping the club around to the normal position and tried doing it with only the left hand. Being a woman, it is very difficult for me to practice with one hand because of the weight of the club. My forearm, wrist, and hands start to hurt. Is there another video or practice that I can perform with both hands on the club which will help me not spin my shoulders open? Thanks!!
November 17, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Latha. You will typically get some soreness in the lead forearm/wrist when executing the proper release. I know you have an issue with the camera system. Do you think you could do 9 to 3 lead arm only and not the full version? Sounds like you are over controlling it because it shouldn't be too much of a strength issue.
November 17, 2017
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LK
Sure.. I will give the 9 to 3 a try
November 18, 2017
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Troy
When Chuck talks about the club drops via gravity as you shift your weight. When I do this my club doesn't drop as far as his does. The golf club for me is still relatively high up instead of around of the waist like Chuck as he shifts. Because of this I come down too steep even though I definitely shift enough of my weight to the lead side. Does this mean I have too much tension perhaps in the arms and need to feel the weight of the club more to get it to drop? Or is there some other feeling I need to work on? Cheers
July 18, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Troy. It may be you are holding too much tension in the upper arms and shoulders, or you are missing a little bit of lead lat pull to help the arms. I would take away some tension and also allow for a little more lead lat to help pull the arms in front.
July 18, 2017
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Steven
Struggling with initial weight shift after reaching the top of the backswing. Initially, I was turning my shoulders to get me to feel I was shifting left. As I practice in the mirror, what looks more correct actually feels like I am shifting my weight toward my back, as I am coiled. Is that an incorrect sensation, or does that halfway make sense? Are shoulders turning during that weight shift toward the left, or are they slightly delayed. I feel like this is a little hurdle I need to get over. Thanks in advance.
May 12, 2017
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Steven
Nevermind.. I just watched the "sit down, or squat" video. It answered my question!!
May 13, 2017
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Steven
After 42 years of right-side driving, this is the hardest thing I have ever tried to do. For some crazy reason, I thought this would be easy. LOL!
June 2, 2017
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T David
Craig had me working on this video from my last review. Something Craig mentioned was that I was to stiff at the top. So, I have trying to go the other direction and completely take my wrists and arms out of the swing (swing thought: all those muscles have been cut and I can't use them). Therefore, I am forced to swing with the lower body weight shift and allow the wrist cock (get the left thumb out of the way). Don't know if that makes sense. However... I noticed that I am getting a nice, long and straight shot with less effort... As long as I keep a comfortable tempo (tempo drill). Thanks, Craig... I am working on it everyday (not giving up yet... wink).
February 23, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. Great. I like the sound of using less tension and better lower half usage. Keep it up . You better not give up yet!
February 24, 2017
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Cavan
At what point in the 5 step system do you start hitting balls? I'm assuming here in 4. What level of competency should be the goal in terms of hitting the balls with just your lead arm? Enough so the body movements look correct on camera and not necessarily worrying about the flight of the ball? Is basically another 1000-5000 reps with balls? I feel like my movements look good without the ball involved but once the little white devil is introduced my monkey mind flips out and starts reverting back to old 'pushing / ripping shoulders open' habits. Thanks.
October 26, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Cavan, you can start hitting balls at step 4 as long as the ball is not creating a distraction for you ingraining the movements. If it is, then keep drilling until you become more comfortable with the movements. The body movements need to look correct, and you can use the ball flight as a way of knowing if you are hitting all of the key points. You do need to back check the reps on camera for quality though. The rep range you say is okay, as long as all the stuff mentioned above stays inline. If you are working to start hitting balls, forget about where the ball goes and focus on your movements. It's a swing that the ball should get in the way of and will produce the results you are looking for. Take your time and I hope this helps.
October 26, 2016
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Greg
I find when I try to leave my left heal down, I have a tendency to push from the right side and lose spine angle. When I lift my left heal slightly on the backswing and then replant to start the downswing, I am better at pulling the club down and getting my weight to go back to my left heal. Is this okay?
August 19, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Greg. If it is similar to the stomp or heal lift in the Weight Shift Drill (Step 1) then it is okay. Ideally, in the long run you would start to quiet down how much you lifted the lead foot. But, for training purposes and making sure you shift. You can allow some for the drill.
August 20, 2016
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George
While watching video (face on) of myself performing these drills, both holding club at the clubhead and regularly, I noticed that when my lead arm was lined up with my lead shoulder and leg, the club was still basically parallel with the ground. At impact, my wrist was very bowed and the lead arm was well past my lead side. However, my main issue with both hands on the club and hitting a ball is an early release that causes contact on the toe of the club or extreme pulls. I know I need to feel the left hand releasing once it gets to mid lead thigh, so could my attempt to delay the release actually cause me to release too early? Or are these two separate issues that stem from putting the trail hand on the club?
August 15, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello George. I believe they are 2 separate issues. Lead arm only you can exaggerate a little if you struggle throwing the club. However, when adding the trail hand you seem to push too much too early. If the trail hand just glides like in Step 5. Do you release early?
August 16, 2016
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George
Haven't done step 5 because you recommended I get step 4 perfect before moving on in my last review. However I had already signed up for a tournament so I played recently and it was the usual massive pulls, toe hits and chunks. I thought maybe if I was trying to pull too much with my left side that it would cause my left shoulder to move up and I'd have to release early to make contact. -Patterson
August 16, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Patterson. Without a doubt perfect. That's why the trail hand talk through me off a little bit. You can yank the arm down too quickly and get out of sequence. Typically, push cause you to come up. Like the Level Shoulders Drill. Trail side push leads to excessive secondary tilt with lead shoulder getting higher. Did you feel yourself ripping down the lead arm?
August 16, 2016
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George
I felt like I was pulling hard with left side, didn't really try to pull with lead arm
August 16, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Do you think you were over doing the pull as described in Step 2? It needs to be a blend and not a rip of one particular element. It sounds like you could be over doing it speed wise.
August 16, 2016
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George
I think that may be it. Maybe I was pulling everything ( lead knee, hip, shoulder, arm) at the same time and was spinning out
August 17, 2016
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Yuefeng
Hello, in doing the left arm only, shall I worry about the backswing plane being not very accurate? Meaning I may tend to get more left-side push as opposed to right side pull? Also without the right arm folding to help lift up the club to complete the backswing will the plane tend to be flat? Thanks.
August 7, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Yuefeng. Make sure you still pull back with the trail shoulder and allow for the lead arm to swing up (Winter Golf Training Program Backswing). You should still be able to get close to the proper positioning at the top. But, you are correct that the trail arm does help with the vertical movement.
August 8, 2016
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Scott
I would love to see a video that spot-lighted the "club dropping down on plane", focusing in particular on some check-points on exactly "where" the club is dropping and how we know we have it right. In my full swing, I feel like I'm not hitting this spot, to judge from my ball flight, with at times too left of my target.
July 21, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Scott. Take a look at the LADD Video, How to Fix Plane and Path, and the Rotary Golf Downswing Overview.
July 21, 2016
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Scott
I've watched them all a million times! That's why I'm suggesting a separate video that telescopes the issue.
July 21, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Scott. You don't want to get too caught up in the exact club positioning. It's more of the body and arm positioning. Why do you feel you are missing the mark? Have you uploaded a swing for review to let one of our instructors show you the place you need to be in with your swing? We would be happy to help the issue you feel you are struggling with. Also, left ball flight might not be your swing plane. 85% of initial ball flight is controlled by club face.
July 21, 2016
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Steve
Nos. 3 & 4 in this series both say that core rotation should drop the left arm down towards its impact position. In another favorite video (Level Shoulders) Chuck mentions "pulling the arms down in front of the body." Is there a point in the downswing where I should be pulling the arms? I would guess that point would be later in the downswing, but please clarify! Thanks, Steve
June 12, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Steve. You don't need a big pull from the lead arm. In the Level Shoulders Drill, Chuck is trying to emphasize that the arms have to work in front as the lead shoulder stays down to keep from getting stuck while turning off trail side push. Until you start getting into the trail thigh and release the club you won't feel much pulling from the lead arm.
June 13, 2016
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Don
Work with headless shaft
May 30, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Good game plan!
May 31, 2016
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jonathan
I can't say enough about how amazing this series is. I'm in my office following along and I can already tell that my swing will be better next time on the range or course!! Thanks so much!!
May 27, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jonathan. Thanks for the compliments!
May 28, 2016
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Stephen
Hi Craig, when shifting to the left, you mention knee then weight and not to rotate early. I know I have to externally rotate my leg and pull my weight. Do I not rotate my leg and pull at the same time. It's just in my review I rotate my hips to soon. Could you help me understand it better? Should I turn my leg first. Then pull my weight? Thanks. Stephen
May 24, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Stephen. Sometimes you would spin a little early before getting the weight planted. It was almost perfect. However, make sure you pull the weight. Yes, the knee will rotate and you will pull yourself over.
May 24, 2016
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Jason
is it fair to say that the arms can slightly swing straight back on their own at address just before the takeaway? I find at address, with axis tilt my hands are little more foreward to where if I strictly and "stiffley" turn from there I am turning off and away from the ball and too flat. if I start with the hands straight down under the sternum I don't get the appearance of a flat shoulder turn. In fact the bucket or club in bell button drill all start with the arms directly under the sternum. I am curious if the concept is a little different when the hands and club are addressed inside the left leg--> hence the hands themselves need to swing back a little. am I correct on this?
May 13, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jason. Are you saying the arms are moving independently of any rotation or weight shift?
May 14, 2016
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Jason
as an initial trigger? or not really? ie the arms aren't to be consciously manipulated into swinging to a fro in addition to the initial turn?
May 14, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jason. I would prefer that momentum of weight shift triggers the swing or solely starting with rotation of the body. Not independent swinging of the arms and hands.
May 14, 2016
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Jason
thx for clarifying
May 14, 2016
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jay
I may have missed it in other videos. But do you guys ever allow or recommend a open or closed stance. Thanks
April 28, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jay. Preferably, the stance will be parallel to the target line. You can splay the lead foot a little if need be. Take a look at Should You Splay Your Feet at Setup Video.
April 29, 2016
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gary
This series is awesome! You guys are amazing! Finally a roadmap to a repeatable swing,
April 28, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
YESSSS...glad you love the series Gary.
April 28, 2016
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Paul
This is a great series! Why don't you ever cover how to determine how far away from the ball you need to be at address. In the older set-up videos you mention that standing further away from the ball you generate more club head speed but I can't find an video that addresses the proper distance to stand from the ball at set up.
April 28, 2016
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Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
Should be covered in the setup video about how your left arm should hang down pretty naturally at address.
April 28, 2016

All right, so you've made it through weight shift, rotation, lead arm. Now we're going to add this little devil. Don't be in a hurry to grab the club. Don't be in a hurry to hit balls. Focus on the fundamentals. Moving from the inside out will get this little devil to go exactly where you want and I'm going to prove it to you. You don't have to try and move this golf club around. I want you to start out holding it from this end because I don't want you to try and overcome this momentum of the club. When you start swinging this around, this thing gets heavy, and then you start tightening up your hands, and tightening up your wrists and your grip, and all of the sudden the swinging becomes more handsy and armsy. Your hands and arms should be pretty relaxed. They've got to chill out. They don't have to do that much. Once you start moving this correctly, they don't have to do much at all.

     I get properly set up, nothing changes. I'm going to shift to the right, shift my weight to the right. I'm going to turn my body back and this momentum from my rotation weight shift is going to help swing my arm up to the top. That's why it doesn't have to be that tight. It's pretty chilled out. You could come up here and move it around. I'm pretty soft because I'm using momentum from my rotation to help do it. Now, as I come down, what's the first thing I do here? Shift my weight back to the left. What's that going to do to the club? It's going to shallow it out for me, drop it right back down on plain without me trying to do it. You don't need somebody grabbing the club and trying to move it in a circle. That's ridiculous.

    All you got to do is do nothing. Just shift your weight correctly. Move from the core, the center, first and everything else will fix itself in the periphery. As I shift my weight to the left, notice how my hand just drops right back down? Gravity fed there, post up. Look where my hand gets pulled down to, right at impact. I didn't try to move my hand here. I didn't have to move my arm or club to the hitting area. I used my big muscles, which aren't moving that far, to move my hands a long ways. Big turn, shift, post up. Now, I can release it. Remember? Everything in RST is designed to be progressive and stackable.

      Now you can combine this with the release drills, the impact drills. You can also go back to the step drill from the first video. I can do the same thing. Nothing changes, just depending on how you want to combine these together, what level you're at being comfortable with your weight shift and your turn. You can start putting all of these into the same motion. That is the golf swing. That's the whole thing. Everything that you've been struggling with your entire golf career and trying to figure out can all be figured out right now by these simple set of drills, these sequence of videos. This all you need to really focus on. Here, shift, impact. I didn't try to move the club to impact. I just moved my body. Here, shift, notice how the club drops right down on plane, back to impact. Turn, shift, post up, impact. It's that simple to build a perfect swing plain, a perfect path, all by learning how to move and really understanding what the fundamentals of the golf swing really are, moving from the center.

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