Clinic - The Backswing

The perfect golf backswing awaits with two simple moves.

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Gary C
Chuck mentions that the height of the arms at the end of the backswing is a variable that we can choose. Does anything change as far as timing and sequence go for higher hands or lower hands? Does everyone have a natural elevation for their body? When I’ve done the drill in the Winter Program video it seems my left arm finds a consistent spot of elevation naturally every time. Are there benefits to higher hands or lower hands?
January 19, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary. Yes, elevation is a variable. Higher the hands the more patient you have to be in transition. Lower hands you will need to generate a little more angle to make up for the lack of leverage/width from height of the arms. We shoot for down the middle and miss a little more towards lower hands. Some players do allow their flexibility to dictate their optimum height. There are pros and cons to both. We find it is a little easier for players to have a little lower hands without sacrificing too much distance, etc..
January 20, 2021
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Gary C
Can you clarify what you mean by “generate a little more angle to make up for the lack of leverage...?” Also, is it better to go with what my arms seem to want to do naturally provided I am rotating my body correctly? If I don’t try to get them higher they seem to end up in the same place every time. In looking at some videos of my swing prior to starting RST I had much less body rotation and my hands were much higher. Since drilling the RST fundamentals and correcting my body movements my hands seem to have shallowed out considerably (from a two plane swing prior to RST to a very one plane swing now). Is this normal/acceptable? Lastly, if my hands are ending up just above shoulder height (similar to tiger in the video analysis I’ve watched on the site) is there a particular thought to keep in mind with regard to how I rotate my hips in the downswing in order to get the club to bottom out properly at impact? For example, do hips need to clear quicker with lower hands versus slower for higher hands? And finally, I remember hearing in a video somewhere that the RST method, when properly learned and executed, sets us up to achieve a consistent draw ball flight. If this is true of the RST system, what should I notice of the club face right before it contacts the ball (is it perfect square or slightly open etc?).
January 20, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary. Without having the higher hands to be able to use the extra width/leverage. Some players will concentrate of having a bigger lag component for extra speed. I think it is better to not fight naturally where the arms want to travel height wise. I don't have a problem with shallower hands at all. You don't necessarily need the hips to clear quicker. The shift back and getting your fulcrum point place will have more to due with the component. The ball flight will tend to be straight with a touch of draw bias. Not much. The club face will still be a slightly open. But, you will be trending toward a very zeroed out path.
January 20, 2021
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Gary C
One last question on this topic. When I practice the entire sequence with the club under tempo I notice the club seems to come down outside the ball where I originally line up. I assume this means my arms arm disconnecting from my body but I seem to notice it happen more when my hands are more shallow at the top of the backswing. I am 5’11” with long arms and prior to my RST I had high hands and always made good contact (just locked power). A fitter aid I should play with standard length clubs bent one degree upright so my question given what’s happening is would having higher hands at the top help this or is this a different issue altogether that I need to focus on?
January 24, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary. I don't necessarily think higher hands would help aid the issue. The hands will be higher at impact then at address. But, coming a little more from the outside sounds like a sequence and arms/shoulders firing too soon issue.
January 25, 2021
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Erik
Chuck is talking about that the club is moving in two dimensions, vertical and depth. Thinking about these dimensions, in the downswing when the club becomes steep does that mean that the club has moved too far forward in the depth dimension and not enough in the depth dimension (shallowing)? When talking about swing plane, is that simply finding the combination of the vertical and depth dimensions that we want in the downswing?
June 30, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Erik. Steep (with the club) won't necessarily mean that the club/hands have worked too far forward. You can still steepen the pitch of the club with the hands back albeit most players tend to throw their hands in front and get steep with the club. The club will be more referring to the elbow plane line. The arms/hands will be though about more in vertical/depth territories.
June 30, 2020
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Shane
Are there any videos explaining the REF a bit more? I can't keep my left arm straight while flexing my right arm 90 degrees even if I rotate my left arm.
November 4, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Shane. Take a look at the 3 Functions of the Right Arm, How to Keep the Left Arm Straight and the 5 Minutes to the Perfect Backswing.
November 6, 2017
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Shane
Thanks Craig!
November 7, 2017

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