How to Fix a Flat Shoulder Turn

Fix a flat shoulder turn in your golf backswing with this simple and easy to do drill.

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Dave
I get the drill here, but noticed my left shoulder seems to drift up when I add the the club back in the picture. Any drills for this? Should I be actively forcing the lead shoulder down at the top of the swing? Or maybe adding more bend at the waist?
July 2, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. You may need more bend. The lead shoulder will have to protract a little when finishing the backswing. However, if the shoulder plane is changing you may need more forward bend, or you are pushing with the lead arm too much. Take a look at Winter Golf Training Program - Backswing for a simple drill.
July 2, 2021
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Gavin
Hi Craig Can you just explain the benefit of taking the unlimited lessons and how would it work to get the best results, I just find I'm all over the place at the moment, having issues getting started. Cheers mate.
May 2, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gavin. The Unlimited helps because the break time between lessons is shorter, but also we have the ability to make sure the drilling is correct. Most players practice they just don't perform the drill correctly which impedes the progress. For you we would put the plan together to rep and start hitting balls in a drill or practice manner to make the changes much faster since you can get quicker feedback.
May 3, 2021
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Peter
Hi Craig: I’m trying to figure out how my head moves forward in the back swing with this drill? Should I feel my right shoulder blade rotate bad towards the target and up to keep the shoulder plane? Unconsciously flattening the shoulder plane after few good reps. Any suggestions? Thanks.
February 20, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Peter. It is a balance between maintaining proper axis tilt and shoulder plane. If you maintain the tilt with proper load in the trail side it will help with the head movement (How to Fix Reverse Pivot Video). You should still feel the trail shoulder blade move down and in towards the spine. Most players get overly tense and try to yank the trail shoulder back. Feel more rotation engagement from the core (Body Rotation in Golf Backswing - Chair Drill Video).
February 21, 2021
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Gregory
Greetings: I have a very flat shoulder turn in my backswing, thus and open club face at the top and have to work hard on rerouting the club and working my hands to square up the club at impact( not good, some days good , some days bad depending on my timing) . When I turn to turn my lead shoulder down during the backswing ( with the driver) I tend to pop the ball up and hit it very high and not much distance. Any thoughts what might be causing this, when I am trying to turn my lead shoulder down in the backswing? Thanks for your help! Greg
January 23, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Greg. Keeping a proper shoulder plane going back shouldn't cause a pop up. But, my assumption is when you do that with the driver. You tend use shoulders more on the downswing throwing the lag angle causing it to slide under the ball. Even with correct shoulder plane you need to have shallow plane and path into the strike.
January 23, 2021
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Ron
If I add axis tilt in the set up, my lead shoulder would be higher than the trail shoulder. But when rotating , the lead shoulder should feel like it’s down. So, should I feel like I’m dipping the lead shoulder when starting to rotate so it will be down?
November 10, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ron. You are rotating around the spine. The lead shoulder will feel a little lower than the trail when rotating. If you are struggling with this make sure you aren't adding too much axis tilt to start with.
November 10, 2020
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James
I am not able to do full swings at the moment so this is a good drill for me to work on Craig. I have also commented on Golf Posture | Correct Golf Setup. Where I have addressed my situation a bit more.
November 7, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. Yes. Christina updated me on your situation. So sorry my friend. All the best wishes and prayers from this side of the pond for you.
November 7, 2020
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Kevin
This is more of a follow-through swing plane observation but I'm noticing how much more tilted down your shoulders are than mine in the follow-through. Some of that is me coming off the tush line slightly and it looks like my head is peaking and yours is still down. Surprised its creating this large of a difference in angle though...you also have a lot more room for your hands at impact. If I'm missing left and thin this helps lead to my idea that I'm spinning open too early and not maintaining enough shoulder tilt
November 5, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. You early released the club. You wouldn't be able to maintain the same angle without getting out of the way. The chunk would occur. Main point from the questions you posed today. When adding trail you get handsy. You need to delete more trail hand/side and proper gradual release of the lead.
November 6, 2020
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Kevin
Thanks Craig for all your answers to my questions. Just getting frustrated (although my handicap is improving) with hitting some positions with my swing. I feel I’m getting pretty good with the left hand drills I work on What would you like me to work on and send in for my next swing review or do you think a live lesson would be more beneficial for me to iron out the deep laid off arms and flip issue?
November 6, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. Live Lesson may help. But, you are answering your own question. If the left hand swings and releases more like a pendulum versus the rapid fire with both hands. Then, add finger tips of trail until you see the exact same look. Tough to beat because you are so used to saving with flip.
November 6, 2020
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Kevin
Hi Craig - as I’ve tightened things with my backswing rotation I’m still feeling very flat and shorter which leads to some hooks. This picture is the top of my backswing - wondering if I should add more hip bend at setup or focus on a steeper shoulder turn to pitch the club up more on plane naturally? Adding arm elevation has been difficult for me to feel naturally and leads to an army’s swing
December 6, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. Shoulders aren't very flat. But, I will tend to agree that you could add a touch more hinge from the hip and work on keeping a better shoulder plane to help the club work up better.
December 7, 2020
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Kevin
Setup photo with more hip bend - trying to get the center of my hips / pelvis more over my ankles
December 7, 2020
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Kevin
Thanks Craig - I worked on this in the mirror last night. The hip turn seems to help the left arm angle and also restrict the hip turn on the backswing. I also worked on keeping the left shoulder down into transition but felt the i creased pressure into the lead hip slowed down my left hip rotation and caused more of a closed hip slide.
December 7, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. Setup is looking better. Just make sure to keep in check the weight placement. Hmm. Well, make sure the lead shoulder is staying down, but not because you are driving it towards the ball.
December 7, 2020
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Kevin
Thanks Craig - the swing if full of counterbalancing moves. Hard to keep your chest in the shot with the momentum of the club coming down as well and staying in balance. The left hip clearing / post has to offset all of that momentum and weight.
December 7, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Yes. Vital that the weight and hip moves back away from the ball.
December 7, 2020
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James
Thank you for your review Craig, I was notified immediately your message came with my hole-in-one sound wave kicking in ). You made some good points and cleared up in my mind about my head shifting back a touch coming into impact. Now the two drills you have pointed me too, especially this one, I do like and have worked on it a lot. I have absolutely no issue doing this in front of a mirror with the club across my shoulders. When I get the club in my hand it becomes more of a problem. Now I was aware of this issue but because of word restriction in the review, was not able to mention it. Earlier on prior to getting the review result, I worked on an extension of supinating the trail should by supinating the trail arm. Doing this I found this helped me to get more extension, making the trail elbow pit point to front to where I am facing. Plus makes it harder for me to get that additional lift you referred to. What do you think?
October 28, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. Christina sent me that last evening. !. Sort of like Right Elbow Pit in Golf Video? Facing away from the body versus internally rotated?
October 29, 2020
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James
Yes that answers what I am trying to do in a slightly different way. In the elbow pit drill, Chuck refers to externally rotating, what I do is supinate the right arm so the pit faces up and outwards as I rotate back. Why I prefer my analogy, is I can by externally rotate my arm, actually fold it too early. Whilst if I supinate my arm I find it much more difficult to fold the right arm too early. The bottom line it is following the same principle to stop the elbow bit from facing in.
October 29, 2020
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greg
Hi Craig. On the backswing should I pull my shoulder blade medially toward my spine on the backswing and on the downswing am I pulling my lead scapula medial toward my spine
September 14, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Greg. On the backswing, you are pulling the trail scapula down and in towards the spine. Coming down the lead lat will aid in bringing the arms in front, but I don't want you to try a retract your lead scapula the same way to bring the club down.
September 15, 2020
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greg
Thanks Craig!
September 15, 2020
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James
Further to my comments in "Stop Slicing and Start Releasing the Golf Club" I have been working on this shoulder plane along with getting that big extension. Now I started to think, "work from the ground up" and feeling more what my feet were doing. What I found is if I feel the inside of right foot resists the turn I get pressure exerted on to the inside of the heel and ball part of the foot; this in turn seems to encourage me to get a good extension and a nice shoulder plane. I also found that there is a resistance in the inside of the lead foot as I turn back. Craig can you advise me if this is OK from what I am doing here please. It certainly keeps me much more stabilised and I get a good resistance building up from the ground.
September 10, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. Take a look at Anchor to the Ground. Using the pressure on the inside to shy away from hip slide and getting the proper internal femur rotation will help you turn off over usage of the arms. Your notes don't hurt my feelings.
September 11, 2020
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James
Craig this backs up exactly what I am feeling in the "Anchor to the Ground" video. It is good to know that what I am doing is not contrary to RST principles. As you say, it helps me enormously to get that good extension and I do feel that tension in my inner thighs as I set up. Then as I rotate back I feel that tension building up in the right glute and outer thigh.
September 11, 2020
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Jim
Hi Craig, at address should the bend from the hips be the max the back allows (while keeping spine straight)? It seems to allow a steeper shoulder turn (club across shoulders steeper)? Does that promote more coil or torque?
September 4, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jim. Players will have different ranges. But, the amount of hinge will be determined by the length of the club and when you can see the golf ball. You will get more coil with a proper shoulder plane, than if you get too rounded and flat.
September 7, 2020
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Kevin
Hi Craig - played pretty well this weekend in a member guest even and finished 2nd in our flight. As I’ve worked to take out tension in my upper body my new soft “gumby arms” seem to have lost elevation and I struggled with some long irons from the fairway out of the rough. Just wanted to get your thoughts on trying to steepen my shoulder plane in order to get more arm elevation and improve swing plane?
August 23, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. A little bit steeper plane would help. With the shots you mentioned. Remember rough, etc will require a little more tension to help you dig it out of the turf. But, It sounds like big progress and congrats. Good playing bud! Clean up some shoulder plane and minimize arm swing.
August 23, 2020
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James
Have found this a very useful drill having a big mirror indoors to work in front of which I look at. The only issue is a very confined area that disables me from from actually swinging the club and have to do that either using window reflection outside or LiveView camera. I actually made a reply on my setup that Craig reviewed last week at this link https://rotaryswing.com/golf-instruction-videos/full-swing-basics/setup/golf-setup-posture#kmt-44855. For some reason my comment on that one I made last week seems to have vanished . Hopefully the second one sticks.
August 18, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. I don't know where your comment went, but answered under the link you provided.
August 18, 2020
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Keith
I am struggling with taking the club to far inside when I pull my right shoulder blade behind my head I think I’m too flat. Do I need to think of pulling the right shoulder blade back and up at the same time which brings my left shoulder down at an angle? The Takeaway videos don’t really talk about doing that just pulling your right shoulder blade back and using your obliques but I am too flat and inside. Suggestions videos. I just don’t think I’m getting it
April 12, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Keith. I believe you are over thinking this as for a few post you seem to be struggling. The shoulder blade moves down and in. You don't need to try and move it up. Also, it is gradual in motion. If you yank the blade back the turn will be too flat. Do you struggle with it without the club? I think it is time to see some video on your motion to help get you over the hump.
April 13, 2020
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Troy
It appears in the video that he is doing this with no to very little axis tilt. When I try this with proper axis tilt it seems to flatten the arc or the butt of the club points farther away from the ball. Am I missing something?
April 7, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Troy. You may be overdoing the axis tilt, or not hinging forward enough from the hips.
April 7, 2020
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Mike
Pulling the scapula back I think can also cause the shoulders to turn flat. My tendency is to get flat because the scapula pulls to much and the shoulder blade will over extend. In return the spine will stand up and shoulder plane gets too flat. Been at this for years and I cannot fix it. (3hc and a teacher) keeping the lead shoulder down helps a little but at end of backswing it will still move up and get a little flat.
February 20, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mike. Sounds like you are shoulder blade wrenching. Yes, the scapula/trail lat pull is important. But, not the only component. Take a look at 5 Minutes to Master Rotation (early portion of swing feel) and Golf Backswing Chair Drill to help recruit the core more versus solely the lat. Also, My Golf Backswing Secrets to realize how momentum helps carry the arms so you don't have to be so bound up.
February 20, 2020
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Robert
At the driving range I used a trick of you'lls. I used a dry marker on the ball, it left marks on the bottom front edge of my 5 wood. the marks are near the center line but on the very bottom front edge. what in the world am I doing to cause that.
February 6, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Robert. Take a look at Hit Your Fairway Woods Solid and Moving the Fulcrum Video. Sounds like a tilt and lead shoulder issue.
February 7, 2020
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Lucas
I don't quite understand how to combine the concepts of axis tilt/reverse pivot and shoulder plane. In my normal swing i have a big dipping of my lead shoulder during my backswing, which causes my lead obliques to feel scrunched up, and my trail side obliques to be very stretched during the backswing, resulting in a very steep shoulder plane, my head lowering 6-10 inches during the backswing, and what i would now interpret as a reverse pivot. When I try to maintain proper axis tilt and avoid this big shoulder dip, all the things that i mentioned above go away, however my head cant help but feel like it is now miles behind the ball. I'm not sure if this just feels odd because it is new, or if I have drifted to far away from the ball because of a "push from the lead side shoulder"? or a weak trail hip? Any insight would be appreciated thanks. photos attached.
January 20, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Lucas. Your after looks much better and diagnosis of the before is correct. Right now from the images it's just some excessive head movement off the ball. Combine your axis tilt and shoulder plane work with the Fix Your Swing Sway Drill. More than likely some lead shoulder push moving the head a bit too much.
January 20, 2020
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gary
Hi, I am working on Step One and just watched Backswing shoulder plane drill. When I watch Chuck I see him place the club across his chest parallel with his shoulders and also parallel to the ground. Then forward hinge and rotate pulling the right shoulder back and the club points to the ground. That is simple and works fine. Where I am having my problem (and I didn’t see Chuck address axis tilt in the video) is when I shift my hips left to achieve my 10 degrees of axis tilt now the club is pointing 10 degrees up from parallel to the ground so if I rotate perpendicular to my spine my club does not point to the ground. I can get it to point to the ground if as I rotate back I pull my right shoulder up (10 degrees). Is that what I am suppose to do or is this an optical illusion I am seeing in the mirror. Or is my perception of perpendicular off. I am missing something. Since Chuck didn’t mention the axis tilt do I practice this drill without adding the axis tilt? Thanks
November 19, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary. You need to have axis tilt. It could be that you are overdoing the amount of tilt at address. Even with tilt you should be able to get the club pointing towards the ground. Take a look at DEAD Drill 1 and you will see him starting with tilt and maintaining proper shoulder plane.
November 19, 2019
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Jeff
Have the exact same problem. Am planning to follow suggestions. Thanks.
November 27, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jeff. No problem. Get the kinks worked out.
November 27, 2019
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JC
When you transition from backswing to thru-swing and perform the square to squat move, I know that you are supposed to make sure your lead shoulder stays below your back shoulder. My question is: how much below? Is the ideal shoulder plane during the transition still perpendicular to the spine angle (similar to at very end of the back swing)? I keep my lead shoulder down during transition, but I do think it begins to flatten out some.
November 3, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello JC. Yes, it will be similar to the backswing and you want to try to maintain that perpendicular to the spine feel. What we typically see happen is players begin to push off the trail side too soon which will start to flatten the shoulder plane excessively.
November 4, 2019
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Frank
Craig, Curruntly just working on turning in the backswing with no club. When i pull my shoulder to the left i feel like i cannot keep my axis tilt at setup. Should i be trying to maintain the axis tilt from setup all the through the backswing?
October 12, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Frank. Yes, you need to maintain both axis tilt and proper shoulder plane. Take a look at Dead Drill Step 1. Also, How to Fix Golf Reverse pivot Video.
October 12, 2019
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Robert
lately I have been hitting the ball to the right, I think I found the problem is that I was not moving my left hip back enough when I post up. This held the club face open at impact. does this sound about right.
September 21, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Robert. Lack of post up and hip motion back will delay the release of the club and get you tending to slide. Therefore, the club stays open. Sounds like you are on the right track.
September 21, 2019
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ERIC
This question was asked last night, sorry if it's already been answered. Tightness under right shoulder blade as I rotate back (right-handed) is that the right feel? Right muscle?
September 11, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Eric. You will feel the trail lat engage. But, you shouldn't experience pain, or overly locked muscle. That would signify to me you are pulling too hard and not using the whole core to help.
September 11, 2019
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Robert
how much does shaft flex have to do with building lag?
August 16, 2019
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi Robert, shaft flex has little to do with building lag in the swing. Building lag in the swing is driven by loading the body up in the correct order and then sequencing the downswing properly to preserve the angle.
August 17, 2019
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Robert
in the takeaway if I let my hands lead the club head to the right in the takeaway then bring the club to a full back swing, at that point I almost wipe the club down to impact, this not only straightens my shots but adds 15 yrs to the ball. question: what is this felling of wiping the club down in to impact and how can i use it?
August 15, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Robert. It sounds like you are adding lag with softer wrists. Feeling like you are pulling a paint brush into impact. Take a look at the 9 to 3 Lag Building Drills for a smaller version and the Frisbee Drill for full swing.
August 15, 2019
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Jack
I'm having a hard time resolving what I see as a conflict in your bucket drill vs the shoulder turn drill/video. I realize I turn my shoulders too flat but the bucket drill seems to promote a flatter turn than the shoulder turn drill. Please advise.
July 25, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jack. The forearms will have slight rotation in the golf swing to allow the face to be toe up at the end of the takeaway. The bucket drill can tend to make the shoulder turn flatter with distance of the bucket being held out a little further away from the body than normal club positioning. Take a look at the Shake Hands Drill for an easier representation.
July 25, 2019
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Paul
Hello, this is a follow up from last comment. This type of "rotation" feels more of a shoulder blade movement than a turn your chest rotation away from target. It actually feels like my hips, stomach and sternum are still facing ball throughout backswing and the shoulders are rotating against them. In the mirror though this is not the case. Have I finally got the concept right?
June 26, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Paul. Your core more than likely is working. You back will be facing the target, but I can understand why you might feel that sensation. If in the mirror the positions look correct. Don't over think the move. Shift weight and get you trail shoulder behind you head to facilitate rotation.
June 27, 2019
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Paul
I noticed when I tried a steeper shoulder rotation, pulling right shoulder back and directly away from target and left shoulder to not pop out infront of me as much, my arms naturally elevated as the rotation caused my arms to slide up my chest. I also believe forearm rotation would also occur naturally when I have a club in hand. Is this correct. Also im guessing a flat shoulder turn would cause the shoulders and arms to swipe across the ball in an out to in path? Ta
June 26, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Paul. Better shoulder plane will help the arms work up easier. Most players that get the shoulder plane too flat will swing the arms deep behind them followed by over usage of the trail side coming down to get the club back in front. Leading to the out to in path.
June 27, 2019
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James
Does proper arm elevation come into play with the back swing plane motion? Said another way, can the back swing plane be flat when the arm elevation is too little?
June 25, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. Yes, without adding proper elevation some players will tend to let the arms go deep which will flatten out the shoulder plane.
June 25, 2019
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M. (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi Marcel here. Working through all video's in this set I got a bit confused by this video and video 30 (bucket drill). If I want to get the proper schoulder plane like in this video and then do it with the bucket in my hands it would spil water because if my hands just follow the shoulder plane my right hand will be higher then left at end of rotation and bucket will also have left side lower then right side. Where do I go wrong here? Thanks for helping!
June 8, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Marcel. The shoulders will rotate on the proper shoulder plane, but you have to allow for some forearm rotation. Take a look at the Shake Hands Drill and Pencil Tee Drill.
June 9, 2019
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M. (Certified RST Instructor)
Thank you Craig, clear now!
June 10, 2019
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Paul
I do plan on going through the 5 step system, however I am trying to to fix one glaring error in my swing, which is massively swiping across the ball at impact. I have apoor possition at the top with a massive overswing, from side on view the club head can be seen facing to the right of taget and facing ground. No matter what I try I cant stop. I did notice i start my backswing by almost straight away by allowing my right shoulderto start opening up to the sky and continuing to do this untill the spine stops it. This action feels independent of the left shoulder. Can this be the root cause of my problem. Ta
March 21, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Paul. I would start first by correcting the over swing working on both arms. Winter Golf Training Program - Backswing and 3 Functions of the Right Arm. These will help you achieve good rotation with proper arm/club position. Followed by a proper weight transfer and keeping the trail shoulder back. Keep the Rear Shoulder Back Video and How to Fix Plane and Path Video.
March 21, 2019
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Paul
Hi craig, i believe I am making a false rotation during the start of backswing by swinging back by using my shoulders blades first and not rotating the chest. At impact im swiping left as my arms catch up with chest. By this point in the swing my shoulders are facing well left of target. Still struggling with this move Any thoughts on this. Thanks
June 6, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Paul. The trail shoulder will rotate the shoulders for you. But, it still sounds like you are over swinging the arms going back. Focus more on the 4 Square Drill to not let the arms work deep. Up as you rotate. If the arms don't swing you will have to rotate. Also, work on Keep the Rear Shoulder Back and Arms vs Body Release. You must work on shifting and not letting the trail shoulder over work first. Then, release with the feeling of the chest square.
June 6, 2019
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Paul
Thanks craig. Just watched shoulder blade glide video as well. I used to use this connection in my old swing, which I felt was a very armsy swing, where I would be standing almost straight at the top of backswing. I then started getting lessons, where the pro encouraged me to keep my posture and have body rotation. Swing looked better but i became even more inconsistent . Just realised I have been not feeling the shoulder blade connection unless I massively overswing. I saw body rotation as rotating whole upper body as if it was a barrell with no shoulder blade glide. The overswing may be me trying to feel the shoulder blade connection with my spine uncontiously. Any thoughts on this, does this sound rational.
March 21, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Paul. Sounds rational. The key to stop over swinging is putting the shoulder blade in the correct position. Having enough external humeral rotation and the blade being against the spine. Take a look at Stop Overswinging.
March 21, 2019
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Paul
Hi Craig, was looking for a quick fix but after not improving at range I decided to give up and focus on weight shift. Miraculously by just working on this my overswing disappeared and my swing seemed to be much more natural. I was getting my body into far better positions by not even thinking about it. You have me convensed the 5 step system is the way to go. I still cant believe something as boring as weight shift cured my overswing lol. Beginning to understand how important it is as I am using the ground for momentum and control. Great work on the site.
March 23, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Paul. I'm glad you are starting to cure your swing ailments. Sadly, it is usually the simple things in the golf swing that make the biggest differences. And, those are usually neglected. Appreciate the positive post about the site .
March 23, 2019
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Paul
Thanks mate. Will watch suggested vids, have a shot at the range and let you know how it goes.
March 21, 2019
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David
Like others i have been enjoying the roadshow. What i am finding is that Chuck is explaining things very slightly different and you go thats me. So something i picked on is i have a tendency to watch my backswing to make sure it isnt too flat and in so doing my head can get ahead of the ball and the body tilts rather than turns. I think the phrase Chuck used was where the head goes the shoulders follow. Any advice to keep the head watching the ball and trusting the backswing?
January 26, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. Where the eyes go the head goes and where the head goes the shoulders go. I don't have any tips, or added techniques to keep you focused on the ball other than hyper focusing keeping the head down.
January 27, 2019
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glenn
Hi guys I’ve also been gaining a lot of insight from the roadshow videos in particular in video 13 I noticed that the student had an issue with having a high lead shoulder and a low trail shoulder when he get back to impact giving a steep shoulder plane and I’ve noticed that I also share this problem in the mirror when I’m doing the drills and when I’m hitting balls I have always hit a high trajectory and I think this could be the reason why, but try as I might I just can’t do that drill and get to impact with my shoulders level, any advice guys
January 10, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Glenn. Glad you are enjoying the roadshow. Take a look at the Level Shoulders and Left Arm Only Downswing Drill. The key to not having excessive secondary axis tilt would be to turn off trail side push and exaggerate keeping the lead shoulder lower. Also, take a look at Preventing Hip Pain. Make sur eyou are pulling the weight over properly.
January 11, 2019
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David
Hi guys, i am not clear on when the takeaway turns into the backswing. I have a tendency to keep turning rather than elevating. The takeaway feels much better having watched the roadshow lessons but i think my fear is if i elevate too much on the backswing i will reverse pivot. Any comments welcomed. Keep up the good work on the road.
December 15, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. Unless your arms start coming out of the box some elevation wouldn't lead to a RP. More of a tendency to have the RP when the trail hip slides away from the target and the arms runaway at the top. The backswing begins once the club has passed parallel to the ground and the hands are at pocket height. In the RST Pencil Tee Drill you will see most common faults. Takeaway is done after that point.
December 16, 2018
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van
Craig, I did not proofread my question or my brain took a lunch break. It should read right arm remaining as straight as possible and hands as far as possible from the head. I hit balls again today and as long as I kept the right shoulder back at the outset of the downswing and move from a activated right glute to a left leg post by moving the core without swinging the arms I hit the ball much more solidly than before. I have a long way to go but hitting my 3 fairway wood 190 to 195 has me almost giddy. I would like the names of the lessons that emphasize the straight right arm and the fold of the right elbow pointing up as opposed to out so I can keep referring to them. I will stand in the corner for an appropriate period of time.
November 28, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Van. No worries. We all take vacations in the mind. Role of the Right Arm, 3 Functions of the Right Arm, Stop Overswinging, Keep the Right Arm Straight to Turn, Belly Button Drill, Pool Noodle Drill, and How to Keep Left Arm Straight Video. If you need more. Let me know.
November 28, 2018
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van
Craig, I love the roadshow videos. One that was particularly helpful was the one where he had to use his video glasses. The student had an identical turn to mine not the wide takeaway desired. I have seen on of the videos which discussed the left arm in the takeaway and the fact that students felt that the arm was straight when done correctly even thought it was bent at the last stage of the takeaway. I cannot locate that one. Can you advise where I find it and what it is called. I went out to the range and using my recollection of Chucks roadshow video and that instructional video started hitting the ball further than I ever have and of course it felt funny. Based on result I am anxious to relocate that instructional video. HELP
November 28, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Van. Glad you are enjoying the road show videos. A video working with a student, or drill video? And, are you referring the the trail arm staying straight in the takeaway, or lead?
November 28, 2018
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Brian
Hi Craig, do you have any drills that help keeping the club out in front on the backswing and downswings? My backswing goes out then around ending up flat causing disconnection. Many thanks Brian
November 16, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brian. 4 Square Drill and Pool Noodle Drill for Backswing. Also, Trace the Plane Line and Level Shoulders for Downswing.
November 16, 2018
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Lippen
I've always had a tendency to swing flat and then add compensations to get back to impact, but since working on Rotary Swing, it seems to be worse. I had an Ah Ha moment when watching this video. If I'm set up with access tilt, the left shoulder is higher than the right. So for me to be on plain I have to feel as though my left shoulder really points down. If pulling the right shoulder back is the proper movement and not pushing the left shoulder, should it feel like the right shoulder pulls with more elevation than the right shoulder glide allows? For me, it seems hard to do both correctly. Am I missing something here?
October 2, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Lippen. It's about rotating around the spine. The trail shoulder will still pull down and in. I would rather you not try to force elevation with trail shoulder to counter balance. Feeling the lead shoulder down is fine. Put the club across the chest "a la Chuck." As you rotate, get the club pointed properly. Your feel may be that the shoulder plane is steeper. Which would be a good thing if you tend to be too flat. But, don't think you need to add elevation, or shrug to reach proper positioning.
October 2, 2018
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David
Hi Guys, I have struggled with a flat takeaway for years, i think i do it to get turn rather than tilt. Anyway i think my fear is if i have a steeper backswing i will reverse and lose my spine angle. So advice welcomed. When i do a steeper backswing i either get the best hit of my life or my body says you are too steep you had better drop it under the plane on the way down and i get the ball going low and off to the right.
September 24, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. Even though the shoulder plane is around the spine you must allow the lead arm to rotate properly from the shoulder socket to shy away from steepness. How to Keep the Left Arm Straight Video and Winter Golf Training Program - Backswing.
September 24, 2018
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Yuefeng
I have been long struggling with this flatter turn (upper body straightens up) in the backswing. The shorter the club, the more I feel uncomfortable turning. Ironically I actually tend to hit the most shank shots with my wedge while my wood tend to be my most solid hit club. I don't believe I'm pushing with the left, and I want to clarify whether lack of certain physical flexibility could result in this too? If yes, any exercise I can do to help fight this?? I recently did a simple test from a coach, which is to stand upright with arms reaching up above head, and then gradually squat. The ideal result is to be able to squat while maintaining the upper body upright posture, but I just couldn't resist bending upper body forward from the very beginning. And the more squat, the more bend...
June 1, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Yuefeng. I haven't met a player yet that doesn't have the flexibility to make a full shoulder turn. Sounds like a TPI Instructor. What does squatting and lifting a club above you head have to due with shoulder turn? In my humble opinion, that test is pretty ridiculous . I have had students in the clinic perform the same drill because their instructor said they failed and wouldn't be able to rotate the shoulders properly. In 3 secs I gave them a full shoulder turn. Food for thought. I have a rebuilt trail shoulder and can still get 90 degrees. You need to recruit more of the core to help you rotate. You tend too aggressively yank the trail blade down right off the ball changing you shoulder plane.
June 2, 2018
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Yuefeng
Thanks Craig for the reply. That's encouraging to know!
June 3, 2018
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Conrad
Hi Craig, I apologize if you already received my comment but I am experiencing some computer issues. After reading your comment to Tom's question below, I am still a little confused. First of all I don't see any axis tilt in Chuck's video. Am I not seeing this correctly? The way I understand it, when I add axis tilt, my shoulders are to rotate around the spine and the angle created by the axis tilt. To me the shoulder plane is flatter to the ground because of the angle created by the axis tilt, than without the axis tilt. Is that correct or am I misunderstanding the concept? Thanks for your help, Conrad
February 3, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Conrad. You always need axis tilt. You are rotating around the spine. However, from a forward hinge from your hip sockets. You don't set that much tilt to have a flat shoulder plane as if you were doing the drill standing straight up and down. If your shoulder plane is flattening out you are probably pushing the lead shoulder and dumping the trail shoulder down.
February 4, 2018
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James
I seem to lose the 90 degree angle to my spine when my left knee doesn’t stay pointed straight out ( laser beam drill ). Does this make any sense physically?
February 3, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. If the lead knee starts to point too much behind the ball. Over turning the hips may occur causing a loss of tilt changing your shoulder plane.
February 3, 2018
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Tom
Chuck You mentioned NOT to push with the LEFT leg on the back swing What INITATES the back swing ? Tom Lawson
January 30, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tom. (For right handed player) . Weight shift will initiate the backswing. Pushing trail heel into the ground. Players that already shift their weight well sometimes will only thing pulling back with core and trail shoulder blade.
January 30, 2018
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Joel
Chuck does not have trail shoulder lower than lead during drill there is forward tilt. The side tilt is what makes the rotation difficult to me seems like the trail shoulder has to move up and around would be good to see with a club in hand with side and forward tilt
January 23, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Joel. If you use the Swing Analysis Tool. Draw lines on Chuck's Shoulder Plane and Spine Angle creating the "T" as shown in this video. It will be a good way to visualize. Also, if you start rotating while straight up and down and gradually increase your forward hinge from the hip sockets. You will begin to feel how the shoulder plane starts to steep slightly versus being too level.
January 24, 2018
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Erinn
I went to the range today and was trying this drill with some short irons. As soon as I went to a longer club (hybrid - driver), I was topping balls. Almost like I was to steep as I was trying to stay in the same posture as I was at address as i rotated back. Any input?
January 22, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Erinn. Typically, the top is caused by lack of weight shift and excessive secondary tilt coming down. The old sort of hang back look with the upper half. With the focus on your posture. You might have stopped shifting back in the downswing and adding too much secondary tilt.
January 24, 2018
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Erinn
I also would like to add that as I try to rotate and "keep the butt of the club pointing at the ground", it feels like the club and my hands are really steep and above my head vs. around my body, I hope this makes sense.
January 22, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Erinn. Make sure you still allow for forearm rotation and lead shoulder socket rotation. Shake Hands Video and How to Keep the Left Arm Straight Video.
January 24, 2018
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Frank
Where should butt of club point during backswing? On ball line? Outside ball line?
January 21, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Frank. For the drill, or real swing? Drill will be slightly outside the ball line. In the real swing you aren't trying to aim the club, but will usually be slightly inside the ball line depending on posture/club.
January 21, 2018
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Tom
Chuck. GREAT video and something I struggle with. Drill works great when i get into golf posture. As soon as i add axis tilt and try the drill, that’s when it feels like my shoulders are flatter In the backswing while trying to maintain that axis tilt. Any helpful thoughts?
January 18, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tom. Typically, it means you aren't rotating around the spine anymore. You can see Chuck has axis tilt and is still rotating around the hinged forward spine position. You can either pull pulling too hard with the trail shoulder making you come out of alignment, or adding push as you start to rotate leveling the plane. I know when adding tilt it may seem contradictory when talking about level shoulders. But, you start adding more side bend instead of around spine and trail shoulder behind your head.
January 19, 2018
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Robert
Wow. Craig! It took me a few readings of your last sentence but it eventually dawned on me (never said I was quick) how the left shoulder push could, among other options, possibly show up as "side bend" causing an unwanted increase in axis tilt vs the desired rotation around the spine/axis and also appearing as a "faux flatness". Thanks for your patient, informative and accurate "Kai Zen" refining attention. I find your answers to the questions that are given you every day are a brilliant instructional resource.
February 6, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Robert. Much appreciative of the compliments. Happy to help and hopefully we are getting your golf swing on track.
February 7, 2018
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Robert
I’m a poster child of “stacking “ the drills. I don’t hit every shot perfect but My whole understanding of perfect has transformed. I am hitting shots that I have NEVER hit before. The “posting up” action and clubhead down reaction is like color to a dog.
February 7, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Robert. Be careful. My mom still tries to convince me her dog can see color. . Great. Glad to hear.
February 7, 2018
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Tom
Thanks, Craig. Makes sense
January 20, 2018
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gordon
A flat shoulder turn is one of my bad habits so this video is useful for me. At the start of the tip one cause is mentioned as being right side dominant at address, resulting in the shoulders being too level to begin with. Right hand (lead) side dominance is another of my bad habits (!) so this info grabbed my attention. My question, for better understanding, is why does rhs dominance cause level shoulders? Regards, Gordon.
January 18, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gordon. Players that are trail side dominant tend to level their shoulders at address (not add enough axis tilt). From this position, it make the lead side push a much easier occurrence because the trail shoulder now doesn't want to rotate around the spine correctly.
January 19, 2018

    One of the recurring trends I keep seeing in my online golf swing lessons in my review groups, is the shoulders turning really flat during the takeaway. And a lot of it happens from being right side dominant at address, where your shoulders are too level to begin with. And then a lot of it comes from just moving from the left side, which I've talked about a ton. When you push from the left side during the takeaway, it tends to not only move your head off the ball, but you tend to rotate too flat. 
                    So, how do we know, what's a good drill, to help us figure out what plane our shoulders should rotate on during the backswing? I'm glad you asked, because I have a simple drill for you.
                    Take a club, put it across your chest, up at your shoulders, or across your shoulder sockets up here so that the butt of the club is on your left shoulder, sticking out here. So you want that to stick out further. As you set up at address, when you go back, that club should be pointing down at the ground. Now, not at the ball, that's pretty steep, but outside the ball a little bit is where we want to be. From down the line it's going to look like this. 
                    Now, this is a steeper shoulder plan than this, obviously, right? So how do we know what angle that plane should be at, because this is what we tend to do a lot, especially if you push from the left side. Now, look at this club, it's parallel to the ground. How's that going to work with my body? Now my arm's on one plane, my shoulder's on another plane, my spine's on one plane, everything's off plane. And I've got to make a bunch of compensations to get back to in to a proper impact position.
                    So how do we know how steep they should be? Well, our spine angle is going to dictate that. Because our shoulders should always rotate perpendicular to our spine. So imagine a T formed by my spine and my shoulders. That's a T, right? This T should never change during the backswing. You should always continue to rotate perpendicular to my spine. 
                    So what that would look like if I did it incorrectly, standing straight up, is right now, if I turn like this, that's good. But my spine is vertical to the ground, so it's not how we'd set up to the ball, so I'm just doing this for demonstration purposes. So if I turned really flat, it would look like this. Now my left shoulder goes up really high, and you're like well, wait a second, as I'm standing here doing this right now, following along with you, I would never do this. I agree, it doesn't make any sense. So how come you do it when your golf club's on the ground, or the ball's on the ground? Because this is what we see all the time. Now you know, because I've hinged forward, that club should point down to the ground, yet we see this all the time.
                    How does that happen? Good question. This drill will help you start to feel what's going on, because typically, when you start turning flat, you're pushing from the left side, and you're trying to lift your arms up in this weak, desperate attempt to feel some leverage in your swing. You want to rotate and get that shoulder pointing down. So for some of you, who are turning really flat, I will tell you, hey, you need to feel like your left shoulder points down toward the ground. But this drill is the best drill for that. 
                    If you're practicing in front of a mirror, you should look in the mirror and say okay, there's my spine angle, I just need my shoulders to rotate perpendicular to that, I want to keep that T that I had when I was standing straight up, because this is really easy. But when we start getting in to a posture, things start getting really kind of wonky, and we start adding all these goofy moves that we're used to doing.
                    So if you're at home working on your golf swing, and working on just the core body rotation move, and the five step process, put a club across your shoulders and make sure that as you rotate back, and you look down the line at a mirror, that your shoulders match, are perpendicular to your spine angle.

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