Henrik Stenson's Backswing Moves

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See how Henrik Stenson's idiosyncrasies work in his powerful golf swing.

Check out these videos I referenced: Understanding Weight Shift

The Takeaway Drills

Good Friday morning, Rotary Swing golfers. Chuck Quinton here, going to discuss Henrik Stenson's golf swing, who's currently leading the second round of the 2018 Bay Hill Championship. I want to talk about what you can learn from his backswing, since we're covering backswing stuff this week. What you're going to see is a lot of idiosyncrasies in Henrik's swings that still, believe it or not, are RST fundamentals. He's just doing them a little bit more disjointed, let's say. What do I mean by that? Well, let's take a look.
                    First things, we're going to focus primarily just on the backswing here. I'm not going to get into every single little detail here. But at set up, he has quite a nice looking set up. Little bit of forward shaft leaning, obviously has a pretty big forward press that we're going to see in a second, but the things I want to focus on are really what his body's doing. That's the most important thing that we're going to discuss first. 
                    We're going to draw a line on the outside of his head and on his right hip. Now, let's move him forward and watch what happens. He adds this little forward press and now watch his massive weight shift. As you know, the first step in RSC Five Step is learning how to shift your weight properly. It's the crux of the golf swing for amateur golfers. There's nothing more important that you need to learn first is how to shift your weight. Henrik's definitely doing that, but to the nth degree and then some. WE always want to focus on keeping that right hip line in the same spot. It looks like, from this view, face on, that the right hip never moves. Now technically, it's moving back, away from the target, and back away from the target line from the ball, so it's moving diagonally, the hips are moving diagonally back this way towards this gentleman back here in the swing. That's what creates the illusion of the right hip staying on there. But he's moving a lot laterally. You can see his head's moved a good six inches off the ball. His hips have moved a great, another two or three inches. It's pretty significant. It is weight transfer.
                    One of the questions I get asked all the time for golfers who struggle with weight shift, knowing how important it is to move dynamically and get that weight shifted to the right to help get you going back to the left, can you just start with your weight on the right? Technically, sure you can. Now, it's not as dynamic, but you can still create a tremendous amount of power. We're going to see how Henrik does that, because he's effectively doing that. He's essentially starting with all his weight on his right side, way back behind the ball, big forward press. Now as he starts going back, he starts doing other solid Rotary Swing fundamentals. We've talked about the takeaway last week. If you look at this takeaway, this is exactly what we were showing you. We want to see the buttons on the shirt moving if that golf club's moving. In other words, if the club's moving, it's because you're turning. That's our goal. That's what keeps this right arm nice and straight during the backswing, whereas so many other amateurs look like this already, the huge hinge of that right elbow. So, we want to make sure that you're turning your body to move the golf club, not just moving it with your weak arms and hands, which is going to make you wildly inconsistent.
                    He's made a great turn. He keeps turning. Notice how those buttons on his shirt still rotate. How do we know when the backswing's done with Rotary Swing? We want to see that right shoulder blade on the left side of your head, which we can start to see it poking out here. That's a full turn. We don't need anymore. We're ready to start going in the other direction. As he does that, he makes a big shift back to the left. Notice now he's moved back almost to where he was at address with his hip but not quite that far. Excuse me. Move him back to address, so he's moved forward to where he was at address. His head is right back to where it was at address, what I meant, sorry. His hips are out in front where they're supposed to be. 
                    Now, with the driver you'll see that his left hip is not going to be in neutral. He's trying to stay back to create a more positive angle of attack, so that's normal with a driver. Couple other things, though. We start to see a big right heel lift. Those of you that have attended the clinics know that he owes me $100 bucks here, right? That's how you lose your posture. You start compressing your lumbar here. It can help you move your hips faster for sure, but it starts creating a lot of inconsistency because you're changing a lot of angles in your swing. But it's pretty common with the big hitters for that right heel to come up with the driver, because they're really trying to move it. You can see he's up on the left ball of his foot. Obviously not ideal there either. It's going to start leading to some knee issues pretty easily if he's not careful. But he does jump, like many golfers who do this move on the ball of their foot, so that he can pivot and turn his foot so it's not fully weighted. He's trying to move his body down, push his feet down to the ground, to create this vertical ground force, which helps release the club. You can see he's got a tremendous amount of lag as he comes down and he needs to use his legs to help unload and release his wrists.
                    The big thing from the backswing, you can see lots of weight shift obviously. It's a little bit of an idiosyncratic move in his swing. But he does everything really well coming back down. He shifts his weight back to the left, shallows out the club, gets the left arm to start working down and gets into a great impact position. The main things that you can focus on here with Henrik's swing, while he's got idiosyncrasies in there for sure, he still is focusing on transferring his weight. It's his primary mover of the club is getting everything to start shifting to the right, getting loaded up powerfully back behind the ball, so he can make a powerful move back to the left and that will create a lot of power in the golf swing.

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I'm confused on how to move back to the left side with a significant weight shift to the right without lifting your right heel and not using that trail leg to push back. if you throw a ball, you typically will use the trail let to push back to the left side.
May 11, 2020
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mike. Yes, in throwing a ball you would add some push. But, you shouldn't be moving off the ball that much. The weight shift back isn't a very far distance. You need to use the lead side muscles to pull yourself back. Take a look at Which Muscles to Use in the Golf Swing Transition, Fixing Your Weight Transfer, and Preventing Hip Pain Videos.
May 12, 2020
Enjoyed the Boot Camp this evening. Question: The shoulder turn pulls the hips around. But there is also a weight shift. What is the initial move: shoulder turn or weight shift or do they occur simultaneously?
September 10, 2019
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Richard. I typically tell students trail foot and then trail shoulder. Shift and rotate. Similar to My Golf Backswing Secrets Video. However, it doesn't much matter as long as you get loaded and the head doesn't move too much off the ball. Some players already due shift their weight however. And, they feel more rotation only and then a slight increase in pressure into trail glute.
September 11, 2019
Question: It appears that Stenson completes his his weight shift before ever moving the shoulders/arms/club. You commented on the concept of “feeling” like you’re doing that, but he actually does it! What do you think?
March 16, 2018
Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
Yes, it's unusual for sure and looks pretty mechanical to say the least, but it at least gets his weight to the right side. It's not the way I'd suggest learning to shift your weight and there's a reason no one else really does it, but Henrik makes such a great move in the downswing shifting back to the left that it's not a big deal - just not something that you'd want to copy - unless you really struggle with shifting your weight, then you could use a similar move while you're working on Step 1 in the RST 5 Step.
March 16, 2018
Hey Chuck — I ran across a set of videos and articles about center of mass versus center of pressure (nothing else to do). I don’t recall you ever mentioning these factors. Question: On the take away, there clearly is a shift of pressure to the right foot, but is there a shift of mass?
May 6, 2020

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