Fix Your Release - Trail Shoulder Back

This golf instruction video is for those who struggle to stop spinning their shoulders open through impact and want to learn how to easily draw the golf ball.


There's no greater feeling in golf than puring an iron shot like that, and releasing the golf club with no effort. When I hit a 7 iron like that, I feel like the ball leaps off the face, and I didn't have to do anything to hit the ball that far and that hard. The trick is all in my release. What I want to talk about today is the number one problem I see in amateur golfers, when they release their club, and the difference between a pro and an amateur is really only a few degrees when it comes down to it. 
 
So, what I'm going to do, I want to talk about what the club face should look like on the other side of the ball when you're looking at your swing and the swing analyzer, because you should always be looking at your swing on video, otherwise you have no idea what you're really doing. Never ever rely on feel, because feel and real are never the same. 
 
So, when you're looking at your swing on video, and you look at just after the ball, the number one thing that I see most amateurs golfers doing is the club face looks like this. The reason is, they're trying to push the club through the hitting area, instead of letting the club turn over. The club, as I've talked about a bunch, is designed to rotate around the heel, that's why they put the shaft on the left side, instead of in the center of the face. If they wanted the club face to stay straight through the hitting area, they would have put it there. It's designed to rotate, you have to let it. 
 
If you're holding on to the face, and pushing through, all you're doing is not only slowing the club down, but you're keeping the club from squaring up and releasing naturally. I didn't try and flip my hands over there, as you saw the club face turnover, all I did was keep my shoulders back and let the club release, and let my arms throw the club to get the club to turn over naturally. From face on, the biggest difference that you're going to look at with your swing when you do this, is that your right shoulder, you kind of want to envision this, keep your right shoulder away from the ball and the target as long as humanly possible. 
 
What I mean by that is, as you're coming down, the worst thing you could do is start driving hard off this right side and getting the right shoulder back in front of the ball very early in the swing, it's going to hold the face open, and that's going to be a check swing down the first base line. 
 
You want to hit a home run, then that actually happens by putting less effort into your swing. Keeping your right shoulder back, now the club, once it gets to the ball, if my right shoulder stays back and doesn't move forward, well the club isn't going to magically stop. It's got to keep going, there's too much momentum. So, instead of turning to move the club, I just want my forearms to turn over. My right shoulder appears that it stays in the same spot through this release area. And by doing that, the club is now allowed to accelerate independent of me.
 
Notice how little my body's working. It's not doing anything. I've posted up, golf swing's done as far as I'm concerned, all I got to do is let my forearm bones turn over, to almost to the point where my wrist would touch each other, but I'm not magically trying to make this happen. I'm not forcing it over, that'd be a flip, I'm just letting the club face rotate the way it naturally wants to. 
 
So, when you're looking at your swing on video, I want you to start checking ... I'll hit another one here, and I'll show you the opposite, where I turn through and you'll be able to see the difference in the club face angle as it comes through the ball. Now, if you look at that one, you're going to see the club face stayed open, open, open, and it was a weak skanky, didn't go anywhere, and that's way more work for way less payoff. All I want to do is keep this right shoulder away from the target as long as humanly possible, let my forearms turnover just like I talk about in many of the release videos and the shaking hands video. Start checking your club face, you want to see it on this side of the ball already squared up and released when it's in the three o'clock position. If it looks like this, you're not releasing the club properly, and you're costing yourself tons of distance and tons of accuracy. 

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Mark
I need this so bad
June 29, 2022
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mark. Shoulder spinning is a death move. Turn those shoulders off!
June 30, 2022
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Venkatesh
This is a great element of the rotary swing. If done right, it helps immensely. Any drills to help with keeping the shoulder back as much as possible?
July 11, 2021
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Manny (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ven... Try "Trail Arm Release- Throw the Ball Drill Pt. 1", as well as, "9 to 3 Lag Building Drills". Both emphasize a move which help learn to keep the shoulders and hips shut on the downswing.
July 11, 2021
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Gary C
I am struggling with my upper body wanting to start releasing too early on my full swing at tempo. I have been focusing on trying to keep my shoulders loaded and back as long as possible so that my lower body actually turns them. When I get it right the club brushes the carpet just in front of where the ball would be and even at a slow speed I hear that “woosh” sound indicative of proper lag. I have practiced DD6 slowly for well over 1000 reps but I am finding it harder than I thought to keep that aspect together properly at even a slow but full swing speed. I am feeling close to emerging from the cocoon so to speak and being ready to go hit balls but after hit 5 in my backyard and seeing every ball slice I am realizing it’s not as simple to take these drills from the mirror to the range. Suggestions? I am feeling a bit frustrated for my nearly 18 months of daily practice...
April 27, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary. Add components slowly and give yourself drills to build up. Take a look at Proper Muscle Activation and Play the Best Golf of Your Life in 6 Weeks 4 of 6 Video. Good combo to start applying your concepts.
April 28, 2021
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Kevin
Hi Craig - i rewatched my live lessons with you to refresh some things we talked about and I have my backswing cleaned up. Before I send you a review on my homework I want to clean up my release I am working on small swings and my release and noticed my trail shoulder driving through. I’m also focusing on my extension - what should be my main check when looking at my release? I understand the basics from fix your release and other videos but what should I focus on that would benefit me the most?
March 9, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. The main focus for you needs to be that the release is passive. Not an active throwing motion unless you switch to trail side push. Your biggest issue is trying to speed the hands through vs the club releasing when it decides to.
March 9, 2021
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Leigh
First time poster here, joined the site a few weeks ago. I am a returning golfer after a good number of years away from the game. I found this website as I had a sore left thumb, and a google search brought me to this site. Working through the drills, but this particular video has changed everything for me. I played many years only feeling the ball squash off the club on pulled shots, after using this movement pattern I am feeling a well compressed ball on every shot (when I get the pattern right) with a small draw. Thank you so much guys for your work.
November 30, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Leigh. Welcome to the site. Very happy to read the good news. Pain free golf is much better and especially with compression.
November 30, 2020
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Leigh
Thanks for the reply and the welcome. I've noticed on video that I am increasing my knee bend during my back swing, I seem to hold my posture okish, is this a problem ? and if so can you please suggest some video/drills to improve this.
December 1, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Leigh. You want to load the trail glute, but excessive knee bend will change weight placement too much and drop the head. Take a look at the Laser Beam Knee Drills and Weight Shift Video Part 2. You don't need a big squat to increase the pressure in the trail side.
December 1, 2020
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Leigh
Hi. I had a swing review completed. There were supposed to be videos linked for me to watch but none were left. Can someone help please. I can’t find any other way to offer feedback.
December 2, 2020
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William (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi Leigh. I did your review the other night. Not sure why the videos didn't stay attached. Anyway, here they are. Let me know if you have any further questions. https://rotaryswing.com/golf-instruction-videos/full-swing-basics/backswing/dead-drill-step-1-backswing https://rotaryswing.com/golf-instruction-videos/full-swing-basics/downswing/dead-drill-transition https://rotaryswing.com/golf-instruction-videos/full-swing-basics/takeaway/move-1-the-takeaway https://rotaryswing.com/golf-instruction-videos/full-swing-basics/backswing/move-2-completing-the-backswing
December 3, 2020
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Leigh
Thank you William (or do you prefer Bill ?) Quick question, working through this my right arm is now alot straighter at the top of my backswing. What is the correct angle range for my right arm. If I keep my left arm straight I cannot bend my right arm more than about 130deg (It looks very straight). Will this reduce the leverage created by the right arm straightening but increase the width which offests the loss in leverage ?
December 6, 2020
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Dennis
I just watched chucks latest video re driving the right hip and right shoulder. Totally confused, rotary swing has been advocating keeping the right side passive (even deliberately holding it back as in this video) and just allowing it to be pulled through. Now we have totally conflicting instructions. No wonder golfers are confused by the myriad of conflicting information.
November 10, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dennis. There are two types of players. Hitters and swingers. Most players are looking for a way to hit the ball further and more consistent. This hitter theory isn't to confuse you, but to provide insight that if you struggled for decades trying to control the trail side to not beat a dead horse and be lost wandering forever. Most of our members will work hard on lead side control and lead side dominant swing. Still the preferred method. We are just looking at golfers as a whole. Some don't have the time left, or ability to spend training the lead side. We are trying to provide an option to help those players enjoy the game quicker.
November 11, 2020
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Jeffrey
Half of left-handed people can really use either left or right. That's me. However, overdoing my right hand has been one o my main faults. Finally practicing and letting the release happen has helped me to hit much better shots, especially the chips as I have only been with you guys for a couple of weeks. How great this is. Bravo!
November 6, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jeffrey. Awesome! Thanks for the positive post!
November 7, 2020
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Joe
When looking at my swing on video: How do I tell that my shoulders are not spinning out? With winter fast approaching, I will not be able to see my ball flight. I plan to work on this all winter long so I want to be able to view my video and tell for sure that I am making process. Are there specific video landmarks which I watch/mark so I know I am on the right track? Since feel is not real, I want to see certain progress just via video (or mirror). I also need to make sure my turn is complete..but I think I can see that pretty well. Thanks.
October 26, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Joe. DEAD 2 and DEAD 3. After squat to square shoulders should be at least 45 degrees closed to target with hips square. At impact hips 35-45 degrees open with shoulders square.
October 26, 2020
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Bill
Hi, first off all, thank you so much for your instruction, it is made me a much better golfer. I hit my 9 iron through lob wedge with a low punch shot type of swing, which for me is more accurate. In doing that, I hold the club face pointing up through impact with little follow through. Do you see this as a fault I should work to change or a specialty shot that can be utilized?
September 13, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Bill. It will limit face rotation, so overall speed will be lower. But, for accuracy and flight control makes sense to me. Same topic discussed in Penetrating Wedge Shot Video.
September 14, 2020
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Grier
I have always been under the plane. Since working on the dead drill and specifically on keeping the right shoulder back, I am hitting my irons fat and have hit some pull hooks with my driver. How do I get back to flushing my irons 1 and 2 how to stop the pull hooks?
July 20, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Grier. If you are under plane take a look at Trace the Plane Line Drill. For specifics on the hook watch How to Stop Hooking the Golf Ball to understand the dynamics that are causing it.
July 21, 2020
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Jim
I’m still practicing without playing, but it seems that shifting left with minimal turning of my hips to impact position is the way to go. My right heel stays down, foot rolls and doesn’t want to twist. I feel I can push off my right foot without being on the ball of the foot. If all feels quite relaxed!
July 18, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jim. The goal is not to push off the right foot, but also get the hips open enough to clear the way for a great release.
July 18, 2020
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Kyaw Thet
Does keeping the rear shoulder back help shallow the club in the downswing?
July 6, 2020
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Mikko-Pekka
Hello Kyaw. Yes it does. As a shoulder spinner this was one thing I had to focus on. Keeping the right side out of the swing all good things happen!
July 6, 2020
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Kevin
This video helped save the middle of my round today - I’ve been getting a better old with my lats in the backswing but my upper body wants to fire more now from the top. I was starting to hook the ball or hit toe shanks with my woods after playing well prior. I really focused on the core moves and keeping the right shoulder tension free and back and played in well. My clarification question is in regards to the left shoulder. Should is it feel tension free like the right at the top as well and simply get pulled to square by the hips, obliques and finally to square with the most up move? I have been getting some tension in the left shoulder as I work to keep it down and not spin out (level shoulders video).
June 6, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. You will have a little tension due to the stretching nature of the swing. Also, some lead shoulder protraction when you finish the backswing. However, shoulders should be pretty chilled out. Take a look at Proper Muscle Activation Video.
June 7, 2020
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Ramey
what is a good drill for helping to how to learn to keep the trail shoulder more quiet through the downswing?
May 19, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ramey. Play the Best Golf of Your Life in 6 Weeks 1-4 of 6 Videos. You start with backswing, release and 2 drills to stop shoulder spin while letting the lead release.
May 19, 2020
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Kevin
Picture for comment below
May 1, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. Remember, the side bend position is one that you will move through and not stay in for very long.
May 1, 2020
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Kevin
I’m finishing with a lot of side bend as I work to stay in posture - most your swings are much more upright at this point when I compare. I’m guessing this is from pushing from the right side / shoulder and not releasing properly - this will cause back pain I’m sure
May 1, 2020
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Boris (Certified RST Instructor)
Back and lead hip pain/injury would be common. I would study videos that deal with Neutral Joint Alignment at impact. Your finish is similar to players during the Nicklaus era which promoted driving off of the rear leg in the downswing.
May 1, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. Looks like a lot to me. Either push, or you kept rotating the hips excessively through impact and didn't let the release/momentum of the club pull you through.
May 1, 2020
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Chad
I had a local pro look at my swing and he is saying that the club should be open past impact, he showed me videos of pros where their club is pretty open after impact around the 3:00 position, mine is currently toe up after impact or even closed a bit,,, this is where it gets confusing.
May 1, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Chad. Every tour player releases the club. If you look at the picture of Tiger below. You can see he is toe up. If you hold off the face through the release you are fighting the physics of the golf club and losing speed. Take a look at Arms vs Body Release Video.
May 1, 2020
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Mary
Really struggle with my shoulders on the squat move. My left should does not stay down like Chuck's in the transition move.
April 30, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mary. If not pushing with the trail hip. You have to be too active with shoulder rotation. It is a tough move to conquer. Literally, feel like you have zero rotation when shifting.
April 30, 2020
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Brian
This video describes perfectly what I'm struggling with. I cannot for the life of me let that club go. I know I'm doing it wrong and I'm doing everything I can to release the club head, but I just can't seem to find that feeling where it's okay to release and not be scared that I'm going to hit fat or duck hook it. I'll keep trying to hold the right shoulder back, but I've done that before in my life and it tends to lead to a failure to turn through, which of course leads to the duck hook.
April 5, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brian. Remember, the release is passive. It sounds like when you keep the shoulders back you flip vs letting the club do the squaring.
April 6, 2020
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Dennis
Hi Craig, I’m only half way through the steps and in the process trying to play as little as possible. however, when I do play I use the “right shoulder back” as my ONLY swing thought (rather then try to overthink the golf swing). Just with this thought only I am finding huge improvement. Would you recommend as I progress through the last 3 steps of the dead drill to just continue with this one swing thought ? Can you see any downside ?
March 13, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dennis. As long as you don't forget to move the lower half the thought of keeping the trail shoulder back is a good focal point.
March 13, 2020
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Todd
Hi guys - I’m progressing well with the irons by following RST closely. Thanks! However, with the driver, I’m always open at contact leading to pushes, etc. As far as I can tell I’m doing the exact same basics and still having big misses to the right. This last practice round though, I focused on “turning the hands over” and hit much cleaner and straighter. I understand the difference between the release and flips but feel like I need some additional rotation with the driver - using my right hand as help I believe. Just can’t get there with the driver with the left hand as the primary. Is this normal or do you think I’m compensating for a larger issue?
March 5, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Todd. More than likely compensating. You don't want the trail hand controlling the squaring of the face. Did you make adjustments to setup? Take a look at Proper Tee Heigh Video.
March 6, 2020
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Blake
Hey, RJ. I’m still struggling with putting this idea into practice. As I go from squat-to-square into my post-up, am I trying to deliberately stop the right shoulder from moving forward until impact? Or something else?
February 22, 2020
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Well, if you focus on using your hips to get you to the point where you can release the club and then release the club primarily with the left hand, there would be no need for the right shoulder to come forward. It only comes forward when the right side of the body is being over used.
February 22, 2020
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Kevin
After two months of doing drills and not playing I shot even par on the front 9 yesterday (I’m a 12 handicap) - couldn’t tell you the last time I shot par Things loosed up a little on the back 9 and I hit some blocks and hooks. Found when I kept my left shoulder down longer and the right back it helped fix the in to out block (spin out) but I hit it left more - although solid. Trying to eliminate the two way miss and control these shoulders better
December 29, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. That's awesome! Good playing. If you continue to work on the shoulder spin (opening too much in the downswing), lead shoulder low (deleting excessive secondary tilt) and make sure the release is passive. That hook will start to disappear.
December 30, 2019
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Kevin
Thanks Craig - is it possible to keep the shoulders closed too long and let the release happen too quickly leading to a hook? I had that “throw the ball” sensation which was powerful but lead to some shots left I’ve watched the “level shoulders” video as well - it’s difficult for the tension to build up so much in the backswing and have the shoulders “stop level” at impact...
December 30, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. You can keep the chest closed to hit a right to left hook (9 Days to Amazing Ball Striking Section). But, I would still think they are being too active in your swing versus passive.
December 30, 2019
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Martin
I keep on pulling the ball to the left. I feel like my shoulders are not square to the ball at impact. I try to hold my shoulder back. Any drills that can help me?
December 10, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Martin. Take a look at Play the Best Golf of Your Life in 6 Weeks Video 4 of 6. Great drill to help with shoulder spin.
December 10, 2019
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Michael
Just had a Trackman review and despite all my drills along the dead drill videos the result was slight out to in swing with face slightly open at impact. Result ball moving right of target. Any suggestions please.
November 20, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Michael. Sounds like you are still overusing the shoulders. Keep the Rear Shoulder Back Video combined with better release. Also, Drill to Learn Inside Path will help.
November 20, 2019
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John
Just wondering - does NOT keeping the right shoulder back lead to fat shots? Last practice, my swing went a little off after a few decent sessions of squat to square, post and release. Made the mistake of not recording. Last sesssion I felt I was doing the same but lots of fat shots (just a little mainly with the odd horror). I suspect I was carrying on the turn after posting which was bringing the right shoulder forward.
November 5, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. Spinning the shoulders typically leads to over the top and lag loss. Both a culprit in creating the fat shot. However, you must still make sure to shift your weight and not hold everything back so that the shoulders can get pulled into position.
November 5, 2019
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John
Thanks Craig. Had a much better session today - I worked a lot on the right shoulder position and sure enough I could replicate the fat shots when I turned the shoulder around after the post instead of leaving it back and letting the arms go. Probably shouldn't be practising trying to hit fat shots (ha!) but I wanted to experiment and see if it was the cause. For keeping the right shoulder back it seems really important to pull from the left as the arms go.
November 5, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. Yes, take a look at Taking a Divot Video. The lead arm must work through and release as the shoulders are quiet.
November 5, 2019
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Chris
Still having issues keeping the shoulders back and even pulling some left arm only shots. Any other drills/suggestions?
October 11, 2019
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Mikko-Pekka
Hi Chris. Welcome to the club! The secret is as always to start slowwwly. Shoulder spinning is a hard one to overcome but that can be done. I have found that Transition Drill works best for me. Try to feel that you are going to miss it way right when you practise. Go trough the chunks as described in TransitionDrill video. You can do it! I was almost losing hope but sloowwwly is the key! Good luck!
October 11, 2019
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george
Having a real issue on very solid hit shots, squatting to square and feel a strong release. Have viewed alignment a thousand times, however almost every shot is a well hit pull, the higher lofted clubs are almost unplayable missing 20 yards left from 60 yards. Do we have a spot for “diagnosis” as I am sure an answer will be over the TOP, but I am very positive that is not it.
October 1, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello George. Make sure you shoulders are square at impact, and you aren't flipping the release. If the shoulders are open and the release is active vs passive the ball will go left. Also, if you are adding push to get stuck. Take a look at How to Stop Hooking the Golf Ball Video.
October 2, 2019
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Jeffrey
I do exactly what Chuck says not to do. I swing open my shoulders and push through at the ball with my right hand. It seems that I do this because if I didn't I would hit the ground behind the ball. Doing this move gives me more room. I wonder if I don't have enough width in the back swing. Any Ideas?
September 8, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jeffrey. Sounds like a lot of trail side dominance. Not necessarily a width issue. You need to work on not spinning the shoulders without a club first to master. Take a look at Step 2 - Core Rotation and Arms vs Body Release.
September 9, 2019
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Joe
I am a bit confused. In another video, Chuck says the left elbow should basically point down the line and the wrists rotate. That seems to be different from the forearms rotating. What am I missing?
June 19, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Joe. You should be able to rotate the forearm independently of the elbow and not require an elbow flip. You are correct. The lead elbow will be basically pointing down the line as the forearms rotate over. Not the elbow. Take a look at the Left Hand Release Drill.
June 19, 2019
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Blake
Once my shoulders reach square at impact, should I try to keep them square until my arms reach the 3 o’clock position, then let the arms pull me into my follow through? In other words, not only do my hips temporarily stop turning at the point of impact but my upper body does too, with just my arms/wrists releasing? Also, if I really want to keep my "rear shoulder back as long as humanly possible,” I can. I can forcibly keep my shoulders at least 30 degrees closed even while my hips rotate to square and then to open. Surely Chuck is not recommending I try to hit the ball with shoulders that are 30 degrees closed. Instead, isn’t he just saying not to power the swing with your shoulders, instead relaxing the upper body and letting the lower body be the power force, rotating and pulling your shoulders to square at impact? Or am I mistaken here?
May 4, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Blake. Let the momentum of the club pull you through. Yes, the body will decelerate as the club accelerates which will pull you and allow you to finish. Yes, you don't want the shoulders 30 degrees closed at impact. The goal is to allow them to get pulled into impact and for the shot to not be powered by spinning the shoulders through the ball.
May 4, 2019
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Manning
Would it be safe to say that by leaving the right shoulder back, it almost forces you to shift and post left to release the club? Absent pushing from the right side (and shoulder), how else are you going to get the clubhead on the ball?
April 10, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Manning. Exactly. You hit the nail on the head. If you don't move the upper half. Only one half left that can move. However, you could push with your trail hip. But, you should know better than that .
April 10, 2019
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Tram
There are 2 sequences from start of downswing to impact: 1) is “squat to square” and 2) the move to impact followed by post up. At the end of “squat to square” do we have to create torque with the left hip to get the trail shoulder back as long as possible. Another mean in the chair drill, it is recommended to keep the right hip back as long as possible. Can you make comment on this. What mental we have to focus or shoulder back or right hip back. Thank you very much.
March 17, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tram. You don't need to try and create excessive torque. But, feeling a little stretch as the lead side clears and keeping the trail shoulder back will help keep the plane shallow and shy away from trail side push. I typically in a lesson will grab someones shoulders and have them start to shift and post up. So, they can feel how their lower half movement will pull the shoulders and they don't actively need to bring them to impact. Once you get the trail shoulder back in the backswing swing. Use the lower half with the feeling of leaving the shoulder back where you rotated it too.
March 17, 2019
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Jeff
Craig, the feeling of leaving the right shoulder where you rotated it to in the backswing when you start down and shift to left is very tough for me. It throws off my sequencing in downswing and I find it difficult to blend into downswing. Does it take a while and a lot of reps to master this move? What can you suggest to help me with this feeling and make my downswing more powerful with less effort?
April 3, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jeff. Yes, it does take a few reps. I typically make all my students try to feel this as they allow the lower half to move the body like in the Step 2 - Core Rotation Drill. I would start first by deleting the club and doing it solely with the body motion.
April 3, 2019
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Jeff
When I use this feeling, it feels like I pull too much with left side and release too late - thoughts on preventing that?
April 4, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jeff. Maybe you need to work on it in chunks. Try the drill in Play the Best Golf of Your Life in 6 Weeks Video 4 of 6. This will help keep the shoulders back, but also allow for release.
April 4, 2019
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Thaddieus
I am progressing from the 9 to 3 drill to making 3/4 swings with my 8-iron and this swing thought of keep the rear shoulder back has really helped me from ripping my shoulders open to start the downswing. The only issue appears to be that once I release the club, my follow through is really abbreviated - not much longer than when I do the 9 to 3 drill - and while I'm not flat-footed, I'm not up my right toes either. I feel like I'm definitely releasing all the clubhead speed at the ball and once I've released the follow through is only carrying my through to about chest height...
February 19, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Thaddieus. For right now, this shouldn't be a problem. The ball is already gone. Sounds like you are having to keep hyper focus away from pushing with the trail side. Once, you get the move/sequence down better into the strike. You will start allowing the momentum of the release to pull you through. Stay focused on not spinning through the shot. You will start to become relaxed enough to allow yourself to finish.
February 19, 2019
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Thaddieus
Yes - “hyper focused” is a great way to put it. Lol. I made a few full swings today and the momentum carried me further in my follow through. Thanks!
February 19, 2019
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dan
Craig- super helpful. I read a response you made to another golfer that halfway down my shoulders should still be 45 degrees closed. This video, and the feeling of pulling my arms down, feeling of keeping lead shoulder low has corrected getting totally stuck and jammed up. I think I’d been spinning my chest hard, lead arm got pinned and just couldn’t catch up. Now keeping back to target, or trail shoulder back while I squat to square frees my arms up big time. A lot of my trail hip push magically goes away too. Really appreciate this one, I’d become frustrated and this was a little ah-ha moment. Fun!
January 23, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dan. Fun! Yes. The response I like to hear. Happy to see you are starting to get those arms out from being jammed up. Thanks for the post.
January 23, 2019
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jesse
In working on this drill, I’m noticing a lot of toe shots or fat shots. I’m not sure if I should feel the right should staying back and moving slightly down or trying to hit the ball while basically trying to keep the right shoulder where it finished in the backswing. Thoughts?
January 18, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jesse. Try to keep the trail shoulder back as long as possible. The hips will pull the shoulders to square at impact. Sounds like you are speeding up the hands versus a gradual release.
January 18, 2019
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Chris
To start downswing is weight shift first move or squat?
January 10, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Chris. Shift into your squat.
January 10, 2019
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Chris
I’ve been going slowly through a lot of videos and practicing set up- weight shift - downswing- today I finally hit balls - felt myself setting up well- good backswing and weight shift- but starting downswing very fast and spinning my shoulders quickly from the top- what drill could I repeat over and over to break this habit?
January 9, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Chris. The drill above combined with Step 2 - Core Rotation. Exaggerate keeping the shoulders passive as you shift and clear the lead side.
January 10, 2019
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Mikko-Pekka
When trying to keep right shoulder back my left shoulder hikes up and I don't get stacked in impact. I am posted up but my upper body is kinda falling back away from the target. What is the cause and how should I fix it?
September 7, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mikko. Sounds like you are leaving the upper half back when shifting, or adding some trail push. Take a look at the Level Shoulders Drill.
September 7, 2018
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Mikko-Pekka
Hello Craig! I seem to have asked this question last year But you mentioned in my review about my upper body leaving behind. Is the fix still the same? My left arm only swings are good but what should I do to get stacked with both hands on the club (I filmed some swing today and the left shoulder isn't stacked)? What I am doing wrong? I don't want to drill any wrong movement patterns anymore and ingrain some bad habbits...
September 14, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mikko. You aren't drilling wrong. Your shoulder was barely behind in the last review. If it has gotten more behind since the last video. When you do it lead arm only using the fulcrum of the lead shoulder socket it is easier without a doubt. With both hands you have to look at are you pushing with the trail hip? I didn't see any in the last review. Are you changing initial shoulder planes? Not that I recall. Also, are you restricting the shoulders so much you are leaving them behind like head/weight? Possibility. Remember, in the Preventing Hip Pain Video and Fixing Weight Transfer. As you allow the arms to work down shifting with the lead side the upper half has to come with you. When you do the drill in chunks you tend to get stacked because you give yourself time to move over there. Do some slow chucks to the stacked spot. And, I don't care how slow the rep is when not pausing you need to allow for the same subtle shift in weight.
September 14, 2019
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Mikko-Pekka
Thank you Craig for your help. I think I gonna stick on doing the drill in chunks and then do the drill in slowmo. My only concern is that when going slow I can "fake" the moves when I have time but in full speed I can't fake it anymore. That trail hip push seems to be correct explanation of my issue. So what's my plan of attack? My left shoulder was way behind the hip and ankle at impact.
September 14, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mikko. Check trail hip push first. Really work on pulling the weight over correctly "Preventing Hip Pain Video." You can fake it slowly, but gradually increase the pace. Don't drop the hammer.
September 14, 2019
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Blake
Hi, Craig. Thanks! I’m right handed and meant “when I shift onto my left foot.” The reason I ask is I am always swinging under the elbow plane and cannot figure out why. Any videos I can refer to regarding this problem? Everything else about my swing looks good except I am trying to eliminate a slight standing up in the backswing that pulls my rear end off the tush line, and working on not releasing until my hands are at my lead thigh.
August 31, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Blake. If you have the tendency to get under plane in the downswing. Take a look at Trace the Plane Line and Level Shoulders Drill. If you stand up in the backswing. Take a look at Weight Shift Video Part 2 and How to Swing From the Ground Up. Also, Load Right Leg.
August 31, 2018
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Blake
Hi. Technical question - when I shift my weight onto my right foot, my hands drop to about waist high? And my hips are almost square?
August 31, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Blake. Are you right handed, or left handed? If right handed when you shift "left" it will do as described above. If left handed you are on par.
August 31, 2018
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Hector
When I keep my shoulder back I feel I ‘m using only my hands and I top the ball without power !!! In the downswing the start is a pull of the left arm?
August 23, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Hector. The start of the downswing is weight shift. It sounds like in an effort to keep the trail shoulder back you stopped shifting weight. Make sure you shift as the shoulders stay off.
August 23, 2018
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Gary
“Do not try to push the club forward”. All of this info is new to me! My challenge: I naturally want to muscle the club along. Any suggestions on how to allow gravity to take over? How do I put less effort in the Swing after doing it this way for years? Drills? Training aids? Gary in San Diego. Many thanks.
July 25, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary. I would recommend getting rid of the club first. Work on solely the body sequencing first. Step 2 - Core Rotation. Then, train the arm and club with Step 3,4. The 5 Step System is the guide to stop all pushing.
July 25, 2018
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Gary
Thanks Craig. What videos in particular do you recommend I base my practice on as you suggest above? Golf Swing Transition Drill? Others?
July 25, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary. The video (not section) Step 2 - Core Rotation is great to train the passive shoulders because you can really feel how the legs/core pull them into position. How to Fix Plane and Path, Frisbee Drill, Weight Shift Sweep Drills, and Arms vs Body Release are a few more. But, the overall game plan would be get the body move first without the club/arms. Then, gradually add those pieces with the 5 Step and once you get a club back in your hands. Use the additional videos I added as supplemental or advanced help.
July 26, 2018
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Ron A. Sr.
Hello, I am like Michael, as I reviews the Draw video I can’t see the difference because I get a nice Draw by doing what this video is saying . What is the major difference in the two videos?
June 26, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ron. The only major difference would be to slow down the chest even more allowing face rotation to happen sooner causing more curvature to the ball.
June 26, 2018
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michael
Hi Craig, I’ve done hundreds of 9-3’s keeping the rear shoulder back since my last review. Ok without a ball except maybe a bit into out. However with a ball the club moves out, goes over my hands and the plane at waist high on the downswing. Is this caused by the rear shoulder or the trail hand pushing, I still hit a draw mostly. Regards Michael
June 12, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Michael. Sounds like trail shoulder, or trail hand. Take a look at How to Fix Plane and Path.
June 12, 2018
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Mariam
This video is great. Thanks so much for the new material.
June 7, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jay. Thanks a bunch for the positive post.
June 7, 2018
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larry
Chuck; took one of your schools in Orlando a few years back (year they were having the car show at the hotel). Still working on the 5 step & keeping the shoulder back - this video was a great reminder. Gets confusing when you have some instructors (M Breed) promoting the shoulder turn- hold off golf swing that you panned in this video. Thx
May 23, 2018
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Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
Why on earth would you listen to Michael Breed???
May 24, 2018
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larry
Was having a weak moment - he just seems to keep popping up everywhere!
May 24, 2018
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Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
LOL, ok. just ask him to hit a golf ball for ya and then you'll realize why you wouldn't want to follow his advice. One of our certified RST instructors used to work for him and let's just say, if he didn't have a good short game, he'd never break 80
May 24, 2018
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Michael
I’m a 2 handicap. I’ve had the issue before subscribing to this method of swinging to far inside out. I’m +6 on the monitor. In trying to keep my right sholder back or as it has been suggested, try to keep your back to the target for as long as possible, the fat shots are worse! Suggestions?
May 22, 2018
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Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
If you're coming this far from the inside and hitting fat, I'd lean toward you hanging back way too far on your back leg at impact.
May 23, 2018
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William
This has worked wonders with my game - weight shift, right householder back, release. But my misses are snap hooks with my driver and hooks with longer clubs. Irons are fine. I sense that the clubhead gets "ahead" of me in the transition area and I can't keep up with my torso.
May 22, 2018
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Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
Several possibilities here, your hips or shoulders could be continuing to turn through impact instead of posting up and giving the arms and a club a chance to catch up. This is common if you only see the problem with the longer clubs.
May 23, 2018
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William
Clarification: If I turn less with shoulders and torso, that will keep the clubhead from getting "ahead" of me which results in hooks? Seems counter intuitive. Can you explain a bit further?
May 23, 2018
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Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
When you spin your hips or shoulders your arms get trapped against the chest which shifts the swing plane horizontally to the right and that is what leads to the hooks. If you let your arms catch back up at impact the path gets squared back up.
May 23, 2018
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William
Thanks. That explains a lot.
May 23, 2018
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Greg
Great video Chuck...and timely! I worked with Chris Tyler in Orlando and I am exactly at the point of trying to stop being a "hip swinger" and more of "Rotarygolf guy." Working through the 5 step process, I think I am doing what you say for shots up to a 7 iron, but when I move into the long irons and driver, I do something that reverts to old gorilla habits. Any suggestions?
May 22, 2018
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Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
99% of the time this is just due to trying to swing these clubs too hard. Here is a video I just did on this exact topic: https://rotaryswing.com/golf-instruction-videos/full-swing-basics/introduction/iron-vs-driver-golf-swing
May 22, 2018
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Greg
Think you are right. Makes sense. I will put my ego and try to put my bad habit of swinging fast and swinging hard at bay. Much thanks Chuck!
May 22, 2018
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Robert
In relation to the expression. “Running out of right arm “ at impact, I find that if I try to hold my right shoulder back too much,my left arm starts to fold at or before impact. Is this because of hips stalling? or too much of a good thing with the right shoulder?
May 22, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Rob . Typically, the lead arm folding before impact is due to over using the trail side. Also, you could be lacking weight shift and stalling out too soon. Look at Step 2 - Core Rotation Video for the body. But, check trail arm dominance with the Cure Chicken Wing Video.
May 22, 2018
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Michael
I’m 6+ inside out on the monitor, when working on keeping my right shoulder back I’m hitting a fair number of fat shots. Was doing that before subscribing as well. Suggestions? I’m a 2 handicap.
May 22, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Michael. Take a look at the Trace the Plane Line Video.
May 22, 2018
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Bruce
Great video------enjoying the new 4K camera. Where is this video taken at?
May 22, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks Bruce. Telluride, Colorado.
May 22, 2018
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Brian
Excellent video! Is there a drill that you can recommend to best feel or practice this?
May 18, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brian. Thanks for the compliments. The best way is to use the 5 Step Program. Train the body, arm and then with club feeling the trail shoulder, or back to the target the entire time. Also, keeping the back to the target in How Swing Speed Affects Compression Video.
May 19, 2018
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Brian
Absolutely! Thanks Craig you’re the man. Always appreciate the help
May 19, 2018

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