The Magic Box - How to Check Your Lower Body in the Transition

The "Magic Box" is a term created by Chuck Quinton to help golfers learn the proper transition of the lower body in the golf swing.


All right, guys. I want to share with you a concept today that I'm going to be showing you in my own swing, as I'm still in lockdown, just like everybody else and showing you how the lower body works in the swing and let this play for a second. As I'm talking here for just a brief moment, because I want to help you understand something that this concept that I call the magic box that I'm going to show you in. Just a moment is one of the things that actually in my opinion is probably the biggest thing that separates the tour pros from the handicap high handicap golfers, the great golfers from, or the great ball strikers from the poor ball strikers, the powerful ones against the weak ones. It's all coming down to this. And as you guys know my opinion that the lower body movement is what really matters most. In fact, it's the first thing I look at in my students, swings and tiger woods has always been a great example of how to move the core and the trunk, the lower body. And so I'm going to use him as an example today. It's very easy to see that I'm going to show you in my own swing in an upcoming video, how I'm working on this, how you can work on it, how it applies to the dead drill and how you can add power

To your dead drill. So what I want you to understand is that

If the lower body movement is not correct, then I don't care how anything else looks to the top of your backswing. It's really easy to fake looking decent at the top. It's easy to look like the clubs in the right spot, but if it could all fall apart in the downswing, if your lower body doesn't move correctly, the muscles at that point, that's where you can't fake it anymore. The sequencing of the swing, what muscles are loaded in what order, how they're loaded, how they unload and unwind in the downswing. That's what separates the great ball strikers from the crappy ones. And that's what I'm going to share with you today is this one simple concept. That again, I call the magic box and again, there's nothing magic about it. Really. It's just something that if you start getting your lower body to move correctly, using the simple little check, the magic box, I'm going to share with you.

Then it's going to make it so easy for you to understand when your swing starts falling off and getting out of the wrong right sequence. So here's how you do it. So obviously you guys indoors practicing right now. So your video and your swings, and you're posting them up on the Facebook group. That's awesome. And I want you to do the same thing, but I want you to do it with the magic box. So now here's how you do it. I want you to take a vertical line and draw it on the outside of your lead knee at the top of your back swing, then draw

One more vertical line on the inside of your trail, leg, knee at the top of your back swing. And then if you want to make it a box, this

Is your magic box. Now what this represents, this is maximum range at the top. This is how far your left knee is going to move forward. You'll see. In Tiger's case, it moves out over the toes of his, uh, left shoe here. Don't get too caught up on exactly where it is. That is a great checkpoint there, but I don't want you to worry so much about that right now. It's more about what's happening after this in the downswing, as we start down is what matters. So what happens next now, as you guys know in the dead real sequence, there's three core videos we do. The backswing is one step. The transition has another step and the post-op move as the third step. And if those body movements are correct, then we start stacking on the arms and club and so on. So in this case, we're really gonna focus on, it's just getting that transition, move the squat to square move. You guys have heard me talk about so much. What you'll notice as soon as tiger starts his squat to square move. Now, what is just as a checkpoint?

Are you, what is the checkpoint

At the end of the transition? Well, it's when the left arm and Lee trail lead arm is about parallel to the ground, right? At that point,

Where should your hips be? Just testing you guys here, where should the hips should be? They should be

About back to square. Now tiger demonstrates this as well as anybody he's done the squat to square. Movie's obviously increased knee flexi, squatted down more is loaded up his glutes. This is super important for power in the swing, but as he's done this squat to square and got his lead arm back to parallel, where are his knees notice that both knees are back in line and the right

In the center of the magic box.

And that's what I want you to check. Now, if you look at your own swing right now, you'll probably find that your knee is both. Knees are nowhere near this point, unless you're doing the squat to square move correctly and to do it correctly, it involves several key components that I'm going to share with you in an upcoming video here soon in my own swing, showing you how I'm practicing and working on this stuff in the gym. Because again, you don't need to be outdoors doing this. And we're going to talk about that counter torque move that I've talked about on the right foot and when we're adding power to the swing. And I know for a lot of you understanding this concept of when you can push and when you can pull pushing, adds power to the swing, think about if you, if you get a car stuck on the side of the road, you go back behind it and you start pushing it, right?

You don't go to the front bumper, start trying to pull it. It's not as powerful for the body in the sequence. That the way that our muscles and joints can align and move. So the same thing is true in the swing. Pushing can add power to the swing, as long as the lead side's moving correctly, which in Tiger's case, of course you can see sitting into that left side, left knee, initiated it. And then he's posting up on that left side. He's using the right side to add power and speed to that. And as long as you do it correctly, and you check during the transition move step to the dead drill that your knees are back in the middle of that magic box, then you are golden. This is a simple checkpoint. That's going to help you understand how your lower body is moving correctly.

And now in the upcoming video that I'm going to share with you showing me inside, I'm going to talk about the exact movement of the weight, how it moves in a figure eight pattern in the downswing, how that right ankle moves in toward the left eye. We can zoom in on tiger here just as a quick precursor to the upcoming video, you can watch very clearly as the weight moves and the downswing was over the left ball of foot, then backward or left ankle, and then the right foot, it's going over to the right ball of the foot. And you'll see, as he begins to push off, that moves that right foot into, towards left. And so now it's very easy to see that his left foot has now moved in this direction. And we're going to talk about all that stuff in this upcoming video, but for now, I want you to just post your swings in the Facebook group, or you can do this.

If you're getting a swing review, an online lesson with this and start checking whether or not your lower body's moving correctly, if your lower body moves correctly, magic will happen. That's why it's called the magic box. Your upper body will be falling into sequence. Your arms will be moving into sequence. Swing. Plane will take care of itself. Path will take care of itself, but if your lower body's off and I promise you, when you guys start looking at your swing and looking at where your knees are during the into step two and the transition, you'll be shocked to see that they're probably nowhere near the middle of that magic box, but that's going to be the first thing that I want you to begin to check. It's the first thing I look at, my students swings. If they're lower body and core, isn't moving correctly.

I don't give a where that club is at the top of the swing. It's easy to fake this. Anybody in seconds can be manipulated into a position that looks good at the top, but how you unwind and how your lower body moves in the muscles, the way that they're loaded, the way that you're moving in the right sequence is what separates a great ball striker from a cruddy ball striker, and it all starts with the magic box. So post your swings up in the Facebook group. Let us take a look. We're going to keep helping you guys in there. And then your online reviews, your, your swing reviews. And then in a couple of days, I'm going to share with you this next video, where I'm going to talk about how to use your body, how to do that counter torque move with the right foot to add, pushing for power. And for those of you that are not enrolled in the bootcamp yet, we still have a few more spots left in there. I'm going to close off registration here shortly. So make sure you click the link down the description. If you want to get into bootcamp. And if you like this video, please click the like button and subscribe down below.

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Dave
Are we wanting to push forward with the right foot as we squat to square to begin the downswing?
June 12, 2021
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Manny (Certified RST Instructor)
There is a small bit of a push from the right foot; but the major source for squaring the hips properly is to use the left hip muscles to move the hip back in line with the right hip as the posting up on the left leg is processing activating the glute. This will avoid a push from the right hip and right foot creating a early extension and loss of tush line.
June 13, 2021
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Dave
Thank you, Manny! I took this single thought to the range today and it really made the difference. I’m calling this Manny’s Magic Move. Ha. You should do a separate video on just those two elements. I am now working that into my preshot routine for all clubs. Thanks!
June 13, 2021
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Kevin
Arm at parallel / squat to square for comment below - lower hands leave less time to complete move
March 2, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. You should be able to get the hips cleared from this position. Plenty of rotation up to this point.
March 2, 2021
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Kevin
Hi Craig - I worked on my squat to square more in front of the mirror. I tend to undercook the squat to square but can’t tell if it’s due to overrotating in the backswing or needing to make a larger rotation in the squat move. Also, because my arms are lower at the top I feel that I have less time to make the rotation as opposed to someone with high hands. Sorry for all the questions but I want to get this fixed this winter before one grain bad habits
March 2, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. You just have a little depth, but the hand height is fine. Your squat above returned to square soon enough. If you are feeling really late with it. Especially with shorter backswing you need to start transitioning sooner towards the lead side in the backswing. Starting down before completion.
March 2, 2021
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Kevin
Thanks Craig - I can work on that. Also, just to be clear... I'm not taking lessons at GolfTec. I have some left over practice sessions that I needed to use up before they expired - pre-RST life
March 2, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
I wasn't going to say anything......
March 2, 2021
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Jens
Craig, im in a phase of my swingdevelopment where i feel i wont get any further until i get my squat to square to properly work. Perhaps it isnt the reason, but i feel the more exaggerated my "lunge" gets (left knee hip staying out and right hip not moving forward, the issue chuck touched on in the latest video) the worse my arm dominance get, they feel extreemely connected too eachother. Experimented with how deep i go into my right hip (going between pressure over ankle and far back on the heel) and it doesnt matter whatsoever, as soon as i try to plant on my left foot i cant get my left hip to sink in under my body again, i very much get the feeling that the only movement pattern my body allows is to get the upper body pulled on top of the left hip and not the other way around. I hope i make some sense. I also probably feel more activation in the quad and outside of the leg. My sensation is that I try to push force straight through my ankle into the ground. Do you have any advice on what I can try to get control over the hip so i can get it into the squat position, only way im getting it to happen is working force more directly at the hip area. Not something that I could ever do in a fluid swing motion so i know that isnt the way.
December 11, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jens. It would be tough without watching the motion. You have to make sure your weight is moving correctly. More often lately I have seen players sit too far back in their SQ to SQ which doesn't allow for the hip to open up correctly during post. You may need to feel as you SQ that the weight moves a little more towards the front of the foot so you have something to push back off of to get the hip moving away and into stacked positioning.
December 11, 2020
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Jens
Ok will send you a review after the weekend, hopefully we can figure this out. Feels like ive been badhing my head against this problem for way too long. If i poorly use my lead adductor could that be a reason for not getting the proper rotation or does that modtly just affect weightshift?
December 11, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jens. More with weight shift. Bad lead knee external rotation, internal femur rotation and lead oblique more the culprits of rotation.
December 11, 2020
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Jens
Hi Craig, Couldn't get access to this video in any other way, recent video of me at the range hitting some balls. Understand if you cant have a look at it in this way. At 10sec in you can view the backswing and at 2.00 it runs through the downswing sequence. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4oEqszQJP8 Am i activating my left side in the right way just that i am too shifted already at the top of the backswing or do i need to do something different. Why do i get shifted so much towards the target in my backswing? I feel like I am loading so hard into the eight side, is it the high pressure in the right foot that pushes my hip sideway? Do i need to feel that I start getting pressure over in my left foot from left arm parrallel and onwards in the backswing? Disregard my questions if you find something way more important i need to think of
December 13, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jens. You have a lot of hip turn in the backswing. I would add a little bit more flexion to help tighten it up a little. However, the throwing of the arms out with the high hands requires a lot of lateral motion. This lateral motion is a necessity to give the arms time to shallow out. I would focus on less push out back and arms more connected, so you don't need a lot of the waiting game to get them down in transition.
December 14, 2020
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Julian
Tiger's moves are very impressive, but why has he had so much back trouble and surgery with his RST-compliant swing?
September 16, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Julian. Because he went away from RST Compliant Swing. We released this video when he started changing his swing before he hurt his back. Tiger Woods Swing Changes - Sean Foley Video. Also, a follow up on YouTube that as predicted he would injure his back.
September 16, 2020
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Bob
In this video, Chuck mentions another video that he was going to do. Can you please tell me what video that is? I'm working hard on maintaining the tush line, but I am finding it very difficult to do. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks!
August 25, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Bob. The Sam Snead Squat Video talks about the counter torque with the trail leg and the follow up was the Clamshell Drill.
August 25, 2020
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Bob
Thank you Craig!
August 25, 2020
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Keith
In this video, it looks like Tiger's hips stop rotating back at or just slightly after the takeaway is done. Is that accurate? Do the hips finish their rotation when you get to the end of the takeaway? Mine rotate all the way to the top of the swing.
August 11, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Keith. Players will have varying to degrees of the hip rotation to help facilitate the shoulder turn. Most players will need to allow for more hip rotation because the x-factor/torque gets too great. You are okay allowing for more to help you reach the top.
August 11, 2020
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James
Hi Craig, further to your advice about starting the transition sooner, I have looked at two videos. The Downcock Drill and this one. I hope that these two videos will get this transition problem of mine sorted. In the downcock drill the remark Chuck made there that as the it begins the body has to be moved into the squat position but trying to keep, not only the shoulders closed but also the hips a bit. My first move has been to pull that left hip more square at that point so that might be a possible issue with me. Plus the other thing Chuck said was keep the lead shoulder lower initially as you move into the squat to square position as is shown here by Tiger. However, I have looked at my FO swing from yesterday and this video here and notice that I am way behind Tiger's transition track. When his lead arm is parallel his body position is such that the buckle on his belt is over the ball, whereas I am a good two inches off that point as shown here. The yellow mark is my buckle position. As you say I have move quicker into the transition, so will work on these two videos.
August 10, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. Exactly. We are on the same page with this point. You must get those hips back to square sooner. You can also see the shoulder plane is a little off. Combine work on proper shoulder plane back and into transition with getting the belt buckle back sooner.
August 10, 2020
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James
Hi Craig I am a lot happier now having worked on these points. Showing you two captures from a short while ago. First one is a montage showing three captures and the second one is my address position. Yes I can still see faults but it is a big improvement on yesterday when I was so down. Feel I am definitely getting my hips shifted earlier and it is producing a better release, cutting out the collapsing of that lead arm in release. One point you cannot see is that I have gone back to swinging a bit flatter which helps me to get those shoulders turned more 90 at the top of the swing. Review day tomorrow and hope Veronica has no jobs lined up for me
August 10, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. Post up definitely much cleaner. Keep the work on shoulder plane and leg work today. If you don't have too many chores .
August 10, 2020
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James
Address position.
August 10, 2020
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Craig
Just an observation, but it looks like the butt of the club is also in line with the centre line of the box at left arm parallel.
July 27, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Craig. With the hands staying inline with the sternum, or slightly behind it that would be a correct observation. But, try not to guide the club around. Have the hands inline-slightly behind the sternum after squat to square/lead arm parallel.
July 27, 2020
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Brian
In slow motion drilling holding my shoulders I find it hard to get my knees back to square to target line at left arm parallel, even just pulling left hip back. Is that to be expected?
July 25, 2020
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Brian
I've tried everything, keeping the tush line, pulling the left hip back more, and my knees are always 10-20 degrees shut to the hips which are square. Is this okay?
July 25, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brian. I read your other post on the clamshell. All worked out now?
July 27, 2020
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Brian
I think I was over pressing into the left foot, bending the knee too much. If I do less of that the knees are square, hips are square, shoulders held back and I'm in the left side.
July 27, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brian. Over squatting can sneak in there easily. That is what it sounded like to me from your notes.
July 27, 2020
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Brian
Yea, thanks Craig. Re: suggesting maybe a hip slide too, I doubt that because my legs, hips and shoulders match what Chuck does from face on. With over squatting I'll have to understand and see the subtle differences in the mirror too, so I can rep it easily. But at least I have the check point that the knees being square along with the hips. Thanks. I hope it doesn't take power from my game, lol.
July 27, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brian. Gotcha. Hip slide and the closed knees usually go together. So, those videos tackle that lead knee external rotation. Gotta cover all my check points. Definitely won't take the juice out of the move.
July 27, 2020
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Brian
Hi Craig, wow it feels different, with less squat my knees and shoulders are feeling much more open. Despite holding the shoulders as much as I can they feel like they are getting pulled more open. But it is right on the checkpoints as far as I can see, hips and knees are square, weight has moved to the left, left arm parallel and shoulders and arms kept back as much as I can. I'll work on it. Thanks.
July 27, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brian. The legs should feel more awake now to dynamically move through the positions.
July 27, 2020
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Brian
One more question of this Craig, I'm finding that to keep the right arm as wide as it was at the top at left arm parallel, I have to let the hands be pulled out a bit more towards the ball. Another thing that feels a bit alien to me, I've always been told to keep the hands back and down in the start of the downswing. But it's the only way I can squat to square, hold the shoulders and keep the arm width. I'm trying to do it with minimum tension as well, but there is such a stretch to do this position. The club is coming back down pretty much the same path it went up, with maybe a little more lay off on the way down. Does that all sound like I'm on the right track. I'll get some video and photos up soon. Thanks.
July 28, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brian. You shouldn't be stressed out. But, it can feel like the hands are dropping straight down or mimicking the same path it took on the backswing. If they are moving a lot towards the ball you are more than likely too tense or adding shoulders. Video, or photos to confirm.
July 28, 2020
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Brian
If I just feel like there's a towel draped on top of my arms at the top and not to drop the towel it keep my arms passive and relaxed as I transition. But they are coming out more than before, but I don't think excessively, just to the same or just under the backswing path. I'll get some photos and video to confirm all this. But I think I have it going well.
July 28, 2020
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Brian
I'm actually finding that for me it is more about rotating the left knee and allowing my shoulders to get pulled more open. I was going so crazy on the holding the shoulders back that I couldn't rotate the knee around on time for left arm parallel. So I was doing a fall in move, a closed knee slide if you will, even though I got the hips to square. I can still get a decent squat this way as well, where I feel leveraged into the ground. Thanks for the help, those suggested videos helped me understand it better.
July 27, 2020
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Brian
Cool, thanks.
July 27, 2020
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Brian
Hi Craig, no this part is still confusing me. I'm sitting into the left leg in transition, hips are squaring up, holding the shoulders back, not doing much with arms, looks good face on... but my knees are 10 degrees shut compared to the hips. Is that because it is in slow motion or what? Or maybe I over squat and bend the left knee too much. Confused.
July 27, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brian. You may be squatting too much and a little hip slide. Take a look at Fixing Your Weight Transfer and Closed Hip Slide Videos.
July 27, 2020
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Brian
When I do the right arm straight to turn move in the backswing my right arm is less than 90 degrees at the top. In transition does it stay the same width to left arm parallel or does it get wider or even narrow a touch? I seem to stay about the same if I do the body movements correctly. Thanks.
July 25, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brian. You want to maintain the width. The wrists angle will increase, but the arms shouldn't collapse.
July 27, 2020
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Brian
Thanks Craig.
July 27, 2020
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Brian
Would love to see video Chuck is talking about with regard to the counter torque right foot movement through impact as well. Where is it?
July 25, 2020
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Brian
Found it in the weight shift in your socks, next drill in the dead drill series.
July 25, 2020
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Paul
Great video, where is the next video Chuck promises and what is it called?
June 20, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Paul. I'm not sure which one he is referring too. However, the two main topics would be in the Sam Snead Squat Video and Clamshell Video.
June 20, 2020
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James
Having a hard time getting my trail knee to move to center of box. It pretty much stays on line with where it is at top of backswing. This is especially true as I work the checkpoints in clamshell drill. Why is my trail knee static?
June 17, 2020
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James
Correction: when I used a chair to mark my tush line In the drill, this actually fixed the knee in the box problem. I’m leaving this comment so that it may help others.
June 17, 2020
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JC
I have a question about the movement of the trail-leg knee. Like many other amateurs, prior to Rotary Swing I had a bad problem pushing off my right leg and standing up at impact. Since I’ve begun working with RJ, I have been practicing to keep a stable trail-leg knee and preventing it from pushing out towards/into my arms&hands zone. The photo is of my Dead Drill (add the lead arm) at the end of the transition phase and just prior to posting-up. The outer vertical lines are the lines I drew marking my knee positions at the top of the backswing to create the “magic box” and the small line between them is where my trail-leg knee was at the set-up/address position. My back knee is almost exactly where it started at this point in the swing. Do I need to allow my trail-leg knee to move an inch or so more outward to a) help get my knees more in line at the end of transition and b) to get my knees in the center of the magic box as proscribed by Chuck? Or should I just keep doing what I’m doing? THANK YOU!
April 20, 2020
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Your hips are still a hair closed so, it's likely that your left arm wasn't as high at the top of your backswing because you're only using the left arm. If your right arm was in there, too, I would imagine that your left arm wouldn't get parallel to the ground until your hips were closed all the way because the right arm is going to add little more elevation to your backswing, given that's what the purpose of the right arm is in the backswing, after all. If you're still seeing this as an issue once you get to step six, then maybe look to make an adjustment, but from the looks of it and watching your videos for your reviews, I would say that you're a-ok.
April 20, 2020
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James
In doing drills in chunks/slow motion, during the transition—at the point where my hips are square—I sometimes find that my lead arm is lower than parallel. What might be the cause of this, and is this a problem?
April 19, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. You could be yanking the arm down, or not completing the backswing which in turn the arm the arm doesn't have much choice.
April 20, 2020
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Mark
Hi Chuck, I struggle with keeping my weight over my ankles so it has become a necessary swing thought. I have a couple inflatable balance discs and I was wondering if you think it would be a good drill for me to just stand on them with my ankles over center and train myself to balance on them in my swing setup position with a club in hand, maybe working up to 9-to3s over time? Thanks in advance.
April 16, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mark. The balance disks can help. However, players tend to start using a lot of other supporting muscles to make sure they don't fall over. You have to be very aware of what muscles you are using. Try the Maintain the Tush Line Video with a Chair for extra help.
April 16, 2020

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