Phase 1 - Mastering Consistency

Phase 1 of the C4 Ballstriking Mastery Program starts with mastering consistency. In this golf instruction video, you will learn the 5 pro fundamentals for consistent golf shots that will teach you to hit the ball laser straight every time.

  1. Flat Left Wrist
  2. Shoulders Square
  3. Hips Open
  4. Foot Down
  5. Head Down

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Michael
Practiced short shots 9 to 3 10 time 10 balls for the most part low straight and fairly close together.Today took this to the course as I was out with a mate and only used 7 iron all the time, first two shots gentle 100 yards and straight, ( Great ) As the round progressed I started pulling /hooking probably the right hand trying to take over. Just how are we to develop from short 9 to 3. I have studied the recommended video and can’t translate that into striking the ball as clean as 9 to 3 when making slightly bigger swing. I can only imagine where a driver would put me , so seems like a very long journey ahead. Help.
June 24, 2022
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Ross
Is the idea to maintain straight arms during this drill? And limit the motion to 9 to 12?
June 22, 2022
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ross. The arms should stay stay pretty straight. And, the main goal is the impact alignments. And, the swing will be 8/9 going back 6/5 coming through. Small little impact shots.
June 23, 2022
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Scott
I really think you guys nailed it this time. This approach seems like the grand summary of everything you've worked on and the glue to pull everything together--5 Steps, DEAD, and Axion. Well done! Truly, this is all it seems like anyone would need to learn a proper swing. Now all you need to do is to stop adding new programs!
June 20, 2022
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Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks Scott, this is IT! 30 years of research and I think I can hang my hat on this one!
June 20, 2022
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Joost
Hi Chuck, Shoulders square means parallel to the targetline, isn't it? Same as at address? Thx
June 20, 2022
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Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
Yes, exactly
June 21, 2022
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Donald
Hi Craig, If I’m turning back properly, both arms straight, what backswing oath should I try to achieve (club head straight back, slightly inside)? Thank you, Don
June 17, 2022
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Donald. Go to timestamp 10:58. The focus shouldn't be a ton on the takeaway at this point, but if rotating well. Yo will see the hands stay a little on the inside and may feel like the club head goes straight back since such a short move.
June 18, 2022
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Scott
What do you all think about using the Rotary Connect with these drills?
June 16, 2022
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Scott. You can certainly use the Connect.
June 17, 2022
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Martin L
I believe I have this drill down and when I take it to the course I am hitting tee balls great (at least 10 yards longer) but am often topping shots that I never did before. I think I am either staying back on right foot or shortening my swing too much. Any thoughts.
June 14, 2022
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Martin. Agreed. You may be hanging back, or raising the lead shoulder too high. Take a look at Moving thee Fulcrum Video.
June 15, 2022
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James
Hi Chuck I have a problem keeping my shoulders square at impact especially on bigger shots or using the driver or woods. What drill(s) would you recommend to help fix this? Thx James
June 12, 2022
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. Fix Your Release - Trail Shoulder Back and Arms vs. Body Release in the Golf Swing Videos.
June 12, 2022
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M. (Certified RST Instructor)
HI Chuck and Graig. Just a little feedback from this side of the ocean. For 3 weeks I worked with my Saturday senior group, men and woman on Phase 1. Probably no news for you both but I was very pleased to see how quickly the group picked up the 5 checkpoints and from there were able to analyse cause and effect in case something went wrong. Happy group overhere!
June 11, 2022
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Awesome! Great to hear the improvement. But, being able to self diagnose and keep moving forward is one of the major goals. Thanks for the report.
June 12, 2022
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Christophe
Hey Chuck, Craig, Head position related question: should it be in the exact same position at set-up and at impact or should it move forward following the body weight shift ? Thanks !
June 6, 2022
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Christophe. Same position, or slightly ahead. Due to shifting of weight the head will be very hard to keep perfectly static.
June 7, 2022
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Christophe
Thanks Craig ! When I try to keep it “steady”, it seems my weight does not shift properly and stays too much on the back foot. Is there a drill to feel it properly ?
June 7, 2022
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Guy
Hate to ask a stupid question; but, if the practice balls go on a sharp low trajectory but straight I assume that counts as well? I am practicing on this hot Maryland day in the garage into a net Thanks Guy
May 30, 2022
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Guy. The height should be low. If you are getting a lot of air time and height the odds would be greater you are doing something incorrectly.
May 31, 2022
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Stephen
Hey Craig, As I can't access a range for my practice. As You've seen my indoor set-up, is that suffice do you feel for all phases of the C4 program. I can set-up my flights cope to capture shots, distances on screen etc once I get into the latter phases. Thanks
May 30, 2022
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Stephen
Also how many reps for ingraining is needed once I'm getting 8 out of 10 ?
May 30, 2022
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Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
Everything will be determined by the scores in you enter. I just sent an email out this morning that explains more in detail how RS-AI works
May 30, 2022

The nine to three drill is all that matters in the golf swing from parallel to parallel or from nine o'clock to three o'clock. If you get that right, you can play consistently great golf. And that's exactly what we're gonna teach you, how to do. And in phase one, we're focusing exclusively on consistency. If you learn how to do these five simple checkpoints, you will learn how to hit the ball consistently, straight every single time.

But the nine to three drill, isn't just about consistency. You're gonna learn club face control so that you can control trajectory and shot shaping. You're gonna learn how to release the club for effortless speed and power. You're going to learn how to use your body for power and use it correctly. To protect yourself from injury. The nine to three drill is gonna teach you all of those things and much more, but we're gonna first focus on consistency and the five fundamental checkpoints that you're going to learn so that you can consistently hit the ball laser straight every time.

In phase one, we're gonna focus primarily on impact. The only thing that actually influences the ball is when you actually hit it. So getting these key checkpoints right is paramount. If you don't get these right, you won't be able to control the golf ball. You won't be able to play consistent golf. There are five fundamental checkpoints in phase one that will teach you exactly how to hit the ball perfectly straight every single time. And they're gonna seem really simple at first, but it's very important that you learn how to do these correctly. And don't jump ahead to the release and all of the other fun parts about adding power like we do in phase three, because we need to be able to hit the ball straight rather than just hit it far and into the woods. So these five checkpoints are what we're gonna focus on first. And they're very, very simple. And I want you to commit these to memory.

The first and most important one. and we're gonna go through this as I hit balls in just a moment, is the flat left wrist at impact. The wrist has to be flat at impact. If you're flipping and scooping, which we'll talk about in the faults and fixes, you're not gonna have any control over the golf ball. You're not gonna have any penetration on your ball flight. So the first thing we're going to focus on is getting this wrist nice and flatted impact so we can control the loft on the club face and get a nice stable, consistent impact position. The second thing is that our hips are going to be open as a result of this, our left leg is gonna be straight. So these two things you can associate together. As your hips move to an open position, your leg has to be straight to facilitate your hips rotating.

Most golfers struggle with using their lower body. So learning how to do this in these little slow nine to three movements is gonna be very, very simple for you to get this hip movement, correct.

Once your hips are open. The other thing that you're going to be focusing on is making sure that your shoulders are square. Most golfers are gonna struggle with getting their shoulders really open, cuz they try to weekly power the swing with their shoulders and arms. We're gonna teach you how to use your lower body correctly so that you can have effortless power. Checkpoint number four, that head has gotta stay down. So a lot of golfers, when we start teaching, 'em how to do these nine to three drills in our clinics, they start looking up and of course that pulls your shoulders out of position. It pulls your body out of posture and everything goes to heck really fast. So keep your head down, looking on the ball, looking down at the ground. Even after you strike the ball to start getting in the habit of keeping your head down on every shot.

The fifth and final checkpoint is that your trail leg, in my case, right leg, that heel is gonna be rolled in. 95% of my pressure is gonna be on the lead side, but the right heel is gonna stay down. We don't want it popping up because when you start looking at this from down the line, this is how you start losing the tush line, losing your posture.

So when we look at this all together, your perfect impact position is gonna look just about like this. My shoulders are gonna be square. My hips are open, right? Foot's rolled in my head is down. My left wrist is flat. And if you wanna take a little bonus point, you want this left elbow pointing down the target line instead of rolled in like this, becuase this leads to a flip and also can lead to a lot of elbow pain on the inside of your arm. So if you can get that left elbow pointing down the line in line with your wrist, that's a little bonus. That'll help protect your elbow from injury.

So this is what you're trying to do because you will see these exact same five checkpoints and every great ball striker on the planet. Every tour pro you're gonna learn. Why they're so consistent is because their impact alignments are consistent. And these are the five keys that you must master to be able to consistently hit the ball straight.

So how do you know if you're doing these five checkpoints correctly, every single time, stop and look, that's the most important thing. Don't go off and rattle through a bunch of balls. That's not productive. You want to start learning. You wanna learn how to learn and you have to check yourself on every shot. So after every shot, you'll see in just a moment, I'm gonna stop and I'm gonna go through my checkpoints at first.

You'll you'll have to commit these five things to memory, but you'll go through them very quickly. Once you do this, like, okay, my heels down, left wrist is flat, hips are open, shoulders are square, head's down. This'll come through very, very quickly. As you get comfortable with this.

You'll also find that many of the checkpoints you will do really, really well right away with and others you'll struggle with consistently. At first, that's how we have to learn how to diagnose ourselves and be able to fix them. So don't worry if you've struggled with the same thing over and over again, such as a flip or pulling your head up, we have all of the fixes that you need for each checkpoint in the fault and fixes section. So if you're pulling your head up, don't worry, there's a video that's gonna teach you how to fix that when you're practicing on the range or at home, you'll wanna keep notes. So we've created a self-assessment tab for the, for you to write down two things. One, what is it that you're doing well every time it's always golf, beats us down enough as it is. It's important to look at the things that you're doing really, really well and keep note of that over time. And also the things that you're doing incorrectly. If you keep struggling with the flip that's okay, we're gonna help you fix it. But write that down so that you can keep a checklist of the things that you need to focus on during your next practice session. And this is gonna help you also learn how to emphasize the right things in your practice time. So you don't waste any time so you can improve quickly.

At first, we're gonna start out with groups of 10. So what, another thing that we've created for you is a tracker so that you can track the scores on how many out of 10 you're hitting properly. You're hitting your checkpoints. And I'm also gonna give you the, what this white line is here for in just a moment to help you understand how to assess yourself so that, you know, when you're ready to move on to the next step, our goal is 8 out of 10, consistently outta groups of 10. So for the first 10 balls, you might only hit 5 out of 10 where you're hitting all these checkpoints and hitting the ball within the allowable deviation for the, for the shot distance that we're talking about here. Each phase has a different distance that you're aiming for and a different deviation that you're aiming for. But we'll talk about that in just a moment.

So first, if you only hit five outta 10, that's perfectly okay. But write those scores down and you can do it on your phone while you're at the range, write in the, on the website and just keep track of that. So you can see over time, your progress, like, okay, I'm getting better, I'm getting better. Or I keep struggling with something. Maybe I need a little help. I need a swing review to make sure that I know what I'm doing and how to fix this. You'll see your trend increase. You'll see yourself improve, but you have to put those scores in there so that you know where you're at. So we've made really simple notes and scores and your score, your goal 8 outta 10 is your goal to where you can consistently take groups of 10 balls and hit 8 out of 10, hit all five checkpoints, keep this, keep the ball in the deviation circle. And then you're ready to start ingraining that movement. You don't want to ingrain something incorrectly, cuz then you're just reinforcing your bad habits.

So we're gonna talk about how to practice in the follow along section. But at first we've gotta get you the baseline on how to do this correctly and then we'll start building repetition so we start building that Mylan in the brain. So you can repeat this movement over and over again without having to think about it.

All right, so now let's get started actually hitting balls. What you're going to do at first. I'm not gonna give you a lot to think about on the back swing. We really wanna focus on just getting the impact alignments, correct because again, that's the only thing that influences the flight of the ball. So if you wanna hit the ball straight impact has to be correct, but I'm gonna give you a couple things to focus on on the back swing.

So for those of you who are a little bit more advanced and you're moving through these checkpoints very quickly, you can start to also start to move into the back swing movement. So you can start making, making this movement a lot easier and more consistent.

During the back swing, you're gonna wanna keep your trail arm, my right arm straight. There's no reason for this to bend. And if it is check out the fault and fixes for that, you're also not gonna have a lot of wrist that we're only going to nine o'clock on o'clock. So if you think 12 o'clock three o'clock six o'clock, nine o'clock from your perspective, this is nine o'clock. So you'll see my wrists are very relaxed. They're barely set. My right arm are straight and I've turned my shoulders to move the club. As I do this, there's gonna be a little bit of pressure shift to the right side. That's it! You don't need to think about any of this stuff on the back swing. A lot of this will happen naturally and we'll start to focus on refining this movement in phase four.

But for right now, what we're really gonna do is just try to get a little tiny back swing so that we have some momentum to come down and strike the ball with. That's where we're gonna really start getting into the nuts and bolts of the five checkpoints that we talked about before.

So let's take a look at what this is gonna look like in real time on a real shot. When we are starting out with the nine to three drill, especially in phase one, we're only aiming for 10 to 15 yard shots maximum. If you hit it any harder than that, you're working way too hard and we're gonna teach you how to get effortless power. And I really want you to feel this and experience it perhaps for the first time when you learn the release in phase two.

So do not try to hit these hard at all. It completely is counterproductive and defeats the purpose of the drill. What you're trying to do is learn how to control that club face every single time it impacts. So you know exactly where that face is pointing so that you can hit it straight and you know exactly where you're gonna hit the ball on the face, so that you can get good compression on the ball. What we're gonna aim for is consistency, not power in phase one. So what we're gonna do, I've put a little line of tape here on the ground so that I can show you what kind of deviation you should be expecting and achieve in these drills when you're aiming for your 8 out of 10. And I'm gonna show you a couple notes about things that you're gonna discover as you're doing this, but we're gonna go through the checkpoints.

And I'm also gonna show you a couple incorrect ways that you're probably gonna see yourself doing so that you start to learn how to diagnose yourself. My goal is to get all 8 out of 10 within about a one or two yard circle at a 10 yard distance. So you'll see when I go through this movement first and I get my setup, it's also gonna help. I'm gonna take a little bit narrower stance than I normally would, because I don't have a big swing. I don't have time and momentum to make a big pressure shift. So my stance will be a little bit more narrow. All I'm really gonna focus on here is getting that ball, getting my impact alignment perfect. And the ball as a result should go down this line and if it doesn't and it goes a little bit to the right, I'm gonna tell you why that happens in just a moment.

So nine o'clock just a little baby shot. Now what I'm focusing on here. I don't care where the ball went yet. What I'm focusing on here is my alignments. Is my pressure on my lead side? 90, 95% and that left leg straight right foot rolled in hips, open shoulder square, left wrist flat. Perfect. And you'll notice I only hit that one about six or seven yards. I'm gonna start out really, really small at first so I can get the feel and make sure I'm hitting my alignments correctly. My impact alignments. If I'm doing that, I can start to go a little bit longer. Ball's still rolling along the tape. I'm starting to get control over that golf ball for many of you, to be for the first time to know exactly where that ball is gonna go before you hit it is a really good feeling in golf.

And that's what you're learning here. So here, little baby shots, you can see there's no power in what I'm doing. I'm just trying to hit my impact. Alignments every single time. Now a couple things you may note, as you're doing this drill. If you put out a little piece of tape like this, it's really helpful. What you're really focusing on again is not how far you hit it again. 10 to 15 yards max, what you're focusing on is grouping and starting line. Now this one I hit a little bit to the right. You saw just about six, eight inches to the right. That can happen because you're holding off the release. That's normal, the release of letting the club face rotate instead of holding myself at impact or just after impact, the release helps square the face. So if it goes a little bit to the right and you're consistently finding that happening perfectly, okay.

However, if you're seeing it consistently for right-handers go to the left, then there's something else going on and you're starting to open your shoulders or shut your hands down, et cetera. So what you're looking for is either dead straight on that tape, or just a little bit to the right as you're doing this drill, ideally, you're gonna see it landing on the tape over and over again. And you're gonna start to find that you can consistently hit the ball dead straight every single time. As we do this, we're gonna build on it and the next phase we're gonna add the release and you'll be shocked at just by adding the release, how much further the ball will go with no increased effort on your part whatsoever. That's what I'm trying to teach you consistency and effortless power at the same time. So once you get a feel for this and you can do 8 outta 10 over and over again and landing on the tape and of course you're gonna ask, Hey, will this help my chipping two?

Absolutely. So we hear that all the time in the clinics, people working on the nine to three drill and they're like, man, my chipping has improved dramatically. Of course this is part of the, the movement for a chip shot. So that's what you're looking for, a consistent grouping. And now this is artificial turf. So you're gonna see the ball kind of bounce around and take funky bounces. So you're not necessarily going to have a consistent grouping. If you're out on ground, that's very uneven and so on. But your goal is to see that is it starting on that line and consistently ending up and about the same spot over and over again. If you see the balls going over here and you see yourself flipping it, et cetera, you're not hitting your checkpoints. That wrist is not flat. Your shoulders are not square, they're opening or your hips are not getting open, et cetera.

You have to hit those five checkpoints, but once you do, you'll see the ball going the same spot over and over and over again. And that's the goal and that's the secret to the game of golf.

So just one more time, we'll take a look a little bit more closely as actually hitting a ball, going through these little checkpoints. I'm like narrow stance here - there you'll notice the club went a little bit past impact. It's not gonna stop ride at impact. It's okay as a little bit of momentum. But my goal is again, checking that this left wrist is flat, that my right foot is very light. My head is still back behind the ball. And as I do this, that club face is gonna be consistently square over and over again, you hit these checkpoints. You're gonna be hitting straight golf shots.

If you find yourself hitting shots that are erratic and inconsistent, or you can't hit these checkpoints over and over again, go to the faults and fix this section and look for the fault that you're struggling with. If it's a flip it's in there, if your head's coming up, it's in there. We show you specifically how to address every single fault with a fix and how to drill it so that you can improve very quickly and get yourself hitting these checkpoints over and over again so that you can hit the ball consistently straight. Once you have that and you can consistently hit 8 out of 10 into about a one or two yard circle at about 10 to 15 yards, you're ready to start ingraining it. And that's what we created the follow along section for where you're gonna follow along with a rotary swing instructor going through these same drills, showing you the types of things that you're going to think about to feel, to focus on, how many reps to do, how to start catching yourself, making little mistakes and how to correct them so that you can start becoming ultra consistent and putting the bat on the back of the ball, dead square every single time.

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