Role of the Right Arm - Takeaway

Collapsing the right arm early is something that at least 90% of amateur golfers struggle with that I see on a daily basis. It is crucial that you understand what the right arm should do during the backswing and how vital it is to keep it straight long into Move 2.

  • Folding the right arm too soon is common fault at takeaway
  • The most common cause of folding too soon is pushing from the left
  • Folding too soon can keep you from rotating, taking your big muscles out of the golf swing
  • Focus on turning your body correctly, not on where you're trying to place the club

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Kevin
Wouldn’t the right arm move correctly as a result of the correct body movement, i.e., beginning backswing by turn right shoulder back ? I understood it was best to focus on the body and let the arms respond as a by-product ? I’m concerned that this video doesn’t tie back to previous drills on the body during the takeaway.
January 21, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. Absolutely. The only way to keep the trail arm straight is to rotate and move the body correctly. However, some players have ingrained folding the trail arm early so much they need a reminder that it must stay straight.
January 22, 2021
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James
When I first looked at this a couple of years ago I never fully got the concept of this video but now my understanding is much improved and allied with "How to Master Rotation in Your Golf Swing" it has helped me enormously to correct my problem of being too handsy in the back swing. Many thanks Craig for pointing these two videos out to me.
August 5, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Happy to help James.
August 5, 2020
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James
There is just one aspect in this video Craig I would like clarification. At 2.30 Chuck mentions about the upper bicep in the right arm staying connected with the upper pect. Now at address I find that if there is any separation between those two areas in the right arm it is difficult to get that connection that Chuck refers to. If I have that connection at address I can hold that connection up to where the shaft is parallel to the ground. What I also notice though, with that slight separation I get a bigger extension of the width than with the connection. Slightly confused here as I thought it is best to get maximum width extension in the backswing. Can you enlighten me here please.
August 6, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. You maximize width by maintaining your trail arm and not pushing the arms out. If you start to create width by pushing the arms out/losing connection you will begin to protract at the shoulders. From here it will be hard for the body to direct the motion in the backswing and at some point in time you will have to reconnect the shoulders blade to be able to transfer power.
August 6, 2020
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James
So when I setup at address with the cup of the right elbow facing out and the bicep tucking into my pect this is OK?
August 6, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Upper Bicep and Pectoral. Just make sure not the whole bicep.
August 6, 2020
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James
Thanks for the clarification. Will work on that along with the "How to Master Rotation in Your Golf Swing". Actually what I have found that is so important at address, is to have the butt of the club pointing to my belt buckle as Chuck mentions here. I did notice this with Chucks latest FO video 5-1-2020 FO 7 Iron in Swing Analysis. As you can see in the comparison below with my latest video a few days ago. I wonder whether that club shaft lean I had there, with the butt pointing to my left hip may have been the cause of me creating that handsy movement?
August 6, 2020
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James
Also, notice how Chuck tends to cover his right hip more with his right arm created by the axis tilt, along more of the front of his thigh being exposed more than mine is. When I noticed this a few days ago I started to address this in my setup and found the was a big reduction in the handsy movement. Along now with the video above has transformed my setup and initial movement. I have to say though it is going to take a lot repetitive drills of this to ingrain about the butt position as I have that lean setup so ingrained in my muscle memory!
August 6, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. Very early on in our reviews I yelled at you about that forward press . The more you forward press you tend to activate the extensor muscles at want to start with the hands.
August 6, 2020
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James
Yea I know and I did not heed you and that is why it has taken so long to sort this out. ) But Ill get there and promise you you will not see it in the next review! BTW, I meant front of Chucks left thigh above.
August 6, 2020
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Joseph S.
While doing the dead drill add the club and ball step 6 when hitting left handed shots the ball goes left some times does that mean I’m over rotating the left arm . I’m doing it in the positions before swinging . Should I worry about that and how do I fix it , Joe Carter Jr
February 26, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Joe. When the ball is exiting left make sure you aren't spinning the shoulders through impact while releasing, or flipping the club. Take a look at Flip vs Release Video.
February 26, 2020
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michael
Hi Craig, in my latest review you commented that an early fold of the right arm causes too flat a shoulder plane at the top of the backswing. I understand that the right elbow going too far behind causes the shoulder to rise but as I am guilty of all three of these faults could you explain. Many thanks Mike
January 9, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Michael. When you fold the trail arm too soon you tend to follow the momentum of the club/arms. Allowing yourself to start to get deep which starts to flatten your shoulder plane. Take a look at Golf Backswing Shoulder Plane Drill.
January 9, 2020
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John
Hi Craig. Really enjoying doing the drills at home. Please could you tell me how to understand the role of the right hand in the downswing and into impact. I love doing the left arm only swing. I can generate a lot of speed. Analogy. Two identical players swinging the golf club. One has one arm, left. The other as two arms. What does the two armed player do with his right arm /hand to produce more speed if any through impact. Is it when both hands are at the position around the right thigh that both hands whip the club through the ball ? Right handed golfers. Thanks
October 15, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. 99% of players don't need trail arm training. It is very well versed to already work, or apply force already. However, take a look at How Swing Speed Affects Compression to work on both arms. The trail just having connection to the club helps transfer speed from core rotation. Think of your trail arm as like a passive conduit for power.
October 15, 2019
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Doug
What's the appropriate amount of right elbow flexion at the top of the golf swing?
July 9, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Doug. 90 Degrees or less of trail arm flexion.
July 10, 2019
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Dean
Hey Craig, Dean P here. Would this be the primary reason my trail arm disappears early in the 9-3 review or something else? That is, not keeping it straight enough. Meant to ask you about that in my notes but forgot to. Thanks man!
January 15, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dean. No problem. Lack of keeping the trail arm straight (above). Also, a little bit of push. Pushing with the Left Side Golf Takeaway Video.
January 15, 2019
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Dean
Copy that Craig. Had to try it and can see an improvement. The takeaway from DTL is spot on. Yeah I watched that one again and I'm getting under plane late in the 9-3 with just the lead arm. It tracks fine up to the point where the club head is behind my hands and then it drifts underneath. I have to manipulate some wrist set and hinge in there and I can't time it consistently. Appreciate your guidance on this. Thanks for taking care of your children!
January 16, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dean. Yes, that is much better. You maybe slightly over elevated by the TW position. When the club is parallel to the ground the hands should be a little more inline with the trail pocket (RST Pencil Tee Drill). But, overall very improved. When do I get to relish in enjoying empty nest?
January 16, 2019
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Dean
It drives me crazy the contradictions that exist in golf even with the top instructors. Left arm, right arm, who is right? One arm swings can't seem to prove it. what does? It is stated that 85% of your swing speed comes from your arms and wrists! Who's right?
December 17, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dean. 60% or more will come from lag, or roughly 2/3 of your CHS. Your 3 power sources will be leverage, rotation and width. The rest of the power will come from how much else you blend into that equation with the listed 3 sources.
December 17, 2018
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Eric
What is the connection between proper weight shift and the shoulder glide takeaway? If I don’t shift my weight I end up in a flying elbow, but if I shift my weight and I do a proper shoulder glide down and in, I get to a elbow down position. I was wonder Long why this occurs anatomically. Maybe because if I don’t shift my weight my head stays stationary and my shoulders don’t fully rotate and I use my arms to try to get the club into some kind of a swing plane?
January 21, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Eric. Sometimes players that don't shift their weight to start the swing engage their upper rectangle muscles and add more of a side bend rotation. Rather than using the trail shoulder and core to rotate around the spine. Weight shift helps you start to engage the legs and core to use the "box" muscles instead of the "rectangle."
January 22, 2018
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Michael
In another video Chuck mentions the importance of keeping right bicep (RT hand golfer) connected to upper pectoral during backswing (ie. don't let RT elbow 'fly.') So as that relates to this video, is it correct to think the RT pec / RT upper rib cage should pull the Rt bicep back (a variation of shoulder blade glide?) I notice when I keep my RT arm straight and look for extension my RT bicep has a separation from my RT pec... which means I am not turning arms with body I am getting 'armsy?'
October 11, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Michael. You want to maintain awareness in the upper bicep/pectoral. But, the pulling is still performed by the trail shoulder. The arms shouldn't swing across the chest. Take a look at the 4 Square Drill for a good visual.
October 11, 2017
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greg
Should my upper right arm stay connected on top of my chest or to the side of my chest throughout the golf swing??? In the article, Chuck talks about keeping the right upper bicep connected to the chest throughout the swing. Thanks!
March 18, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Greg. The upper pectoral and upper bicep will maintain some connection. However, you don't want to glue your arm to the chest or side of the chest.
March 18, 2017
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James
How will I know when I've completed my backswing?
February 7, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. If you maintain the proper trail arm position. It will be hard to over swing. You shouldn't be able to rotate more with the upper half unless you start to allowing for improper leg position.
February 7, 2017
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James
I don't think I understand what you're saying. Can you please try again? Thanks
February 17, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. If you maintain proper trail arm position (elevation base of pectorals, 90 degrees or less of flexion, and external humeral rotation) you shouldn't be able to over swing. Once, you start leaving those positions you won't have a sense of where the stopping point is at the top and the arms will typically run away. Stop Overswinging Video and 3 Functions of the Right Arm Video.
February 17, 2017
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Stephen
Right arm straight as long as possible..... On the other hand our mantra for the perfect backswing is "rotation, elevation, and FLEXION"! So when does the right arm straight end and the flexion begin? Thanks Steve
February 2, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Steve. The trail arm begins to fold just after the takeaway. The trail arm for 99% of people will always fold even when trying to keep it perfectly straight. Therefore, we tell most students in the beginning to try and not allow for any bending to help feel rotation versus excessive folding.
February 3, 2017
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John
I know you are supposed to pull instead of push. So in the takeaway, while I know you are turning your shoulders, should you also be pulling with your right arm? In the downswing you say to pull with your left arm so I was thinking it would be good to pull with your right arm on the takeaway. Thanks!
September 10, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. The trail arm will be pretty passive in the takeaway. More trail shoulder pull and quiet arms.
September 10, 2016
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Joshua
At what point do you add the right elbow flexion? Not until your shoulders have turned 90 degrees?
August 14, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Joshua. After the takeaway once you have completed 45 degrees of shoulder rotation.
August 15, 2016
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Hector
DO YOU PUT THE GRIP OF ALL THE CLUBS IN THE CENTER OF YOUR CHEST ? AND THE DRIVER ALSO ? OR TO THE LEFT OF THE ZIPPER ?
June 9, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Hector. Take a look at the Golf Grip Tips Video. Chris will help you with placement. Also, the Proper Tee Height Video to see how it might change when you are trying to hit max yardage with the driver.
June 10, 2016
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Dave
Hi Craig. Am working on rotation and keeping the arms in front of the body during takeaway and backswing. I have noticed in my videos that although the rotation is pretty good and I am on plane, that I lack a lot of width and a little bit of elevation. I think the reason looking at the video is that I keep my right arm too closely connected to my side. This is the result of overusing the towel drill (pre rst days) and also fear of losing load in the trail leg in lifting the arms away from the body. Any tips drills for working on keeping the right arms extended and elevated on takeaway and drills for width please? Thanks Dave
June 6, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi Dave, Chris here...Have you checked your posture to make sure you are not too upright with your spine? You want the hands and arms to be hanging freely from the shoulder line at address and the primary movements of the club into the takeaway should be focused on weight shift and body rotation. There is just a slight amount of elevation happening and some wrist rotation. Check out the pool noodle shoulder elevation video for some quick reference points to ingrain this gradually in your swing. As far as the losing load goes, make sure you are shifting enough weight into that side before you do anything else in the swing. As you start to move from the takeaway into the backswing, focus on keeping the trail knee flexed and facing forward with about 80-90% of your weight in the trail heel/ankle. Weight shift and load are mission critical and its more important the you have stability and load in the trail leg to the top of the swing before you work on any other part of the swing. Check out the perfecting lower body stability video. Hope this helps
June 6, 2016
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Dave
Thanks Chris. Checked the above and am loaded up on the right side ok. I have found that showing slightly more elbow pit on the right arm has actually really helped keep my arms relaxed whilst straight which is something Patrick asked me to work on. Just one question on the transition in relation to the right leg and tush line. I am working on weight shift back from right to left side after top of the swing and am wanting to be sure to not lose the tush line. When I draw this at set up its fine up to top of backswing but then when I shift back to left side I lose this. Should my right side of tush stay on the line from set up through transition or will it move forward? I notice I lose this line even without a club and just doing the drills with body only. Thanks in advance
June 7, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
The tush should stay back when sitting into the left side. Check out the sitting into the left side, fixing weight transfer and maintaining the tush line chair drill to help you out with this. Let me know if you need something different. Also, make sure you are not trying to work on too many pieces of the swing at one time.
June 7, 2016
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Loran
Then, the takeaway is predominantly upper body...but with the right shoulder leading the club away from the setup? Very little hands and arms action? The upper torso is responsible for the stack and tilt? If I rotate in the takeaway, my spine will tilt?
January 14, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Loan. Yes, the takeaway is predominately trail shoulder dominant with minimal arms and hands. The spine won't tilt due to the rotation, but it should maintain the tilt due to rotation. The tilt should already be added at address and with effort to not change it.
January 14, 2016
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Loran
The right arm stay close to the body until what point in the backswing does it detach from the body and form the magic triangle?
December 23, 2015
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Steven (Certified RST Instructor)
Loan-The right arm can be a tricky situation..when you say the right arm stays close to the body we don't want it to have flexion or known as early right elbow/arm flexion. We want the trail arm to remain straight as we go to the takeaway while keeping the connection between the right bicep and pec muscle as we do to the top of the swing.
December 23, 2015
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ys
I have a question that I always have thought that.I have learned swing from coach. He told me backswing starts from club head to foot and the downswing starts from foot to club. But I think body twist from the foot , hip ,shoulder,arm,and in downswing untwist first from the starting point,foot to head.is it right?
November 26, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello YS. I apologize I am a little confused by your sequence, but gather you've always been told to move the club head first. The problem with that is you don't engage any big muscles. Take a look at Pushing with the Left Arm Video. Going back the engine will be the body. Shifting the weight (to trigger start of swing if need be), pulling the shoulder blade to move the club and allowing the continued pull of the shoulder to start opening the hips. Coming down it will start from the ground up.
November 27, 2015
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Hans
Hi Can you help me with something. In most of the takeaway movies you say the shoulders turn 45 degrees max. Your hips should not turn(or a little to nothing). So if at adres my body and club are in a Y shape and I turn my upper body 45 degrees. i can't get my club parallel to the target line as you do in the movies. So what am I missing? Do you role you arms? Do I need to bow my wrist? Please help Cheers Hans
October 6, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Hans. You have to have a little elevation and wrist set in the takeaway to reach the position you are referring too. Take a look at Understanding Shoulder Elevation and the RST Pencil Tee Drill.
October 7, 2015
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Loran
The wrist set or cock at the completion of the takeaway is deliberate and prominent? Instead of a blend of the two?...elevation and rotation? Maybe my golf momentum is just too slow.
September 23, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Loan. Gradual elevation, rotation and a touch of wrist set. It will be blended in the motion. A gradual move. You can see this roughly 22,23 minutes into the 5 Minutes to the Perfect Takeaway.
September 23, 2015
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Loran
I gather from the instruction that the takeaway initiate at knee height (around 6 or 8 o'clock) and eventually elevates to pocket level? So technically, the takeaway has two pieces or steps, no?
September 27, 2015
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Loran
Sorry...what does that mean? "Start pulling off the ball?" Please elaborate. I infer that the takeaway is more technical and complicated than the backswing right arm fold in full swing path?
September 27, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Yes, it elevates to pocket level after you start pulling off the ball. The takeaway has some rotation and a bit of elevation.
September 27, 2015
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Loran
How strange and funny! The elbow remains close to the side of the body on the backswing, but on the downswing the arm needs to separate to have a little space in between the upper torso and swinging arms? Why is it?
September 22, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Loan. The trail arm will leave the side of the body on the backswing. You don't want to glue the elbow to your side. The connection between the upper right bicep and upper pectoral will remain into impact. As you start to add elevation going back you will create space that will help you stay in front of the body on the way down.
September 22, 2015
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ted
I feel like I'm getting getting better with my takeaway using the right side and keeping the right arm straight, so now I'm looking for videos that describe going from the takeaway to the top of the backswing. Thanks. Great site.
August 10, 2015
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ted
I just watched three functions of the right arm. I'm guessing that's one of the videos you'd suggest.
August 10, 2015
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Ed
Well after working on my backswing for a while, I'm still no where near where I want to be. When I work on just the takeaway and/or backswing, things seem to be in order, but when I actually swing, the club gets too far behind me half way back and at the top the club is either pointing at the target or across the line. I'm trying to stack things like Chuck says. Frustrating. Any suggestions?
July 28, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ed. Practice at pace. If you can do it properly in a practice swing we just have to get that transferred to a ball. Try going to the range a teeing up a few short irons. Start at a 20-30% pace. Figure out what pace you can achieve the proper motion and where you lose it. Work your way through the rough areas.
July 28, 2015
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Claus
this thought really helped me to better understand how the takeaway and backswing should feel. I assume the same is true for the downswing now the left hand taking the lead. What is the thought? Pulling with the left hand? Elbow? Shoulder?
July 24, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Claus. In this backswing or this drill you are pulling with the trail shoulder blade and oblique to help pull the club back. Coming down you will be pulling with the same muscles. The lead oblique to help open the hips and the left lat/shoulder blade to help pull the arms back in front of the body.
July 24, 2015
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Ray
Keeping the right arm straight caused elbow pain and put me out of action for 10 days. I think that turning the right shoulder back with a neutral grip accomplishes the perfect takeaway. I did this yesterday when I played nine holes and shot 37 with a chunked chip and a 3 jack. I'm back on the RST train!
July 3, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ray. Glad to hear you are back in action. Apologize for the pain. I think you maybe over cooked it or tensed up too much. Stay relaxed, but ready to engage. Don't overly stress.
July 3, 2015
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Richard
Hi, just for clarification, should I focus only on using my right side in the takeaway. If I do focus on keeping my right arm straight and using my right shoulder to move my right arm in the initial takeaway move. This seem to accomplish everything Chuck mentions in the above video, 90deg of shoulder rotation, arms stay centered, right arm doesn't fold early and I get to a great position at the top! It just seem to easy and I'm always suspicious of anything I think is easy to understand as this usually means I've misunderstood the instructions. Thanks Richard
April 24, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Richard. Yes, use the right side to go right! The takeaway is much simpler then it has been made out to be with other swing methods. However, just make sure about something that bothers me a little in your notes. The shoulders only turn 45 degrees in the takeaway, then 90 to the top.
April 24, 2015
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Richard
Thanks Craig, sorry I should have made myself clearer with regards 90 degrees of turn. This, as you've correctly pointed out, is at the completion of the backswing. I have always been shy of 90 degrees at the top of my backswing due to pushing from the left side and getting my hands/arms across my center line and stuck (not in a big way) behind myself. Now that I move from the right side everything seem to just click into place one after the other, allowing me to get to the top of my back swing in a relaxed full wide turn. I just drop the club on the ball and and watch it sail down the fairway, well most of the time, thanks all at RST.
April 24, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Great. No worries Richard. I just was making sure. It's funny how teachers tell you to use your left to go to the right. Thats like using your blinker and turning the opposite direction. Hmmm.... Happy to hear the progress and thanks for the compliments. Much appreciated.
April 24, 2015
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Richard
hi Craig, in my takeaway , when I add. flexion. without. forearm. rotation the. club. is on a steeper plane. arms are near. my head in a full. backswing do I consciously. change. the. plane. using. forearm. rotation. and flatening the wrist. for a less steep plane. I m not getting. in the same. backswing as the model,. thanks rich
March 9, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Richard. The club will always be rotating in the golf swing. You need to allow for proper forearm rotation. In the takeaway, there isn't a ton, but just enough to get the club toe pointing up. Take a look at the Unleash Your Thumbnail for Power Video in the Advanced Takeaway Section. From the takeaway to the top. Adding flexion will allow the left arm to rotate. Take a look at the 5 Mins to the Perfect Backswing Checkpoints Video to see an easy demonstration of right arm flexion and left arm rotation. For knowledge purposes, I would advise viewing the Using the Wrist Efficiently Video in the Introduction Advanced Section to understand face rotation.
March 9, 2015
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Jon
About the only way I can comfortably get to the top with a straight left arm is by concentrating on shoulder glide+elevation+keeping the right (and left) arm straight, which gets me to 90 degree shoulder turn. Then at the last second, I add a little rt elbow flexion and some slight additional wrist hinge which I use to trigger my transition (I try to keep my right elbow in towards my side as I make that flexion). Is this equivalent to the "elevation+rt elbow flexion+rt. arm rotation" described in the downswing videos? If not, what am I missing please? Also, is the purpose of the "rt arm rotation" (after rt. elbow flexion) to prevent a flying right elbow and keep the connection with rt lats? Finally, is it correct that there is a gradual pronation of the left forearm(for a rt hander) and supination of the right forearm during the back swing to the point that at the top, the right palm helps support the left hand in a 'waiter holding a tray-like' fashion? Thanks!
March 6, 2015
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Jon, it doesn't sound like you're missing much in regards to how the backswing is created. I would advise; however, that focusing on our hands at the top for a trigger to the transition, which could lead us start the downswing with our shoulders, might not be as good as focusing on the stretch in our obliques to know when to trigger the downswing because we'll be thinking about our torso and then start the transition with the torso (after weight shift and squat) so that we avoid overswinging from the rectangle. The purpose of the external rotation of the trail side humerus is two fold: one, to keep the elbow from flying away, as you mentioned and two, to get the club on plane at the top of the swing. Keeping your shoulder depressed throughout the swing will keep you connected to the box, that can be done independently of the trail side humerus rotation and vice versa. And for your last question, yes, exactly, that is correct. Let us know if you have any other questions and good luck on your golf game. R.J.
March 16, 2015
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Andrew
New member and love the site. Working through all the 5 mins series in an effort to cure "left hand push" and collapsing right arm. All the exercises in master rotation and perfect takeaway I do fine and hands arms etc all in right place on video. When i hit a shot for real it's a tiny bit better but still a lot of left arm push and folding right arm even though the feel is that i'm going really wide. Is there any other tips/thoughts/feels i can work on to rid myself of the inside takeaway or is it just repetition of the drills till i get it right?
March 2, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Andrew. It takes a lot of perfect repetitions to un-learn the bad habits. After getting some good work in. You need to challenge yourself. Try to hit some balls at a slower pace. Learn what speed you can perform the proper takeaway correctly in front of you. Slowly build up from there.
March 3, 2015
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Christian
low and away was something that helped me out having a good take away. Sometimes if I started 'picking up" the club I would bend the right arm too early. Keeping it low to the ground gave me better extension. I like how you explain it.
January 31, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks Christian. Keep it up!
February 1, 2015
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SCOTT
this video is stuck at the 1:07 mark
January 17, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Scott. I've tried the video on my end and seems to be working correctly. If you are still having problems. Please feel free to contact Customer Support. They will be happy to help. The Contact Us link is at the bottom of this page.
January 17, 2015
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Chris
Recently i have bean working on getting the cupping out of my left hand (right handed golfer) at the top of the back swing, my understaning is that this should happen naturally and effortlessly but for someone with years of bad habits it not happening so easily. Today as i was making backswings and thinking of my left wrist getting flat i felt that my right arm played a big role in flattening my left wrist. My question is is this a correct feeling to have that as my right arm bends it is helping flatten the wrist or is there another thought i could have to better get this to happen.
December 30, 2014
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james (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Chris. The left wrist will remain flat as the left arm rotates to the top of the backswing. If we dont allow the left arm to rotate other left arm can break down and you'll also get that left wrist bending at the top.. Excessive wrist hinge can also result in a bent left wrist at the top. Check out the pitfalls in the backswing video and the 5 minutes to the perfect backswing to help you out
January 23, 2015
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chris
Hi....when does the elevation start to come in the backswing? - when I try and take it back with the shoulder blade, then continue to keep turning, the club gets behind me....so I know elevation is needed....but where exactly does it come in? also, when you do start to elevate, do you need to keep the shoulder blade pulling inwards? thanks
September 5, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Chris. There is a slight amount of elevation in the takeaway. The majority of it happens from the takeaway to the top of the backswing. You will continue to pull with the shoulder blade as you add elevation. Take a look at the Understanding Shoulder Elevation Video in the Backswing Section for clarification on how it affects the swing and takeaway. Also, the 4 square drill in the Advanced Backswing Section to check you are adding enough to not get the club deep.
September 5, 2014
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John
I order to keep my right arm from bending I am finding myself having to gently lock it during the takeaway.. Any thoughts please?
August 5, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. For training purposes. If you have to manually force it at first, that is ok. However, you don't want to lock the arm too much in its position. If you lock the arm, it won't perform the natural functions it supposed to do in the backswing.
August 6, 2014
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Jonathan
I've been at Rotary for 3 weeks and I love it! BUT, having a very hard time with my right arm. I am working hard at drills, trying not to take club back closed. I am practicing 9 to 3, keeping right arm straight on takeaway, etc...But when I watch video of my swing, I see I am taking it back closed and a little more inside than I should. I can also see that my right hand is too much on top on takeaway, causing a closed club face. I am also suffering from a flying right elbow. All this is causing a pull/draw (although it is much less of a pull since I started with Rotary). Any suggestions to get my right arm working better?
July 5, 2014
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Patrick (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi Jonathan, Check to make sure your right elbow pit is facing away from you at address and more toward the sky (approx, not straight up) at the completion of move 1 (take away). If doing it correctly, someone standing behind you could read the time if you were wearing a watch on your right hand. This will help to keep the club from being shut. Also make sure you are using enough shoulder elevation during move 1 to keep the club from going inside.
July 5, 2014
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Mark
Hi, I am having a very hard time keeping my right arm straight in the takeaway. When i do the drills its perfect but every time I tape myself i see that my right elbow and wrist break. Any tips would be greatly appericated!
May 22, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
It's commonly there is still too much force from the left side going back. Check out the Push v Pull video to make sure you are pulling with the right side in the Introduction Section. And work hard on the 5 Mins to Master Rotation to get the left side out right off the ball in the Full Swing Takeaway Section. Keep the right wrist nice and passive. And the right arm nice and straight. You may try the bucket drill to at least get an object in your hands with some weight to help alleviate the problem as well in the Takeaway section.
May 22, 2014
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Sean
Looking down the line. When takeaway is complete. If the clubhead is back or posterior in relation to the hands. Is the from pushing during takeaway typically or over rotation of forearms? What's a good correction for this? Thanks guys.
May 21, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
It can be from pushing from the left or over use of the hands/forearms in the takeaway. Check out the 5 Mins to Master Rotation and 5 Mins to Master Takeaway in the Full Swing Program Takeaway Section and key in on how minimal the hands/arms rotate. You can also check out the Bucket Drill in the same section to make sure your not dumping the "water" behind you due to over rotation.
May 21, 2014
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Jeffrey
I've looked at a lot of videos and I'm still a bit confused about when the right arm bends. On some videos I see it bending right after move one and the beginning of move two. Other videos say to keep the right arm straight as long as possible. I find that if I bend it early, after move one I have more success. If I try to keep it straight longer and bend it near the completion of my shoulder rotation I get into all kinds of trouble.
May 11, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Jeff, the right arm should flex right at the completion of the takeaway. We have some videos that talk about keeping the right arm straight to turn and that is addressing a very common issue we see around the site with people getting to armsy very early on and then creating momentum in the club which then leads to the right arm breaking early. When the arms get moving like this, it shuts down the rotation.
May 12, 2014
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brad
A couple questions on the takeaway. 1) should I think of the takeaway as right shoulder blade only controlling the movement? 2) also, I had right shoulder surgery and cannot externally rotate my arm, hence I think that is the reason I get the flying elbow and right arm collapse. I can get close to 90 degrees, but that is it. Any suggestions? Thank you
April 17, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
The right shoulder blade along with the right obliques will start the takeaway. Make sure that you are not pushing the club back with the lead arm if you have not ability to externally rotate the humerus. If you push, that is when you can get the hands and arms deep and lose the elbow behind the body.
April 18, 2014
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David
My final comment at this time to your patient self is that right now (Tomorrow actually) is probably my best time to participate in greater-than-usual RHS activity, my LHS being injured! I have planned to do at least a couple of hours putting practice tomorrow at my golf club facilities, I guess "leaning" more on RHS than usual could be seen as some sort of a bonus? Some of us like to utilise the builders' chalk line device, although my pros prefer to not develop any sort of dependence on it! On another front, recently I have found a great interest in BOUNCE chipping, largely because it seems to not require ANY precision apart from ensuring the trailing edge definitely makes ground contact, almost anywhere behind the ball. It is so forgiving that I can even chip from a downhill putting surface (to show off!. It has become my go-to chip! Tinkering with extending this to up-to 20 yards pitch, particularly from bad lies...? Gap wedge 53 degrees. I have been advised that practicing RIGHT HAND ONLY improves technique, particularly requiring the RHS chest "de-pivot" through/past impact. You see where I am going with this, tomorrow in mind, don't you. Anyway, best wishes to you all over there @ RST. Hope to get back again after my physical recovery. p.s. I wonder if a softer/less rigid/almost rope-like LHS arm (through elbow) would lessen or aggravate release impact for my current condition?
April 14, 2014
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David
I am very sorry to obviously offend you by my also lack of understanding of your response to my take on the RHS hand only putting length drill...! AlI meant to say originally is that, by being a natural VERY left-handed person, I don't think that I possess sufficient coordination/sensitivity/whatever to get a lot out of my RHS hand without (or in combination with) my LHS hand (very dominant): in almost 50 years of treating my former patients, I never once gave an injection with my RHS hand! (a passenger!) But my problem does remain to be hopefully addressed with success: compared to other adequate amateur golfers, my putting distance control remains in being a weakness and inadequate! Some other remedy/drill could help? Or just practice more? I do have the time right now with this injury! And thanks again.
April 14, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
You certainly have not offended me by any means and I have rather thick skin and a very tall level of patience. I am a golf instructor after all I too am a very left side dominant person that plays golf right handed and I have worked with quite a few people in our same boat. Training the brain to learn new movement patterns is a tedious process and requires a ton of patience. Even when a player like yourself has very little kinesthetic awareness or lacks coordination one side of the body or the other you would not be considered a lost cause. Lost of research in neuroscience and biomechanics has unfolded the idea that we CAN learn new movement patters as foreign as it may be as long as we are hitting the proper rep ranges and starting the process of myelination to build, rebuild or restore neuro-pathways. With that all being said, distance control in putting boils down to feel which will boil down to practice and repetition. We have a video on the site that deals with a lag putting drill with how to start to develop a feel for distance.
April 14, 2014
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David
Chris, You have been generous enough to address two questions that I have posted, thank you. I definitely trust and respect your professional assessment and advice regarding the (long or short) RHS arm at address/takeaway/backswing; the commentary accompanying the video sounds convincing. Since Clay cast an eye recently over my very-hastily/un-rehearsed V1 Golf video, I have worked so hard to follow his advice that I am now laid-low with acute traumatic bursitis of the LHS elbow, and have medical orders to not swing a golf club until at least April 22! (I have written asking for an extension on my time available to be able to produce another V1 Golf video whenever I am able). His advice relating to RHS Scapula "counter-direction" slide was invaluable as regards my belief in attempted RHS-ONLY level pivot: I think that I now have difficulty directing the resultant (obviously later!) greater/improved impact force (NON-FLIPPED) which has aggravated an old water-skiing injury circa 1968...! I know that my video to Clay did contain several swing errors, but your text above does not really indicate where you think my main errors/issues in my then-swing are? I am also always attempting to produce a square release pattern (some might say "held off"?),, i.e. no wrist flexion, but with resultant toe-up pronation, a gentle draw appears. Very many touring professional golfers seem to use this technique, but it seems almost shunned for amateurs? I reckon that this may be involved in my current medical episode? I wonder if RST extensive library contains any video advice concerning avoiding injury, or would that be in more practical terms," behave yourself"? As regards your other response to my question on RHS hand putting distance drill, either you just don't understand my Australian form of written English language, or you are having an obscure joke with me (that I definitely don't understand). Strangely, I did consider my descriptions quite plain and obvious, but somehow you have mixed my swing RHS Scapula thoughts with my lack or RHS arm/hand sensitivity in putting length control......? Not worth pursuing, I think. But thanks, anyway.
April 13, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
By no means was I making any sort of obscure joke to you other post. That is not what i or any of the other instructors do at this site. Both of your posts outlined what your current issues are and what sort of reactions you get to a certain explanation to the movements we are trying to create within the body. Your original post said that Clay had directed you to a video that could possibly help correct swing issues to only comment that this sort of drill would cause "over-extension" in your swing. I am not really sure where there was a question in there that I could actually answer rather than just offer some clarification to what this video could help you do or fix within the golf swing. I, like Clay, would need to be able to see the movements of the body during your golf swing to be able to offer the best possible instruction. Otherwise, I am just expounding on our current content to further clarify what the ultimate goal is. I just finished up a series of 5 videos on the movements/functions of the wrists as it pertains to the RST methodology and they will be released on the sooner side. Chuck designed the RST methodology with requirements based fundamentals that are focused around biomechanics and neuroscience to create the safe and efficient golf swing. I am sorry to hear about your bursitis and I hope that you get fully recovered and back on the links in no time. Please do not mistake my desire to help our students as some form of a joke. I am just asking that you be a bit more clear with the overall question so that I can pass along my assistance.
April 14, 2014
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David
Clay directed me specifically to this video, because (he is correct) I can be lazy with the RHS body pivot (hopefully improved since following your focus on RHS Scapula reversed glide!). Having admitted that though, I chose to fold my RHS arm earlier than you indicate to discourage the flying (RHS) elbow later on. I like the closeness of upper arm and elbow, and merely lift the forearm to a (hopefully) 3/4 top from which it can deliver in reverse. Yours would encourage over-extension in my swing. Sorry, but no thanks.
April 13, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Over extension or a flying right arm at the top of the swing is caused by several variables like pushing the club back from the lead arm and lack of external humerus rotation in the right arm. Getting the takeaway nailed down with proper torso rotation, passive arms and forearm rotation will certainly not promote any sort of the issues that you are encompassing.
April 13, 2014

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