The Bucket Drill - Golf Shoulder Turn

The Bucket Drill is one that provides a very simple and clear picture on how to rotate correctly in the backswing and how to avoid tilting and the dreaded right hand above the left during the takeaway.

  • Use the Bucket Drill to learn how to turn correctly in the backswing
  • Hold an empty bucket between your hands, and imagine it is full of water
  • Keep the bucket level as you turn back, to avoid spilling the "water"
  • If you feel strain in your back, check to make sure you're not leaning toward the target

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Jason
I have had a variation of this question before, but I think I have another concept I need to verify: Isn't the full swing takeaway in principle, different than Clay's videos of putting/ chipping? if the bucket drill was done by the way of putting/chipping, it would spill water (unless you massively pronate the left arm) or another way of saying it, the bucket drill commentary says imaging you are handing a pail of water to someone behind you..... you would not putt/ chip like that correct????
September 12, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jason. The shoulder rotates the same way (blade down and in). However, with chipping and putting there isn't as much forearm rotation and usually a little quicker wrist set (depending on the shot). You are slightly rocking back versus the full 45 degree turn as in a full takeaway.
September 12, 2015
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Jason
I understand your reference to the concept of still pulling with the right shoulder, but my question when comparing the full swing to a putt is in regards to the actual shoulder rotation plane differences. in other words, I feel that the bucket drill and the merry-go-round drill contradict each other: such that the tilt and rotation (the merry go round way), and the bucket way are on different shoulder planes
September 12, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jason. You are correct. The shoulders are on different planes due to the setup changes and bend from the hips.
September 13, 2015
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Ryan
I push big time with my lead shoulder so I'm working on my takeaway and backswing. My question is, I have a very hard time with this drill and pulling with my left (left handed) shoulder blade to start the swing/takeaway. If I do the drill naturally it seems very much like my whole upper body is moving, but not from the left shoulder. Has anyone had trouble connecting these two feelings before?
August 23, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ryan. Take a look at the Golf Body Rotation Video and the Role of the Right Arm. It should feel somewhat natural as in the Golf Body Video and the 2 inch hand drill (maintaining gap and finger tip length) is very helpful putting the proper feelings together in the Role of the Right Arm.
August 24, 2015
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Jackie (Certified RST Instructor)
would it make sense to feel the shoulder blade glide while doing this drill? That way it will translate to the golf course better when you are playing and not thinking about it?
August 4, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jackie. Without a doubt. This is a great way to feel the shoulder pull.
August 5, 2015
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Jackie (Certified RST Instructor)
So to confirm, when I am on the golf course playing competitively, I should not be trying to incorporate this feeling. It should just translate through all of the perfect reps I have achieved off the course?
August 16, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jackie. When you are playing. You don't want to make it overly mechanical. Feeling the same motion or engagement as doing the bucket drill will suffice.
August 16, 2015
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Jackie (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Craig. After my new review today it seems as though we have moved on to shoulder elevation to improve the takeaway. However, I still feel the need to continue with the bucket drill due to the lift I am getting at the top of the swing. Until I stop lifting in the backswing, I don't want to move on. Let me know if you agree. I'd also like to know if there is any other way I can communicate with you on the sight other than the forums. Thanks
August 20, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jackie. The forums are the best way. The reason I attached the shoulder elevation video today wasn't that you needed more elevation. It was to better see gradual elevation in the takeaway without pinching the lead arm against your chest. The pinch of the lead arm against the pectoral is pushing the hands in and the club out. The Bucket Drill is great for you to continue with, but see the gradual elevation with the lead arm not being glued to the side was the objective.
August 20, 2015
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Jackie (Certified RST Instructor)
Ok I understand now. However, I am not intentional pinching the left arm. I am only using the shoulder blade glide, but I do understand the gradual elevation. I'm gonna stick with the bucket drill, and I think it will eliminate some push with the left arm, and pinch against the chest. I'm guessing two weeks from now we can see if I don't need the bucket drill anymore, and we can focus on gradual elevation.
August 20, 2015
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Jason
I have practiced this drill and realized I had the tenancy and/or believe that I needed to direct my left shoulder down deliberately in one way or another when taking the club away. I realize that this was causing that bucket to tip forward. Now I know it is pretty much a simple rotation despite the bent over posture. I also have reviewed the grip and believe I have that correct. my question is, when I am taking the club back on film I see there is a moment where and the end takeaway, I tend to have the club somewhat pointed behind me. If I go ahead and finish with arm flexion and go all the way to the backswing, it still looks like I am in the correct position. is this minor issue fine to live with or do I need to continue to find a way to stop doing that? I am afraid I don't know how to stop doing that even with everything I have reviewed thus far. my other question real quickly involves the right shoulder blade initiation for the rotary takeaway: it generally feels like I am taking a stiff right arm and using that to rotate away. Is that the correct translation in my mind? otherwise, I don't think I am pushing from the left side and am getting an adequate result by just simply rotating and not thinking of the right shoulder thank you very much in advance your reply to my questions Jason.
July 10, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jason. First, don't overly tense up or lock any position with the trail arm. Nothing in RST should be forced. Second, try the 2 inch hand drill in the Role of the Right Arm Video in the Takeaway Advanced Section to see if you can feel the rotation better (maintain your finger tip length and gap throughout). Also, the One Simple Takeaway Fix in the same section to keep the club from going inside.
July 10, 2015
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Pino
Fantastic drill!! I used this drill to eliminate the shanks. Also fixed my inside out swing and help me feel a full shoulder turn versus over rotating the hips. I shot 39, 4 over, on nine. Thank you!
July 6, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Pino. Fantastic. Keep up the good work and playing!
July 6, 2015
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Tom
Should there be any clockwise rotation in the left forearm in the takeaway? I seem to want to open the club face on the way back and shut the club face on the down swing through impact. For me this seems to work well with my driver but it is a lot more inconsistent with my irons. Thanks for your help.
April 30, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tom. There is some forearm rotation in the takeaway. Not a whole lot, but some. Take a look at the Using the Wrist Efficiently Video in the Introduction Advanced Section and the Unleash Your Thumbnail for Power in the Advanced Takeaway Section.
April 30, 2015
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Ron
just a follow up thought. Should I do this drill with my left heel raised to ensure my weight transfer?
April 23, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ron. Take a look below.
April 24, 2015
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Ron
Little confused here. My review showed I was not correctly stacking to the right foot and I have the weight shift drill and this drill to work on. Now as I look at this drill it seems to me that I see my problem, ie the right hip not moving over the right ankle. What am I not understanding?
April 23, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ron. I haven't seen your review, so this might not be exactly what your instructor was trying to relay. However, the weight shift drill is used to teach movement. Knowing what it feels like to have the weight on the right and left. It is an exaggerated move. In the normal swing you don't want the feet picking up like the drill. Focus on the weight shift drill first. Learn what it feels like to shift back and forth. Then, take a look at the Weight Shift Video Part 2 to tone down the movement to the right and maintain you hip line. Then, you can use the proper shift with getting a good takeaway with the bucket drill. I wouldn't recommend raising the left foot and trying the bucket drill all in one.
April 24, 2015
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ron
due to the bucket drill I am crushing drives past my opponents, however I am lost with irons. How do you keep the bucket level when coming from lower and closer to the body? same way? I just don't see it.
April 18, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ron. You probably need a little elevation. Take a look at Understanding Shoulder Elevation in the Backswing Section. Also, the Pencil Tee Drill in this Section (Advanced). I am using a shorter iron in the demonstration.
April 18, 2015
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ron
thank you
April 19, 2015
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Francis
Chuck seems to be doing some elevation as he rotates his shoulder to make the turn. Is this in fact happening or should the bucket remain at the same distance from the ground from the start to the end of the movement?
March 23, 2015
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Francis, great question! Yes, there is shoulder elevation in the takeaway/bucket drill. If you do the bucket drill without shoulder elevation, you'll spill water out the far end (furthest from you) of the bucket because your hands will be too low which gets you inside the plane and will start tilting the top of the bucket. R.J.
March 23, 2015
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Francis
Thanks, RJ. Is the shoulder elevation the same as in a regular golf swing?
March 24, 2015
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
At that point in the swing, yes.
March 24, 2015
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bill
hi, guys this is the first time I have communicated to you this way. Hope you get this. I recently saw a great video on the site in which the instructor taped a stick or a pencil to the shaft and demonstrated the correct takeaway. I cannot find the video now, however. Can you steer me to that? Thanks. Bill Adams
January 8, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Bill. We had some server issues and had to take it down. When the video is reloaded all members will be notified via email. I'm glad you liked the video.
January 8, 2015
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Josh
Have a look at 3.10. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=D-nG1JutLEw Couldn't find a more recent video with the same clarity but it looks like he still does or even if the focus on the other videos is not quite as good. Food for thought!
January 1, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Furthermore, this person that is doing this analysis is not really giving any sort of factual information behind why Adam is performing any of the positions in the swing. He says his spine angle gets him over the balls of his feet at address. However, Adam actually moves over his lead ankle in the downward move and not the ball of his foot. If he stayed forward, then he could move the central pivot point down to the knee and the knee is not designed to pivot like the hip is. We actually teach students to set up with the weight in true balance, which we have a video on and that allows you golfers to get more anchored and more balanced during the swing and also protect the critical joints. He also says that most players are trying to achieve this clubface position now rather than toe up. His explanation is to why...because rolling the forearms/wrists causes the club face to rotate and then you are now relying in timing??? Not sure I understand how. Again, the clubface is designed to rotate and if you are allowing the club to do what it is supposed to do down in the hitting area, then the toe of the club is essentially traveling 7mph faster than the center of the club. Why would rotation of the clubface be a bad thing? When it comes to golf instruction, we are really pressed to determine the how and the why of each and every aspect of the swing. We cannot rely on the idea that some instructor says it can create "timing issues" can we? At RotarySwing, Chuck worked very hard to look at each part of the golf swing subjectively and develop a set of requirements that would then be based on facts based and science based information. There is no grey area when it comes to what we teach. We understand how the body works and how to get it to work in the most efficient and safest of ways while swinging the club
January 2, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
It would be more helpful to have a correct down the line angle rather than slightly above and behind the player. Camera angles can mean quite a bit when trying analyze swings.
January 2, 2015
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Josh
Sorry! Replace "vertical" with "horizontal"
January 1, 2015
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Josh
Thanks for your email Chris, much appreciated. You guys obviously know a lot more about biomechanics than I do but I do have a question regarding the club face position on the backswing when the shaft is vertical. In regards to the club face being perpendicular to the ground, is this something Alison Thietje taught Chuck originally or is it something Chuck is advocating himself? If it's Alison's concept, based on anatomical biomechanics then I will be more inclined to follow it
January 1, 2015
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Josh - Allison doesn't really know anything about the movements of the club nor does she care where it is or what a lot of that stuff you are implying means. So, this is stuff that is developed by the founder of RST himself Chuck. As I stated in my post below, we are looking for a flat to slightly bowed left wrist at impact. How you get to that position and allowing the clubface to continue to rotate as it is designed to do is up to you. We can certainly work with your swing if you want to take the face perpendicular to the spine into the takeaway. Are you going to work to a lead wrist at the top of the swing? Another interesting area that we would want to take a look at would be what does the clubface look like with the hands are at about hip high on the way down. Is it still matching the spine angle?
January 1, 2015
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Josh
See above, will try not to confuse anybody this time!
January 1, 2015
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Josh
Gotta pick you up on this one Craig. In addition to Adam Scott, Rory McIllroy and Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Luke Donald, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Jason Dufner...in fact virtually every great player in the last 5 years has the club face parallel to the spine angle when the shaft is horizontal. It's a hard sell if you're going to try to tell me to get the club face perpendicular to the ground when virtually none of the current great players are doing it. If I refuse to do it where do we go?
December 30, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Josh -- I have read back through your posts with Craig and even take the time to look at your YT video links, both of which show Adam Scott and Rory from several years ago. There are several great players that DO Take the clubface back with the face matching the spine angle and there are several great players that DO rotate the face a bit more throughout the takeaway giving them a more upright toe position. The players that you mention above, do NOT keep the club face perfectly parallel to the spine angle that they have at address and I have several down the line videos that I could reference to show you the variance. However, rather than having some sort of counterproductive argument about who does what, when they did it and what they are doing now, lets take a big step back and look at what we are trying to achieve with the wrists and not the clubface in the golf swing. 1. The lead wrist when gripping the golf club properly from and anatomic standpoint allows the golfer to see 2-2.5 knuckles at address which would have just a bit of cupping (dorsiflexion) which you see most all the great players you listed gripping the club this way. 2. At the top of the swing, what does the lead wrist in most all of the players above (minus Dustin Johnson) look like? More than likely it looks pretty flat. 3. At impact what do each of the players look like? More than likely each of them have a flat to slightly bowed lead wrist depending on the flight of the shot they are trying to hit. Now that we have the objectives laid out clearly for us, starting cupped, moving to flat and staying flat to almost bowed in the hitting area...how should you do it? The movement of the golf club, including the club face are completely consequential to the movements you are creating within the body. We are looking for the club to always be rotating. Rotating into the backswing and rotating in the downswing. If it is not rotating, then the club is not doing what it is designed to do. That is why the shaft is placed where it is so the clubface can rotate around the axis. If the shaft was in the middle of the club, then we would have a different story. On average, a tour players toe of the club is rotating 7mph faster than the center of the face in the hitting area and 12mph faster than the heel. Thats a lot of speed if we were trying to hold off rotating and hold the face square at impact. My point is, if you are going to look at what the best players in the world do, which is all very different until you get them into them into impact, then I would fast forward your attention away from the takeaway and look at how you are going to get into impact just like do with maximum speed at the correct spot. If you want to take it back on your spine, which we would consider shut here at RST, then go for it. Just make sure that you are working from there to get the lead wrist flat at impact with proper rotation of the face and you will have great success either way.
December 30, 2014
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Josh
Have a look at this one Craig at the 2.52 minute mark http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kn1ltcHZDWc And this one at about 1.00 http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=D-nG1JutLEw
December 28, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Josh. Rory tends to get the arms a touch deep at the top because it requires more manipulation to get the club face matching the lead arm. He is fighting the design of the club. Adam has a slightly stronger grip getting the club a little toe down yet again requiring some maneuvering to get the face matched at the top. Not all players have the toe completely up in the takeaway. But, you are talking about some of the best players in the world. They have trained and practice for thousands of hours. And, their keys work for them. We are promoting what science is telling us. The club is balanced and designed to rotate. Getting in the way of that rotation will require extra manipulation at some point in the swing to make up for not allowing it to rotate toe up. The body to maximize efficiency and less strain require the club to rotate for maximum effect. Tour players throughout the years have tinkered with what is the best one piece takeaway position. Through our research the club will work to optimal efficiency when it is allowed to rotate.
December 29, 2014
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Josh
Thanks Craig. I accept that is what RST teaches but Adam Scott, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Henrik Stenson and virtually every other great player in the world has the club face parallel with the spine angle on the takeaway. Are they all wrong?
December 28, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Josh. Here is a sequence of Tiger. http://youtu.be/Ku246n2ecDk. As you can see from the video the only time he veered towards toe down was under Foley's tutelage. Under Butch and Haney. The club was much more consistent with toe up, than matching spine angle (14 Majors vs 0). Trevor Immelman and Charl Shwartzl also are more toe up. Its apples and oranges. We could go back and forth of players that match spine angle or have the club toe up. This isn't to say the players that match spine angle aren't great and have no idea what they are doing. It's just inconsistent with what we teach.
December 29, 2014
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Josh
On the backswing, when the club is parallel to the ground, most of the tour pros have the club face parallel to the spine angle (Adam Scott in particular). RST seems to suggest that the toe of the club should be pointing more vertically towards the sky. Am I misinterpreting something here?
December 27, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Josh. Yes, you want the club in the toe up position in the TW when parallel to the ground. Take a look at the Using the Wrist Efficiently Video in the Introduction Advanced Section and the Unleash the Thumbnail for Power Video in the Advanced Takeaway Section for more information. The club needs to be rotating and not staying shut or toe down.
December 27, 2014
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Robert
to continue the bucket of water visual from the take-away to the backswing, if I visualize throwing that bucket of water over my right shoulder can I extend the bucket drill to the top of the backswing? Similar to the backswing video with the lag-doctor and his sheet of notebook paper with the arrow on it.
December 18, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Rob, Yes, but when you visualize it, pretend like you're throwing the water over your shoulder towards the target so you get a full shoulder turn. If you throw it over shoulder towards where your back was originally at setup thn you won't be getting a full shoulder turn. That would be a good way to drill it, but keep in mind that we don't swing buckets in golf so make sure you're focusing on the body and what it takes to produce that movement so you can do it with a club. Let us know if you have any more questions! R.J.
December 18, 2014
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Robert
Great clarification thank you.
December 19, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
You're welcome, Rob
December 20, 2014
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Stephen
When performing this drill the idea is not to let the water spill out of the bucket. When turning my hands are always perfectly perpendicular and at the same height to the ground. I feel over emphasising this drill and a slight problem with set up are causing a flat shoulder plane on rotation. Can i over emphasize this drill and cause a flat shoulder plane
December 16, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Stephen, If you are keeping the bucket perfectly level and you're still getting inside, one of two things are happening: Your right elbow is breaking down, not staying straight or you're not getting enough elevation of your arms from the shoulder joints. Check these two factors and you'll find your issue. What keeps the bucket level when you do the drill properly is the rotation of the forearms. Keep working hard, you'll get there. R.J.
December 17, 2014
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Ross
In this video Chuck looks like he rotates his shoulders 90 degrees with a blended hip rotation of 45 degrees. He rotates his hips as soon as he starts moving the box (bucket). The 5 minutes to master rotation video seems to say that the hips should not rotate until the shoulders are rotated around 45 degrees. Which movement should we aim for when actually swinging a club.
December 7, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ross. The hips may move a little in the takeaway. Actively rotating them is what you want to shy way from. Take a look at the Weight Shift Video Part 2 in the Weight Shift Section to help understand more about loading the glute and the hip turn.
December 8, 2014
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Jackie (Certified RST Instructor)
When I do the bucket drill, it feels so much different from the shoulder blade glide. However, in my review doing the shoulder blade glide doesn't get me to rotate properly like it is shown in the video. I'm practicing the bucket drill, but when swinging I am unable to incorporate the glide along with the proper rotation. I am solely focusing on rotating correctly because my review stresses this. Am I right in saying I should just be focusing on rotating properly?
November 29, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Jackie, Yes, the focus in the takeaway should be on shifting your weight into your right heel, loading into the right glute and then the rotation of the shoulders via pulling your shoulder blade in and down. After that, all you need to do is keep your arms straight and your hands in front of your sternum, then there is a small amount of shoulder elevation and external rotation of the arms to get the toe of the club pointed towards the sky. R.J.
November 29, 2014
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Jackie (Certified RST Instructor)
so should I be visualizing the bucket drill while doing the shoulder blade glide? My review says that my right arm is too far over my left in the takeaway, causing the bucket to tip.
December 3, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Yes, Or visualize pointing your thumbnails towards the sky at the finish of the takeaway. There's a video for it http://www.rotaryswing.com/videos/full-swing-advanced/takeaway/unleash-your-thumbnail-for-power R.J.
December 4, 2014
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Dan
When I do the bucket drill it feels easy to make a full turn. I also have a good feel of the torso pulling the hips along. However, I'm struggling to execute the same full turn with the torso once I get a golf club in my hand. I also feel like my hips turn on their own once I put a goof club in my hand. Any ideas? Thx
November 21, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Dan, You're likely not anchored into your glutes well enough and that's why your hips are moving before they're supposed to. If we don't load our weight into the right side, our right thigh will externally rotate and the right knee will either start to bend horizontally away from the ball or it will rotate in that direction because we're not supporting the hips with our glutes and hamstrings. When you're doing your stance, are your ankles rolled inward? That helps to support the hips a lot. Check out your setup and weight transfer videos to make sure there aren't any errors there that may be causing you to allow early hip rotation. Also, if you're having trouble with rotation, try relaxing as much as you can. Any tense muscles that you have won't be able to rotate properly. R.J.
November 21, 2014
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Dan
After watching "The Bucket Drill" I just realized how flat of a plane the shoulders turn on in the take away and backswing. Is it correct that the shoulders turn on a completely horizontal plane?
November 8, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Dan, It depends on how much axis tilt that you need in order to address the ball properly. It has a lot to do with club length and your body structure. If you tried hitting a lob wedge like that, your head would end up getting in the way of your left shoulder from being able to come through and then you'd stand up out of your spine angle. R.J.
November 8, 2014
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Hallvard
Not sure whether this thread still is being responded to or not but I'll try. My observation is exactly the same as Dan's but I do not really understand R.J.'s response. Could you (someone) please elaborate a little bit more? At e.g. 01:46 in the video Chuck Quinton's shoulders are clearly (more or less) turned on a flat/horisontal plane. I must be missing something, not sure what.
August 14, 2015
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Pierre
I am a new member. I struggle a lot with the takeaway. My right wrist cocks and my right arm bends. I work doing 100 reps a day with the club just for the takeaway and didn't fix that flaw until 2 days. I understood that the right biceps must not sticks on my chest on the right side. That comes from an other teacher who wants me to do the swing with a golf glove underneath my right armpit. I did the reps good but when I had the ball to strike, old pattern came back and shitty thing also (cocking the right wrist to maintain the club parallel to the ground) . NOW, I think to unstick the right biceps and the right wrist doesn't cock. Am I right? If I look at Chuck, I think it's OK and I do that drill putting a bucket on a table at my waist level...looking good!
October 25, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Pierre, There is a little bit of wrist set at the end of the takeaway, but not a full cocking. You also want to keep both of your arms as straight as you can throughout the backswing, this will provide width for your swing, which is free, effortless club head speed. I would suggest throwing down the club and working on the takeaway rotation drills. It sounds like you're pushing from the left side, which will force your right elbow to bend early. Also, the crease in your elbow, make sure that it's facing perpendicular to the target line, which would be away from your body in front of you. If you maintain that elbow crease position throughout your takeaway and backswing, it will be impossible to bend your right arm too early. Don't focus on your right bicep so much. What you need to primarily focus on is pulling your right shoulder blade 2 1/2 inches down and in towards your spine, this is the movement that gets you to the perfect takeaway every time. After you get that rotation down, focus on keeping your right elbow pit facing away from you, by time the takeaway is finished, the forearms will rotate, your thumbnails and right elbow pit will be facing the sky. From there, all you need to do is elevate your arms some more to the bottom of the right pectoral muscle and then fold the right arm straight up. Perfect takeaway, perfect backswing. Every time. R.J.
October 25, 2014
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Mark
When I visualize this drill I usually strike the ball pretty well. I also feel like I'm whipping the club face open. Is that a common concern? How do you find the balance between not "spilling the water" and keeping the clubface properly square going back?
September 25, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mark. There is a touch of rotation in the takeaway. Work on the 5 Minutes to the Perfect Takeaway, blended with this work. You shouldn't run into an issue with spilling the water with an open club face.
September 26, 2014
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js
i have a problem left shoulder tilling too much... my backswing still deep. is there any drill i can really fix it?
September 24, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello JS. Make sure you are pulling the shoulder blade properly down and in. Use the Shoulder Blade Glide Video in the Advanced Takeaway Section. Then, focus on learning how to rotate around the spine properly. Golf Body Rotation Video in the Advanced Downswing Section. Piece both moves together into a good turn that doesn't tilt.
September 24, 2014
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Anthony
Hi I have been advised by an online instructor to do this drill however I notice that my arms tend to follow my shoulder turn direction and get too far behind me and across the line. I am finding hard to blend the move of rotation but at the same time keeping the club in front of me. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Anthony
August 28, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Anthony. Take a look at the 4 Square Drill in the Advanced Backswing Section. You are probably not adding enough shoulder elevation.
August 28, 2014
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Philip
This video has been a real eye opener for me!! I've always struggled with taking the club back closed, instead of being toe up at the 9oclock position my clubface is almost 45degree closed. When doing this drill with my normal takeaway feel the box was tilted towards the target line, 'spilled water' everywhere!! When I concentrated in keeping the box level it felt entirely different in my core muscles, a good different.. Grabbed a club again and performed the takeaway with the feeling of keeping the 'box' level and as if by magic a prefect toe up position,! Very excited about this and looking forward to seeing how it translates to my golf swing... Just looking for confirmation that performing the takeaway with the feeing of keeping the 'box/bucket' level is a ok feeling for me going forward? Day two for me as a member and very impressed so far!
August 27, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Philip. Yes, feeling the box/bucket level is good thing. For more information on it you can take a look at the Unleash Your Thumbnail for Power Video in the Advanced Takeaway Section. Another way to feel and check your position. Thanks for the good feedback!
August 27, 2014
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thomas
JAMES,YOUR INSTRUCTION IS HELPING ME GREATLY I HAVE PLAYED GOLF FOR YEARS BUT DID NOT KNOW WHAT WAS RIGHT OR WRONG.NOW THE ROTARY SWING IS HERE AND ITS THE BEST. THANKS TOM
July 26, 2014
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james (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Thomas, you are welcome! I am glad RST is making a difference and is helping you greatly! Keep it up!
July 27, 2014
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bernie
Chuck, here is another variation to the bucket drill that I have used on the course during a round. Take your club and place your palms on the shaft about 10 to 12" apart with the club across your thighs - standing in your normal address position. Now do your shoulder blade glide (takeaway rotation) with slight arm elevation until your arms reach waist high. At this point the shaft of the club should be parallel to the ground and perpendicular to your address position - not tilting up or down. One additional checkpoint is to ensure that your arms are not pushed behind your body but rather still within the box. By me doing this drill on the course reinforces my takeaway - simulating the bucket drill - while still being within the rules of golf of not using an outside agent or device. Your thoughts please!!!
July 19, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Bernie. Thanks for the input. My suggestion would be to adjust a little of the way you are holding the club. With the hands apart. If you palm the shaft. You are putting the left arm into a position to over rotate. Have the palms face each other and hold the club in between the thumb and index finger. Hands looking just the same as holding a bucket. Instead of palms facing down.
July 19, 2014
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bernie
Great comment. I will adjust my hand location on the shaft as you outlined. Thanks.
July 28, 2014
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Howard
Thanks Chuck. Another GREAT explanation of the part of the golf swing that I've always been a bit confused about. As far as I'm concerned, Rotaryswing.com is the very best instruction on the web, and better then occasional lessons. I can watch them over and over to really instill the lessons into my memory.
July 14, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Appreciate the good feedback Howard!
July 14, 2014
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Robbie
I love this drill! It means I can practice rotation even when I'm travelling a lot. Every hotel room has a waste bin and a decent sized mirror, so no excuses! Thank you!
July 4, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Robbie. Glad you like the drill. Cheap and effective way to get that body rotating!
July 4, 2014
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mike
When I first watch this video, it really seems like a bad method for getting your hands and arms inside way too fast. But after a few practices, the key I found is that the left arm stays out and the right arm stays in, so when the club is starting back there is a "window" between the right and left forearms. This was the key for me. If you get your left arm inside too quick, the right and left forearm match up and the "window" goes away. This video is good for the starting of the club back to the 9:00 point, after that you really need to work on TURNING and NOT LIFTING.
May 20, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Yes, Mike. Just make sure as your trying to keep the left arm out you don't over rotate it and push from the left. Nevertheless, the key is not shoving it too much into your chest.
May 21, 2014
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anne
I notice that my right shoulder easily rises vertically during the take away..how come?
April 27, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Does your shoulder protract and get closer to your ear or is it rotating fully behind your head fully depressed? Make sure your shoulders are fully depress and retracted at the address position and feel as though your are pulling your shoulder blade in towards your center.
April 28, 2014
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adolfo
Chris, thanks for the reviews. I have been working on the drills and the feeling is weird but its working. I'll be playing this sunday so I'll send you a new set of videos.
April 25, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
My pleasure. good luck and play well. Look forward to seeing more progress.
April 26, 2014
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anderson
thank you so much chris; I'll be working on this and look forward to progress.
April 25, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
My pleasure. Look forward to working more with you in the future.
April 25, 2014
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Tushar
Would you recommend with any added weight (1-2 lbs) inside the bucket?
April 22, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Tushar, that is not entirely necessary but sometimes drilling a bit heavy can help with ingraining providing you do not fatigue the muscles before you hit the appropriate rep range needed to start a new movement pattern pathway.
April 23, 2014
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David
What happened to the discussion forum on the new site?
April 5, 2014

This is a very powerful yet simple golf swing drill that will help you learn how to turn your shoulders properly during the golf backswing. All you need is a box or bucket and an imagination! You can also use a medicine ball as the extra weight helps you to engage your core as you begin to turn your shoulders.

                I have in my hands a simple box here, but this drill that I'm going to describe to you's actually called the bucket drill. I don't have a bucket lying around, but I've got plenty of boxes. You're going to get the same idea here. One of the things that's really common in the golf backswing is for people to not really understand how to turn their shoulders versus tilting them, how to move their arms. They start making things overly complicated. They start tilting their shoulders this way or they start turning really flat this way, or they start rolling their arms in, and they don't feel this stuff.

                If you're smart about working on your golf swing, you know that you've got to take a lot of these simple drills and do them over and over again to really develop the feel so that it translates into when you're actually swinging the golf club. This drill is probably one of the most invaluable ones that I can teach you to understand how to actually make that simple move in the backswing, because a lot of people really over complicate this and they mess things up and they end up off from this first instant they move the golf club.

                A simple box or bucket can show you everything you need to know about how to understand how to rotate. Here's all we have to do. Assume your set up position. Hold a box up and imagine that it's full of water. That's why I call it the bucket drill. It's a bucket holding water.

                As I have this here, holding, imagine I don't want to spill water, obviously, I'm not going to tilt it and move it around. All I need to do is turn back and imagine that that's full of water and I wouldn't spill it. If I do that correctly, you can see that I'm turning back and that bucket's not tilting back where I would spill it, it's not rolling in this way. My shoulders aren't tilting this way. All these things, if you just imagine turning and handing this to somebody, handing a pail of water to them, you can turn back correctly every time.

                You're going to notice if you're not doing this correctly, the instant you grab this, if you have a tilt, which is really common, when you start doing this, you're going to feel a lot of strain in your back. When you start doing this, all that strain's going to go away. This is how you rotate. Notice that my spine's leaning away from the target slightly. I'm not tilting this way, getting my arms on top of each other.

                I don't want you to be able to see inside of my bucket either. I don't want it this. That's now my right hand on top of my left. I've spilled my water out and now you can see it in front of the camera. You don't need to be able to see in here. It needs to be level as I go back. As we go down the line, we can see the same things.

                Here's me tilting it. You can see water'd be spilling out here. Water's not spilling out here. As I keep going back, if I just keep that bucket pretty level, you start to get the idea of how your hands and arms and everything work back in sync. Also imagine if you had a pail literally full of water, it'd be pretty heavy. Again, you wouldn't just start swinging your arms across your body. You're going to actually turn, because you're going to use your big muscles in your core to support moving this back.

                It's a great simple drill to teach you how to turn back correctly without doing anything goofy. The rotation in the back swing is really a pretty natural move, if you just imagine turning, shaking somebody's hand, turning and handing them something, or use this bucket drill, you'll finally start to understand how to create true rotation in the swing without doing anything to mess up your movements going back, and it'll really simplify things for you in the take away.

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