Role of the Right Foot in Downswing

Footwork is a bit of a misnomer in the golf swing but you hear it every week on TV. What is it and how do you do it? This video shows you the critical importance of what the right foot should do in the downswing and why.

  • The right foot should stay on the ground, rolled slightly inward, for as long as possible
  • The heel doesn't come up until it's pulled up in the follow through
  • For the drill, keep the right food down - just roll inward - until arms are in the 9:00 position
  • Start with half shots and exaggerate the drill by keeping the heel on the ground the entire time
  • When it does come up, the right heel should not break the vertical plane on the outside of the foot

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Nathan
Had an instructor tell me to keep my heel down like this but I hit a lot of fat shots doing so. Any tips
April 5, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nathan. The foot will have to lift. You don't want to glue it to the ground. The main point is just don't push off of it too early creating early extension. Sounds like you hit it fat because you glued it and lacked sufficient weight transfer.
April 6, 2021
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James
So, with this being said, is this kinda the same move that Billy Casper did? it looks like it. He also advocated pulling from the left at the top of the backswing. It seems Billy Casper slid his right foot, but the same theory right? Anyways, so on a shot one wants to put it into the fairway (i.g. control) should the right foot come off the ground at all? or acceptable after the hands have cleared impact? Furthermore, would the most common injury prone area of a golfer be the L4 L5 region on the right side side of the spine?? Assuming, if one drive off the right foot too much, (in medical terms) the trochanter would slam the acetabulum, in turn driving the hips out of place and losing spine angle and then shoulder angle etc? it ultimately leads to a cluster, right? plz lemme know if i'm thinking correctly. p.s. this is revolutionary stuff. genius. Thanks so much
December 19, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. I apologize. I am not that familiar with Billy Casper's thinking or mechanics. The trail foot may roll onto the instep, but shouldn't leave the ground until the club is fully released. Yes, L4-L5 is very common an injury prone area for trail foot pushers. Loss of spine angle and tush line. You are thinking about it correctly. Pushing excessively with the foot not only hurts accuracy, but the body.
December 19, 2019
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M. (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi Graig, Hope for your help to understand the role of the right foot. In this video Chuck does stress to keep right foot on ground until impact. In the Ebook, chapter 10 it is mentioned that at impact the right heel is of the ground. In my mind I now have a picture that at post up foot is still on ground, slightly rolled in and then at impact heel is little off the ground. Is that correct?
December 15, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Marcel. The trail foot should be rolled onto the instep. When you are trying to reach lift off position (hitting the driver a long way) the trail foot will have to come off the ground slightly. However, for all stock shots there isn't a reason to have the complete heel off the ground at impact.
December 15, 2019
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M. (Certified RST Instructor)
Thank you Graig! I am not sure if I should contact you with questions about the Ebook. Because I work with both, videos and Ebook at same time, question come up. My Ebook question now is: In book Move 1 to 4 are mentioned, but for me it is not completely clear how these Moves are defined. My thought is Move 1 is takeaway, Move 2 is rotation, Move 3 is downswing and Move 4 is impact. Is this correct?
December 16, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Marcel. Move 4 would be more considered follow through. But, you are on the correct path.
December 16, 2019
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M. (Certified RST Instructor)
Understood Graig! I was a bit confused because the text in follow through chapter begins with "The "Last" move .... and then a number of centenses later release is mentioned aspart of Move 4. So I figured Move 4 must be impact!
December 16, 2019
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Roger (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Chris, Thanks again for my recent review and the positive comments about my swing plus the direction on how to move forward! I do have a question in that regard. Would you please review and tell me specifically which mechanical component you believe is the biggest single contributor to my right foot and knee being overactive in my transition and downswing. I’ve spent some time doing 9-3 drills and have good success but at speed the right side demon returns. I know that there are many swing components that can cause this I.e., improper weight shift and loading of the right side, over or under rotation of the hips in the backswing and downswing, lack of execution in the squat to square, right elbow or right arm not in front of hip or to bent in the downswing, under rotation of the core or chest at impact, etc. I believe strongly in drills and often rely on them with students to elicit a response positively in other areas of their swings. Regards Roger Dunning
October 24, 2019
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi Roger, you are doing so great with your swing even in the midst of battling with some health issues. The issue is stemming from too much right leg drive at high speed. Lets start working on perfecting the leg work in a condensed environment like 9 to 3.
October 24, 2019
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Nicholas
Hi Chris i just wanted to say thanks for the swing review. Do you think I could get more out of my practice by working on experimenting with ball flight stuff on the range? I feel like i have been working on the RST technival stuff for about two years now, and I dont really know what else to do. I got my posture a little more bent from the hips and my hands a little higher at the top like you suggested. It just made my ball flight a touch higher
October 18, 2019
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi Nicholas, my pleasure and yes for sure that is a good idea. We need to monitor ball flight from one review to the next. Keep me posted on how the ball flight is when you submit the next review
October 24, 2019
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Nicholas
Ok cool
October 24, 2019
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Edward
Love your drills and glad I became a Premium member. I’m wondering if you have any plans to establish a streaming video channel via Roku, Amazon Fire, or Google Chromecast devices. That capability would allow members to avoid having to sign in every time we want to see some videos.
September 27, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Edward. There will be lots of changes to come. I know you can airplay with apple tv right now. But, since most of our stuff is flash based, etc.. We have to make some changes soon. When we start upgrading the site (currently behind the scenes) that is definitely something I will let the higher ups know.
September 27, 2019
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Stephen
I have found splaying my feet like a duck, especially my right foot makes it much easier to not push off with my right foot and splaying my left foot also makes it easier to post up. It seems to make it easier to keep my weight over my ankles as opposed to on the balls of my feet. Do you see any problems with this approach?
September 25, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Stephen. Take a look at Should You Splay Your Feet Video and Sam Snead Squat Video. It's okay to have a little splay for internal hip mobility improvement. And, sounds like you are doing a little of the Snead Squat when you splay the trail foot. Make sure you don't over rotate the hips back though.
September 25, 2019
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Bob
If the right heel stays on the ground at impact, at what point after impact should the heel come up to the finish position?
September 17, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Bob. Once the club is fully released at 3 O'Clock, then the heel may come up.
September 17, 2019
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Nicholas
Hi I just wanted to thank Chris for the swing review and didn't knkw where else to post these comments. Thanks again
July 28, 2019
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
My pleasure Nick. I look forward to working more with you.
July 30, 2019
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M. (Certified RST Instructor)
I have done a number of reps, keeping the right foot down and roll inside mostly at a slow speed and, when in the course at 50% swing speed. I now get pain in area Lig. collaterale tibiale (inside rear knee). I practice in front of mirror but cannot detect what I do wrong.
June 19, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Marcel. I haven't heard much of this pain before from turning off trail leg push. I believe one of our instructors would need to see the move to correctly diagnose the issue. Can you tell when the pain happens during the swing?
June 19, 2019
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M. (Certified RST Instructor)
The pain does arise during the downswing, the moment the pressure shifts to the inside of the rear foot and the knee comes a little to inside. Thanks for helping Craig.
June 19, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Marcel. Take a look at the Preventing Hip Pain Video. I want you to try the drag the foot drill towards the end of the video. Make sure your are pulling with the inner lead thigh adductors versus any push from the trail leg.
June 19, 2019
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M. (Certified RST Instructor)
Watching the video from Chris and the Core Rotation video from Chuck I wonder what the rear leg needs to do in the downswing. I know the foot needs to roll inside keeping the foot on the ground, a little heel coming up is oke but what else must happen to the leg, should it straiten up as the lead leg or does it need to keep the bend it has at the end of backswing. Maybe I keep it to much bend. I tried to straiten the leg more during downswing to impact and that feels better. Not sure if this is correct?
June 19, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Marcel. It shouldn't straighten a lot during the post. But, the trail leg is basically off. I don't want you actively pushing off the ground with it. I kinda prefer the dead to you feeling.
June 19, 2019
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John
Hi Chris, when I work on this drill I feel an early throwing motion at the ball with my right hand and I am hitting it thin. My backswing feels short and I can't seem to get my timing down. Is there something specific I should focus on, or just get more reps in?
May 8, 2019
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi John, I would need to see you performing the drill in a swing review to see exactly what is going on. If you are throwing it a bit early, then you can do this drill with the right hand and arm off the club for a while then slowly start to add the right arm back to it. Send over the drill in a swing review and let me take a close look at all of the moving parts. Thanks much. - Ct
May 12, 2019
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Blake
Hey RJ Jones - In my comments with my recent video review submission, I forgot to ask: in shifting my weight to my lead foot, how much do I move my UPPER BODY over my lead foot? It may be that my forward upper body movement (which I recently added) is causing the over the top I am experiencing. But I am not sure how to shift my weight effectively without including the upper body moving forward. Thanks!! Blake
April 9, 2019
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
The weight shift and upper body movements are independent of one another. If you get into your stance and shift your weight to the right foot and then back to the left foot without any rotation or any other movements, it would look like your upper body is just sliding back and forth, axis tilt stays the same so it wouldn't be swiveling back and forth, it would slide with the hip movement. I will explain it more thoroughly in the video.
April 9, 2019
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Blake
Thanks RJ. Videos are on the way..
April 8, 2019
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
awesome, thank you
April 9, 2019
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Blake
Hey, RJ Jones. Blake here, one of your students. Hi BJ. Blake here, one of your students. I have worked hard at the change we discussed, keeping my trail foot down longer, as per this video. I also watched all the weight shift videos, including pulling yourself over by using the inside thigh muscles of my lead leg to get into neutral joint alignment. It worked great. But I’ve got a big problem: my club shaft is now steepening greatly on the downswing and coming straight down and over the top. I can’t figure out why. Before I send any swing videos, I wondered if there was a classic, well documented explanation for why the change with my feet and hips would cause this problem. Thanks!
April 8, 2019
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
When you allow the right heel to come up off the ground and your pelvis moves in towards the ball, it causes the upper body to tilt backwards or stand-up, this also shifts the swing plane backwards and making it look on plane when it was the equivalent to being "over the top" all along. So now that you have your hips back on the tush line and the right heel down, it's likely exposing a previous issue that you didn't know that you had. We'll definitely be able to tell for sure when we look at it on video.
April 8, 2019
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Giap
When the right foot comes up early, can that cause the club to drop under the plane and ends up being a push or hook?
March 31, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Giap. Some players that push off early with their trail foot will end up adding too much secondary axis tilt due to the push. That will drop the club under plane and require the hands to play catch up from the inside leading a push, or hook.
April 1, 2019
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John
It seems to me that one of the primary reasons the right heel comes up is that in the backswing I've put too much weight towards the front of my foot and have not put the weight near the front of my ankle and over the laces. With too much weight on the front you are going to naturally relieve the pressure by pushing up.
February 25, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. The trail heel usually comes up in the backswing because the weight tends to be towards the toes. Therefore, harder to load the trail glute properly and keep the weight balanced over the center of the ankle joint. Work on the Weight Shift Video Part 2 and Load Right Leg Video.
February 25, 2019
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George
When working on this move I feel like I get my body in front of the ball. What drill can I incorporate to help with this?
February 24, 2019
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Dean
Hey George, they always say " feel isn't real" at RST. Have you shot a FO to see if you're stacked and your head is still behind the ball at impact? It might just feel weird but be ok. Take a look and don't trust feel when it comes to these things, it's one true constant that I've learned the hard way.
February 24, 2019
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Jeff
Is a good feeling on downswing to try to keep right foot flat and on the ground vs rolling inward. The force of sitting into left side and posting and starightening left foot and releasing club will roll the right foot up automatically vs consciously trying to do it - good feeling to try?
February 21, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jeff. Some players may need the exaggeration in the beginning to keep it flat. Ideally, the weight/post will start to bring it naturally onto the instep. But, to start initial training for major pushers it can help to exaggerate a little. Then, you need to start allowing the roll in.
February 21, 2019
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Nicholas
Hi Craig. Nick here. I find that my right heel doesn't get high in the downswing, but then through impact my right knee kicks a little toward the target line and i flip the club with my right hand a little. Otherwise, impact looks good from both face on and down the line. Would really appreciate your thoughts. Thanks
January 6, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nicholas. Work on this video to help you release while holding the impact position. It will also help with the trail side and hand push. Play The Best Golf Of Your Life in 6 weeks | 4 of 6 Video.
January 6, 2019
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Nicholas
Thanks for the quick response Craig. Are you guys totally against letting the head rotate toward the target a la henrik stenson or david duval? I have only been doing that for about the last 15 years, and i hate keeping my eyes focused on the ball.
January 6, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nicholas. Ideally, the head will be quiet. I have worked with tour pros on this issue because of the copy with Duval. It will effect club head speed and accuracy. Where the eyes go the head goes, and where the head goes the body goes. It tends to make the player more of a body releaser.
January 6, 2019
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Nicholas
So interesting. I started doing that around 2001 after watching annika killing everybody. I tried it and hit the ball awesome for about two weeks and never thought about it again. I always worried that keeping my head down and back with the eyes fixed on the ball for too long would promote incorrect hand action and flipping (forearms crossing over right after impact). Thanks again for your comments. This is the first time i've ever thought about decelerating my body to get the club to release correctly
January 6, 2019
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Alfredo
A very good video, usually with the short irons 58 ° to the west, did not raise the right foot even in the termination, but with wood I can not control it, any suggestions?
December 30, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Alfredo. Sadly, it just takes practice and time to control the trail foot issues in the downswing.
December 31, 2018
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Nacho
Hi Craig! Hope you’re doing well. Pls correct me of i’m wrong but keeping the rige heel down is a byproduct of pulling from the left oblique-hip in transition not a end. I found that of you move from the right side (left) the heel remains stick instó the ground. Chuck, by the way, Fernando is making the whole Indy champ next year (apart from the WEC). Located btw CA. and FL.
September 19, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nacho. Thanks. I hope you are doing well too! Yes, if you move properly from the lead side and don't push with the trail side the foot will behave. I will let Chuck know .
September 19, 2018
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Steve
Only SLIGHTLY off-topic, but: In these Colorado videos, whose house is over the hill to collect all these balls??? Somebody is making a killing....
September 18, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Steve. Haha. I think these balls are lost forever. However, you are giving me an idea.
September 18, 2018
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John
When I keep my right heel on the ground and I just roll my foot I can’t get my hips open to a 45degree angle at impact. Is there something I can do to get my hips open. I believe you need your hips open to get shaft lean at impact. John
September 12, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. The goal with the hips would be 30-45 degrees open at impact. Make sure you are pulling with the lead oblique to clear the hips. You should have enough mobility to reach this position with the foot off the instep. Take a look at You Hit the Golf Ball With Your Legs.
September 12, 2018
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James
I just love this video and I can't say I have seen it before and have made it a favourite in my video kibrary, is it new and perhaps an updated version of an older version? It is something I am working on with Craig and this really makes it crystal clear but one point I want to clarify is I am working more on holding the right heel down as I come into impact rolling on to the instep, as when I just work on rolling only on to the right instep I tend to let the heel come up a bit early. The bad swing is very much like what I used to do with right knee spinning out with the heel very much off the ground by the time I got to impact. Another habit I did occasionally with a driver, was the Gary Player right step through to try and make sure I transferred my weight through but nearly always was off balance; sometimes I hit a good shot but not consistently enough. So I am working like crazy indoors and out on this drill - with my new video gadget, LiveView Plus it is helping a lot to keep an eye on the right foot as I do a short swing. Many thanks Chuck for a great video; this is my main drill for the next few weeks to get this working fluently. Attached is one of my better drills using a short swing but no ball.
September 12, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. Glad you like the video. It's just an updated version of our older video. Same concept though. For now if you have to exaggerate the heel staying down to stop pushing that is okay. Ideally, you will get enough lead side dominant that you can allow for the roll onto the instep to insure you get enough weight transfer and the hip can open up enough.
September 12, 2018
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James
I have been doing an analysis of this movement, rolling over to the right instep. I have observed that when the move is done wrong, heel lifting off the ground early, the right knee points almost at the ball at impact. When rolling over to the right instep, the knee points more to a point about a foot ahead of the ball going towards the direction of the target. Quite a difference and it does feel like you are working your right side towards target and not spinning outwards, losing control of direction. For golfers trying get more consistency I think this must be about the best drill for the downswing.
September 13, 2018
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Fred
Chris, I like the drill and feel it helps. I'm making progress after laying off for a few weeks of vacation and travel. Fred
August 12, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Fred. Glad you like the drill. Managing the trail foot is a must for proper foot work.
August 13, 2018
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Jarek
Does leaving the whole inside of the right foot down through impact apply to all clubs? It seems harder to do with the 3-wood and especially the driver. It looks like in the model driver swing of Chuck in self analysis that his heel comes off early. Can you shed some light on this?
July 24, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jarek. Yes, the heel should stay off the instep for all clubs. Good catch. His heel needs to be down just a slight bit more.
July 24, 2018
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Jarek
I can see the logic of this move and also have experienced benefits from these drills. My only confusion lies in that so many of the pro golfers that I watch in slow-mo have the trail heel come up so fast in the down swing. Why the difference?
July 12, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jarek. Not the current Masters Champ . But, yes I agree. You will see that from a lot of players. However, just because a pro does it. This doesn't mean its bio-mechanically and anatomically correct. Take a look at Who Cares What Tour Pros Do Video, Eliminating Early Extension, and Right Foot Brake.
July 12, 2018
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stephen
Craig I was practicing this drill in a mirror along with the rotation drill and noticed how my hips were moving--they moved from about 40-45 degrees closed to 35-40 degrees open at impact. Is that correct? By the way, the reason I have not yet submitted a video is that I have had a lot of conventional lessons and get the ideas and practice the moves in a mirror to make sure performing correctly. My major fault, aside from using too much right side like everybody, is getting off the right side. The rotation with weight shift drills are helping with it. After I finish the rotation section I will submit a video and see if I need to dive back in to some specific area(s) before I move on.
June 24, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Stephen. Yes, that is correct with the hips. No worries about the review. If you get stuck and don't believe you are doing the drill correctly. You can always submit the drill and we will be happy to check it.
June 25, 2018
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jason
I just had my first swing review and it was eye opening. "Role of the Right Foot" was one of the recommended drills. Should I also do this drill with the Rotary Connect attached to my legs? It seems a bit mechanical, but definitely keeps the lower body in check.
April 25, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jason. It will seem a bit mechanical. But, you can still perform the move with it. Glad you enjoyed your first swing review.
April 26, 2018
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Steve
This is my first comment as i just joined but I must say I loved this video. There are two things that make this teaching system so powerful, the bio-mechanical cause and effects of both a good and bad swing (exposing fraudulanet teaching methods) and the stacking component for practice. I have vowed not to touch a club for a month and I will put in the thousands of reps needed to rebuild my swing. I do not want to even see a ball until my muscle memory has changed. I realize this is going to be really hard, but when Chuck talked about hitting next to Tiger on the range one day and all he did was move his club back to waist level for 45 minutes without hitting a ball, I knew right then that's what it takes. I can't wait for this to pay off becaue I know the teaching is sound and I have the work ethic to implement it.
April 9, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Steve. Great post. We are happy to help you along your journey. Please let us know if you have any questions. Yes. Remove distractions (ball, etc.) and start changing your movement patterns.
April 9, 2018
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Adam
I like to focus on what muscles I feel firing. When I do this drill, after I "squat to square" I feel the inner front thigh fire as I post up, then the front obliques fire to pull my arms/hands/club through. Is that the feel I should be looking for? ( I prefer to use front/back or leading/trailing rather than right/left since I'm a left-handed golfer living in a right-handers world ).
April 7, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Adam. Feeling the inner thigh lead adductors is great for pulling the weight. When you post you should feel more the lead glute firing and the lead oblique clearing the hips to allow the arms to swing into impact.
April 7, 2018
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William
It seems then that we need to correctly know all RST components to know which RST components the model swings represent and the ones that don't represent RST.
March 20, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello William. Completely understand your point. Stick mainly with the Chuck Swings . At some point we are going to update the database.
March 20, 2018
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William
Are all the model swings meant to demonstrate Rotary Swing's teaching philosophy? I struggle with the right foot rolling onto the instep without my knee turning in as well. Adam Scott is considered to have a picture perfect swing. In his Driver DTL swing presented among the model swings his right heel starts coming off the ground just after his hands pass his waist on the downswing. Would you change that if he came to you for lessons?
March 20, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello William. The model swings represent components of RST. Not everyone has the perfect RST build. Ideally, Adam or anyone for that fact doesn't need to be pushing off the trail foot too early coming down.
March 20, 2018
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Robert
This excercise was the missing link for me, although I did it on my own from a comment Chuck made in an earlier video. Now I see the thing in action with Chuck applying it. I agree with Mark that the examples of Chuck make all the difference.
December 7, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Robert. Happy you found the missing link and thanks for the feedback.
December 7, 2017
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Mark
Excellent video. Great to see the examples at the end; they help me to visualise myself keeping the heel down. I guess the the fact that the trail foot is rolled in is evidence that it is not pushing!
November 15, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mark. Thanks for the post. Yes, rolled in is the preferred spot to check and see if you are pushing versus pulling.
November 15, 2017
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Ian
Hi- Throughout my time playing golf I have been taught to swing "in the barrel". I note in the video that Chuck 's leading hip goes beyond this barrier on the downswing which according to this teaching would be considered sliding. Even reconising NJA it seems to go too far. I have great trouble in keeping my trail foot down and not sliding too much.
October 16, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ian. The goal is to get the lead hip stacked over the lead ankle joint and not going beyond the hip socket wall. If you swing "in the barrel" you won't be able to shift your weight effectively which will hurt numerous items in the golf swing. Take a look at Fixing Your Weight Transfer and Preventing Hip Pain.
October 17, 2017
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Peter
Great video, I struggle with that very often to overuse the right side. Easy way not to "break" the glass plane is, put a small bottle outside the heel of the right foot, which should remain in place during the whole swing.
September 9, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Peter. Thanks for the post for different tricks to help our members.
September 9, 2017
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John
I was given this drill to work on by Chris. I noticed that sometimes when I am working on the drill, I hit pulls or pull hooks (most of the shots go straight). My divot on those pull shots is pointed left of my target. What causes that and what should I do to fix it? Thanks!
July 3, 2017
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi John, You could be trying to spin your upper body too much through the hitting area now. Make sure at impact you hips are open around 35-45 degrees and your shoulders are square to the target line. If the shoulders are open and you are using to much right hand and shoulder, the shots you speak of will be produced. Good luck and hope that helps.
July 6, 2017
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John
Thanks Chris..that helps a ton. It matches exactly what I feel. When I hit these pulls I feel the right shoulder powering through. When I hit good shots, it feels passive. Btw, this drill is magic for me. When I do it properly, the ball rockets off the face with minimal effort.
July 6, 2017
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Glad to help John and I'm pumped to hear that you are getting such good results with your changes. Keep working at it and we are here to support you always.
July 6, 2017
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T David
Question on the the right arm... Near the end of the video, Chuck says to shift the weight and fire the right arm. I have been trying to keep the upper body quiet going into the downswing and focus on the lower body. So, I am confused with the "fire the right arm" comment. What does this mean? Are they any other videos that talk about this concept?
June 19, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. Sledgehammer and Throw the Ball. However, you (Dave) don't need to focus on firing your trail side because you are already enough trail side dominant. It will be working even when you don't think it is.
June 19, 2017
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Matt
This is a solid video. I've favorited it because I believe this should be my only swing thought on the downswing. Keeping swing thoughts down to at most 3 is a lot better than before. I know I'm a big hip spinner. I will say, the thought of going from right heel on my backswing, and now right heel pushed inward for the downswing, is making me feel very confident.
May 28, 2017
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Hector
I try to do this drill but always I push with my right foot !!! Do you have to feel a little of push with the rolling of the right foot or the left side move or the squat it is completely done with the left side !!!
March 3, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Hector. You shouldn't have to push with the trail foot. Especially, because you diagnose yourself as a hip spinner. The trail side needs to be completely off.
March 3, 2017
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Elizabeth
Hello. Love video. Been working proper right leg and foot work with right foot rolled in at impact. Question is does this change for each club length / speed. For example shorter clubs foot is down. Long irons, fairway woods, and then driver foot does come up prior to impact?
January 26, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Elizabeth. For most stock full shots the trail foot will react the same.
January 26, 2017
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Antonio
This is a great video. I'm a hip spinner and my right foot tends to come up too early in my downswing, which leads to unconsistent shots, and many shots hit off the toe. I've been recording my swings and the only way I can correct this problem is too feel that I'm swinging with my arms (left arm) and leaving my body very quiet. Not sure this should be the correct feeling as we have been told that the body should be the main driver of the swing. I guess I've been over exagerating the use of my hips and now it could make sense to feel as I'm only swinging with my arms. Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks for your help
November 9, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Antonio. The lead side still helps pull the lead arm down (Step 4) Video. But, considering how much you over use the hips and body. It can feel like the arms are falling and working through with a good release.
November 9, 2016
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Antonio
Ok thanks for the feedback Craig. I'll recheck step 4 and send a new video for analysis to check out if I'm on the right track. Kind regards and congrats for the site and your dedicated work.
November 9, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Antonio. Yes, use the review for analysis. Happy to help. Thanks and appreciate your support of our site.
November 9, 2016
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T David
Great video! This is one of my key points I keep working on, as I watch this one over and over. However, I did notice that Chuck mentions a couple times on the downswing to "fire the right arm" after the weight shift to the left... This had me a bit confused since another video on the release is to have the right hand be a backseat passenger. Did he really mean to say... fire with the left hand through impact? Thanks in advance for your clarification.
October 4, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. Yes. Fire with the left hand. The right hand is only used once the RST Swing is mastered and then it still is unnecessary. Only minimal speed gains.
October 4, 2016
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T David
Got it. Thanks, Craig.
October 4, 2016
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Yuefeng
Hi Craig, in my review you mentioned my right foot got off the ground too quickly during the downswing. I'm not very sure if I understand the cause very clearly - I don't think in the weight shift I used my right foot to push off the ground, nor did I spin my hip or upper body too fast. I actually feel there is little weight in my right foot so that's why it can get off the ground easily. I wonder what's the real cause in my case? Thanks a lot.
July 6, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Yuefeng. This is a very common question from students. With In-Person Lessons I can prove very quickly that it is trail side push. Even with the lack of weight bearing on the trail foot. The motion of lifting can still be ingrained to move vertical or towards the ball. For example, from the top if you just shift your weight (from the lead side) your right foot never moves. But, you weight is on the lead side with little weight bearing on the trail foot. Take a look a You Hit the Golf Ball with Your Legs Video for more understanding.
July 7, 2016
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Yuefeng
Thanks Craig. I'm still a bit confused after watching the video - when you said trail side push, which part of the body were you referring to in my case that "lifted" my right foot?
July 8, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Yuefeng. The trail hip is primarily the main culprit. And, a little bit of trail leg drive.
July 8, 2016
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Yuefeng
Thanks Craig. Could you clarify what shall be the correct movement of trail hip during downswing?
July 10, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Yuefeng. The trail hip should be passive. You want the rotation to be pulled through. The glute will be engaged to help with stabilization and maintaing tush line.
July 11, 2016
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Greg
Not sure how to pose this question. I was struggling with getting my weight into my left ankle on a simple pitch shot, it was too far towards the ball of my foot. So I experimented with rolling my right ankle, but even then at times it was too far forward on the follow through. Then I tried feeling like the right foot stayed down on the follow through and the weight ended up on the left ankle. I tried it with a driver and if I allowed the weight shift to pull the right ankle as Chuck demonstrates the weight goes firmly into my left ankle on the follow through. There is a definite weight shift to the left but my upper body feels very centered between my feet. I have been struggling losing spine angle and a slight slide to the left with the upper body on the downswing. Does this sound like I'm on the right track or too confusing.
May 19, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Greg. Sounds like you are on the right track, but take a look at a few videos for me to make sure impact is proper. Step 1 - 2 of the RST 5 Step System. It will make sure you shift the weight and post up without pushing or losing spine angle.
May 20, 2016
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Jason
Jack Nicklaus reported that his earliest teaching was to roll the ankles. IE roll the left ankle on back swing and roll the right ankle on downswing. This ensures weight transfer. When I roll to the right foot instep, it does make me move left. I also forget about my upper body while doing so. I tend to upper body dive when a ball is there. I am not sure if rolling the right foot on downswing to the right instep is technically a push or not, but when I do, I think for once in for all, I am weight and hip left.
May 7, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jason. Yes, Nicklaus did teach that type of weight shift motion with the feet. Take a look at the Weight Shift Drill (Step 1 - RST 5 Step System) to continue getting the proper feeling. It does sound as though you are on the proper track.
May 7, 2016
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Dan
I enjoyed the article and it makes a lot of sense, but my right side (back and lats) is very sore. I lacked a lot of distance working on this drill. I'm not the most flexible, but keeping my right foot down hurt my right side, shortened my distance, and caused me to start flipping because I couldn't get through the shot, any thoughts?
January 28, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dan. You need to allow the momentum of the release to pull you through the shot. It sounds like you are holding back too much. Take a look at the Right Knee Downswing Drill as a supplement to this video. After impact allow yourself to get pulled through the shot. Make sure you release properly and keep the lead arm swinging through (Fix Your Release Video).
January 29, 2016
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Carole
Craig.... I am a hip spinner. But not because I push with the right, but rather because I pull too much from the left.. so much that I slide/pull my hips past NJA. When I've shifted to the left (lead side), I've pulled my right foot up onto the toe which I know eliminates any hope of stopping the hip spin. (i.e., no brakes). I'm working on slowing the hips but also working on this right foot roll move. In the process, I'm stuggling with understanding how much weight to KEEP on the right because I believe I've shifted too much onto the left with almost no weight on the right. I noticed in a different video post section that you mentioned something about the RIGHT glute and can't find the post right now. So my question is: about how much weight should be on the RIGHT as you come into impact and at impact and should I be feeling anything in the right glute. I may need to be feeling more weight and pressure on the right just to stabilize my lower body (I lose balance a lot). ???? Thanks for your responses. They're always timely and informative and I learn a lot from the posts after each video.
December 2, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Carole. The weight will be 80-90% on the lead side stacked over the ankle joint. Very little weight on the trail foot. If you take a look at the Perfect Impact Bonus Video Chris will help with a drill to feel the trail glute back. You might need to feel more trail glute engagement (clinch) versus weight to help stall the hip from spinning through. Appreciate the compliment on my posts and timely responses.
December 2, 2015
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Carole
Thanks, Craig. That clarification on the right glute engagement vs weight helps. I wasn't feeling any right glute at all once I started to shift left. Also, please pass along my kudos to Chris for his 4-part+ series. I'm using it as a roadmap as I work on each of the various components. He did a really nice job of pulling all the piece-parts together.
December 2, 2015
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gary
There is a disconnect in terms used, ie, You mention the "sitting into the left side" but if I search for that it says "not found". This happens in other videos also; is there an index into videos ? If so where can I find it. Thanks, gary
October 20, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary. That is odd. I just used the search bar and the video popped right up. It is located in the Downswing Section. if you continue to experience difficulty with the search bar. Please contact customer service.
October 20, 2015
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fulbert
For someone who tends to use the right leg too much and hitting blocks, i noticed that with this drill and thought in mind my i tend to hit more hooks or even pull hooks now. Could this be from the arms now can release in front of my body now instead of being stuck? or could i be not shifting enough weight now that my right foot is rolling in the inside instead of pushing off.
October 8, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Fulbert. It is probably now releasing more in front. Nevertheless, get the weight shift proper and work on impact. Perfect Impact Part 1.
October 8, 2015
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Brian
At times, I seem to lift up on my toes on the downswing causing me to lose lag (sort of sling-shotting the club too early it seems). It's a pretty consistent feature of the "bad" swings I've seen when recording my swing at the range. Would this video and any specific drills help me to keep my feet more firmly planted? It's a bad habit that I'm struggling to eliminate completely!
August 28, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brian. Yes, this drill will help with getting on the toes. Also, maintaining your Tush Line better and the Perfecting Lower Body Stability Video will help you get the lower half under control.
August 31, 2015
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Gordon
It seems to be my observation that most of your videos of the tour players rarely keep their right heel on the ground at impact which is contrary to what you are teaching here. Any thoughts why?
August 5, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gordon. A lot of tour players push off their trail foot for power. However, we teach what is optimal for the body and swing wise. It can aid, but the majority of amateurs over do the movement. Once you master a lot of RST components you can add a little push for added power.
August 5, 2015
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Jay
When I do this with the wedges, I see my right foot doesn't allow my hips to turn, thus my right foot isn't all the way on the toes. ( can't see sole of foot 100%) Chuck's wedge shot at the end of this video is exactly what my foot looks like as well. Why is this only with wedges? Full swings I see more bottom of the foot.
July 22, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jay. Momentum and full release helps pull the trail side into the position. You probably aren't creating enough speed due to a quieter release with the wedge to carry you to a full finish.
July 22, 2015
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john
I read in Golf Digest that Hank Haney says you should start downswing by pushing off from inside of the right foot. That sounds counter to Rotary Swing philosophy, correct?
March 2, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. Yes, this is contrary to RST. Only in one circumstance (the player doesn't use or move their hips at all in the swing) would we allow for a little trail foot push. The vast majority of players don't fall in that category.
March 3, 2015
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john
Thanks for confirming my understanding. I am guilty of pushing off my trail foot in the down swing and getting the club stuck behind me. I am trying to begin down with shift of my lower body while keeping my arms fairly passive. Just need more repetitions.
March 3, 2015
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Dan
thanks Aaron. I appreciate it.
January 28, 2015
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Aaron (Certified RST Instructor)
No problem! Good luck
February 2, 2015
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Dan
What If I havw an active right foot (heel coming off the ground, but hips barely rotated past square (i struggle with not enough hip rotation). What is that usually a sign of? Thanks.
January 27, 2015
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Aaron (Certified RST Instructor)
It is tough without seeing a swing, so please utilize our review section of the site. I would venture you actively push off the right foot and collapse the right knee into and toward the ball a bit. You may have very tight hip flexors (if you sit all day) which can restrict the opening of the hips through impact. Work without a club and really practice hip separation. Stand up right, hands on shoulders. Practice rotating your shoulders against your hips in both directions. Then keep your shoulders still, and rotate your hips in both directions. Get used to the seperation and you will find getting into impact will be much easier. AND always, stretch out those hips, hamstrings, and calves.
January 27, 2015
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Grant
Hi Aaron, Have you got a video for the hip separation exercise?? Thanks
January 28, 2015
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Aaron (Certified RST Instructor)
I dont, But by my description I think you can visualize it. If you have questions please let me know.
February 2, 2015
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David
Practiced this drill in the video yesterday for the first time - one of the recommended videos by Craig :- For the drill, keep the right foot down - just roll inward - until arms are in the 9:00 position. For the first time in my golfing career, I could actually feel the club properly release/ feel "stacked" at impact. The ball went on a much more penetrating flight/low slight draw, I could feel I was actually compressing the ball. Great video & drill, for someone like me who has always had their right heel off the ground before impact, the feeling of being grounded & solid at impact is so much more powerful allowing you to release the club correctly through impact. Much appreciated for the recommendation Craig, cant wait to do this drill again on the weekend
January 22, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Great David. Keep up the good work! Glad to help.
January 23, 2015
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Robert
Is it ok to feel like you're always pulling with the left oblique, even through impact? As long as the right foot is nicely anchored the left oblique will naturally be forced to stop. This is because the hips, by way of the right foot, prevent the oblique from moving any further. By then you're at impact and the arms can pass through the body. Is this mechanically correct? I'm trying to break the swing down into a few key moves, backed up by proper mechanics. I have it down to pull, shift, pull, release. But, mechanically while I'm pulling from the left, can I feel like I keep pulling with the left oblique as long as I'm anchored? I've noticed a lot of tour pros look like they never stop rotating when the swing is viewed in slow motion. Hunter Mahan is a good example. There's an Adam Scott swing vision commentary by Butch Harmon where Adam never appears to stop rotating. That always had me wondering how they get the club and arms swinging past their body if their body never seems to stop. But I think the hips breaking, by way of the obliques pulling while the right foot anchors and helps stall the body, answers that question. They are always pulling, but the club snap at impact is the exact point where everything has sequentially stalled and moved up the chain. That point happens at impact and then all that power gets diffused as the body gets pulled around by the swinging arms. Am I making sense? Am I on the right path theoretically?
January 19, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Rob. Even with the trail foot on the ground you can still pull the lead oblique too much to open/spin the hips through impact. The hips have to decelerate into impact. Take a look at Increase Swing Speed by Decelerating and the Acceleration Profile Sequence Video in this Section. With your Hunter Mahan example. He has to overly rotate and pull through impact because of his plane and arm positioning at the top. We put more of an emphasis on using rotation, width, and leverage as the power source versus just Hunter's rotation. The right foot does help as a breaking system, but can't do the whole job for us.
January 21, 2015
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Robert
Thanks Craig I appreciate it. The real bitch of the golf swing is everything is blended, in moderation, and sequential. What a great and terrible game this is! Why can't it all be binary! It'd be so much easier
January 21, 2015
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Grant
Nice slow mo videos at the end. Good job, thanks
January 14, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Grant. Thanks for the post! Appreciate it.
January 14, 2015
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john
In doing this drill with the squat to square drill I notice that it feels like the right foot is twisting clockwise into the ground. Is that the correct feeling or am I over doing something?
November 27, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey John -- clockwise twisting concerns me a bit as that sounds as though you are putting a ton of torque in in the trail side leg and a clockwise movement could put stress on the knee. It also tells me that the weight has probably move too far forward in the foot and has come out of true balance.
November 27, 2014
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john
Hey Chris, so I get that applying pressure while twisting is bad. My question now is should the foot roll directly towards the target and not roll clockwise? Should this happen naturally by pulling from the left?
November 28, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Jon -- Yes that is correct. You may have to be conscious of the rolling to the inside of the foot at first to ensure that you are fully transferring the weight and also not having the heel come up too early which could cause some hip spinning or possibly some early extension of the spine. Once you have gotten enough reps, this move will start to happen as a result from the pulling from the left side
November 29, 2014
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borja
When I squad and put my weight on my left leg and rolled my rigt foot I feel some tension in the back of my right leg. Could be lack of flexibility? Could be a bit wider stance? Or I'm exaggerating the squad?
October 16, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Borja, You could be over exaggerating the rolling of your right foot. You don't want to consciously think about rolling your ankle in, if your weight is distributed properly and your hips are rotating properly, the foot will roll in naturally. Basically, you just don't want your right heel coming off the ground until after impact. If you roll it in too much, it will put a lot of stress on the knee joint and could possibly make the right glute feel tight if you're standing up out of the shot. Everyone is flexible enough, barring any physical disabilities, to perform each of the RST moves. If you're feeling an uncomfortable tension in your leg, you're likely performing the move incorrectly and you would benefit greatly from a swing review from the RST staff. We don't want anyone to get injured so, please send in that review so we can get your issue figured out. I hope this helps, R.J.
October 16, 2014
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Dan
My right heel kicks up a tad early but I think it's because of my left foot problem. I keep my left toe turned out more at address and at impact it spins my left toes out because I can't roll my weight over the left ankle anymore. Part of this is due to me being a slight hip spinner but even when I keep my hips square on a hard swing it forces my left foot to spin out after impact. My body subconsciously started the foot spinning looking for traction. Any recommendations on how to gain mobility of the left ankle or if is there an alternative? Advice would be much appreciated!
September 8, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dan. Focus hard on transferring the weight efficiently with the Weight Shift Part 3 Video in the Weight Shift Section. Also, try the "Stomp Drill" in the Downswing Section to push the heel into the ground and fire the lead glute.
September 9, 2014
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Patrick
This video is HUGE. This was the only thing I focused on today, and shot 69 (-3). Yesterday I shot 85, and haven't broken 80 in 15 rounds. Pure gold.
August 30, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Great Patrick! Love the good feedback.
September 1, 2014
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Mike
I too have used Ballard's idea to push from the right, and it's killed me. I block the ball so consistently that before RST I'd just given up even keeping score when I played. The only time I don't block it is when I get so frustrated that I pull hook it! I can't wait to do this drill a zillion times and finally overcome the uglies. Thanks!
June 16, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Welcome to the light Mike. Push is bad! Pull good!
June 17, 2014
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michael
I love this video. I am a right side hitter and have really got into a bad habit. I have basically tried to keep my right foot on the ground as long as possible. I have always thought you had to hit with right side to get to your left side and I am a 4 handicap. I have actively pushed up my right side. Jimmy Ballard didn't really help me 20 years ago. I hope feeling that my right foot stays on the ground is a good feeling to have. I have actually got into shanking the ball because of my right dominating the downswing. Any feedback would be appreciated, thanks.
June 11, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
This drill will help calm down the right foot action leading you away from the push. If you are having an issues shanking the ball. Chris just released a new video How to Cure the Shank's that will explain in a little more detail what is going on in this same section. Downswing Advanced.
June 11, 2014
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Steve
Is that an alignment rod or a range rope under the golfer's right foot at the end of the video? How does that drill work? I need to improve my right foot movement like you described in this video.
May 18, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
That is a range rope. You can use a range rope or an alignment rod. The purpose is to make sure you still get that weight shifting towards the inside of the right foot as you reach impact, not hanging back. And feeling like it doesn't leave until it gets pulled up, when the arms reach parallel height in the follow through. If you watch the end of the video, Chuck's foot doesn't start to pull up or completely leave the rope until the club is released.
May 18, 2014
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Steve
Thanks Craig.
May 23, 2014

Well, did you catch what I did wrong there? If not, let me hit another one and do it right, and see if you can tell the difference between the two in the downswing.

Did you catch it? If you were looking at my right foot, you were on the right track. The right foot for right-handed golfers is the key to controlling the downswing. That's right. That's how important just changing one simple thing in your swing is to being a consistent and powerful ball striker is by learning to control what the right foot does in the downswing.

The first swing that I did is I push really hard so this heel came up in the air right away. Now, you'll note, as I do this, as I start driving forward, my hip moves forwards. What does that do to my lower back? It straightens it up. This is how you lose the tush line. I've talked about this a lot. When you're talking about losing the tush line, this is how you do it. Apart from losing all my angles, it also allows me to rotate my hips really fast. I can get my hips 90 degrees open before I ever get the club back to the ball.

When I do that, all bets are off. It's going to be very, very difficult for you to ever control the hitting area. That's the most important thing in golf. If you're coming into impact, and all your angles are changing and you're moving very crazily, and then you've gotta just try and save it with your hands, golf is a really frustrating game.

But when you watch a good ball striker coming down on impact, the lower body looks stable and quiet and controlled, and then the arms and hands can release the golf club with a stable platform versus this shaky. You might as well be hitting golf balls in an earthquake when your lower body's moving all over the place by letting this right heel come up in the air.

In our clinics, I have a joke. Every time your right heel comes up in the air, you owe me a hundred bucks. Now, I haven't collected on anybody yet, but I'd be a wealthy man if I did because everybody wants to do this, and it's a huge, huge problem. It takes a little bit time and effort to break this.

The simplest way is to go back to doing 9 to 3 Drills and practice exaggerating keeping it on the ground, but let it roll to the inside. This is important. Watch what happens if I let my foot stay flat. I want you to pay close attention to the position of my left hip as I roll my foot back. What happened? I'm no longer in neutral joint alignment. My hip is well inside my foot. Here, nice straight line. My foot's got a roll slightly to the inside. It doesn't have to be rolled like this. It's naturally going to get pulled up off the side of its foot when you shift enough. This is a great checkpoint when you're doing your 9 to 3 Drills to know that you've shifted far enough left is, is the outside of your right foot light?

If you watched good ball strikers on Tour, that right heel stays down, and that's what gives them so much more control when their body isn't moving all over the place changing all the angles in your swing. Keeping that right foot down rather than pushing off of it is a great checkpoint. I promise you, as soon as you do this, if you're one of those hip spinners, the right foot coming in, knee kicking in, all this stuff, and all of a sudden, you start hitting like this, how much more control are you going to find right away versus everything spinning out of control and trying to time that. It's going to be huge. Commit to practicing this fundamental of letting the right foot roll to the inside, just like you see the Tour players do, instead of pushing and shoving hard off that right foot, and you will gain more control.

Now, with the driver, you'll see even the best ball strikers on Tour, their right heel tends to come up in the air. Not that bad, but tends to come up in the air. It can, but you're going to tend to lose control. That is a power move with the driver to rotate your hips faster, but if your hips are rotating faster, everything has to rotate faster: the arms, everything has to be kept up and in sync. That's hard to do, and that's why when you start really trying to whale on the ball, you start losing control, you start changing all these angles in your golf swing again.

Even with the driver, you can practice keeping that foot down just to get control, and then as you start getting more and more control of your swing and, more importantly, control of your lower body providing a stable platform, then you can start letting it come up a little bit with the driver. I do the same thing. I let it come up because when I'm trying to whale on one, but if I need to put the ball and play off the T, that right heel will be on the ground every single time.

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