5 Minutes to the Perfect Golf Backswing

Once you've mastered the takeaway using our "5 Minutes to the Perfect Takeaway" video, you're ready to begin the process of building the perfect top of the backswing position that even Tiger Woods would envy. Completing the backswing, in many ways, is simply continuing the movements that we did during the takeaway. In this instructional video, we'll introduce right elbow flexion, the position of the right elbow at the top and the internal rotation of the left arm (all for right handed golfers - if you're a lefty, simply switch right for left).

  • You must completely master the setup and takeaway before moving on to the backswing lesson
  • Extend your arms and raise them from belt-high to the bottom of your chest
  • At the top of the elevation, fold your right arm about 90°
  • Grab your left thumb in your right hand and repeat elevation & flexion
  • Once elevation & flexion are mastered, add in posture & rotation
  • Keep the elbow pit facing away and up, never toward you
  • When movement sequence is grooved add the club back in - hold it upside down at first
  • To put it all together, start in setup posture and go through the drills again
  • Next, start in setup and move to the top of the swing in a single motion, first with the club upside down, then held normally

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Merrick
I've been working constantly on my backswing over the last several weeks, with probably 3000 repetitions. What I still can't figure out is how to get any elevation of my arms while keeping my left arm straight. If I don't let my right elbow fly out, when I do the sequence and rotate using my core and pulling with my right side, by the time I've reached my maximum rotation, the highest my hands will go is about an inch below the top of my right shoulder. That affects everything else in the sequence and its difficult to put myself in the right position during transition. I've looked at all of the correct videos including the winter training backswing video. I know it's tough without seeing but I don't have problems with motion restriction and I've had this issue forever. I must be doing something wrong. Any suggestions?
March 16, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Merrick. Tough without seeing. You can post a couple still images here and I may be able to tell. Proper Muscle Activation Video? Side note: Elevation is variable. Not a requirement.
March 17, 2021
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Gary C
Would I be correct in thinking that I want my left arm to extend as far up as it will go to get my hands as wide as possible so long as my arms stay connected to my body. I seem to be struggling with where to stop when I am holding my left thumb and trying to complete the backswing arm movement. Not even to adding right arm rotation or body rotation yet...
November 23, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary. The trail arm will help with support. You don't need to try and max out extension because you will start to protract too much. The trail arm will be the governor of width. Allow it to be your guide. Also, good video on this topic is the Winter Golf Training Program - Backswing Video.
November 23, 2020
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Gary C
Thanks! That video you mentioned definitely clarified things for me. Now I am wondering, from a practice standpoint, how the Winter Golf Training Program Backswing video squares with what chuck is talking about in Dead Drill Step 4. They seem pretty similar. Should I practice the drills from the 5 Min To The Perfect Backswing video as well as continuing to work through the Dead Drills (I am currently on DD Step 3) or would DD Step 4 start to work on the same concepts from the 5 Min Backswing video in maybe a more streamlined or natural way. I have a tendency to overthink things so I am looking for the most efficient path to mastery, not a shortcut. Definitely dont want to practice something twice if one way or the other would accomplish the same goal faster or better, especially since I tend to overthink things.
November 24, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary. Dead 4 and Winter Backswing will play nicely together. Only use the 5 Min series if you need deeper learning/refining of the position once you start adding the trail arm and struggle with said position.
November 24, 2020
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Nick
Hey Craig, On the step of flexing the trail arm, it seems the natural tendency of my left (lead arm) tends to bend too, even with minimal elbow flexion of trail arm. I've made the 2 adjustments that Chuck mentions and that seems to help - that is keeping the trail elbow crease facing up (forearm supination) and angling my lead hand (forearm pronation) when the R. elbow goes into flexion... but it seems like a natural tendency of the lead arm to follow the trail arm during this "Elbow Flexion" step. What exactly do I have to do to prevent this??... And I don't flex my trail elbow that much either
October 29, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nick. As the trail elbow folds it will bring the hands slightly across centerline. This is normal. Take a look at How to Keep the Left Arm Straight Video. The lead will rotate. If you folds you are either folding the trail elbow too much, or not allowing for the internal rotation from the lead shoulder socket.
October 29, 2020
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Thomas
Hi Craig many thanks for answering my question the other day cheers, quick question is it fair to say with regards to the elevation & body turn at the top of the take away, we just continue the elevation so the elbows are inline with the bottom of the chest whilst at the same time completing the 90 degree shoulder turn & the flexion of the right arm so (all 3 movements at the same time continued) & if need be add some humorous bone movement to get on plane at the top, wasn't sure as Chuck did the final full move all in one piece from address & not a continuation of the top of the take away many thanks in advance.
September 28, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Thomas. As you continue up from the takeaway the arms will elevate to the base of the pectorals, trail arm fold no more than 90 degrees and add a little ext humeral rotation. It will be a blended movement and not completely separate pieces.
September 29, 2020
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Thomas
Hi Craig many thanks again I have been working on the take away drills for some time now (mirror work) next important step for me is the full back swing, so from a feel point of view blending the elevation & the flexion should I initiate these blended from the top of the takeaway firstly as I start to finish the rotation at the same time from 45 degree's to 90 degree shoulder turn completion or just feel like all 3 are happening at the same time ?. Also I have still been playing golf difficult transition for me as I was always been right hand dominant 20 plus years & taking inside to much & all power with the right side at impact, so many pulls & straight shots with no real good energy transfer or good potential for consistency & distance so many thanks to Rotary Swing for the course. I have been working on the dead drill too very much over the last 3 weeks (maybe 1500 reps) the only thing im struggling with most times is getting stuck not all the time but occasionally leading to the odd shank & push slice seems the club is late & open at impact, watching one of Chucks vids on YouTube (most powerful way to sequence the downswing) I noticed the girl got stuck too a few times im doing the same thing with my trail arm/elbow stuck to the side of my body at squat to square, do you think this may be the reason I may be shanking or 45 degree mid high slice ?. Will post a review soon just wondered if this could be the reason cheers..... Sorry for the long winded question & some not related to the back swing
October 2, 2020
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Thomas
Sorry wrote that wrong not squat to square but at the post up move I get stuck Craig been watching Chris's release video's to which have helped as I dont get stuck all the time its like one in 10 swings I need to work on this but obviously first things first Back swing
October 2, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Thomas. They won't be all at the same time. But, think about it like a hammer. As the arm elevates it will gradually being elevation, flexion and wrist set to a full backswing/cocked back position. I would check to make sure you aren't too deep at the top and that the tush line is maintaining to not get stuck. Check body and depth.
October 2, 2020
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Thomas
Many Thanks Craig appreciated !
October 2, 2020
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Jim
I’ve had a right shoulder reconstruction and my elbow flies and simply I can’t keep it in close (pec minor moved and reinserted etc). So I never look like you!
September 27, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jim. Some players have lack of external humeral rotation and/or previous injuries that require some adjustments. Test how best you can get the trail arm in position with the 3 Functions of the Right Arm. We can gauge from there how best to make the swing.
September 28, 2020
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Eric
I started putting a lot of time to perfect my takeaway and backswing in the drills in the 5 Minute series. I have also started pressing my forefinger and thumb together as detailed on the video on grip in RST. Ben Hogan did this and called these pincher fingers swing wreckers. Doing the drills I have noticed that keeping the grip in the last three fingers of the left hand and middle two of the right with the pressed forefinger and thumb applying no pressure makes the drills more natural. It kind of more naturally let’s your hands and arms flow or move with the movement of the body. When I have applied the pincher fingers back,, it kind of kills that connection and puts the hands in charge. Thoughts?
August 26, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Eric. The less trail the better. It will provide some support and stability. But, zero issue using less force from anything with the trail hand.
August 26, 2020
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Eric
Ok, thanks. I just re-watched The Golf Grip - How To. I am trying to keep the grip pressure with last three fingers in my lead hand (left) and middle two fingers in trail hand (right). I have had a wear pattern historically in my grip on old clubs, so too much thumb. Not only does it help let the body control the swing, but the pressing together of thumb and forefinger on both hands provides nice support at the top of the back swing, kind of falls into the slots created by pressing them together at the top.
August 26, 2020
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Adam
While performing this drill and standing straight up and not turning yet, at the top of the backswing (i.e. arm/wrist movement only but holding a club)---what is the angle of the shaft with the ground? (In other words, how much rotation is there in the left wrist?) Is it horizontal? 30 degrees above horizontal? Does it matter? Thanks!
June 15, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Adam. The left arm will rotate internally from the shoulder socket to help set the plane. You can see this in How to Keep the Left Arm Straight Video and 5 Minutes to the Perfect Backswing Pitfalls.
June 15, 2020
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William
When I rotate to the top and have my arms in the proper position my right shoulder (trail arm) quickly starts to ache on the upper outer muscle head and limits the number of reps I can perform before needing to rest. Am I doing something incorrectly or will this ease with more repetitions?
June 15, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello William. Sounds like you are shrugging the shoulder to the top and not keeping the tension in the core. Take a look at Proper Muscle Activation and My Golf Backswing Secrets.
June 15, 2020
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William
Thanks Craig. That did it. I had about 1 1/2 inch shrug I couldn’t see until I raised and the relaxed my shoulders and once relaxed eliminated the shoulder ache.
June 15, 2020
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M. (Certified RST Instructor)
Craig, I hope all goes well! My question is about combining the rotational movement with the vertical movement of the arms. Is there a preferred way to combine these movements? I tried 2 ways. One is to rotate torso and, while moving gradually also make the arms movement. The second way is to start with torso rotation and when i feel rotation is almost done I start moving arms upwards. For me the second way feel much more natural and easy to do.
April 19, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Marcel. If you don't start adding some elevation in the takeaway the arms will get behind you. As you start to rotate you need to gradually add elevation. If you wait too late the arms will start to go across the chest and the club inside.
April 20, 2020
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Keith
Once I am in the Takeaway position to get to the top am I bending My right arm as in the video or is it a wrist cock. Or is there really a difference as either produce the same results?
March 4, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Keith. Continue to rotate as the arms elevate. You will start to have some trail arm flexion and the wrist setting is more a gradual process.
March 4, 2020
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Stefan
I have trained on the back swing and it now looks pretty decent with a practice swing. However when I make a real swing to hit a golf ball my arms go to far behind me in the backswing. Any suggestions to get the right movement when hitting a golf ball?
February 3, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Stefan. Sounds like the arms take over when you add speed. I would try slowing the swing down until you can make the move correctly with a ball in front. Gradually, increase the pace while not losing the proper positioning.
February 4, 2020
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Darryl
I'm trying to get my weight shift to the right and keep my trail knee pointing forward. I feel a bit of tension to the inside of my trail heel, yet don't feel any tension in my trail buttock?
January 10, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Darryl. Take a look at the Weight Shift Video Part 2 and How to Swing from the Ground Up Videos. They will help with the glute firing.
January 10, 2020
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jeff
Hey there. I've been developing my perfect backswing for some time now and I like where I'm at so far. I do notice that I tend to grip very aggressively at the top though. Even when it's just my right hand grabbing my left thumb I grip super hard at the top. I've really tried to tackle it mentally and remind myself to relax the grip pressure...but I find myself continuing to do so. This is also something I noticed with my "OLD" swing too. Any tips on this?
October 13, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jeff. Work on the Winter Golf Training Program Backswing Video. Making sure you are engaging the proper muscles and using a little momentum will help you relax. As well as adding the trail arm late you can feel how it is just there for support. The lead thumb will have some pressure to help you keep control of the club. But, if the core/glutes are engaged you can relieve some tension. Also, take a look at Proper Muscle Activation Video.
October 13, 2019
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jeff
Thanks Craig. I watched those videos and tried the drills. The trail arm definitely feels MUCH softer than before. Thanks! I notice that my left arm is no longer straight though. Seems like it is difficult to find the correct balance between straight and soft? On a separate note.....do you have any advice on flex of driver shaft? I've been using a Stiff flex for my driver for a long time and think maybe I should switch to a Regular flex. My hybrids and my 3 wood are regular flex and I seem to hit them far better than my driver. Any info would be much appreciated. Thanks again for all the help!
October 14, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jeff. The lead arm can be a little soft, but you must shy away from a lot of bend. The two main culprits I see when the lead arm bends would be excessive trail arm flexion, or lack of lead internal shoulder socket rotation (How to Keep the Left Arm Straight Video). There are many factors that would help you make that adjustment. Swing speed is vital to know. I don't want to assume. But, most players tend to miss too stiff with flex in their driver. Personally, I am a fan of working less to get the same/better outcome.
October 14, 2019
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jeff
Thanks again Craig! I'll keep developing the feel with my backswing. I havn't had my swing speed actually checked in quite a long time, but I know at some previous lessons, my driver speed was ranging btwn 90-100mph (I've never really been able get any good release with driver). My iron speeds are much more normal range speeds (but I can't recall exactly what they are off the top of my head). Through my own research on shafts, I have come to understand that 90-100mph should be using a Regular Flex shaft (I guess I was hoping to develop my swing in order to get my swing speed up around 110-115. I'm 6'3" and in pretty good shape...so I just figured I should be able to really put the driver to good use. It's never been my strong suit. I do hit my irons pretty well though). Am I correct to assume that the "Regular" flex helps create more 'whip' through the contact area and helps release the club better? Also, I'm not sure I understood your comment...."tend to miss too stiff with flex in their driver". Are you saying that a Stiff flex shaft requires less to get the same/better result? I appreciate the help
October 14, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jeff. Most players tend to purchase/use a driver that is too stiff for their swing speed. Therefore, getting one that matches their speed better versus too stiff helps them achieve same/better result without all the effort to release the club. At 6.3 and relatively good shape. Stick with the program. No reason we can't get you to the 100's and higher.
October 14, 2019
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David
Just curious.. Why is there no axis tilt in this drill? Should there be?
October 11, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. There is axis tilt. Chuck doesn't mention it. But, axis tilt is present.
October 11, 2019
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Paul
Hi Craig if u could get only one training aid what would it be
September 12, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Paul. A gigantic mirror! The Best Training Aid in Golf Video.
September 12, 2019
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Paul
I did some full swings with my driver and swing speed has actually slowed down on my zepp it told me I was coming over the top.iam in the box at set up but feel I must be coming out and getting into the rectangle.what could cause me to get disconnected
September 5, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Paul. Getting into the rectangle at the top? I would check trail arm position. 3 Functions of the Right Arm and Stop Overswinging Video.
September 5, 2019
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Andrew
Hi, I did a swing review and feedback was that my club head was getting shut at the top of the swing (face is up towards the sky). This is resulting in me holding back from releasing the club if not it will massively hook. I've tried doing the setup, rotation, takeaway and back swing videos but still can't fix the shut club face at the top of the swing. Any idea what is the fundamental cause of it and what I should do to address it?
August 30, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Andrew. I haven't seen your swing. However, you are either hinging back too much with the trail wrist, or excessively bowing the lead wrist. Take a look at (your wrist isn't cupped but a good video for this) Cupped Left Wrist and Using the Wrists in the Golf Swing Videos.
August 30, 2019
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Colman
When i am in golf posture, with arms across shoulders, I can rotate smoothly and fully back turn even longer than 90 degrees if I want. However, when I put my arms in positions as if I’m holding a club at address, and then try to rotate, I can not Fully get 90 degrees on my turn and it feels incredibly tense and difficult. There has to be something mechanically that happens when I get into position as if I’m addressing the ball. Or there is just something I’m not doing correctly with my arms that is inhibiting my ability to rotate. Any advice on this situation? Thank you!!
August 5, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Colman. I would check to make sure your arms aren't swinging too deep (4 Square Drill). And, you may need to allow for a little more hip turn to reach a full 90 degrees when in posture and with a club.
August 5, 2019
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Harold
I have been told I'm way over active with my arms and hands. I get flat and deep. Even though I turn with my core. I feel like I dont work my hands up(wrist cock) and i never get set at the top properly. Thoughts please
August 1, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Harold. Most players are too overactive with hands/arms. Understand the proper amount of wrists (Wrist Cock vs. Wrist Hinge in the Golf Swing Video). Work on minimally using them as you elevate the arms when rotating (4 Square Drill and Pool Noodle Drill Video).
August 1, 2019
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Paul
Hi, when I try these movements my left shoulder, left shoulder blade and left side of my neck feels exstreemly tight. Its almost like im lifting a dumbell. Also my left elbow begins to bend. I do have a wide barrel chest. Any thought on this ? Thanks.
June 20, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Paul. Take a look at How to Keep the Left Arm Straight Video. Make sure as the lead arm comes up you are allowing proper shoulder rotation from the lead socket.
June 20, 2019
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Nathan
When I turn my upper body and have my arms straight for width in my swing, I feel like the slight arm elevation happens naturally. After the takeaway before I complete the backswing, when I rotate the forearms I feel like they have to elevate when I flex my right arm. Is that true? I ask because if I make that elevation a conscious effort I feel disconnected from my body and my forearms roll to early and puts parallel point 1 to deep. But when I rotate properly and let the right arm flex to create the tiny arm swing it seems the arms are put in the same spot the drill is doing. Any insight?
June 1, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nathan. They don't have to elevate because of the trail arm fold, but some people do start automatically start elevating because it is the only way to keep the arms/hands in front of the chest. Your awareness of keeping them in front and doing less doesn't hurt my feelings.
June 2, 2019
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Nathan
So would it be safe to say as long as I keep both arms straight, and turn the shoulders properly that would be considered big body turn and the flexion of my right arm the tiny arm swing?
July 12, 2019
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Simon
Hi there I am getting much better at keeping my Right Elbow in from of my shoulder and closer in line to my body, but when i look at my left arm i have some bend at the elbow, i do not seem to be able to complete this exercise without bending my left arm a little. Any ideas?
May 9, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Simon. Take a look at How to Keep the Left Arm Straight Video. You will see the most common reasons there.
May 9, 2019
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Tram
I practice the backswing with the purpose at the top of the backswing, I can complete the shoulders turn meaning that shoulders turn 90degree and hip 45 degree. Can I practice at the end of take away, keep the hip very small degree turn or zero degree and shoulders turn about 45degree, and to the top, hip turns 45 degrees and shoulders turn more 45 degrees to get 90 degrees. The pb is that when moving in one piece to the top, we can get only complete shoulders turn, but hip can turn less than 45 degree or hip turns 45 degrees but cannot control shoulders turn. Please make comment on my thinking. Thank you very much.
May 5, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tram. Yes, you can practice little to zero hip turn in the takeaway with 45 degrees of shoulder rotation. And, then continue pulling the shoulders back to 90 degrees which will pull the hips roughly 35-45 degrees closed to the target.
May 5, 2019
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Jay
Hello! I have been working on “5minutes to the perfect backswing” and while looking in the mirror I was having trouble getting my right wrist into the correct position so I started looking through comments to help me find a solution... After reading a number of comments I found one where you directed the author to a specific video. In that video you made a reference to “flipping a coin over your right shoulder”. This really helped me a lot. My problem now is that I do not remember which video. Do you happen to know the video that I am referring to? Thx. Jay
March 17, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jay. Hmmm. That would be either the Creating a Swing Plane Video, or Right Arm Backswing Drill Video.
March 17, 2019
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Jay
Hey Craig. Thx for the quick relpy. Unfortunately neither of those was the right video. However, they did lead me back to retracing my steps and I found it; Stop Overswinging” video. Thanks! BTW: I love RST. It has answered so many of my issues. This certainly has been money well spent. Thanks again.
March 17, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jay. Glad you are enjoying the site and content. You're welcome for the help.
March 17, 2019
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Lucas
When you get to the point where the club is parallel with ground through core rotation. Do you start to lift up with the arms to complete the backswing or are you still rotating. At what point do you lift up with your arms?
March 3, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Lucas. Elevation will begin slightly in the takeaway. The vast majority of it though will be from the takeaway to the top. You will always be rotating to the top as the arms add slight vertical motion. Take a look at the 4 Square Drill and Pool Noodle Drill.
March 3, 2019
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Alan
Craig, I am doing the drills in front of a mirror, but concentrating on down the line position at the top. As I told you a couple of months ago, I'm trying to get my right arm vertical at the top to stop doing a chicken wing at transition. That's been my focus. I rarely check things face on, which is a huge mistake. I'll do a video on the drills only and we can start from there. Thank you very much!
February 23, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Alan. Great. I would like to see the drills to make sure we are all on the same page. Looking forward to seeing the new results.
February 24, 2019
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Cindy
I have been working on my takeaway and backswing drills and feel like I am executing them fairly well. At the top of my previous backswing, my arms were too elevated and behind my body with no wrist set. The club was almost vertical like a big lightening rod above my head. While I am now able to get into a proper backswing position, I cannot hit the ball from that position. If I try to play using what I have learned, I hit behind the ball, totally miss it or any number of other bad things. I know it is not good to revert too my old, bad backswing . . . what drills/videos would you suggest to help me be able to actually hit the ball from my new perfect backswing?
February 19, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Cindy. Try to implement your new backswing with some sequencing drills coming down. Take a look at Play the Best Golf of Your Life in 6 Weeks 4 of 6 Video. This way from the new position you can sequence how to reach impact properly.
February 19, 2019
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Ronan
Hi, I've finish my reps for takeaway and backswing, i think i can now produce a proper backswing. Can you give me advice on what to work on (at home) from now, lets say 30 minutes a day? There are many videos and drills from this point on, i'd like your advice on the best next step ! Thanks a million, Ronan
February 12, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ronan. I would work on the overall body sequence back and into impact with Step 2 - Core Rotation. Then, blend in arm followed by club (Step 3 and 4). If you can perform the backswing correctly. The 5 Step Series will really hone in a lot of the proper principles for the downswing. Then, once you get to Step 5 the backswing will already be perfect blending it into downswing move.
February 12, 2019
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Ronan
Hi, I have trouble feeling the shoulder elevation, flexion of the right arm, when i'm actually trying to perform the full backswing with or without a club from golf posture, is that normal? relating the beginning of the exercice with the end...
January 22, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ronan. More than likely it will feel like your arms do relatively little which is a good thing. A big body rotation and very minimal arm movement should be getting you to the proper position. When you film do you end up in the proper spot?
January 22, 2019
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Ronan
Yes i end up at the right position by just performing the backswing, with no ball With a ball i'm not at that point yet, as old habits takeover !
January 23, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ronan. Good. Will take some time with the real ball. Patience is the toughest part while changing the swing.
January 23, 2019
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Nolan
Also, when I do this in slow motion with a club in my hand, I feel like my right hand starts pulling on the club towards the top of the swing. Is this what I’m supposed to be feeling?
January 16, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nolan. Momentum and elevation will allow the arms to come up. But, the trail arm flexion will create a little more vertical motion and pull the hands slightly across centerline.
January 16, 2019
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Nolan
At what point in the backswing (when adding the rotational component) should the right elbow start to flex?
January 16, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nolan. You shouldn't have any flexion until just after the takeaway.
January 16, 2019
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Brian
Everyone I play with describes my swing as “flat”. I think I come too far inside. I generally hit the ball pretty well but my miss (especially with woods) could be a snap hook. I think I am failing to elevate my arms in the backswing. Does that seem like a possible cause?
December 20, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brian. Seems like a possible cause. Take a look at the 4 Square Drill Video and RST Pencil Tee Drill.
December 20, 2018
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Kim
I’ve been looking at this as suggested by my instructor. Looking in the mirror, as soon as I introduce flexion it seems to draw my left arm across my body, which I thought was a No No! I also have real trouble keeping my right elbow pointing down however hard I try.
September 29, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kim. As you add flexion from the trail arm the hands will be pulled slightly across centerline. However, it sounds like you are adding flexion and letting the trail arm slide behind you. Use the 3 Functions of the Right Arm Video to help. Also, the 5 Minutes to the Perfect Backswing Pitfalls Video to make sure the hands don't cross centerline too much.
September 30, 2018
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Mikko-Pekka
I have been trying to get my backswing shorter and this 5 min series seems to help. I have a question about the wrists. I tend to set my wrists late but in Self Analysis - tool I see that Chuck is "more wristy" ( if that makes sense) than I am. How should I practice getting more wrist set (Chuck mentions in takeaway video that player should have 50 % wrist set when at halfway position) ? If I concentrate on my wrists I feel I am getting very armsy swing. Another problem which is technical is that I try to upload my swing to Self Analysis tool but only like a quarter of a second gets uploaded. Is there something wrong at my end? My video is not over 30 seconds long.
August 17, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mikko. At the end of the takeaway a player should have 25% of their wrist set and roughly half when they are at the top of the backswing. You are just allowing for the set due to the weight of the club. Take a look at Wrist Cock vs. Wrist Hinge in the Golf Swing, Using the Wrists in the Golf Swing, and Using your wrists for speed in golf swing - 5 of 7. There was an issue with the swing review uploads. It should be fixed now if you re-upload. If not, technical support can help and apologize for the error.
August 17, 2018
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Mikko-Pekka
Thank you Craig! I have another question about the backswing. After the takeaway is the next move the right elbow flexion and no more elevation is needed? Or is it a blend of both?
September 16, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mikko. Both. There is more elevation and as that elevation continues you will start adding trail flexion.
September 16, 2018
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Eric
I have been fighting a flying elbow forever. I am applying RST with a shoulder glide, but my right shoulder tends to take over and I get stuck with a flying elbow. I was at the range tonight and started to think about letting my weight shift and shoulder glide momentum take me into the backswing with my right shoulder staying relaxed and I was happy to find my right elbow pointing down. I was still pulling the ball until I started the takeaway with my shoulder rotation and elevation only. I come over the top a bit even from a perfect elbow down backswing with too much hip movement. Does this make sense - concept of momentum and quiet shoulder and keeping hips out of takeaway?
August 15, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Eric. The hips will get pulled in the backswing, but feeling the weight/core to help with momentum keeping the upper shoulders relaxed sounds okay. Take a look at My Golf Backswing Secrets Video.
August 15, 2018
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Jeffrey
After recording tons of videos of my backswing, in order to keep the club head in front I'm finding myself feel like I'm hinging right away on the takeaway while the hands go inside naturally as I rotate my body, my arms gradually and slightly rotate until they get to the top, then I weight shift and pull the trigger. Does this sound about right? Also in regards to my takeaway - in order for proper arm elevation, in order for my to get on plane I feel like the clubhead starts outside of ball -north and right from me, it looks different on camera, but are these all the right feelings?
August 8, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jeffrey. It may feel like it starts north and right because the arms have to work up. But, without seeing your swing. I would be careful with excessive, or such a quick hinge off the ball.
August 9, 2018
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Steven
Been practicing it with a PW, the drill for pinching the lead wrist has cured my inside takeaway, thanks a lot however my club at the top of the swing from a DTL view still shows to the left instead of DTL, I think its called laid off? Must my club be parallel to target line?
June 28, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Steven. The club should be pointed slightly to the left for a right handed player. Sounds like you are performing the move correctly.
June 29, 2018
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Steven
thank you!
June 29, 2018
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Craig
My right should wants to "pop up" closer to my right ear during the backswing. I believe this is caused by my traps being overactive and not staying in the box. What should I feel / be doing differently to prevent this from happening? Thank you!
June 20, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Craig. Sounds like too much tension. Use weight shift and rotation to you advantage to keep the shoulders chilled out (My Golf Backswing Secrets Video). Also, when adding elevation. Its arm elevation and not a shoulder shrug. Practice adding it properly with the (Pool Noodle Drill and 4 Square Drill Video).
June 20, 2018
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Jeffery
Hello Craig, I tried looking for the "4 square drill" video and couldn't find it (through search). Any recommendations? Thanks
August 1, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jeffrey. Hmm. Should pop up in the search box. Try here: https://rotaryswing.com/golf-instruction-videos/full-swing-advanced/backswing/4-square-drill
August 1, 2018
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Jeffery
Thanks Craig, that link worked. I also found that if I just typed "4 square" it came up right away, but as soon as I added the word "drill" other videos were showing.
August 2, 2018
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Craig
After watching this video again and comparing it to my swing, I realized my right elbow is not in front of my shoulder (at the top of backswing) and has drifted away from my body. Doing the drills and feeling as though my right bicep is connected to my torso gets me into the position Chuck demonstrates without any shoulder shrug. Now its just a matter of doing the reps to lock it in...
June 20, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Craig. Great. A good video with that focus is in the 3 Functions of the Right Arm.
June 21, 2018
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Robert
I've done the drills many time in front of the mirror and my shoulders are almost at 90 degrees but my left elbow is still slightly bent. Is this ok? Also even though I getting a full turn my club is not anywhere parallel to the ground. I'm 65 years old and obviously not as flexible .
June 18, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Robert. Not being parallel to the ground is proper. Make sure you aren't folding the trail arm more than 90 degrees, allowing for lead shoulder socket rotation, and wrist set. Take a look at How to Keep the Left Arm Straight Video.
June 18, 2018
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Andrew
Hi There I have battled a flat backswing all of my life and the habit is deeply ingrained. I am finding this method seems to work but only if I simultaneously start the vertical lift of my arms along with starting the takeaway rotation to the right. I know I am supposed to start the initial takeaway just with rotation but if I try this there is little chance to recover and I get flat almost always before the vertical arm lift commences. Is this simultaneous approach going to cause me any issues or is it okay to approach the takeaway and backswing this way?
May 29, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Andrew. Elevation starts in the takeaway. Not much, but you must have it to keep the arms in front. Take a look at the 4 Square Drill and Pool Noodle Video for help blending the motion you describe above.
May 29, 2018
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Dennis
Adding on to my earlier question. Is the flexion in the right arm 90 degrees or slightly less? Getting into this position has been a challenge for me so I'm working hard on this section! I have the feeling I've made it harder than it is...
March 15, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dennis. 90 degrees or less with flexion. Take a look at the 3 Functions of the Right Arm Video. More than likely you are performing the motion with too much tension in the upper shoulders area.
March 15, 2018
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Dennis
At the 6:50ish timeline when Chuck first starts to illustrate flexion from the front view is the left are still straight, or is it starting to get some bend at the elbow that is brining it in toward the body? It's hard to see that angle from the videos. Thanks!
March 15, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dennis. You want the lead arm staying straight as you fold the trail. Take a look at How to Keep the Left Arm Straight. You need to allow rotation from the shoulder socket.
March 15, 2018
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John
I’m a little confuse about the movement of the right forearm in the backswing. Chucks illustration of arm movement has the left forearm rotate but not the right. Is that correct or does the right forearm also have to rotate about 45 degrees. Thanks John
February 4, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. The trail arm will have some external humeral rotation to help rotate the scapula and set the plane. However, the trail arm won't require a ton of forearm rotation. More lead arm rotation from the shoulder socket at the top.
February 4, 2018
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Frank
I know chuck prefers not to give checkpoint for top of swing as he wants us to go through the motions. I’ve done this drill many many times but do not end up looking perfect, my swing review says hands are too high. Can you describe ideal top of swing positions?
January 21, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Frank. All the checkpoints you need are in this video. Elevation base of pectorals, trail arm no more than 90 degrees flexion, club face matching lead wrist pointed slightly left of target, and 90 degrees of shoulder turn. My suggestion would be to show your instructor your drill. You may not be drilling properly which is throwing of your position.
January 21, 2018
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Michael
For what it's worth. I'm not trying to endorse a golf training aid. But, using the lightest "Speed Stick" really works well for drilling: "elevation, flexion, rotation!" The fact that it's very light with a grip helps tremendously for the correct feel at the top. Better than club upside down. MG
December 24, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Michael. Thanks for the recommendation. We will have to check it out.
December 24, 2017
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Z
I have completed the takeaway and backswing videos and I'm in pretty good position at the top of my backswing. However the club is just a tad inside of my hands when the club is parallel to the ground on my takeaway. I'm frustrated by this as I have done many reps on the takeaway but I can't seem to transfer to my full motion. Any suggestions?
December 13, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Z. Sounds like you are still swinging the arms slightly across the chest too much and/or not adding enough elevation. Take a look at the 4 Square Drill.
December 13, 2017
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Annick
I had my first review from Patrick Callahan, and boy did I get some feedback back. Although (fortunately) I do have great things in my swing, there is still a lot to work on. For starters my backswing. I am going to work on that and get that flying elbow out of the equation. Patrick told me to start using the rotary connect. As I signed up for the acadamy, I got one and it hopefully soon will arrive (takes a while to get to Europe ). But can you tell me if there are specific drill videos with the rotary connect? I know of one, but are there more?
November 11, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Annick. Happy you were pleased with Patrick's Review. We don't have a lot of RotaryConnect Videos. The main premise of maintaining the device between the arms will take care of the flying elbow issue. I would suggest when the unit arrives use a swing review wearing the device.
November 11, 2017
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Annick
What is the benefit of doing the review with the device? I would think you want to show the progression, so without the device. Or is it to check if the device is used correctly? Thx
November 13, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Annick. Of course you can go ahead and upload the swing without the device to check your progression. I was meaning you a certainly welcome to upload a swing with the device on to have Patrick check the proper positions.
November 13, 2017
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
My swing review showed that during my takeaway when the club reaches parallel, everything looks good down the line. I'm focusing on pulling the right scapula down and in. However, as I go from end of takeaway to top of backswing, I am too flat. I need to know the cause of what I'm doing wrong and how to fix that. After completing the takeaway do I continue turning with the right scapula and core while focusing on elevation and flexion till I reach the top of backswing? Again, focus is on keeping from swinging back too flat to the top which seems to be causing my first move down to steepen the club, rather than let it fall into the slot due to weight shift.
November 5, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Chris. Yes, you need to continue to focus on pulling the trail shoulder/core as you add elevation and flexion. Sounds like you are flattening your shoulder plane too much. Make sure you are still rotating around the spine. Take a look at the Winter Golf Training Program - Backswing.
November 6, 2017
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Donlee
I am a charter member of a nice golf club, and I have been contemplating dropping my membership and giving up on golf. I have worked hard to improve over the 25 years I have been playing golf, but I now realize that much of my hard work was in vain. Like most, I have tried training devices, periodic instruction, and equipment upgrades. Throw in injuries and aging and you get the picture of a former athlete with declining physical ability reaching a point of exasperated frustration. Thankfully l came across one of your videos on YouTube and elected to subscribe (think of it as a last ditch effort). I am optimistic about my chances to improve based on the information you have presented and the associated drills I have progressed thru. I want to do this right to succeed (thus my question). Can I still get out to play some and enjoy my membership on the golf course while I work to change/ingrain the proper fundamentals, or do I need to completely stop playing until I am confident in having mastered the movements?
October 21, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Donlee. I am happy to hear you aren't giving up the game and feel we can provide you with the opportunity to improve. Ideally, you wouldn't want to play golf through a swing change. However, if you do play. Keep it at a minimum and be very conscious about something you are trying to achieve. You can't worry about the ball flight or result. The sole goal would be to commit to still getting the proper positioning down. If you follow the program and are disciplined about your practice. There is no way you wouldn't achieve your goal. We have countless success stories because it just works.
October 21, 2017
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Dave
Now it is working. Must have been something at my end. Thanks
September 18, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks for the follow up Dave.
September 21, 2017
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Dave
I can not seem to watch "5 minutes to perfect backswing video". Regardless of the device I try and watch from the video does not work. Any reason. Thanks
September 17, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. It is playing properly on my end. What browser are you using?
September 18, 2017
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Z
I'm about 2000 reps in and when I filmed my swing today I noticed I've got about 110-120 degrees of shoulder turn at the top. Is this bad? I want to be sure before I do any more reps.
August 20, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Z. If you are maintaining proper weight transfer, axis tilt and your arms aren't leaving the box you should be fine.
August 21, 2017
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Gary
Regarding the rotation of the left arm during flexure of the right arm, is there any reason not to setup with the arm/club in a straight line from the left shoulder pre-rotated, i.e. the club face open?
August 10, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary. Some teachers do train students to preset that position. But, now you are manually placing a location versus the lead rotating as a function of what the trail arm is doing. You don't want to have to guess when and how much the face should be rotating. Making it gradual from the ball is more consistent.
August 10, 2017
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Ardell
When the club is parallel to my target and infront of my toe line; can I then cock my wrist and add flexion to rotate as far as possible without worrying about the club getting stuck behind me? Thanks for answering my question.
July 7, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ardell. If you maintain proper trail arm positioning with correct elevation (3 Functions of the Right Arm, 4 Square Drill, and Pool Noodle Drill) you can rotate as much as possible without getting deep at the top.
July 8, 2017
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arthur john
Answered my question perfectly AJ
June 8, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello AJ. Glad you found your answer.
June 8, 2017
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John
I can't seem to get the proper move from the end of the takeaway to the top of the backswing. Any drills to help with this? I one inevitably end up with my right elbow disconnected​. I can do the drills properly​, but at full speed it breaks down.
June 7, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. You have to train very slowly to start. When you start adding pace it is easy to slip up the first few times. If you are losing your trail arm, then something is amiss with your external rotation or trail arm movement. Try the Right Arm Backswing Drill to help give you a better sensation.
June 8, 2017
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John
Ok sounds like a plan. Thanks!
June 8, 2017
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arthur john
I have watched the videos on takeaway, backswing. I have not seen how you get from takeaway to backswing. I saw the ref but do you elevate on the takeaway. You seem to be starting the takeaway from a semi elevated position. Regards A john
June 7, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Arthur John. There is elevation in the takeaway (4 Square Drill, Pool Noodle and Pencil Tee Video). No need to start the club off with a hover. About 15 minutes into the video above Chuck works on the blend from the takeaway to the top. You may also work on some lead arm only swings to help get the feel (Winter Golf Training Program - Backswing Video).
June 7, 2017
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Frank
Should I be able to hold a glove under the armpit at the top of the swing?
May 18, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Frank. You have to be careful with the glove. It can inhibit your elevation. Should have more of an awareness that the upper pectoral and bicep are close together.
May 18, 2017
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Yew Hwan
Need help. It worked perfectly fine with my iron shot on the deck but when i tee up using a driver, things started to feel weird and i started hitting fade shots. Does it work the same for driver or should it be a shallower backswing? Thanks.
May 15, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Yew Hwan. Same swing for all shots. Only setup adjustments. Proper Tee Height Video and Driver Setup Adjustments Video.
May 15, 2017
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Yew Hwan
Thanks Craig
May 16, 2017
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Nick
The move to the get a perfect backswing is simple. But it's not so easy when you try and do this at full speed. What's the best process of making the perfect backswing position achievable at full speed? I can do it slow motion not problem. But when adding speed I can't do it. Thanks!
April 19, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nick. There isn't a perfect recipe or we would put that video out asap. The two ways my students beat it, or I have myself. Practicing stopping at the top and hitting off a tee to get the proper motion back and not rush to the strike. Also, practicing at pace. Hitting 30%, 40% etc.. full swing shots that have the proper mechanics and slowly ramping up speed once you can repeat the motion.
April 20, 2017
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Steve
Once I complete my backswing looking face on in a mirror, I can see the bottom of my right elbow. Does this mean my shoulders are turning too level?
March 29, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Steve. You might see a hair of trail elbow, but you don't want to see a lot. You are probably losing elevation when adding flexion. Or, over rotating the lead arm from the shoulder socket. Take a look at the Pitfalls Video to help with elevation. And, the Left Arm Straight in the Backswing for proper amount of rotation. If both those are correct. Then, focus on the too level of a turn and make sure you rotate properly around the hinged forward spine.
March 29, 2017
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Justin
It seems like the ideal position at the top of the swing is for the left wrist to be flat, perfectly in line with the forearm (at least the pros whose swing is closest to RST like adam scott, tiger, Hideki etc.). But, a flat left wrist seems to completely prohibit that wrist from cocking. So, how is lag increased during the downswing while maintaining a flat left wrist? It obviously is possible because the pros do it, but It seems that the only way this is possible is for the club to move slightly in the hand. Thanks.
March 11, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Justin. Yes, a flat wrist is ideal. Make sure you are allowing the trail wrist to help preserve the lag. Take a look at Using the Wrist Effectively and Efficiently to understand all wrist positions. Also, make sure you aren't fully set at the top. If you are at max wrist set. You can't increase the angle.
March 12, 2017
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Michael
Doing the drills has improved my iron play tremendously. However, I still struggle with the driver. Is it the same takeaway/backswing or is ther an adjustment to compensate for the added length of a driver?
March 10, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Michael. One swing for all shots, but minor setup adjustments. Take a look at the Proper Tee Height Video.
March 10, 2017
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Greg
When i practice this, I notice that to engage my right glute I need to keep my weight more on the inside of my right heel. Is it ok for my weight to end up there?
March 9, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Greg. Yes. You don't want the weight rolling to the outside on the trail foot. Take a look at Anchor to the Ground.
March 10, 2017
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chris
Here is what i don't get. Putting the entire sequence together is very difficult because of the following: First, the elevation aspect of this drill does not make sense because your arms, during an actual golf swing, never go straight out, they go back, not out. . Also, bending your right arm during flexion while in the actual back swing seems awkward as well. Ultimately, I do see what you are doing, but the steps are diff to comprehend. Watched the video 10 times and have been practicing as well.
March 5, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Chris. The elevation aspect is that the arms go up and not back/out. Arms work vertically and body works horizontally. The rotation of the body creates the depth while the elevation helps the height. The trail arm has to bend in the backswing to help create vertical motion and create a better position for leverage. R-E-F. Rotation - Elevation - Flexion. Use the 4 Square Drill and 3 Functions of the Right Arm to supplement this video to clear up the confusion.
March 6, 2017
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Tim
When I am in my set up addressing the ball on the course with quarter of a second to go before my takeaway...what is the very first thing that moves. I appreciate it all kind of happens together but what is the absolute micro second first movement which starts the chain of movement?
February 23, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tim. It is player dependent. We allow weight shift or pulling back with the trail side to trigger the swing.
February 23, 2017
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Martin L
Gives me a new at to think about golf swing. Can't wait to try it.
February 13, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Martin. Good luck with the swing work.
February 14, 2017
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Billy
I am just a bit confused by the slight turn of the left arm on the backswing. Does this mean that the right hand slightly turns in to the body as well as humerus rotation. Thanks
January 31, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Billy. As you fold the trail arm the lead arm will rotate as a function of the fold. It will pull the hands slightly across the centerline. The trail arm will have a slight amount of the rotation in while adding humeral rotation. But, not a lot.
January 31, 2017
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Brad
In other videos your instructions for backswing width say to imagine the right arm stays straight in the backswing. This seems to contradict that and to bend that arm early in backswing. Little help?
January 12, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brad. The vast majority of players bend their trail arm too much in the backswing. And, even telling them to not bend the arm at all still lends itself to them bending it too much. Even in lessons I challenge players in a full swing to try and keep it completely straight. Many fail. Nevertheless, the trail arm has to have flexion in the backswing to help create vertical motion. It will stay straight in the takeaway and only (at max) 90 degrees of flexion at the top. Take a look at the 3 Functions of the Right Arm.
January 12, 2017
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Kevin
My RST reviewer wants me to get my arms more vertical at the top of the backswing. Is there a specific drill to do this? I get the club to parallel at the half way point no problem (thanks to the shoulder blade glide trick) but it feels unnatural to lift my arms more straight-up after that, however I do think I'm a bit flat.
January 3, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. Take a look at the 4 Square Drill, Pool Noodle, and Understanding Arm Elevation Video.
January 4, 2017
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Kevin
Thanks Craig, I'll check them out!
January 4, 2017
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David
Quick Question: Is there any problems with setting your right wrist after performing the takeaway as a mean to get the club up into the top of the backswing? This is the only way that I have been able to keep a flat left wrist at the top and get back to the ball squarely with the club face along with fully being able to release the right arm angle into impact. It also allows the right arm to get the proper angle in the backswing. When I try to fold the right arm after the takeway, I get myself in trouble and have a cupped left wrist. Thanks for your help!
December 1, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. Preferably, the wrist set will be gradual in the golf swing. I don't want you using wrist set as the sole motion of trying to get the club vertical. Take a look at Using the Wrist Effectively and Efficiently and Perfect Your Golf Impact - 4 of 4 for more help.
December 1, 2016
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Stephen
Hi - this is the first time I have tried these exercises (I have had a ton of lessons, suffer from a flat backswing and over the top downswing & no pro has ever told me the elevate my arms in the backswing!) - and when I move to holding the club my left wrist still seems to want to rest in a 'cupped' position. When I do the exercise without the club I achieve much more of a neutral position. Is there a movement I am missing or is this my brain refusing to give us a bad habit? Steve
November 1, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Stephen. Either the grip is too strong, or as you fold the trail arm you aren't allowing the lead arm to rotate. Check your grip (The Golf Grip - How To) and the (Winter Golf Training Program - Backswing Video) to make sure the lead arm rotates properly.
November 1, 2016
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T David
Is there a good rule of thumb on the checkpoint to where the shaft is parallel to the ground on the backswing? in line or below the belt buckle? engage a wrist hinge starting at this point or earlier?
October 31, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. When the shaft is parallel to the ground in the backswing the hands will be inline with the trail pocket (RST Pencil Tee Drill). There is roughly 25% of your wrist set in the takeaway. Wrist set is gradual throughout the backswing (5 Minutes to the Perfect Takeaway - about 22-33 mins in) and (Using the Wrist Effectively and Efficiently Video).
October 31, 2016
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John
So on my real swing (not a drill), I am supposed to elevate first, then rotate? Thanks.
October 1, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey John, no, you always want to focus on shifting your weight and rotating first and then gradually add elevation in. If you start with the arm movements, you will be loading muscle groups out of sequence.
October 1, 2016
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Tayler
I'm confused on how close the left arm should be towards the chin.. I find i can keep my left arm straight in different elevations, if that makes sense. Is there a check point on how close i want the left shoulder to be to the chin at the top?
September 14, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Tayler, Check out this video for some help from Chuck... https://rotaryswing.com/videos/full-swing-advanced/backswing/left-shoulder-push-in-backswing
September 14, 2016
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David
I have been so used to using my hands to start the takeaway, that even trying to do the RST drills they still want to move out then roll and move around my body leaving me with a flat swing. Trying the arm /shoulder elevation exercise, which helps, but stopping the wrists rolling is hard.
September 8, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. Yes, stopping early wrist roll is tough. Once, your brain realizes though you don't have to swing the club. It will get better.
September 9, 2016
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Tom
How important is having the left arm straight when doing this drill. It seems hard to keep it straight when you first flex the right arm but it seems to straighten out as you rotate and get to the top.
September 8, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tom. You want the lead arm straight. No need to lock it, but straight would be preferable. Some have a slightly soft lead elbow, but don't allow it to overly fold. Make sure you are allowing for a little wrist set and the trail arm isn't bending more than 90 degrees.
September 9, 2016
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Randall
Craig, I'm new to this forum and this post got my attention. In doing these drills I'm having a difficult time keeping my right elbow tucked in properly while keeping my left arm as straight as i can get it as this was what I was always told. Are you saying that it's ok to have a bend in the left arm to maintain proper right elbow position? My right elbow is flying out of position when I strive for a straight left arm.
October 7, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Randy. You don't want to force anything in the swing. Ideally, the lead arm will stay straight in the backswing. You can have a soft arm though. If you can maintain 90 degrees or less with the trail arm and want to have a soft lead elbow. You can work that way.
October 7, 2016
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Richard
When the right arm elevates as the arm folds and arms rotate this produces a plane. If this is done correctly , at the top of the swing is the shaft on the same plane it was at address or is it on a parallel plane above the starting plane? Would it be a one plane swing?
August 5, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Richard. RST is a Parallel Shift Plane. It will be slightly above the elbow plane line. It is a one plane swing with elevation. Draw a line from the hosel through the back of the elbow. It should be parallel to that at the top.
August 5, 2016
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JonDerek
I have a question regarding the left arm. When I grab my left thumb and begin flection my left arm begins to bend. Should I try and keep my left arm locked out to keep it straight? I see most low handicap swings are able to keep their left arm straight. I have severe flexibility issues in my shoulders and chest.
July 24, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey JonDerek, we want the lead arm to be straight but it does not need to be ramrod straight. We think of it as a passive or relaxed straight. If you are noticing it bend, you could be adding too much right arm flexion OR you are not allow your wrists and forearms to rotate when you are flexing the right arm. Hope that helps.
July 25, 2016
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JonDerek
Thanks for the swing review Chris. I've been working the drill and at approx 60 degree of flexion my left arm continues to bend. I know in one of the videos Chuck talks about a 90 degree bend. It seems I have a difficult time getting my left arm across my chest because of how large my chest is. Could you possibly explain the wrist and forearm rotation a bit more is this on the right arm? I didn't find any videos discussing this rotation process. Thanks again for the help.
July 25, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
No problem at all and you don't need to achieve a perfect 90 degrees of flexion. A little less than that is perfectly fine. When grabbing the left thumb and adding flexion you need both forearms to rotate as they would in the golf swing. If you watch or glove logo are facing down the target line, you as you add flexion your watch will rotate more towards the sky with the trail arm staying relaxed and rotating as consequence. Hope that helps.
July 25, 2016
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Ian
I am unclear as to whether I should swing back and set the wrists simply using the weight of the club to find the correct position or whether to be more ''mechanical'' in setting the wrists. I can do it both ways and seem to change from one week to the next. I have observed tour players and there appears to a mix of both eg. Martin Kaymer - natural, Danny Willett- mechanical. If I need to get the club up quickly for example in long grass then I tend to use the ''mechanical'' method. Your thoughts on this would be much appreciated. I am a new member from the U.K so I am trying to find my way! Ian
July 22, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ian. When in a longer grass situation it would make sense to have a quicker or more mechanical setting of the wrist. You need to get vertical fast (V-Shaped Swing). However, for the stock shot allow the wrists to set naturally and more with the weight of the club.
July 22, 2016
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John
If we have felt that we mastered the takeaway what is the movement that we are to add to the takeaway position to get to the top of the back swing. You talk about stacking one thing on top of the other and it doesn't seem like that is being applied here. You master the takeaway forget all about that then go to a totally different approach in stead of stacking on top of the takeaway.
June 26, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. After mastering the takeaway. Take a look at the 3 Functions of the Right and the Pool Noodle Drill. Both will discuss elevation and master the right arm. Understanding those key elements will prepare you for the 5 Mins to the Perfect Backswing
June 27, 2016
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John
so the order to perfect them is rotation, then perfect takeaway, then perfect backswing? correct?
June 25, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. Yes.
June 27, 2016
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John
do you we need to master the 5 minutes to a perfect rotation before we go to the 5 minutes to the perfect takeaway? Seems to make sense after reviewing both? Thanks.
June 25, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. I would work on the 5 Minutes to Master Rotation first.
June 27, 2016
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Keith
Hello Chris, Thank you for the review, I am already working and think I am on the right track. Hoping you can provide some guidance on this for me. My arms naturally have a noticeable angle while relaxed. So let's say it's 10 degrees. As a result, I have two distinct sensations and end up in different positions at the top depending on whether I keep the arms fully relaxed completing takeaway and moving to top, versus ensuring both arms are straight at completion of takeway. Here are the differences. Arms relaxed - hands end up lower and deeper, larger portion of upper right arm stays connected to right pec, right arm flexion around 75-80 degrees, elbow pit at 11PM (just slight facing target). Arms feel relaxed throughout swing. Arms straight - hands end up higher and more shallow, elbow to mid upper right arm disconnect, arm flexion is 90 degrees and right elbow pit point straight up. I feel some stretching in arms, increasing as the right arm flexes to complete the backswing. Not uncomfortable, but more forced than previous movement. On video, these are what I notice. My spine angle and right side are maintained in either scenario which achieving 90 degrees rotation. Please advise which of these movements is correct.
May 8, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Keith, I am always going to vote for the relaxed arms on this one. If you are seeing that the takeaway is a bit flat and deep, then you need to work on adding some shoulder elevation into the takeaway. Elevation should be added gradually through the takeaway and into the backswing to help from getting too deep at the top. Have you seen the pool noodle shoulder elevation video? This will give you some reference points on how to gradually build in elevation while keeping your arms relaxed. There should not be lot of tension in the arms during any part of the swing. Hope that helps.
May 9, 2016
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Keith
Thanks Chris, very helpful. I will check out the video.
May 9, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
My pleasure Keith.
May 9, 2016
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Keith
I need further explanation of the additional hip rotation that occurs here. Is there another video and/or drills for this? I am confident in the rotation and takeaway, but when doing these backswing drills, I have to be more deliberate in rotation to not over rotate my hips and have my left knee drawn in toward the ball. Are there any drills or videos specific to the rotation between the takeaway and completion of backswing? Chuck described elbows in line with bottom of pecs for proper arm/shoulder elevation, but seem to go higher than that later in the video, so I am confused. Chuck's hands appear above his head and mine are more in line with my head at the top, unless I elevate above that lower pec line. And when I do, the hip over rotating I described is much more difficult to control.
April 30, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Keith -- Check out the perfecting lower body stability video and see if that helps. The hips should be stable and allowed to rotate and when working into the backswing, you should focus on the torso rotation pulling the hips into a fully wound position.
May 1, 2016
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Roderick
so far I've been working mostly with the 9 to 3 positions (and the takeaway has been a dickens for me, I do it okay in drills but when I go to full swing for submission I pull (or push) the club back inside and bend my right arm early). So I've worked on it till it's much better and now I'm learning to complete the backswing. Could you please explain why the optimal top of the swing position is with the trail forearm vertical and inline with the trail shoulder? Very hard to do. My forearm wants to align with my spine angle (I guess this is because it's what I was taught and have been practicing since the dinosaurs disappeared) So I'm working on ingraining this position but I'd like to know why it is more advantageous with RST than my previously learned position. One thing I've noticed is that it automatically flattens by lead wrist. Thanks
April 29, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Roderick. Some players due to flexibility have a hard time getting completely to the position you are referring too. However, let me expand upon why it is important. The scapula and trail arm need the proper positioning for power. You have to maintain a certain link to your body. Keeping the trail arm there allows you to apply force or maximum core rotational speed in the downswing. It also allows the player to easily get the arms working back in front of the torso on the way down.
April 29, 2016
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Charles
I understand the difference between elevation and rotation. But still a little confused how you glue it together. During proper set up with the club, what happens first? Elevation or rotation?
April 15, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Charles. During proper setup from the ball you will either start your swing with rotation or weight shift. A good way to think about your issue is to rotate with a blend of elevation.
April 16, 2016
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Alasdair
Hi. Great video. I have only just started practicing this move but get a little lost on 2 points: 1. My right arm on the backswing moves out past my shoulder, as demonstrated at 10 min into the video. I struggle to even move it back to level with my shoulder just doing the basic drill. Is this anything down to flexibility or any anything else or is it simply I need to keep doing it and it will slit into position? 2. I really don't understand the rotation of the right arm and again I can't really seem to rotate my arm in that position. Could you also explain the position of the left arm doing the drill - is it straight or slightly bent? Thanks Alasdair
April 1, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Alasdair. Take a look at the Fix the Flying Elbow, 3 Functions of the Right Arm and the Over Swinging Video. It could be lack of flexibility or loss of external humeral rotation. They will also provide more info regarding solely the trail arm rotation. You don't want to lock out the lead arm. If needs to be soft and relaxed, but not overly bent. Straight or just a natural bend is okay. Lots of bend you might want to check that the trail arm isn't over folding or you are keeping the wrist from setting.
April 1, 2016
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Jason
Take away/ backswing: are we supposed to add any side bend thr the left (front flank) in order to steepen the shoulder plane (hence tilt the left front shoulder down at all) during the backswing? the club in the belly button with the hands down the shaft takeaway drill as well as the bucket drill would lend me to think that we are not supposed to tilt down the left shoulder at all. A lot of Internet instruction is all over the place on this issue and I want to get this point correct once and for all.
March 19, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jason. You don't need to manually add any side bend to try to steepen the shoulder plane. The shoulder positions (plane) is determined by amount of hinge forward at setup and proper rotation around the spine.
March 21, 2016
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Jason
so we can safely say: the club in the belly button drill reinforces the correct movement whereas the drills on other internet sites/ articles that speak of physically trying to point the left shoulder down to the ball are incorrect when compared to Rotary Swing method?
March 21, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jason. The club in the belly button is fine. The follow up would be understanding that a little elevation will bring it slightly away from the belly button helping keep the arms/hands/club in front of the sternum. There isn't a reason to try and point the lead shoulder down.
March 21, 2016
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Kyle
Excellent video...my problem has always been rotating my left wrist inward..possibly due to the fact that I have a non-Union fx of my left navicular and therefore unable to cock my left wrist... There was no mention of wrist cock in this video,which is great for me...but ,while doing the drills, I seem to want to rotate my left wrist I suppose I need to only focus on flexing my right elbow Thx
March 8, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kyle. There is a little wrist set in the golf swing. It is however gradual and not max set at the top. You need to allow for a little. Take a look at the Using the Wrist Effectively and Efficiently Video to understand all the wrist movements.
March 8, 2016
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Kyle
Thx for your prompt and useful reply
March 9, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kyle. No problem. My pleasure to help.
March 9, 2016
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Dave
I have mastered the backswing and elevation drills looking in the mirror and on video. However when I add the club and ball I still find I get shallow at the top. Previously this has been due to lack of shoulder turn but now I have resolved that also. I have also tried loading the right glute as a trigger to takeway and looking at the video my takeway looks on plane down the line. At the top of the swing my shoulders are full turned and my right arm is straight but seems to be flat and to the side. Any tips for maintaining height from the takeaway (club at parallel) to the top?
January 25, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. Take a look at the Pool Noodle Drill. Also, you are always more than welcome to upload a swing to one of our instructors for a pair of fresh eyes to diagnose the problem.
January 25, 2016
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Dave
I have two questions regarding this video. First, at the top of the backswing what do you feel in terms of pressure on the bottom of your feet? I understand your right heel should be driving in. The ground, but what about your left foot? I feel like I get out on the left toe and this makes for a difficult transition back. Should I focus on maintaining pressure on my left heel too at the top of the backswing? Second question is do I want to maintain the same right knee flex at the top of my backswing as at address or should I have less right knee flex at the top of my backswing? I've seen some videos of pros who maintain constant right knee flex but when I watch chuck in the video he straightens the right knee. Is it optimal to maintain constant right knee flex if you can?
January 3, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. The left foot will help keep you from falling over, but it should be fairly light and not too much weight bearing on it. You can maintain a little pressure on the left heel, but would have to watch your weight. You want to maintain the trail knee flexion. Try to keep it relatively the same. Take a look at the Maintaining Knee Anchor Video and the Right Knee Laser Beam Drill. Also, the Left Knee Laser Beam Drill might help with the foot.
January 3, 2016
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Paul
steve: merry Christmas to you and yours . Thankyou for the feedback.when i was looking at my progress score it doesnt look that great i thought i had read that we should be at 80% in every part of the swing and my highest score is only 68% should i be going right back to set up and achieving 80% before moving on.
December 20, 2015
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Steven (Certified RST Instructor)
Paul-Merry Christmas to you as well. Everyone should continue to work on setup with RST because it is such an extremely important and in my opinion the most overlooked aspect of the golf swing. Make sure you only hinge from the hips enough to see the ball, have the shoulders depressed and back (which if I recall you did) and good axis tilit. I would work through the 5 minutes to the setup every know and then just to refresh you memory to keep things in check, Enjoy the holidays. and we can keep moving forward with your progress!!
December 20, 2015
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Claus
this is an eye opener for the right position on top. Seems to me that backswing gets more compact; how does that connect to objective of a wide backswing? Seems to rather increase flexion of the right elbow earlier
November 10, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Claus. The trail arm needs to add flexion to help with vertical motion in the swing. Also, to help link properly to the core. Your goal is to keep the trail arm not bending more than 90 degrees. Therefore, you will have all the width you need.
November 10, 2015
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Rolly
Love the video ! Just wondering what video would be next in starting the downswing from the top ? Thanks.
November 6, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Roland. You can use the Sitting Into the Left Side, How to Swing from the Ground Up, 5 Mins to Perfect Downswing, or How the Lower Body Works.
November 7, 2015
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Cavan
Hi RST - I have a terrible habit of frequently closing / shutting the club head by strengthening my grip in my backswing. My left hand is usually the culprit making this odd adjustment. I've noticed it occurs past the takeaway and in the completion of the backswing. I imagine / it feels like my right elbow is also flying in the process, my wrists are over cupping, and the club does not set properly at the top. This only happens when I'm making a full swing to hit the ball on the course so it's nearly impossible to capture in video and correct! It never happens on the range or during any practice swings on the course. I'm sure it's mostly due to nerves. Any check points / suggestions / swing thoughts you can recommend to overcome this nasty habit?
October 20, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Cavan. It sounds like nerves and the "hit" instinct is playing havoc with your club face. You are trying to control or steer the shot versus letting the shot be dictated by the swing. On the range, you swing and allow the swing to take care of ball flight. Relax first off. You don't have to wrench the club to hit proper positions. Have you tried a weaker grip to make it easier to feel a flatter lead wrist? You need to feel the lead arm rotate. Experiment making some lead arm only backswings and adjust your feel to trust face and wrist rotation.
October 20, 2015
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Cavan
Thanks for the excellent advice Craig! A contributing factor is that I'm trying to control my right hand/ grip from becoming overactive at the top of the swing / during the transition, leading to pushing from the right side instead of pulling down with the left hand from the top. In trying to achieve this I've been focusing on only gripping the club with my left hand with more pressure than the right through the backswing. If I'm approaching this concept improperly please let know also if there is a checkpoint at the top of the swing in terms of my wrist / grip that I should be aware of! Thanks again
October 20, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Cavan. I don't think you are approaching it improperly. Also, take a look at the Checkpoints Video. You will notice when Clay folds his trail arm and allows the lead arm to rotate. The trail wrist will have some hinge and the lead wrist will be flat. Make sure you allow the trail wrist to hinge back on itself a touch to keep the lead wrist flat.
October 20, 2015
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Cavan
Thanks Craig. Seems like a very helpful visual / checkpoint / swing thought - I'll use that as a thought anchor during my practice sessions
October 21, 2015
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Edmundo
When I checked again, the angle my right arm bends if I keep my left arm straight is only 45 degrees ...
September 28, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Edmundo. 2 things. Make sure you are allowing the left arm to rotate when adding flexion. Also, make sure you are allowing for wrist set. If the left arm doesn't rotate and the wrist don't set. The left arm will start to bend with added flexion. If you can't bend more as noted in the post below. You could allow for a touch of bend in the left, but if it bends a lot. Keep the right arm straighter.
September 28, 2015
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Edmundo
Hi Craig. I'll try less bend on the left by keeping the right straighter. Feels tense, but reckon with practice it will get better. Thanks!
September 28, 2015
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Edmundo
When I try to do copy "flexion" with my right hand gripping the left thumb (around the 8'30" mark), I can't keep my left arm straight as the right arm flexes 90 degrees at the elbow as Chuck does. To keep the left arm straight, I can only flex the right arm around 70 degrees. Anatomy I guess. What will be better for me: keep the left arm straight/bend right arm only 70 degrees, or bend right arm 90 degrees and bend the left arm as a result? Thanks!
September 28, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Edmundo. I answered above.
September 28, 2015
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Gaetano
Great video, been doing the reps every morning. My shoulders have no tension when I practice the drill. But when I practice the full swing, I'm tight. I guess I need to practice more? Again, great video!
September 13, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gaetano. You are probably not used to getting a full shoulder turn the correct way. It will take some time, but you should start to feel more comfortable fairly soon. Take a look at the Golf Body Rotation Video to help practice a good turn.
September 14, 2015
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Lisa
This is a great video to follow, all the pro do it.. there is a video about "common pitfall" indicates of raising the left arm over the right eye.., this is way too high!
September 12, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Awesome. Glad you liked the video. In the Checkpoints Video and the Pitfalls Video. Clay and I use the eye as a reference while standing upright with the arms in front of you. Once, you hinge from the hips and rotate to the top. The left arm will no longer be blocking out the left eye.
September 13, 2015
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Jim
Any suggestions on ways to "start" the backswing. I have a tendency of using my lower body too much which hurts my balance. So, any cue's that you would recommend, from forward pressing the hands on the club or turning belt buckle to left to smoothly start the backswing? Thanks Jim Dorsey
September 6, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jim. I would shy away from the forward press. You can use a little weight shift as the trigger to start the swing. Start sitting a little into the trail glute as start. This will help you get the club going, but also loading the glute early will help stabilize the lower body. Keeping you from over using it to the top.
September 7, 2015
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Clive
Hi, I've found your videos most useful and have been able to do the "take away" OK however I'm 68 years old and not that flexible so that when I try and do the full back-swing my right forearm is barely above horizontal and my club is just about vertical. However I have had a few lessons and was told that in my most backward position that the imagined extension line of the club grip should intersect with the extension of the target/ball line (which is what happens to me). Is this correct? Any recommendations as to what I should do about my full back-swing? Thanks in advance, Clive.
September 5, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Clive. Yes, it will point roughly around the ball/target line. I would work on the Pool Noodle Drill and the 3 Functions of the Right Arm to help you get a little higher.
September 7, 2015
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Jarek
I have done countless reps of both takeaway and backswing and can do it perfectly all the way until I put the ball in front of me and want to hit it. What can I do to transition from these drills without hitting the ball to carrying that into actually hitting the ball? I feel like Im missing something. The issue is letting the club get behind the swing plane and I can't take what Im feeling in no stakes practice to the range or the course. Any suggestions? Am I supposed to be doing 9-3 drills in between the reps and actually going out to play?
August 25, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jarek. When you go to hitting a ball the mind changes focus to result versus body movement. A good way to start making the change is practicing at pace. Very, very slow reps with a ball in front. Let the ball/shot take care of itself. Don't change the mind set from body positions. The ball must get in the way. If you can do it in a practice swing, you can do it in front of a ball. Figure out what pace you can achieve your goal. Even if its only a 10 yard shot. Build up from there.
August 25, 2015
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Jim
Maybe a stupid question but does the elevation of the arms/shoulders start after the completion of the takeaway or simultaneously?
August 23, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jim. There is a little elevation in the takeaway and the vast majority is from the takeaway to the top. Take a look at the 4 Square Drill.
August 24, 2015
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Dave
In this drill Chuck talks about the two dimensions and how the arms only move vertically in the dimension in front of the depth dimension, i.e., the arms only move to the depth dimension by rotation, not pulling them back. Does this also pertain to the downswing? In the downswing, the arms move vertically and let rotation move the club out of the depth dimension?
August 5, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. Yes. However, as you fold the trail arm in the backswing. It will bring the lead arm across center line. The pull from the lead lat will help bring the arms back in front of the centerline.
August 7, 2015
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john
I would like to know is the left wrist flat or is it angled like adress at the top of the back swing thanks John
August 3, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. The lead wrist will be flat at the top of the backswing. Take a look at the Using the Wrist Effectively and Efficiently in the Introduction Advanced Section.
August 3, 2015
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Ryan
Before putting it all together at the end of the video you are starting with the club from a set up position and going through the Elevation, Flexion, Rotation piece with the club turned normally. My question is on the flexion part of that sequence are you fully cocking your wrists and then going to the rotation piece? I do remember you saying in the takeaway videos that there is a difference between a hinging of the wrists and cocking of the wrists. I know you don't want to hinge them but do you fully cock them in a way that would create that lag angle at the top of the swing?
August 2, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ryan. You want gradual wrist cock/setting in the backswing. You don't want to get to max set before coming down. If you do, the angle will tend to fire too soon. Take a look at Using Your wrist for Speed Part 5 and the Using Your Wrist Effectively and Efficiently in the Introduction Advanced Section. Roughly 25% in the takeaway and gradual from there.
August 3, 2015
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Seth
I'm currently stuck in this position where I have a "flat swing" and I'm not getting good shoulder elevation. When I do practice and make a conscious effort to get good shoulder elevation, I have a tendency to come over the top. How do I eliminate my flat swing and still swing from the inside out? Any good drill for that?
August 2, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Seth. Continue to master the elevation portion in the backswing. Now that you are at the top with proper elevation. You need to make sure not to fire from the trail shoulder too early. Take a look at the Proper Muscle Activation Video in the Introduction Section, Stop Coming Over the Top in the Downswing Section, and the Over the Top Stick Drill in the Advanced Downswing Section.
August 3, 2015
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Mark
i have watched the takeaway and rotation videos before this and have watched this a few times. I think I am doing everything right but at the top something looks different. When I look at Chuck (from face on) his right elbow is hidden behind his left arm at the top. When I do it, you can see a bit of my right elbow. What should I be doing differently to look more like Chuck?
July 23, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mark. Seeing a touch of the trail elbow isn't a bad thing. One thing that could be going on though is a little over rotation of the lead arm and a loss of elevation with the trail arm. Take a look at the Pitfalls Video in the Advanced Backswing Section and make sure you aren't losing the elevation in your trail arm.
July 23, 2015
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David
Hi Craig, does the backswing start at the end of the takeaway or is it more at around 45 deg of the takeaway? Thanks.
July 16, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. The backswing will start at the end of the takeaway. Hands inline with the trail pocket.
July 16, 2015
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Jonathan
I feel that when I go from elevating with my hands apart to holding my thumb my shoulders extend forward a bit and feel more out of the box. If I try to consciously keep them back, my shoulders feel a little tight when elevating. I do have right shoulder issues, but didn't know if the tightness was a flexibility issue on my part or if it is ok for them to round forward a little bit when going from hands apart and elevation to holding my thumb. Hope this makes sense. Thanks.
June 24, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jonathan. Ideally, you don't want to add rounding when you go from hands apart to grabbing the thumb. Also, you don't want to force the shoulders into a position where you are locked and away from a nice relaxed, but engaged position. It sounds like you are over extending the arms trying to create width. Don't force more extension than if your arms were hanging neutrally at address.
June 24, 2015
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Jonathan
Thank you. I also seem to try to pull my left arm towards my body to much when flexing my right elbow and am coming out of the box. Does the left arm stay pretty angled away from the body? About what angle should my right arm end up at when flexed correctly?
June 26, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jonathan. The left arm while it rotates will become a little angled away from the body. The right arm should be flexed no more than 90 degrees and elbow pointed towards the ground.
June 26, 2015
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Luigi
Please see the video "5 minutes to the perfect takaway" at about position 24min17sec/24sec.
June 22, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Luigi. Do you have a question about that? 25% of the wrist set is in the takeaway. Not a whole bunch. Just a little bit to aid in wrist set and getting the club vertical. Discussed in the Using the Wrist Efficiently and Effectively Video in the Introduction Advanced Section and the RST Pencil Tee Drill Advanced Takeaway.
June 22, 2015
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Luigi
Is the shaft and the club head, rotating 90°, starting from the takeaway to the point were the shaft is paralel with the ground?
June 22, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Luigi. Are you referring from the ball to completed takeaway or takeaway to completed top position?
June 22, 2015
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Luigi
Yes
June 30, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Yes, there will be roughly a 90 degree difference. Square to target line then toe up when shaft is parallel to the ground. Unleash Your Thumbnail fro Power and the RST Pencil Tee Drill in this section Advanced will show you the position.
June 30, 2015
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Cavan
Hi RT - is there a drill you recommend to synchronize move 1 and 2? I can reach the Takeaway now in a solid position and then from there take it up to the position at the top but not all in one smooth motion like on needs for a normal swing. I completely understand there is a number of reps that need to be drilled, but is there a specific drill on the website that pieces move 1 and 2 together so you arrive at the top of the backswing in a smooth seemless transition? Many thanks in advance
June 22, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Cavan. I can't think of a perfect blended video. I apologize. It requires good reps and practicing at pace.
June 22, 2015
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Cavan
Ok! Will keep up with the reps then! I've found closing my eyes helps turn the 2 into one move, of course while observing that I'm hitting my checkpoints on video
June 22, 2015
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Luigi
Could it be that, for a right hander, on the takeaway and the backswing the right hand leads the motion and on the downswing the left and will lead the swing. This way we would have always the pulling as method. Is that the correct picture to have in mind?
June 21, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Luigi. You can think about it that way, but try focusing on the origin of movement. The trail shoulder does the majority of the pull in the backswing versus the trail hand.
June 21, 2015
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Luigi
Ciao Craig Are you saying, that I should pull with my right shoulder on the takeaway/backswing and pull with my left shoulder on the downswing?
June 21, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Pull with the right shoulder in the backswing. And, you will pull with the left lat to pull the arms back in front on the downswing. LADD Video in the Downswing Section will describe the lead side pull.
June 21, 2015
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mark
I am a bit confused comparing this drill with the right elbow flexion happening reasonably early seems to contradict the straight right arm drill. Can you clarify please.
June 20, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mark. The Straight Right Arm Drill is for the player that over uses flexion of the trail arm in the backswing. It is nearly impossible to reach the top without some bend. Therefore, the feeling of it never bending helps you rotate better and not fold too soon. The ideal bend to aid in vertical motion and to pull the lead arm across centerline is no more than 90 degrees of trail arm flexion.
June 21, 2015
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Colin
I've watched this video a number of times and also the Checkpoints video. In the Checkpoints video it's mentioned and shown that an eye is covered by the left arm. There seems to be a large difference in the arm elevation shown in both videos. This video shows quite a small elevation whereas the Checkpoints video seems to be much more (although the description of how high the elevation should be is the same). When I do it, I have to elevate my arms more than this video to get near covering my eye. (I think I have to go higher than the bottom of my pectorals). I can only assume that height is a major factor here?
June 17, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Colin. Take a look at Understanding Arm Elevation in the Advanced Backswing Section and the 5 Minutes to the Perfect Backswing Pitfalls Video. Elevation is variable. You can have a little more or less. You want to make sure you don't have to raise above the pectorals too much to reach the position. In the pitfalls video you will see me talking about the left eye positioning and see that my elevation is only to the base of the pectorals.
June 17, 2015
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Colin
The Pitfalls video made it clear - I thought my right arm was at right angles but it wasn't. Thanks!
June 18, 2015
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Luigi
Should the left arm be totaly straight, the right arm close to 90° and the upper arm parallel to the ground? I can't due that.
June 16, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Luigi. The left arm needs to be as straight as possible. I don't want you to lock it by any means. But, try to keep it straight. The right arm should only have 90 degrees of flexion. The upper arm if I am gather (the left arm) won't be exactly parallel to the ground. If you are struggling with the position. Make sure you are allowing the left arm to rotate as a function of folding the right arm and gradual wrist set. Checkpoints Video in this section and the Using the Wrist Efficiently Video in the Advanced Introduction Section.
June 16, 2015
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Luigi
Is the backswing always the same, no matter if I use the PW or Driver? Doesen't have the shaft length and its plane have an influence?
June 15, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Luigi. The motion will stay the same for wedge-driver. However, setup adjustments will be made with the driver to change the angle of attack. To understand more about the RST Plane take a look at Proper Golf Swing Plane in the Introduction Advanced Section.
June 16, 2015
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Gordon
I have a life long habit of collapsing my right arm on the back swing thus leading to a very bent left arm, over-swing, and being across the line at the top and of course in the end being to narrow at the top. Would it be good to focus on feeling like my right arm is straightening out as much as possible during the back swing thus stretching out my left arm to keep it straight? Or is there another feeling I should strive for to kick the habit? Thanks.
June 12, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gordon. Yes and another suggestion. Take a look at Keeping the Right Arm Straight to Turn in this Section Advanced Category. Also, one of the keys to not over bending is maintaining your external humeral rotation. 3 Functions of the Right Arm Video this Section Advanced Category.
June 12, 2015
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Brian
When you make the transition from shoulder elevation to elbow flexion; how many more degrees of shoulder elevation would you say you make in the left arm?
June 10, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brian. There isn't a whole bunch of elevation once you start adding flexion because the folding of the trail arm is going to be the primary tool for more vertical motion.
June 10, 2015
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thomas
There does not seem to be any discussion of the hip vs. the torso. do you subscribe to the X factor or Y factor methodology.
June 3, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Thomas. There is a little "x" factor. Between the takeaway and completion of the backswing there will roughly be 45 degrees of separation between the lower and upper half to generate torque.
June 3, 2015
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thomas
Thank you for the response. I wish I could get 45 degrees at my age - but trying!
June 4, 2015
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gerard
Craig, Two questions, should the elevation continue throughout the backswing or once you have elevated intially should it stop and also I am a bit confused on the upper right arm.....when I try to stay connected with it I end up too flat and rounded and when I try to get width I end up disconnected and across the line.
May 26, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gerard. Elevation will continue throughout the backswing until the arms have been elevated to the base of the pectorals. Don't try and create excessive width. If the right arm stays straight from the get go you will have all the width you need. If you are ending up flat and rounded you are more than likely excessively rotating the left forearm too much to the top. Take a look at the Using the Wrist Efficiently Video in the Introduction Section to see how the left arm rotates, but not too much.
May 26, 2015
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Ray
I feel as though as long as I keep the left arm straight and pull with the right shoulder blade, completion of a perfect back swing is accomplished by just bending the right arm straight up (flexion). The right arm rotation seems automatic. Obviously there's more to it by way of loading up the right glute but am I on the right path with this idea or over simplifying?
May 23, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ray. No issue with over simplifying things. However, some people need to focus on adding the proper amount of wrist set and elevation. But, it sounds like you are nailing the high points.
May 25, 2015
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Ray
It feels like the wrist set begins once the takeaway is completed when the arms elevate, correct?
May 26, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Ray. 25% of the wrist set happens in the takeaway. Not a whole lot, but just enough. Gradually increases from there.
May 26, 2015
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Gary
I have been maintaining the tush line by "Loading the Rt Glute" at the top of the backswing,. Unfortunately, I am raising my body, head, and spine angle higher than the original set up positions. Are there any videos I can view to solve this problem? Any suggestions on the cause of the problem?
May 23, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary. Are you elevating beyond the base of the pec elevation wise? Check that first. Then, use the Golf Body Rotation Video in the Backswing Section to make sure you are rotating and not tilting.
May 23, 2015
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Chris
I think I've been working so much on transition, trying to feel that keyoff, trigger for weight shift from the backswing that I've forgotten to check things going back? So having compared my top position to you brilliant videos, not good. Disconnected, over rotated hips, laid off, inefficient coil so no wonder the transition was an issue...turns out it isn't and is now happening much better. Can only explain by doing these drills, elevation was OK the feel for me is to keep the right elbow connected whilst feeling the right elbow pit facing up and away, wrists are nicely set, serving tray, feels really coiled and loaded on the left, keeping knee flex. I struggle maintaining spine angle through impact the better takeaway has helped that as the transition is more natural and I think, more connected through the backswing. Good stuff and liking the stacked drills as they provide great position checks.
May 19, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Chris. I like where you are heading. Checking the backswing to setup up for a good downswing. Need a good foundation. Appreciate the compliments on the videos and site.
May 20, 2015
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Lee
I have been working on the backswing. For some reason my right hip is hurting after swinging. Any ideas as to what could be causing this? Things I can check for since I assume it is related to working on the backswing. Thanks.
May 11, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Lee. Are you not allowing for the hip to rotate going back? Staying too stagnant. Take a look at the Weight Shift Video Part 2.
May 11, 2015
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Lee
Ok, I'll check that out Craig. I figured I must be doing something wrong since it is hurting from swinging. Thanks.
May 11, 2015
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Sergio
Hi, while doing the excercises in front of the mirror, I've noticed that when I rotate, my left shoulder touches my chin, forcing me to move my head leftside. Is this a posture mistake? Is there any video talking about this fault? thanks a lot.
May 5, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Sergio. You might be rounding in the thoracic or cervical spine area. Take a look at the Golf Posture Video in the Setup Section. Also, check you aren't adding too much elevation.
May 5, 2015
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Chris
Hi, Can this drill be started from the end of the takeaway position?
April 28, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Chris. Yes, it can. You can see the demonstration of that in the Move 2 Video in this Section. However, start in front as Chuck describes first.
April 28, 2015
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Nguyen
Hi When Chuck do the elevation & flexion without the club from face on, I see his left hand block his right eye at top, but with the club in his hand, it look like the left hand is lower, i.e the left hand cross his neck. I assume that 's due to right hand external rotation. So what is the final&correct left hand reference at top, i.e block right eye or cross the neck?
April 21, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nguyen. When standing straight up and down the right eye will be blocked by the left arm (Face On). When you hinge from the hips and rotate. The hands will end up over the right shoulder at the arm will look like its cover the neck (DTL).
April 21, 2015
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Nguyen
Thank Craig!
April 22, 2015
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Dave
Hi, when i was a member of this site before you had a working area for the 5 minutes videos where you would put how many repetitions etc and it would tally dverything up for you, there was also printable worksheets to show the important points etc. Are these not available anymore, i used to think they were a great addition to the videos. Dave
April 19, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. There are a few differences that haven't yet been updated to the new site. However, the printable worksheets are still here. If you go to the Swing Reviews Tab. Click Checkpoints for Practice.
April 19, 2015
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Dave
Brilliant, thanks Craig.
April 19, 2015
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Dan
When I do this drill from the F.O. view my right elbow sticks out way past my left arm. I have wide shoulders and I feel like I have to protract my shoulders a little at address just to get my hands on the club. One big hitter on tour Gary woodland actually makes this move in his transition but his right elbow isn't that visible at the top of his swing from the F.O. view. Is this something I should work to avoid or is this just how my some with wide shoulders will look at the top?
April 3, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dan. There is some protraction of the lead shoulder at the top of the backswing. You don't want to start with it at address. But, take a look at Left Shoulder Push in the Backswing Advanced Section and see if that is what you are feeling to correct. The trail elbow shouldn't stick too much past the lead arm.
April 3, 2015
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fionn
Hi Craig, I have the same issue as Dan, I checked out the LEFT SHOULDER PUSH video, but it didn't answer Dan issue and my issue directly. In order to try to hide my right elbow on the back swing (behind the left arm, which everyone seems to do easily) I have tried tiling my shoulders, pulling the right should back hard, and others, but have gotten no joy. Can you explain what Dan and I are doing that we can't execute this seemingly simple drill in the same way Chuck does in the video? Thank you.
April 8, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Fionn. Are you referring to the Face On View that you and Dan see the right elbow too below the lead arm? That could be many culprits. Loss of elevation. I talk about that in the 5 Minutes to the Perfect Backswing Pitfalls in the Advanced Backswing Section. Also, check to make sure not too much lead arm rotation. If you get excess that can cause that look as well. If you are talking about a different issue, please elaborate more. I would be happy to help assist as much as possible.
April 8, 2015
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fionn
Yes Face on, if by "lead arm rotation" you mean left arm rotation, I think you have figured out one of my contributing factors, its less pronounced now - I will let you know more when I check out that Backswing pitfalls video, thank you.
April 8, 2015
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Jarek
If you were to draw a line along my right quad from a front on view, you would notice my leg breaking line as my whole body shifts directly to the rear. I know that we want weight shift but when I watch slow-mo of chucks swing his leg is posted and almost doesn't move out of line at all. Is this a problem or should I not worry about it?
March 4, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jarek. You definitely don't want to sway too much in the backswing. Pivot correctly into the trail glute. Take a look at the Weight Shift Part 2 Video in the Weight Shift Section. Maintain your hip line.
March 5, 2015
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I have a problem with understanding flexion of the right arm. What makes it stop from bending more than 90 degrees? My arms collapse into my right shoulder and my left arm breaks into a right angle. It is something that I don't feel and only see it in a video of my swing.
January 28, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
External Humeral Rotation and good awareness will help the right arm not bending more than 90 degrees. Take a look at the Over Swinging Video and 3 Functions of the Right Arm in the Advanced Backswing Section. Also, make sure you are allowing a little wrist set. Some players overly fold the right to make up for lack of set. Using the Wrist Efficiently Video in the Introduction Advanced Section.
January 28, 2015
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Scott
I am really working on this move: elevation, flection, posture, rotation, without a club. I feel a lot of pull in my left shoulder ( I am right handed and 48 years old) not on the top of my shoulder but around the lower part near the end of my tricept. Also do you have any preliminary stretching videos that I need to be doing prior to these movements.
January 22, 2015
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Scott, Make sure that your right upper bicep is touching your right upper pec because if the right elbow gets too far pulled away from the body, it pulls the left arm across the chest more than it needs to be and cause stress on the shoulder joint. If you've checked that and you're still having issues we can talk about some good shoulder girdle stretches after that. Let us know if you need anything! R.J.
January 23, 2015
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Scott
On this backswing drill, is you left arm remaining straight or is there a slight bend in it? I can't seem to keep it straight. Thanks,
January 19, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Scott. You want the left arm as straight as can be. Don't force lock it, but straight as possible. Make sure you are setting the wrist. That should take some strain off the left elbow.
January 20, 2015
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Scott
I am really working on this move: elevation, flection, posture, rotation, without a club. I feel a lot of pull in my left shoulder ( I am right handed and 48 years old) not on the top of my shoulder but around the lower part near the end of my tricept. Also do you have any preliminary stretching videos that I need to be doing prior to these movements.
January 23, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Scott. You can take a look at the Fitness Section. We have some great videos for overall general health. However, you shouldn't be experiencing too much strain. I see this has plagued you for a little bit because of your posts. My suggestion. Upload your drill to one of our instructors. We will be happy to take a look and find the issue going on with your pain. Be specific in the notes and work through the sequencing. I want you to be pain free and efficient.
January 23, 2015
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Corey
When you move to the "Flexion" position should your left arm be straight when you bend your right arm, or will there be a slight bend to your left arm? When you've rotated and are at the top of the Backswing is looks like you have locked the elbow of your left arm.
January 15, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Corey. Unless the right arm is bending more than 90 degrees the left arm should be pretty straight. Don't jam it or lock it. However, you won't see the left arm bending too much if the right arm isn't adding too much flexion. Chuck's elbow isn't locked. It might look that way. Just a multitude of times doing it. If you have less than 90 degrees of flexion and your left arm is bent. Check to see you've added a little wrist set.
January 15, 2015
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Nick
I can't turn my shoulders a full 90 degrees without over rotating my hips - it's just impossible due to lack of flexibility. I can only get to about 80. With that said, when I do the elevation-flexion-posture-rotation drill correctly (without swinging my arms across my body) the butt of my club is well short of being over my right shoulder - from down the line in the mirror it is more in-line with the back of my head with the club obviously WELL short of where it would be with a 90 degree turn. Two questions: 1) Is it better to be in this position with the arms not swinging across the body given what I described above than getting the club deeper? 2) What are the positives/negatives of being in this position rather than getting the club a little deeper to where it is in the swing viewer model swings (ie. club head speed vs. consistency, etc)? Thanks.
January 12, 2015
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Nick, I just want to let you know that you can get a full 90 degree shoulder turn and we will help you get there. As for having the butt of your club closer to the back of your head than being over your trailing shoulder, that's okay. As long as your trailing elbow isn't flairing outside of the frame of your torso, then you're fine. I'm guessing that you have a larger chest than most people, like myself. For those of us who are barrel chested, our arms aren't going to be able to get as deep over the right shoulder, unless you have really long arms. So, some of the positions in the golf swing are going to be dependent on your body type. Like where your left elbow pit should be pointing at the top of the swing. I have a wider chest so my left elbow pit would be pointing at my left eye, whereas with a smaller golfer with similar arm length, it would be pointing at their right eye. Every golf instructor on this forum can tell you what body positions are absolutely necessary and which positions are naturally variant on body type. Check out these videos to help your ability to get a full 90 degree turn and take "can't" out of your vocabulary. You can do anything and everything. Posture is key for rotation - Always stay in the box http://www.rotaryswing.com/videos/full-swing-basics/setup/golf-setup-posture Early or over flexion of the trail side elbow thwarts rotation http://www.rotaryswing.com/videos/full-swing-advanced/backswing/keep-the-right-arm-straight-to-turn Remember to roll those ankles in, it does wonders for helping the glutes support the hips during rotation. http://www.rotaryswing.com/videos/full-swing-basics/setup/5-minutes-to-the-perfect-golf-setup Focus on the shoulder blade gliding towards the middle section of the spine and focus less on the actual rotation http://www.rotaryswing.com/videos/full-swing-basics/takeaway/5-minutes-to-master-rotation R-E-L-A-X! If you feel any tightness before your swing, your rotation is doomed from the start http://www.rotaryswing.com/videos/full-swing-advanced/introduction/proper-muscle-activation If you work on these videos, you'll be getting 90 degree of shoulder turn with less and less hip rotation each time you do it. R.J.
January 13, 2015
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Nick
Thanks for the very detailed answer. I definitely have a wider chest and shorter arms. This helps a lot as I can't get anywhere near the elevation at the top that some of the swings on the site have and I think I've been pushing my arms across my chest to try to get there, losing width and lag. It also makes it almost impossible for me to get to the second "wide" position in wide-narrow-wide because if my left arm is straight, there is no way my right arm can reach far enough to be on the club as well so my left arm folds a little sooner. Does that make sense?
January 13, 2015
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Nick, Yes, if you try getting too deep, your left arm is going to break down. That's true for everyone, some more than others. The joint doesn't need to be stiff like a board, it can be slightly bent. However, one disclaimer about that, the more that the left arm is bent the more angles you have to worry about timing in the downswing so keep that in mind. If you work your way through the videos and just keep moving, doing the motions of the swing without over exerting yourself, you'll eventually have all of the necessary flexibility. Trust me, I know from experience. I'm a big dude and I wasn't very active until I re-focused my life around golf. I'm not quite as big of a guy any more and I'm much more flexible than I was. Keep up the hard work! R.J.
January 14, 2015
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dane
Do you want a flat wrist at the top of the backswing? My grip when unmanipulated has a slight cup at the top of the backswing, the club face to path relationship would be compromised if I flattened my wrist (club face would be shut at top). So do u want a neutral, address position wrist to be maintained to the top or do you want a flat wrist?
January 8, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dane. We prefer the lead wrist to be flat at the top of the backswing. Take a look at the Using the Wrist Efficiently Video in the Introduction Advanced Section. Chris provides a great explanation of how the wrist starts in a slightly cupped position to a flat at the top.
January 8, 2015
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Andrew
Thanks Craig for responding before. I am a little confused again. I saw an article on the website from long ago saying that a parallel swing plane is one on or parallel to the shaft swing plane line. In a video by Clay describing the difference in swing plane and swing shift, he drew the line through the elbows. Both examples were of Tiger with Hank Haney. Here is the link to the article on the website http://www.rotaryswing.com/golf-instruction/tour-pros/tiger-woods/tiger-woods-backswing. Which swing plan is proper? could it have been camera view that made one of them work or what? Just confused now which plane to use. I liked the shaft plane parallel swing plane. Could you please help square this away for me. Also thanks in advance.
January 7, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Andrew. The elbow plane line is the preferred representation of plane.
January 8, 2015
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Andrew
Love this site!! I was watching one of your videos on swing plane about the differences between a parallel swing plane and a plane shift. I personally like the look of the parallel swing plane much better and was thinking of using that in my swing. Do you guys prefer the plane shift though? Also, does the extra forearm rotation effect the position of the club at the top (is it just more body rotation)? It looked like it was the same but helped generate more power. Is it harder to control? Also is this even possible with the grip you guys recommend? What are the pros and cons of the parallel swing plane?
January 1, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Andrew. We teach more of a parallel plane versus plane shift. Yes, it is possible with the grip we recommend. Take a look at the Using the Wrist Efficiently Video in the Advanced Introduction Section for more detail about the lead forearm rotation and position of the club at the top. The swing is definitely not harder to control. I switched from a plane shift to parallel plane years ago and it not only looks better, but is much less wear and tear on my body. It is easier to manipulate the flight and not get stuck so much into one type of shot shape. It does require a little more flexibility with the trail arm to achieve though.
January 2, 2015
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Dave
As I do the flexion part of the drill with the upside down club, my wrist tend to cock (not hinge) just a little bit. Is this ok? If not, any suggestions, they don't cock when I do the flexion part of the drill holding on to my left thumb.
December 27, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. There is wrist set (cock) and hinge in the swing. You need to allow for wrist set. Take a look at the Using the Wrist Efficiently Video in the Introduction Advanced Section for more information. Also, the 5 Mins to the Perfect Backswing Pitfalls in the Advanced Backswing to see the proper amount.
December 27, 2014
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Benjamin
I have trouble understanding or grasping how to transfer the drills to my full swing. I can do all the drills but once i get to making the full swing with my thumb and club I just cant get to the same position. Any help would be great.
December 18, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ben. There is probably something in the drill you are changing as you add the club or thumb. I don't want to assume because I could be sending you down the wrong path. My suggestion would be to upload the drill and attempt with club to our online review system. One of our instructors would be glad to see where the complications are occurring.
December 19, 2014
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Benjamin
Is it possible to do the moves if I start from the takeaway postion than from face on and if so is it the same thing with elevation, flexion, and rotation.
December 19, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ben. It can be a little tricky from the Takeaway Position. But, you can produce the movements from there. Take a look at the Move 2 Video in this section. You can see them all put together.
December 19, 2014
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Tim
I am not getting the full video. I paid for this, is something wrong? Please correct this for me. Tim
December 17, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tim. Customer Support is on the issue.
December 18, 2014
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Christian
Great way to get the perfect backswing. I have watched this video a couple times already and I am still flat up top. My right elbow keeps wanting to kick out slightly which lowers my hands and deepens my backswing. Watching this a third time I am feeling where I need to put them. Also I heard the advise to do this in stages 5 minutes a day. I am committing to that. Already I can feel a difference. Reps. lots of reps. I am excited.
December 15, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Christian, One thing that might be causing you to allow the right elbow to flair out at the top would be over flexing of the right elbow. The more you flex your elbow, the easier it is to move the elbow away from the body. Try it at varying elbow flexes. You'll be amazed how much easier it is to flair the elbow once you move it past 90 degrees of flex. Good luck and let us know if you need anything! R.J.
December 15, 2014
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Shontelle
Hi there. I am finding that when I flex my right elbow, my left arm/elbow is wanting to bend instead of staying straight and coming across my body.. Not sure what I am Im missing.. Thank you in advance!
December 8, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Shontelle. You are probably not allowing for the wrist to set. Allowing for a little lead forearm rotation and wrist set will allow you to keep the arm straighter.
December 8, 2014
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graham
Hi - Great video - but where/when does your left wrist get flattened - mine is always cupped at the top. Thanks in advance
December 5, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Graham It should start flattening out as the trailing elbow flexes upward and pulls the lead arm across the body. R.J.
December 5, 2014
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John
Hi - I have the same issue as Graham. My left wrist wants to cup (bend back toward the top of my arm) at the top of the backswing. I can keep it straight without a club, but once that club goes in there, I am having trouble keeping it straight - like my bones wont go there. Any video address this? Thanks - great instruction here!
December 22, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
John, You might be trying to get too much wrist set, which would cause the wrist to cup. Also, if there's too much internal rotation of the lead arm at the top of the backswing, the wrist will have no where to go but to cup. Craig's Backswing Pitfalls video in the Full Swing Advanced will give you some ideas as to how much wrist set to get. Also, you'll be able to see that his lead elbow pit is facing his face in the video. If the lead arm elbow pit is facing the trailing shoulder or arm at the top of the backswing, you'll get some wrist cupping. Check those two factors out and if you're still having issues, let us know and we'll get you fixed up. Also, leave a comment for your swing reviewer in the section. He will be able to analyze the issues that you're having that's causing the cupped wrist at the top. R.J.
December 24, 2014
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Stephen
Im a right handed golfer, where should the left elbow pit point at the top of the swing? Should it point right angles to the target (away from me from the face on view, i mean)
December 3, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Stephen, If you're a right handed golfer, your left elbow pit is going to be facing your collar bone at the sternum, give or take a few inches depending on how long your arms are relative to your torso. R.J.
December 4, 2014
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Jason
I really really really struggle with my right forearm rotating, getting the club more flat and behind. I think I mentally want to swing the weight of the club behind me and I'm guessing being 6'5" doesn't help. Is there anything that I can focus on? Or this just a matter of me getting more comfortable with club going up more vs around and feeling like it is more in front of me.
December 3, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Jason, Your height doesn't really affect this issue at all. The fundamentals of the golf swing are the same for everyone because we all have the same joints and they all work in the same way (barring any catastrophic injuries). I want you to focus on this video because it will help you get your hands into the vertical plane better and help you stop getting so deep in your backswing. http://www.rotaryswing.com/videos/full-swing-advanced/backswing/4-square-drill R.J.
December 4, 2014
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Gautam
I feel a lot of pressure under and right of the shoulder after flexion. Is it normal? Thanks
November 18, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Gautam, Pressure, yes. Pain, no. R.J.
November 18, 2014
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Jared
During the right elbow flexion should it feel as though your right arm is pulling your left arm up?
November 16, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Jared, Yes. The right arm will pull the left arm up and across the body. You do not want to feel like you're pushing your left arm across because you can put undue stress on the right elbow joint if you externally rotate the right humerus too much. R.J.
November 17, 2014
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Steve
Do you start the elevation (R arm folding) immediately at the start of the take away or later in the swing? Or if not, where is the proper point to initiate the folding of the right arm?
October 30, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Right arm flexion/folding is different than shoulder flexion/elevation. Elevation is lifting both of your arms at your shoulder joint, where right arm flexion is bending at your right elbow. Shoulder elevation starts shortly after the takeaway begins and gradually continues until the arms reach the bottom of the pectoral muscle. The right elbow flexion begins as the arms reach the end of the shoulder elevation. R.J.
October 30, 2014
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Scott
I seem to hit the ball pretty solid if I get to the top of the backswing manually following the procedure: elevation, flexion, rotation, posture. However, when I try to take a normal backswing I don't hit the ball as solidly which leads me to believe I'm not getting to the same position at the top.
October 22, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Scott, Video tape yourself from the down the line view. Take a few swings from a normal backswing then following the step by step process. See what the top of your swing looks like for both. If they are the same, something else is going on. If they don't keep practicing the drills until you can make it look good on tape. R.J.
October 22, 2014
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Jared
During the backswing does the right elbow always have to be "covering" the right side of the torso, or can It drift a few inches away from it at the top of the swing?
October 16, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Jared, We prefer that it stays connected to the upper right pectoral muscle. The reason for that being is that the arms need to get back in front of the body in order to stay connected to the box and release on time to the ball. The further that you drift from the right pec in the backswing with your right bicep, the more prone to getting stuck in the downswing that you will be. Obviously, we don't want that. With the RST program, we're trying to build a golf swing that doesn't require compensations. If you're having difficulty keeping it connected, it could be because your deltoids and your pectoral muscles need to be strengthened. It could also be that you're not externally rotating the right humerus enough and that is also caused, a lot of times, by over flexing the right elbow moving into the top of the backswing. So, do some "Fly" exercises, whether it be on a butterfly machine or if your doing flies on the bench with weights, this will strengthen your upper pectoral muscles and then do arm raises straight out in front of you to work your deltoids with lighter weights. I like to use buckets of water to strengthen my deltoids because the water isn't static, which causes the stabilizer muscles to activate. You can't go past parallel and you have to stay in perfect posture (including being in the box), or it won't work the deltoids. Another way you could exercise both at the same time is to do the elevation, right elbow flexion drill with a club in your hands, then try to squeeze your elbows in toward each other as much as you can and then hold that position for 10 seconds, relax for a few seconds, and then do it again for another 10 count. Do that about 5-10 reps and about 3 sets a couple times a week for a month and all of a sudden you'll be getting to the top of the backswing in perfect position in no time. I hope this helps, R.J.
October 17, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jared. You want the right arm as close as possible. It may drift some, but some players can't add the recommended amount of external humeral rotation. No worries. Just genetics. Take the test in the Fix the Flying Elbow Video in the Advanced Backswing Section.
October 17, 2014
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Hans
This is my favorite video. It glues all together for the backswing. When practicing the full backswing I sometimes stop at the end and then "unwind" my turn and posture to see if my arms are ok (in front, not too high). Many times I think all went well but it turns out different after "unwinding".
October 14, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks Hans. Yes, sometimes during the unwinding process you will notice how far your arms actually drifted away from your turn.
October 14, 2014
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Lee
Finally. This makes perfect sense. I wish RotarySwing had been teaching these golf concepts back in the '70s. I played baseball and my coach changed how I held my bat when waiting for a pitch (oh so similar to the top position in this video), instead of me holding it more flat and around me. I went from striking out and some base hits to bombing it over the outfield lights! I'm still working through the RotarySwing program, but can again feel the body power, when following Chuck's instruction. Great stuff and thanks for helping so many of us.
October 10, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Lee, I'm glad you're excited about the game again. Chuck's observation of the human body and how it is supposed to move is so revolutionary in its simplicity. If you stick with our rotary swing program and follow the program in order. You'll definitely be capable of having a tour caliber golf swing in about 3 months or so. I also agree with you. I wish I had this information back in the late 90s when I was in high school. I would most likely be on tour right now. I definitely would have been playing golf in college, that's for sure.
October 11, 2014
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andrew
Hi again guys, is there any connection to be maintained between the lead arm and chest wall in the backswing? If so, would you mind explaining the type of feel?
September 15, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Andrew. The lead arm in the backswing should not be pressed and held against the chest in the backswing.
September 15, 2014
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andrew
Hi guys, can i assume there is no active wrist cocking or wrist setting anywhere in the takeaway or backswing to the top?
September 15, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Andrew. The wrist will gradually cock throughout the swing. Roughly about 25 percent in the takeaway and increasing. Take a look at the 5 Minutes to the Perfect Takeaway in the Takeaway Section. Chuck will discuss late in the video. Also, the Using the Wrist Efficiently Video in the Introduction Advanced Section.
September 15, 2014
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Anthony
Craig, in looking at my videos I think you are correct about the humeral rotation. If I do the drill where I preset my arms/wrists and then turn to the top of the backswing, my elbow is pointing down. However, if I just do a normal swing and not the drill I am having trouble feeling the proper humeral rotation from the ending of the takeaway to the top of the backswing. Is there anything I can do to help feel the correct humeral rotation in motion?
September 2, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Anthony. You should feel the scapula move a little clockwise. Try adding the drills from the 3 Functions of the Right Arm in the Advanced Backswing Section. Try and isolate the motion and correct feeling.
September 2, 2014
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Thomas
I was explaining this drill to a friend and he asked me what was the negative consequences of a flying right elbow in the backswing and I couldn't give him a satisfactory answer, Nickaulas had a flying right elbow and obviously did well, can you help me understand this?
September 1, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Thomas. The flying right elbow disengages you from the box. One of the key pieces to adding torso rotational speed is having the right scapula in the proper location. Adding External Humeral Rotation in the right arm moves the scapula clockwise to get the link and keeping the right arm from flying. Allowing for more efficient energy transfer and less need for brute force to create pace.
September 1, 2014
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Anthony
Previously, my swing was all left sided without right side activation which led to my right elbow pointing to the 8 o'clock position when viewed from down the line. I have been drilling and working a lot to focus on the shoulder blade glide and it has improved, but my right elbow still points to about the 7 o'clock position. In order to get my elbow to stay pointing down I have to really squeeze in with my upper arm and brace it against my chest. I can do it but I didn't know if I am introducing too much tension by doing it.
August 29, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Anthony. You don't want to create too much tension, but it sounds like a lack of external humeral rotation. Take a look at the Over Swinging Video and the Fix the Flying Elbow in the Advanced Backswing Section.
August 29, 2014
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Sonny
At the top of backswing does the left knee stays flex and still or it moves a little bit towards the ball? I find that the left knee tends to get pulled in as I move to the top, contrary to the left knee laser drill
August 14, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Sonny. You want to minimize the movement of the left knee going back. The more it moves. The tendency to over rotate with the hips and push from the left.
August 14, 2014
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david
For me the big issue is the right elbow. If I bend it only slightly I can bring my left arm over and it is straight. When I do the rotation I find my elbow starts to get away from my body. How close should it be at the top? Once you do the rotation should you consciously bring the elbow back in towards the body?
August 11, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. Adding External Humeral Rotation rotates the scapula clockwise and keeps the elbow in. Supporting the plane and helping you maintain width. The arm will come away from the side. Try and maintain the elbow pointing down and the connection between the upper bicep and pectoral.
August 11, 2014
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Hermann
Hello, why is it so hard to Keep the right arm straight? is it the right shoulder? or the Hip. I straggle with this move
July 30, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Hermann. Years of training. It is a process to undo the habit of folding the right arm early. Have you tried the 2 inch hand drill in the Role of the Right Arm in the Takeaway Video in the Advanced Takeaway Section? If not, check it out. Maintain the 2 inch gap and finger tip length. You should be able to keep that arm straight.
July 30, 2014
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kelly
when you say make a huge turn and a small arm swing how high on average should your arms elevate above your shoulders? does it depend on flexability? or just where you stop your turn? as in your torso turn while in the box?
July 29, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Elevation is just to the base of the pec. The amount is based on your anatomy. Take a look at the 3 Functions of the Right Arm in the Advanced Backswing Section for more info.
July 29, 2014
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David
Once you achieve the top in the correct position, how do you get rid of the shift problem that gets you to an inside out swing? It is not a big inside out move but still very noticeable on camera. It's 75 percent better than it was before the proper back swing position at the top.
July 26, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. Use the Trace the Plane Line Video and the Level Shoulders Drill in the Downswing Advanced Section. One will help you get on plane. The other keep the right side from pushing too much and get stacked on the lead side.
July 26, 2014
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David
I do the drill and it looks very good How come when i start with the club on the ground, i cannot get into the same position at the top?
July 21, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. It takes time to ingrain new motor patterns. Especially when blending move 1 and move 2. Make slow motion swings. Figure out when you lose it. Whether it be in the Takeaway or Backswing. When the weight of the club gets in your hands. Typically people try and move the club to the positions. Not move the body correctly, which will take care of the club.
July 21, 2014
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Seth
In completion of the back swing with flexion, how does it exactly work? As frame of reference, during elevation the radius bone in forearm (top bone thumb side) stacked above the ulna (bottom bone pinky side) are parallel with the ground, when flexion happens do they rotate towards the body, or as flexion occurs or do they remain in front of one another. I've tried looking a some of Chuck's swings and it seems like the bottom part of the forearm ulna side rotates in. Reason being, in adding lag to my practice i seem to have better results with out the rotation.
July 17, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
It does rotate slightly in towards the body. Because the flexion helps the left forearm to rotate properly. Its not a max move. Just slight. Take a look at the 3 Functions of the Right Arm in the Downswing Advanced Section about 3 Minutes into it. Watch Chris's right arm.
July 17, 2014
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Anthony
What about using this drill when hitting balls? Would this be detrimental to the Rotary Swing process? Naturally this drill helps me get into and feel the proper positions at the top so I thought about using it at the range to hit balls.
July 13, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
If you can do it. Go for it. Myself and many other rotary swingers learn by piecing it together and slowly build to hitting balls.
July 13, 2014
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Richard
Hi, I'm working on developing width, I tend to swing very much inside and fan the club open. When practicing a wide takeaway the movement feels like there's tension in my torso and arms, my normal "narrow and inside" swing feels a lot smoother, if I think"swing smooth" I go horribly inside. Is this tense feeling in my torso how it's always supposed to feel or is this only because it's a foreign movement?
July 1, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Richard. More than likely it's because the move is relatively new. The right arm inside feels comfortable to you now. You are training new muscles to move the club, that have never been engaged before. I've heard this before with my students. It will go away with some repeated reps.
July 1, 2014
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Kyle
Is it best to have the leading arm (the left arm as a right handed player) totally straight at the top of the backswing? No bend in it at all?
June 27, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Kyle. It is better to have the left arm straight. However, we don't want you to lock it into position. If the left arm is relaxed at the top, but all other checkpoints have been made. Then no worries. Stay a little relaxed. Nothing in the swing needs to be forced.
June 27, 2014
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Jacob
Is it OK if I don't add any arm elevation going back, but instead add all the elevation at the point of folding the left arm? It feels easier to concentrate on shoulder blade glide when I do this and on camera I'm getting all the elevation I need. Is this a bad idea? I really struggle keeping the right arm quiet in the takeaway and backswing and usually get it stuck way behind me.
June 21, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jacob. There needs to be a touch of elevation to keep everything out in front of the sternum. There are plenty of videos on the site with drills that can help you do the correct amount and keep that right arm in check. Look at the Understanding Shoulder Elevation Video in this section. You can also check out the 4 Square Drill, Pool Noodle, and 3 Functions of the Right Arm in the Backswing Advanced Section.
June 21, 2014
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Anthony
Please correct me on any of this if I am off. From what I understand, it is OK to focus on the right scapula for the duration of the backswing. However, in trying to do this move and only let my right arm go in a vertical motion on the backswing my right lat is very "loaded" at the top of the backswing. Is this the right feeling or should I be feeling something in a different spot?
May 26, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Anthony, you are getting the correct feelings and are a good path of understanding and developing full kinesthetic awareness
May 27, 2014
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bryan
Is the feature to attach picture no longer available. For me, the club seems to be dipping for me at the top of my backswing. When I look at Chuck's position at the top the club shaft is in line with his left forearm. When looking at my position at the top, my left forearm and club shaft seem to be forming an upside down triangle, where the club is in a descending angle falling off towards the tush line. My left wrist seems to be perfectly straight at the top. Any thoughts on what is causing this?
May 23, 2014
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bryan
Could this simply be a problem of overbending the right elbow? If I keep more width i don't seem to see this problem.
May 23, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Bryan, we are working towards adding the picture feature back to the comment section and not entirely sure when that will be ready. How much rotation in the left forearm do you have? If you want, you can send a picture over to me down the line to chris@rotaryswing.com and I will take a look and help out as much as possible.
May 23, 2014
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david
Thanks for the previous tip Chris. From watching the videos it seems that the chin rotates with the shoulders a bit. In some vidios I don't see this. With this drill it is especially prominent at 13:25. I can't tell if chuck is checking his position or if that is correct head position. I find when I'm doing the drill and checking everything is great. When I try and keep my head on the ball I get jammed up. I'll look for vidios on head position but can you please comment on how you think about head stability.
May 13, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
The head can and should move about an inch or so in the backswing. Go to the self analysis tab at the top of the page and then load a face on view of Chucks swing. With the tools, mark the left side of his head and then watch the swing to the top and see how it works. Trying to hold the head way to still can cause a reverse pivot about 99.956747% of the time
May 14, 2014
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rodney
Hi, do we want the wrist set to be caused from the left forearm rotation or the right elbow flexion? I guess what I am asking is should it be rotation that sets the club in a set position or cocking? I have been having some issues with this and having a hard time with my irons right now.
May 8, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
You really are looking for the wrists to be set at the takeaway and you shouldn't be trying to add an additional set in them as you work into the backswing. The left forearm is continuing to rotate and if the wrists remain passive into the top the the left wrist should move to a flat position based on the weight of the club. This allows you to create some downcock as well when making the shift left.
May 8, 2014
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rodney
Thanks Chris, I was rotating my hands a bit to much. During practice today I noticed that I would occasionally have a bit of weight still on the right side not having fully shifted into a balanced follow through. Bye focusing on the bump and pulling of the left oblique this seemed to get me through were I needed. When I would hang back, I would either hit a push-fade or a pull. This sound right?
May 8, 2014
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david
Can you comment on where the upper left arm/shoulder should be in relation to the chin at the top of the backswing. I find that with practice swings things feel fine but when I am taking a shot and trying to keep my eye on the ball my shoulder jams under my chin so I try to chin up but it would really like to know where the left shoulder/arm should touch the chin or face, if at all when actually taking a shot.
May 6, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey David, the best thing to do is go check out the self analysis tab and load a face on version of Chucks swing and watch how the shoulders work during the move. With proper rotation around the axis, you should not be jammed up like you say you are. That could indicate improper rotation or some pushing from the lead arm
May 7, 2014
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mickey
I'm a left handed golfer and my left shoulder hurts like hell when I try this.
May 2, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Mickey, make sure that you are in neutral posture at at address and you are not getting any sort of drastic shrugging from the left shoulder at the top of the swing. You want to make sure the scapula stays down and connected. If you are not seeing any shrugging go to the top of the swing, shrug the shoulder up to the ear then completely depress it. See if that helps and if not, we need to get your swing in for review if possible.
May 5, 2014
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Chris
The muscles in my chest, lats & shoulder are too tight and that seems to cause my left arm to bend when getting close to the end of the backswing. Are there stretches I can do to loosen up those areas? I have fibromyalgia and my muscles are always tight so this may be the cause but stretching those areas would have to help. Thank you.
April 30, 2014
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john
I was keeping track of my reps and was finishing up the backswing, I can't find my progress record now. Thanks, John
April 6, 2014

5 Minutes to the Perfect Golf Backswing

This golf instruction video is all about giving you drills you can use five minutes per day to get your backswing dialed in like a tour pro. If you're looking to learn how to swing a golf club, this video will make your life much easier!

Once you've mastered the golf setup and the takeaway in the golf swing, it's time to get us all the way to the top of the backswing. If you haven't mastered the set up and take away yet, you're not ready for this video. Do the right thing. Master the takeaway first; then come back for this video once you've mastered that piece. You need to have a perfect takeaway to set up a backswing to make it simple to get to the top in the right positions.

                I'm going to walk you through the exact same progression that I use when I teach students in person so that you can get the exact same experience and understand exactly how you need to work through the backswing to get into a perfect position at the top every time without any problems.

                There's two techniques that I use. The first one is progression or stacking. What that means is I'm going to make things really simple at first, and then each time we master a simple little piece of the backswing I'm going to stack another piece on there to make it more challenging.

                The second piece is I'm going to use isolationism. What that means is I'm going to take all the distractions away at first. There's going to be no club, no ball, none of that, so we're really just focusing on movement. That's really what we're trying to do. We're not trying to hit a perfect golf shot or have a perfect contact or impact position yet. We're trying to learn a new movement pattern. That's critical so that you take what position the golf club faces in and realize all you're trying to do is create a new movement pattern, and that's it.

                I'm going to show you exactly how we do that. The first thing I'm going to do is get rid of the golf club because I don't need that yet. That's just a distraction. Here's the first thing that we're going to do. Before we actually start the movement, I want you to understand a concept. This is critical that you understand this, because this will affect your vision, or what you can see the golf swing to be. Once you understand what your preconceptions are and how they may be flawed a little bit, you'll understand why people end up in the typical positions that we see every day on the lesson tee.

                The first thing I want you to think of is that when you're looking at a golf swing from down the line, there are two dimensions basically. You're going to think of vertical movement in the golf swing, and around movement, rotation. When I demonstrate this for my students, what I'll typically do is put a shaft down the line in the middle of my body here, and tell them that anything behind this shaft would be in the depth dimension, and then anything moving straight up and down would be in this vertical dimension.

                Where most people go wrong with the backswing is that they try and move their arms and club into this depth dimension. When they do that, that's how you end up really flat and deep and in a bad position at the top. What you need to think of is that you never move your arms into this depth dimension. All the arms are doing is moving in this vertical dimension and that's it. Now technically that's not exactly what happens, but that's what 99.9 percent of the students need to focus on and feel in their golf swings.

                What you're going to do is to get into this depth dimension because obviously the club is going to end up behind us. That is handled through rotation. Now as I turn, that moves my arms, starts to move them, into this depth dimension. It's done by rotation, not be me taking my arms and swinging them across my body. That's going to end up with a flat swing. What your arms do is that they feel as if they're only moving straight up and down in this vertical dimension.

                As I'm doing this, this is when our first drills are going to start, it feels like I'm just moving my hands straight up and down over my head. That's it. They're not moving this way. They're moving straight up and down. When I put the two together, vertical movement and depth movement, rotation, here's what it looks like. I'm going to only do vertical movement while rotating, and when you put the two together, you start to create a golf swing and a swing plane. All I'm doing is this with this.

                What you start to understand now is that my hands and arms always feel like they're out on this side of the shaft. Never into this deeper dimension. They feel like they're going straight up and down in front of my body, while my body turns. That's the concept of the golf swing, of the backswing, is that your arms are always on this side of the shaft. You never move them into this dimension. They do get there. You can see that my hands are now behind the shaft, but they got moved there by the rotation of my body. That's the first concept that I want you to understand.

                Now let's get to work doing some drills. It's very important that you follow along with me and go through the drills with me. It doesn't do you any good to just sit here and watch this video. I need you to get up out of your chair and follow along with me because this is important.

                The first thing we're going to do, we're going to isolate down to the simplest movements we can create during the backswing, and that is what we call shoulder elevation in the backswing. It's very little. This is how much my arms are going to move. I'm starting them at belt heights and moving them up about to the base of my chest where the bottom of my elbows are just below the bottom of my pectoral muscle. Tiny amount of movement vertical.

                You'll notice that my hand are staying straight in front of the sternum of my buttons on my shirt, and that's it. From this dimension I'm standing straight up, hands are about belt high, and they're elevating to the bottom of my chest. This is what happens during the backswing. Once you can do this, we're ready to add the next piece in. A lot of people are going to be doing this. We're in trouble. It's just straight up and down, vertical movement only.

                Now what I want you to do is move your hands to the base of your chest. Then fold your right arm. Notice that my elbow and my shoulder are in alignment. Right now my wrist is in alignment. Later on we're going to add a little bit of rotation, but for right now, elevation, flexion, is how you're going to learn the basic movements of the arms. This is it. From down the line, elevation, flexion. Notice that I didn't collapse my right arm, because when we add the left hand in here in a second, that would cause my left arm to fold. I'm just going here and a little bit of flexion. It's not a lot of movement to make a proper golf backswing.

                Now we're going to do elevation, I'm going to grab my left thumb, and I'm going to fold my right arm. This is the vast majority of what happening in the backswing. Notice that as I'm doing this, notice that my left wrist is flat and perpendicular to the ground. This would be parallel; this is perpendicular. As I fold my right arm, notice that my left wrist is now on an incline plane. It's at an angle. This is because I'm allowing my left arm to rotate slightly as I go back. This will set the club on plane. If I didn't do this, the club shaft would be too steep. Elevation, flexion, and now my hand would be on plane as I let that rotate. Notice that my right elbow is still in front of my shoulder, and the left elbow is above the right elbow.

                The other critical piece here is to notice what I call the right elbow pit. My elbow pits at address, in neutral joint alignment, would face straight away from me, not in like this. That's not good posture. That's not normal. Everybody's elbows face out this way if we took all the muscles off you. As I elevate and my arms come across to the center, there's a little bit of internal rotation, but we want to try and keep this right elbow pit always facing out away from us. That's going to be very critical when we get into this rest of the backswing.

                Elevation, grab the left thumb, flexion, and we've got a great backswing. As I mentioned, there's going to be a little bit of rotation here. We're not going to worry about this so much for now. Just here, get that elbow and shoulder in alignment. From down the line we've got elevation, flexion. Notice that there's a not a great deal of bend in my right arm. I want to feel like I have a lot of width and my hands are out away from me. I'm not trying to rip my thumb back into my shoulder. It's here, and that's it. That's the basic movement of the arms.

                Now what we're going to do, once you can do that correctly, and watch yourself in a mirror that you look like I did there, now what we're going to do is we're going to stack another piece on there. What we're going to do is we're going to do rotation with our elevation and flexion. We're going to make it a little bit more challenging. What we're going to do here is elevation, flexion. Now because you should have already mastered your set up by now, you should know how to hinge from the hip and get into the right position, and you should have already done five minutes to perfect rotation so I shouldn't have to tell you how to rotate at this point. Rotate to the top, and now I'm in the right position. Stand up again. Elevation, flexion, posture, rotation. That it's it.

                This is how you check your backswing every time. Stand straight up, elevation, flexion, get into your posture, rotation. Stand straight up, elevation, flexion, get into your posture, rotation. Notice that my elbow is still in front of my shoulder. I didn't do anything with my arms when I added rotation. I just transported them as a unit with my torso rotation. That's how your arms get moved into that depth dimension I was talking about earlier.

                If you find that you do this and your arm looks like this, you've let this elbow drift away from you. What you need to imagine is that I've drilled a bolt into your arm. It allows it to move up and down, but it doesn't allow it to move this way. It doesn't allow it to move away from the body. It's only moving in that vertical dimension, not the depth dimension.

                If you find that you're here and your elbow just moves out a little bit, that's where that little bit of rotation of this part of your arm comes in. A lot of you will find that it's really normal for you to get here and your elbow pit wants to face back at you. As we get into the rest of the backswing, what we'll see is that as I'm going back, I want that to face away from me and at this point should feel like it's facing the sky. It should never feel like it's rotated in. If it's facing the sky, my elbow can fold up. If it's facing this way, my elbow is going to fold in and move out away from me and get that flying right elbow. It's important to keep that elbow pit facing away, and now we're in a great position at the top.

                That's the first piece. If you do this correctly, you take the time to go through these little steps that I've done, elevation, flexion, rotation, you'll know what it looks like and feels like to be in the perfect position at the top of the swing every single time. Now we're going to challenge you a little bit more.

                Now what I want you to do is go ahead and pick up a golf club, but I want you to flip it upside down. The reason for that is there's a tremendous amount of weight, even though it doesn't seem like it, but once you start moving this around in space there's a lot of inertia. As it builds momentum, it's going to want to act on your wrist joints and get you to move out of position. You're also attuned to what the club head feels like at the top of your golf backswing. What you're used to. What you're used to probably isn't right, but you're going to want to settle back into those old movement patterns. We want to create new movement patterns, which means we need to break some old habits, and we need to start with baby steps.

                Now we're going to make it a little bit more challenging. Hands are still in front of the center of my chest. Elevation, flexion, and let's see if we can keep everything else the same. If it's not, throw the club down and go back to doing it with just your arms until you can do that exactly right every time. Then we go elevation, flexion, posture, rotation. Same thing here. Elevation, flexion, posture, rotation. Perfect position at the top. That's all we've got to do to get there.

                Once you master that, and this is going to take a while. You need to be patient with this because you're going to do it incorrectly. It's taken me lots and lots of reps to do it. The goal of these five minute series is to get you to do these same movements over and over and over again at least five minutes a day. If you can put in 10, 15, 20, or 30, that's excellent. In five minutes you should at least be able to start making progress on your golf swing.

                Once you start getting that comfortable where you have it with the shaft upside down, flip it into the normal position. This is where things get tricky. Now what we're going to do, same thing. I messed up there. Here, set up, posture, rotation. Elevation, flexion, posture, rotation. Then we should see what it looks like and feels like to be at the top of the swing, and now you're going to notice that club is going to feel a little bit heavier. You're going to notice how it wants to move your hands and wrists out of position. It's very important that you take your time and move very, very slowly.

                Once you've done this enough, and you're going to start out with just your arms, you may need to do that for the first week until you can get just your arms correct. Then add the distraction of a golf club turned upside down. Maybe that will take you another week. For some of you it may take five minutes. Once you can do it correctly, that's all that matters. Then you can flip the golf club back into its normal position and start working from there.

                Now, once we know what it feels like to be in the right position, here's what we want to try and do. We want to stack all of these things together and move to the top of the swing in one motion from a set up position. We're not quite ready yet, just yet. What we're going to do now is we're going to start out in our posture, do our elevation and flexion, and rotate. We want to do this enough until we get it right every time and can do it from our set up position. That's the next little evolution here of our drills. The progression here is to start from set up.

                Now, once we've got the set up and we know what it feels like it feels like to be at the top, we know what the arm movement feels. It just feels vertical. It doesn't feel like it's moving across. Now what we're going to do is try and glue it all together for a perfect golf backswing. Set up, get in your posture, and all I want you to try and do, if your take away is already mastered, which it should be if you're watching this video, we're going to try and get from here to the top, and I don't want you to think so much about how to do it. Your take away should be ingrained by now. What I want you to do is let your movement patterns happen. Let your take away happen. Feel the same things at the top.

                You know what it feels like. You should have done enough reps right now by the time you move to this final stage of trying to do it correctly with the club in your set up position flipped normal side out, then it's going to be just getting to the top. First, I want to take another distraction out. I'm going to take the weight of the club head out of there. I'm going to start in my set up position with just the butt end of the club down. I'm just going to try and get to the same set up position or top of the golf swing position by doing the same move. I'm feeling this and this, with a club in my hands.

                I'm just trying to get to the top. If you can't do it with a club in your hands, throw the club down, grab your left thumb, and create the same movement. Now we're doing it from our set up position. Until you can do that right, there's no point in having a club. Once you get it all together, then take the club, get in your normal set up, normal grip, and just try and move the same position at the top every time.

                Check yourself in a mirror. If you don't have a mirror or camera, you're going to have a hard time mastering these moves. You must be able to see exactly what you're doing. Once you can do this, you will have a perfect backswing every single time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the correct backswing in golf?

With the back swing, what we're really focused on is the REF, an acronym that I created, rotation elevation flexion. We're going to rotate our body. We're going to elevate our arms at our shoulders and flex the right arm, and this one's going to rotate a little bit, and this is the whole movement during the back swing while turning and shifting our weight. That's it. The movements can't get any simpler than that.

How do you do a proper backswing?

Stand straight up, elevation, flexion, get into your posture, rotation. Stand straight up, elevation, flexion, get into your posture, rotation. Notice that my elbow is still in front of my shoulder. I didn't do anything with my arms when I added rotation. I just transported them as a unit with my torso rotation.

How far back should golf backswing be?

Your arms need to stay in front of your body, and to do that, they only move vertically. If your arms are moving side to side, your arms will always end up buried, flat, and deep behind you.

How do I practice the perfect backswing?

RotarySwing instructors teach the entire backswing by focusing their students' attention on these three little letters: REF.

Rotation is for the rotating body and the rotating forearms during the backswing. Both are ALWAYS rotating throughout the entire swing until impact when the body slows down and the golf club fully releases. 

Elevation refers to the way the arms work vertically up and down in front of the rotating rib cage during the backswing.

Flexion refers to the very late bending of the right arm in the backswing.

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