How To Practice Golf

How do I practice is the most common question I hear and this video helps you understand how to make the most of your practice time.

  • Practicing in slow motion at first allows your brain to learn new movement patterns correctly
  • Once a movement is mastered in slow motion, try it at faster speeds to see where it begins to break down - then work on that speed
  • New movements are learned sequentially - don't skip around!
  • Practice somewhere quiet with minimal distractions

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Rich
Is it worth getting swing reviews or joining an unlimited review group if I have to play every week? I don't mean that i have an addiction (although some would disagree), but that we have a Winter League at my golf club which is a pairs competition, and we have fixtures every weekend.
January 20, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Rick. Getting reviews are definitely worth it (biased as I teach them . However, players tend to have different problems. And, what better way to make sure what you are working on is tailored to your specific need. Playing lots of golf is tough while making a swing change. But, at least your instructor can keep hammering home the main points you need to be focusing on to not lose sight of the goal.
January 20, 2020
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Nolan
I have a small golf hitting mat in my basement that is about 3/4" to 1" above the ground. Is there any issue practicing hitting balls that are 3/4" to 1" above the feet?
January 14, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nolan. So, the mat is above the ground and your feet will be on the ground?
January 14, 2020
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Nolan
You can see the mat in the pic. The thickness of the mat means the ball sitting on top of it will be slightly above my feet, if that makes sense.
January 14, 2020
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Nolan
Pic attached
January 14, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nolan. You should be fine. A lot of Rotary users go with the same practice setup.
January 14, 2020
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Fred
After thousands of reps I went out and hit balls in an outdoor covered range in Denver today. 21 degrees! I felt like nothing worked, I'd like to blame it on all the layers and stiffness of the cold. I am a beginner anyway so my faith in the program is strong. It's like everything is so perfect at home but fell completely apart on the range. Will continue with the program.
December 29, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Fred. We would love to see your move in a swing review to help blend the home and course action. More than likely you just got excited and started going full bore. Take a look at Why Your Practice Swing and Real Swing Aren't the Same. Keep the faith. You aren't the first beginner we've needed to get over the hump .
December 30, 2019
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Fred
I'm going to keep doing the drills. My goal is to break 100 this summer. If I can start to play in the 90s consistantly I'll be a success story. Chuck mentioned in a video about not embarrassing yourself in front of your buddies and that's where I want to be.
December 30, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Fred. If you can achieve these movements in your drilling and apply to the actual golf swings. The only one that is going to be laughing is you on the way to the bank after taking your buddies money.
December 30, 2019
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Fred
Shot my personal best for 9 today 47! Not bad for 9 months of playing. I'm happy with it.
July 6, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Awesome Fred! thanks for sharing!! Keep going.
July 6, 2020
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William
Would you advocate using a metronome to help with speed and timing?
January 5, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello William. You may use a metronome. Or, take a look at Tour Tempo Micro Player Video. There is that device and a ton of apps that do the same thing.
January 5, 2019
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Gary
Being new to the Rotary Golf program, I understand that it will take lots of practice and slow speed drills to achieve success. What should I do when I play my weekly round of golf with my buddies? Obviously I can’t do slow speed drills for 18 holes, so do I try to insert small parts of what I’ve learned into my round of golf? I don’t want to not continue to play with my group.
June 30, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary. Come Hell of High Water you must commit to something you are trying to achieve. Let's say weight shift is something you are working on. Then, when you play you have to forget about the result and solely get the movement down of correctly shifting weight. Delete the result and keep something in mind you are trying to change.
July 1, 2018
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Bob
This is a really informative video, and I love the overall program. The challenge I see is taking it from practice to the course since during a round shots are not repetitive, there is plenty of time between shots, and physically one might tire out during the course of a round especially in the dog days of summer. Any advice or video on the transition from the range to the golf course? Bob M
July 6, 2017
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi Bob, this question we get quite a bit. Did you watch the video called the trust line?? See if this helps https://rotaryswing.com/golf-instruction-videos/full-swing-advanced/introduction/trust-line-trust-your-golf-swing
July 6, 2017
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Bob
Tks. I haven't seen that before and will certainly give it a try this weekend.
July 7, 2017
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Rob
Hi Guys, Have been a member for quite a while now and enjoy the instruction and guidance you have provided. I have a big problem at the moment and has afflicted me for the last 3 months of playing almost to the point that I don't want to play anymore. I am a 4-5 hcp usually and mostly play around it hwever lately due to the hosel rockets I have not broken hcp in the last 15 rounds of comp golf. I have a fair understanding I think about the golf swing having played for 30 years and know that this can be caused by a lot of conditions such as too far forward on my toes, coming from too far inside to out, hips overactive. etc etc. As anyone who would know who ever has this problem it gets in your gead so you are almost expecting to hit a 'Tom Hank' every round. Can you provide some insight for me that might get me back on track and the respective videos I should focus on. I should mention that this issue can occur anywhere from a 6 iron and up to my lob wedge. Please help, Rob
July 6, 2017
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Gary
hi Rob Sorry to hear about the Tom Hanks, I had a similar situation and almost quit, but I love the game too much and invested too much time to quit. Try putting two tee pegs in the ground and swing through them, ( width of club)depending on the outcome you can diagnose the fault, my guess is too much from the inside, based on your h/cap, your 1/8 inch away from a perfect shot. if you hit the outside one ,its like an out-in swing path and vice versa with the inside peg, in-to out swing path , both severe , address the outside peg with the heel and swing through the gap, like wise address the inside one with the heel of the club and swing through the gap, if it happens on the course, use the same technique , picking out something in front or behind the ball, it will keep u playing on the course and build the confidence to hit the next shot after a shank, the hardest shot in golf! at the golf range and no grass , use a cardboard box , say 3 ft long, put in front of the box and allow just enough room to swing the club if your path is out, u will hit the box every time,
July 7, 2017
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Rob
Hi Gary. Thanks very much for your reply. I really like some of the ideas that you mention and put the thoughts into my game today. Didn't feel like I was going to have a lamby at all. It was a good feeling. I will try to ingrain in in the range. Thanks again. Rob.
July 8, 2017
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Gary
great news Rob, it can really mess with your head, but I find this keeps you thinking good thoughts and remember it does happen from time to time, but if you accept it and be ready when it happens using this technique you will quickly cure it, good luck, my brother had it for 2 years and he's a 7 h/cap, I cured him with this , he quit 4 times, then he used it to cure his mate, same problem! Gary
July 10, 2017
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Loyd
Hey Rob, I was in your shoes one spring and went to the local pro. He changed my sett-up so that as i approached the ball I lined up square to the target with my club-face behind the ball aimed at my intermediate target and the edge of my left shoe on a line just behind the ball. This with no distance between my feet. I then picked my long distance target and got in my usual stance from this sett-up. It worked and has essentially worked for 10 years.
July 6, 2017
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Rob
Hi Lloyd. Thank you. I am not quite sure I understand the set up you refer to. Do you mean standing with your feet together and behind the ball or to the side of the ball. How does this help leading with the heel of the club. I am finding I have to address the ballnofd the toe. Thanks.
July 6, 2017
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Craig
are there drills / videos on how to practice hitting the ball with just the 'take away' movement? cheers
July 2, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Craig. The 9 to 3 would be your best bet (9 to 3 Golf Swing Drill Video).
July 3, 2017
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Rob
Craig are you able to give me any drills or advice on how to avoid the dreaded heel shot with my irons. As per my above. Thanks Rob.
July 6, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Rob. I apologize. When there is a reply to a question it deletes it from my board. I didn't see the question until now. Take a look at How to Cure the Shanks in 3 Steps Video, or "Tom Hank." I like that.
July 7, 2017
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Rob
Thanks Craig. I will have a look at the vids. Regards. Rob.
July 8, 2017
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arthur john
As a person who tends to rush things and skip from 2 to4 and 3 to 5. This may well be the most important video I have ever watched, A. John
June 25, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Arthur. Take a look at the Best Training Aid in Golf Video to follow up your thoughts.
June 25, 2017
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Eric
I am learning sooo much watching these first videos. I am excited to know I actually have an opportunity to finally enjoy my game rather than try to figure it out every time I'm on the course. My question is, I plan to play a few rounds during my drills and relearning the golf swing, so will I be causing more damage to my learning or should I just go out and play and not worry about anything. It seems that the best way is to not play any rounds until all is fixed, but this is not realistic. So what do I do ?
June 22, 2017
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi Eric, this is great question and very common among the other members. We never want people to shy away from playing or hitting balls. When on the course, the swing you brought to the dance, is the one you are stuck with. Just focus on executing shots and try your best to keep swing thoughts minimal. Maybe focus on one key aspect and try to execute shots. Then when off the course, make sure you are back to drilling the body movements perfectly so that the ingraining process can resume. Hope that helps.
June 23, 2017
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David
I joined RST about 3 weeks ago as I had lost my swing and had so many thoughts in my head it was hard to make a repeatable swing. I was a 10 HCP about 9 years ago, but I moved overseas for the military and couldn't practice or plan very often. I came back to the U.S. and my swing was a mess. I took some lessons from a local pro and that really put a level of inconsistency into all parts of my game. Finally I joined RST and I am so glad I did. I've only worked a few hundred reps on the set up drills and backswing drills and my game is vastly improving. Great contact, better direction and much better balance. I'm getting excited knowing I am on the right track but will not move too far forward beyond these basics until they are ingrained. Thanks for the great Instruction! Many things I have never known and find so useful.
June 18, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. Thanks for joining the team and sharing your positive message. Happy to hear things are going in the proper direction.
June 18, 2017
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Yuefeng
My practice swing has been pretty consistent for quite some time, but a very frustrating fact is still that as long as I put a ball in front of me, I tend to swing very differently from my practice swing - there seems to be an uncontrollable urge in my brain to hit the ball as early and as fast as I can - my tempo, lag, and every good thing in my practice swing all begin to fall apart. Are there any good tips to bridge this gap and make myself as relaxed as if there were no ball there? Thanks!
February 17, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Yuefeng. I wish there were a quick key to unlock the ball placed in front issue. However, it takes time and more reps. The understanding that the ball gets in the way of the motion. Not having the need to change the swing or guide the shot because the golf ball is now placed on the ground.
February 17, 2017
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Yuefeng
Thanks Craig. Will it help to go gradually from slow to fast? Or is there a mental trick that I can use by shifting my attention away from the ball, i.e. by staring at somewhere else around the ball rather than directly at the ball? I tried to close my eyes - sometimes it worked really well but unfortunately it cannot be consistent.
February 17, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Yuefeng. You can try the 2 ball trick in the Perfect Practice Makes Perfect Video. Hitting half speed shots to full speed is a good method.
February 18, 2017
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Yuefeng
Thanks a lot Craig. Tried these tips at the range - the notion that the golf ball simply gets in the way of the motion is extremely helpful - it greatly helped take the tension away from hitting the ball. But if I look at myself in the video and compare the swing with and without a ball, there is still some notable difference in terms of lag etc. I'm just curious for better players do the two swings look exactly the same? Or is practice swing always somewhat better than actual swing?
February 19, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Yuefeng. Practice swing is sometimes a bit better. The ideal goal is to have them match up pretty 1 to 1 ratio. But, all pros have struggled with taking the practice swing to the real swing.
February 19, 2017
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Michael
Thinking about the fundamental/secondary videos in conjunction with this practice prescription, do you have any feedback or thoughts on how the introduction of a club could cause its own secondary effects. For example when drilling with a club your body will naturally have to use more muscle fibers to hold and move into the correct position. With that example in mind (perhaps its completely wrong) would you suggest practicing the body movements/positions with nothing/just the handle/an actual club/weighted club or some progression of all four so that your body doesn't have any unwanted secondary effects of a club being added? This is of great interest to me. According to pass instructors I've typically had a fairly sound fundamental "swing" (aka body movement) but once that club is added (because or lasting muscle memory related to tennis and baseball swings) I really get some crazy results. Thanks for any feedback.
February 14, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Michael. I would follow your progression structure, but stop once you get to a weighted or overly heavy club. Players tend to add a bunch of secondary muscles when trying to move something heavier than a normal swing weight. Your progression is exactly how we try to promote it. Train body, body/arms, actual club (flipped to grip the heavy end), and finished by normal club positioning.
February 14, 2017
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T David
Love these concepts. I can be a real drill person and get stuck there. So, is these a good schedule or checkpoint to know when you should move to the next gear?
October 7, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. Yes. And, you can also use the Checkpoints for Practice Sheets under the Swing Reviews Tab.
October 7, 2016
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T David
Perfect! Thanks again, Craig.
October 7, 2016
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Sylvain
I'm a new member and i'm glad I saw this video to remind me of the importance of drills and the patience i will require to move up to fifth gear
August 4, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Sylvain. Thanks for the post. Yes, drills and patience .
August 5, 2016
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Sylvain
I did some drills at home the past few days and i went to the driving range today (trying to make my left side dominant and also trying to keep a relax grip). i saw improvements today. Morale is high. soon, I'll send videos of my swing.
August 8, 2016
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Stan
When I am practicing full swings in my house without a ball I sometimes swing too fast from the top and my trail hand wants to push the club through impact. I find that I can fight this by thinking that I am doing the lead hand/arm release drill. I slow down my swing and have my trail hand holding on lightly. By doing these things I can make a good takeaway and then the transition is smooth and I can complete the squat and release through the impact with a good follow through. Like Chuck says in the video you can't go from 1st gear to 5th gear when you are ingraining these moves. At this point I can probably get away with 40% tom 50% of my full speed in my swing. Maybe if I get used to swinging smoothly and make that a habit I can have a swing that looks like Fred Couples. I have seen Fred when they used to have a pro tournament at Cog Hill in Lemont, Illinois. He just looks so smooth and effortless in his swing.
July 28, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Stan -- Thanks for the info and it sounds like you understand very clearly what it takes to get things ingrained. Take your time and we are here to support you along the way.
July 29, 2016
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Brandon
Is there something you notice the best players in the world (+5-+10 handicap) practice more of than players who are +3-+5 or scratch - +3?
April 15, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brandon. Trajectory, fine tuning yardages (knowing the good hit and miss), and short game.
April 15, 2016
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Brandon
Great video. On another note, what is the best way to 'practice'? I've heard some people say the best way to practice is to hop on the golf course and drop golf balls, while others say hitting balls at the range is the way to go. What do you recommend?
February 12, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brandon. Take a look at the Perfect Practice Makes Perfect Video. Range is better for big changes in the mechanics. Course when you own some of the new moves and want to blend it more into feel.
February 13, 2016
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Farai
really good video, although Chuck said he wrote the 'Talent Code', thought it was Daniel Coyle..
November 15, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Farai, Chuck did not say that he wrote the talent code. Watch the video again. "...that's why I've recommended books like the Talent code and others..." R.J.
November 15, 2014
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Farai
My bad, still a very good video, cause i was stuck on slow motion drills, and whenever i tried to amp it up id go strait to 5th gear as Chuck put it, but now i practise better, challenging myself a little every now and again..
November 16, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Farai, Great to hear! No worries, I just didn't want anyone to get the wrong idea. Chuck put a lot of hard work into his system and always gives credit where credit is due. Good luck in the future and let us know if you need any assistance, R.J.
November 17, 2014
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Christian
I do not have to go into work everyday until 11:00. So I am making time to practice the new techniques. Is it ok that I take them to the range? Do I need to do several thousands of reps in my home first?
September 25, 2014
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james (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi Christian, You can work the drills on the range that's fine but make sure you are focusing on the drill before you start trying to implement the drill into your full swing.. We learn best by isolating the drill and working towards our 3000-5000 reps to master the drill. We will find that our "swing changes" will start to come into play well before this rep count especially if we are focused on it
September 25, 2014
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Stephen
These "how to practice" videos and the non golf club drills have by far helped me the most. They have taken me out of looking for random tips, trying them at 100MPH, failing and then repeating to a more disciplined approach that is furthering my understanding of the swing. Great job on the content of this site.
August 24, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Stephen. Thanks for the positive feedback. I agree. Once you understand how the brain learns and practice the swing that way. It makes huge strides possible. 1 million balls a day doesn't teach the new motor patterns.
August 24, 2014
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John
Question regarding practice mat's and the effect on my iron swing. I have been really working on my RST change using my in house (garage) practice area. Its basically a thick practice mat (the one with the longer synthetic grass and thicker under padding). I have noticed that it really gives you a false sense of impact. I feel great about impact at home, go to the range and can't hit anything off the deck with any consistency... which leads to over-analyzing all the aspects of my swing.. My irons used to be rather solid... I made RST change in order to gain a little more impact velocity and consistency by using more of my larger muscle groups... I have to say, half way through my season I am still really struggling with my change over... I recommend everyone stays away from practice mat's... Especially when first learning the RST program...
August 11, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey John. Mats can be very deceiving. Thank you for the post. We have a recommended one in our store if you are interested for more consistent feedback: http://www.rotaryswing.com/golf-training-aids/sklz_glide_pad_golf_practice_mat
August 11, 2014
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John
Craig - Thanks for the heads up on that SKLZ mat. I think I may look into that for this upcoming off-season. I am going to spend a bit more time this year after golf season working on my strength/conditioning and adding this mat might allow me to keep swinging too... without losing that feel for improper impact.
August 11, 2014
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William
While I am going through this learning process, how do I handle my normal golf swing when I am playing in my golf league or with friends. In other words am my sabotaging learning process when I do?
July 23, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey William. Your not sabotaging, but it is tough. The usual protocol is one round of golf will delete 2 days of practice. The key is lots of practicing swings and awareness. Making my RST change during my playing career was difficult. However, I blended the two by good concentration. I definitely want you to keep playing as its summer and get it will the gettin' is good. Nevertheless, pick on or two things you are working on. Thats it, no more. Good awareness of doing it correctly on practice swings, then hit. Repeat.
July 23, 2014
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Howard
As a new member I really like the way Chuck explains how to learn. Something no other pro has ever taught me.
June 25, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Howard. I'm glad you are enjoying the site. Learning is good!
June 26, 2014
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Seth
Question about practicing on artificial turf at the range vs. real grass. Unfortunately where I live I don't have a range with real grass, and the large parks don't allow golfers be there. If I am practicing on the artificial, how do I vet what is a good strike on artificial and what would be a poor strike on grass, but still turns out ok on artificial.
June 21, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
That is a tough one. The artificial turf allows for a little cheat. Keen awareness on hitting the ball first is needed. I don't think it will inhibit your progress.
June 21, 2014
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James
I am currently working thru these drills and am definitely seeing improvement! I am participating in a golf league this summer and was wondering if there was a specific approach to take to play as good as one can while learning new motor patterns. e.g. I'm working on the takeaway, which is causing too many swing thoughts during actual play. Any recommendations?
April 30, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Narrow it down to one or 2 swing thoughts and incorporate it into your pre-shot routine (take 2 practice moves or so, nice and slow). When it is golf ball time, do not think mechanics. Just make sure at the end of the round you work hard to hit the total number of correct reps you need to build the new movement pattern so that your rounds are drastically slowing down your change process. Always drill slow and methodically.
April 30, 2014

Living in Windermere, FL, I’ve had the unique opportunity to play and practice alongside some of golf’s greatest. But through all those experiences, only one sticks out in my mind as being truly profound.

One day while warming up on the range at Isleworth, I noticed Tiger Woods was working on his takeaway. Now, this was back around 2006 when he was making radical changes to his swing with Hank Haney, so there was a lot of work to be done and I was eager to see him hit some shots with his new swing. But, after 15 minutes, he still hadn’t hit a single ball.

As I went about my own warm-up routine, I got through my entire bag and was now hitting driver and he was still standing on the corner of the range doing nothing but the takeaway. It was almost like he was in a trance. He had a whole bag of brand new Nike balls sitting there, why wouldn’t he hit one?

This went on for over 45 minutes. Tiger taking the club to the end of the takeaway, checking the position, then back to address. After 45 minutes of this, he finally took a full swing and sent the ball off with a mighty crack. Then, immediately he went back to drilling.

At this point, I had to go tee off. As Tiger continued to drill this one simple move, it hit me just how profound this was. No one in the history of the game has been able to successfully change their golf swing as radically as Tiger has and continue to play at the high level, even during the changes.

What was happening is Tiger was working through the process of neuro-muscular re-education. It is through this process of repetition and what author of the Talent Code Dan Coyle referred to as “Deep Practice” that has allowed Tiger to make massive changes to improve his swing.

This one experience provoked me to completely rethink how I taught the golf swing. I knew there was much more to the art and science of practicing and I had just witnessed it first hand from the game’s best. This lead to the birth of the RST online learning system. It was designed completely around this very process that Tiger Woods uses and is used by physical therapists in the medical industry to rehabilitate stroke victims and injuries.

It is this process of how the brain learns new movement patterns that has allowed RST to be the leading online golf instruction system in the world and now, for the first time, you’re going to experience it for yourself in our 5 minutes to…. Video series.

I can tell you with 100% certainty that if you’re not currently working on your golf swing the way these videos are laid out, you are literally wasting your time working on your swing as you’re simply not communicating with your brain in a way that it understands.

But, when you’re ready to make lasting, significant changes, the RST system communicates to your brain a very specific and unique way that is unlike anything in golf instruction. Our process of neuro-muscular reeducation and stacking techniques will blow your mind at how quickly you can make a change in your golf swing – even if it’s something that you’ve struggle with your entire life!

Are you ready to make real, lasting and dramatic changes to your golf swing and stop wasting your time? 

We're after one thing: Real Results - Real Fast. And that's exactly what our members achieve. And that's why they say the AXIOM is: Mind-blowing. Game changing. Revolutionary.

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