9 to 3 Lag Building Drills

Learn how to build lag in your golf swing with these 9 to 3 lag building drills. You'll learn how to build lag, get shaft lean at impact and how to release the golf club.

Training Aids Used:
RotaryConnect
Impact Cube

  • Holding wrists and forearms tight does not maintain lag - keep wrists soft to allow the weight of the club head to pull back naturally
  • Drill: Weight your club and make tiny one-handed swings, feeling the flow & staying very loose
  • Add in some weight shift with each swing, keeping weight over the ankles
  • Remove the weight & swing again, keeping the wrist flat in the backswing
  • Make longer (9 to 3) swings, one hand at a time, focusing on keeping the wrist supple
  • With right hand, the club should be vertical when it is in front of the left leg
  • With left hand, the club should still be parallel to the ground when the hand is at the right thigh
  • Don't turn your body - the chest should still point at the ball
  • Use both hands for full 9 to 3 Drill, keeping left wrist flat & extending right arm as in Throw the Ball Drill

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Christopher
Been reppin this drill. Definitely feel more relaxed and can hear that whipping speed. The problem is I'm hitting all heel shots and even a couple of shanks now. Help!! I have to play tomorrow. Thanks
July 2, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Christopher. Either a ton of lag you aren't getting rid of, or release. I would think you are getting a lot of angle and just not enough time to release the club.
July 2, 2021
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Kory
This probably isn't the correct place to ask this but in my last review with Craig he said to do 9 to 3, lead arm only. So no ball, no club ?
May 11, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kory. Can always just post the same video and ask the question . Club, but no ball.
May 11, 2021
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Anders
Hi, I actually have the opposite problem, having too much lag. What can i do to reduce my lag in transition ?
March 30, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Anders. You can keep some of that good lag. But, you have to deliver it. Take a look at How Your Lag Affects Your Club Path Video.
March 30, 2021
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Richard
Really like this drill and using the right body turn I can now generate lots of lag. I definitely feel the lag club I have really accelerate through to the 3 o'clock when i do the 9 to 3 action. When i then try to take it to the top of the backswing (i.e, beyond 9 o'clock) I lose it though, and i'm pretty sure is because I end up pushing with the right hand on the downswing. would you recommend i keep working on this drill or go back a step and work on Dead Drill step 4 (or different)?
January 28, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Richard. Sounds like you need some transition work. DEAD 4 and 5 will help with this, but also the Frisbee Drill and Perfect Your Impact Position 4 of 4. One will help eliminate right hand push and the other with change of direction.
January 28, 2021
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Alan
My lag increases slightly as I shift my weight in the transition, but I am losing lag when I post up. It seems that no matter what I do with the trail hand (even if I touch the shaft with only a couple fingers) I lose lag. What should I focus on going from transition to post up?
January 7, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Alan. In the 9 to 3 if you are getting rid of lag in-between you may not be having that great of change in angle. The post up will start to trigger the release. Sounds like you need more angle and less tension in the hands. Even lead arm only?
January 7, 2021
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Alan
Not so much lag loss with lead arm only. I think I'm having problems with my arms getting too active too soon.
January 7, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Alan. Lead arm only should be very easy to have exaggeration. So, if not much with the lead and too soon with both. Has to be a tension/activation issue.
January 7, 2021
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Alan
Should I try to keep my hands and shoulders back as far as I can when I get to the post up position?
January 8, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Alan. The will have to react and you can go to far to the other end of the spectrum. But, most players do feel what you are describing to get over the hump.
January 8, 2021
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Mark
My question is slightly different from what Greg just asked; I think. I agree, with what they video says: I must get this drill down properly before moving on. Question: After the weight shift to the left and I guess somewhere around start of post-up, the club shaft will still be basically be parallel to the ground, club head pointed basically toe-up, back of left hand pointed basically away from your body. That club head in a very short space (inside right leg/thigh?) needs to get squared up to the ball and the back of left hand pointed toward the target; like both those components were at address. That action to get the left hand/club head squared up is done by only rotating both arms basically 90 degrees-down and to the left? I know you don't want to intentionally rotate your shoulders and don't want to just flip the hands. (Those actions I was taught that I'm trying to un-do). [For context: I've been swinging "wrong" for 45+ years and after my latest "lessons from a national indoor teaching school" in 2013" never helped, I just stopped playing all together; no fun and a waste of time. After finding RS, I now know those lessons never taught proper mechanics from the beginning like RS does. Now at age 61, my brain trying to re-teach my body what to do I'm finding is very difficult, even the simple 9-3 drill. I'm breaking this drill down into "sub-drills" that I think is helping. I need to see each step as a mechanical thing and work that mechanic step over and over.] Thanks for the feedback on this step to help me get re-trained. I am enjoying the possibility of playing again some day.
January 6, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mark. The action to squaring up the club will be performed by the lead hand. The trail side doesn't aid in squaring the face in a lead side RST Swinger motion. The Left Hand Release Drill, Play the Best Golf of Your Life in 6 Weeks 2 of 6, 5 Minutes to the Perfect Release and Flip vs Release Videos will cover this in detail.
January 6, 2021
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Greg
Can you suggest a video that touches on when one over rotates the hands-arms after impact on this 9-3 drill.... I catch myself wanting to 'roll over' so the toe is not at 12 o'clock when at the 3 position ...maybe another 30 degrees of rotation ... that can't be good ?? Can it ? ps - this 9-3 drill is damm hard. I use a 'almost golf ball' when practicing -- having the ball there just adds to the 'trouble' Happy New Year everyone. stay safe. Think spring
January 5, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Greg. As long as you aren't forcing the rotation it wouldn't necessarily be bad. Thanks for the well wishes. Happy New Year as well. To me it sounds like you are being too active and the release isn't passive. Take a look at Flip vs Release and Play the Best Golf of Your Life in 6 Weeks 2 of 6.
January 5, 2021
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Alan
What is the angel, in degrees, between the shaft and lead arm at post up that we are trying to achieve? Or are we only concerned about getting the shaft parallel to the ground? I'm talking about a full swing. Would this angle be less for half shots?
December 29, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Alan. Don't worry about it so much in degrees. The goal is parallel to the ground when the hands are in front of the trail thigh and posted up. Half shots sometimes be just a touch less angle because of the time necessary to still square the club.
December 29, 2020
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Adam
Chuck talks about having loose hands in this video. When I try to do that, I feel like the club moves around in my grip. Is there a video with more detail on how this should be done?
July 15, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Adam. You will still have pressure in the last three lead fingers for some control. Take a look at 2 Finger Release Drill, or the Frisbee Drill. You may just be giving up all pressure.
July 15, 2020
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Shane
Hi, I had an online lesson with Craig recently and he recommended working on the 9-3 drill, left arm only. I've done quite a few reps without the ball and can get a nice release and see that the club bottoms out in the same place everytime. However, when I put the ball in front of me, I appear to be hitting the ball fat and can see the club bottom out before the ball. What could be the cause of this? Too much tension in my hand?
June 28, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Shane. I would think tension is the main culprit, or some thumb push. Take a look at the 5 Minutes to the Perfect Release, Flip vs Release, and Fix Your Release to help shallow out that divot.
June 28, 2020
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Tony
When trying this drill as well as the downcock pump drill, my left wrist tends to cup. Is that correct? I've always tried to keep my left wrist flat to slightly bowed.
June 28, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tony. If you are creating excessive lag the lead wrist will cup. The goal will be to have a ton of lag, but not have to get so crazy the lead wrist cups to aid some Sergio type angle.
June 28, 2020
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Don
This drill is fabulous! I finally understand the concept of soft hands. I went to the range and I was hitting every iron 20 yds longer than usual and crisper. Thanks! You guys are the best!
June 27, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Awesome Don! We dig the long ball here.
June 28, 2020
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Christopher
Hey guys- Chuck uses the phrase "float load in the downswing" in this video. Can you explain the feel of this concept? I imagine it to be simply keeping minimal tension in the hands and forearms as you're transitioning to the downswing from the top of the backswing. Thanks!
May 22, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Christopher. Yes. It is basically manufacturing wrist lag versus solely being created as a byproduct from movement.
May 22, 2020
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Bruce
Hi Craig - I love this drill, but it doesn’t explain how it should feel in your soft hands when the club automatically cocks with the shift in direction at the top of the backswing. I feel the following - my left thumb gets pulled back and is the thing that stops the club cocking any more. In my right hand, it feels like the club drops away from my grip of my second, third and forth fingers and is pushed against my thumb and is quite sloppy. Is this correct? It feels weird but if it’s supposed to feel like this, I’m happy. Thank you.
April 15, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Bruce. I can see where you are going with that feel. When doing this drill the feedback will be pretty dramatic because you are creating an excessive amount of lag. When going full speed and "stock" lag it won't be as awkward.
April 15, 2020
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Bruce
Hi Craig - thanks for your reply. I’d be grateful if you could confirm the feelings I describe in my hands / left thumb are correct. It will help me know that I’m doing it right and that the club is moving in the correct way when building lag. Thanks
April 16, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Bruce. Feel is very subjective. It is tough for me to describe how you should "feel" the lag because it doesn't feel that way to me. My hands are very light and I tend to sense it more in my pad of my lead hand and thumb. I can confirm the lead thumb can feel like it is getting pulled towards you and reaches a point that you can't really increase wrist setting anymore. But, my trail hand is so light on the club I barely even notice anything with it even full swinging. The fingers you mention on the trail hand are important in transferring force in the downswing. So, I feel there still is some connection to the club, but not much tension at all.
April 16, 2020
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Shawn
I agree with Brad! Its focus on body and core and then this video ties it all together. Even after getting the weight transfer, take away and core rotation down, I was still down swinging with my arms but this video tied it all together for the downswing. After my last review, Chris said things looked great and to work on the release. This video helped me feel it and finally understand how to free up my arms (not cast the club) and swing totally with the body. Like Chuck says the swing is 90% core. I think I have the release working, just ready for warmer weather to be able to work on hitting balls outside vs the garage. Thanks Chuck, Chris and the rotaryswing team, there is no better instruction out there.
December 20, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Shawn. Many thanks for the compliments of our team! I really like where your head is putting the whole picture together.
December 22, 2019
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Brad
This drill is insane. Put it up on a top 10 list. By far the quickest, material increase in clubhead speed of any drill I have done on your site. And the “effortless” part of the description can be overemphasized...I did this with benefit of launch monitor readings and when I felt like I was half swinging, my speed was faster than my normal swing. Thanks!
November 15, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brad. Awesome. Zoom zoom! Hopefully, we don't get sued by Mazda now . Glad you are having success with the drill.
November 15, 2019
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Zac
I just played a full comp using the 9-3 with wrist cock only. Not one full swing. Concentrating on weight shift and pulling not pushing. I had 43 points and finished with a wash. Shot my best score ever of +10. I don't think I ever need to swing it full again.
October 26, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Zac. Fantastic. Great playing. 9 to 3 is the money area of the swing!
October 26, 2019
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Nick
Thanks Craig. If my left wrist is still cupped at the top and into the transition, could this make it hard to flatten/bow it at impact? Should I work on making sure it’s flat at the top? I presume there’s no point try to build/retain lag with a cupped left wrist?
September 10, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nick. If the wrist is cupped the lag will tend to be too excessive and make it every hard to flatten/square up in time at impact. I would definitely work on decreasing the cup. Take a look at Cupped Left Wrist Video.
September 10, 2019
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Nick
My last swing review showed that I lose lag too early on the downswing. When I try to add and retain lag, I completely lose the good impact position and release that I’ve been working on (trying to cure a flip). Should I forget about trying to add lag until my release is more reliable?
September 10, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nick. Release is vital to the golf swing. I would stay focused on release. But, wondering what is going on with the lag/release issue. Make sure in your next review to show your drill on how you are trying to create and release the lag so your instructor can find the pitfalls.
September 10, 2019
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Joel
Hi, i'm a bit lost for what the hands should do, are there postion is a results of the swing at impact? Should i do de early squaring face move? Chuck is wrist seems to be cuped, not flat like de squaring move...thankx to help me understand what to do with my hands during the swing...
August 25, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Joel. Lag will be a byproduct of the change of direction in the swing and soft wrists. When adding a ton of lag it will be hard for the wrists to not want to add some cupping. Most people overdo trying to get excessive lag when you don't need it. The squaring of the club face will happen because the wrists are soft and the chest stays quiet. Like creating the lag the squaring will be byproduct of the body decelerating so the club can rotate and accelerate through.
August 26, 2019
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David
Chuck always seems to do a great job of getting to NJA on lead side and never gets his hip or knee outside the ankle. I get tons of lag just like he says with the left arm only swing because I have noticed on video I’m in great NJA. Every single time I put my trail arm on club I slide to far with hip and this dumps the lag even with slow 9 to 3 swings. I try like crazy only to pull with left side and try to do all the right things, club still dumps and at best straight up and down at impact with my sternum. Am I just swinging to hard? It seems so easy but it doesn’t even look good with 50yd pitch shots.
August 14, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. Take a look at Preventing Hip Pain for the hip slide issue. The slide will usually get you hanging on to the club with lack of release. Leading to a thin shot. However, it sounds like to me when you add your trail arm you are swinging too hard and over using the trail side.
August 15, 2019
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Joseph
Hi Craig. Would it be better to just keep doing this drill instead of the 9 to 3 drill? Is there extra benefit in doing the plain 9 to 3 as opposed to this one?
July 3, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Joseph. The stock 9 to 3 Drill helps you get proper sequencing and release. I think it is a really solid foundation, or base piece. The above adding more lag is more geared towards understanding how to maximize leverage for more power. I wouldn't worry about power until you can perform the stock move correctly.
July 3, 2019
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Nolan
Is this the same feel we should have with wedge shots and pitch shots?
June 23, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nolan. Stock shots will be more concerned with lag and release. A penetrating wedge won't have lots of lag and hard arms/hands release. And, a pitch will tend to have less emphasis on lag and speed. Wrist will be soft with a little quicker set, but you don't want a hard/power release through.
June 23, 2019
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Nolan
What do you mean when you say a penetrating wedge won’t have hard arms/hands release?
June 23, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nolan. Penetrating wedge shot will be a little quieter in the hands with more of a body/rotational release.
June 23, 2019
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john
Should the grip end of the club be pointing at the ball at the start of the downswing?
June 8, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. This can vary somewhat, but it will tend to be at the ball or slightly outside it.
June 9, 2019
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Gary
It appears on the videos that the hands are always in front of the chest throughout the swing - is this true? If so how does one train them to remain in front? This is a huge issue for me as as I feelmt the hands are behind my chest except at address. Don't need video links need explanation of where the hands should be fromns address to impact and follow through Thank you
May 15, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary. The hands will have to cross centerline a little as the trail arm fold in the backswing. The arms/hands will be in front of the sternum from setup through takeaway. As the trail arm fold the hands will cross centerline a little to the top of the backswing. Coming down the will start to work back in front by the time you reach the trail thigh and stay in front through the follow through.
May 15, 2019
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Gary
Craig also you mention that as the trail arm folds it will cross center line a LITTLE - how far is little ( between the center of the sternum rear shoulder )?? Perhaps I am taking them back to far thus they have no chance of getting back to center on the downswing.
May 16, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary. Exactly. From the center of the sternum and no further than the trail shoulder. Hands should stay in front of the shoulder and if you can get more elevation then a little above.
May 16, 2019
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Gary
Craig great explanation thank you - Question - my mobility is limited due to shoulder issues - the challenge I have is getting my arms to elevate when the right arm folds - naturally I can't get my hands and arms up higher than my right shoulder so when I get the hands up to that point the tension in my arms, chest and shoulders has increased t he point where it just wants to unwind with the shoulders first. This prevents me from sequencing the swing properly so I have a tendency to come over the top as my first move. First - how far should I feel my arms elevate on the backswing to keep the hands and arms out in front of me as described. I always feel like my arms are behind me vs out front on the downswing !!
May 16, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary. Elevation in the backswing is variable. The goal would be to get the arms at the base of the pectorals. But, if you have mobility issues. Don't strain yourself. You can see in the How to Maintain Club Head Speed as You Get Older Video where to put more of your focus for power if elevation is limited. The hands should go no further than trail shoulder as in they should be in front of it at the top of your backswing.
May 16, 2019
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Kirsten
How can i watch only the recommended drills ?
April 12, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kirsten. Could you elaborate more? Just the drills in the video, or certain videos Chuck mentions? Thanks.
April 12, 2019
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Gary
At what point in the swing does the lead leg begin to post up ?
April 10, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary. Once, you have shifted the weight into the lead side. Roughly 80%. Take a look at Perfecting Lower Body Stability.
April 10, 2019
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Gary
It appears that the release of the club begins as the handle/hands reach the trail thigh and ends at impact - is this correct ?
April 9, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary. Yes. But, the club will keep rotating through until 3 O'Clock when the forearms are crossed over and the club is at least toe up. You can usually tell if you under release when the club head is facing the sky and forearms aren't crossed over at that checkpoint.
April 9, 2019
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Gary
Ok am I to presume that the other check point would be at impact to ensure the club face is square to the target line ? I have found that with the syruppy move displayed here it is difficult and somewhat erratic when attempting to get the club face square at impact. What am I doing wrong if the club head is not 100 % square each time this move is executed?
April 9, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary. Yes. If it isn't square you are manipulating the club too much instead letting the club rotation happen on it's own. Take a look at Moving the Fulcrum and Flip v Release.
April 9, 2019
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Gary
I guess that's presuming the ball is in the correct location to stance right?
April 9, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary. Yes. Off of the lead ear, or logo of the shirt.
April 9, 2019
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Gary
Step 3 - flat right wrist; keep your right wrist flat in the backswing: I am confused. As I rotate on the backswing to where my back is facing the target, (with my right hand soft and relaxed) my right wrist naturally wants to cock upward. The only way I can avoid this from happening is not to raise my arms up. That seems strange. What am I doing wrong?
August 22, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary. Take a look at Right Wrist in the Takeaway Video. You will have some cocking after parallel to the ground, but you don't want to early hinge off the ball.
August 22, 2018
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Gary
Thanks
August 22, 2018
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Edward
Hi there. When I try to create lag I seem 'naturally' to create additional cupping in my left wrist and at the same time a rotation of my left forearm toward the sky. Is this correct or is it something I should fight against? Thanks for any insight!
August 11, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Edward. A little internal rotation of the lead arm is fine. But, I would shy away from adding excessive cupping. You may be over doing the lag a hair.
August 11, 2018
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Edward
great - thanks Craig.
August 11, 2018
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Bruce
Need more info on HOW to load the shaft------as Chuck says in video.
June 6, 2018
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Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
Shaft loading is a by product of weight shift during the transition.
June 6, 2018
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Anthony
I seem to be hitting the ball towards the toe of my driver and irons, rarely from the centre (sweet spot). What may be causing this? Is it distance from the ball, swing plane issue?
June 5, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Anthony. Sounds like a little steep/over the top. Make sure you start down on path properly first. How to Fix Plane and Path.
June 5, 2018
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Brad
When I do this I note two things happening: 1). When I reverse directions to at top, I get the lag, but my club steepens as the reaction vs flattening. 2). My club face is consistently shut 5 to 7 degrees at impact (Trackman telling me so, and ball starts left to prove it) Any insights?
May 27, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brad. The first thing to check would be if your club face is getting closed in the backswing.
May 29, 2018
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Brad
Thanks, makes sense for face issue. What about the lag reaction causing steeping vs shallowing....what should I focus on to achieve the latter? Thanks!
May 29, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brad. A lot of lag may steepen your AOA. But, also make sure when transitioning you aren't yanking down the club and adding a touch of shoulder spin. Rear shoulder must feel like it is staying back.
May 29, 2018
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Donald
Clay, I feel this is a wonderful drill to encourage me to gain more lag. However, what I find when I relax my wrists is that my left wrist bends and my right elbow gets behind me to the extent that I'm seeing my clubface at the top of my backswing when I take a full swing - a long standing forever problem with me! Should I also be concentrating on keeping the club in front of my chest on the backswing when practicing this drill? Or should I focus on shortening the backswing? All your help is appreciated! Don
February 19, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Donal. Clay no longer works at Rotary, but I am happy to answer your question. I would focus on 2 points. Keeping the arms in front of the chest and making sure your trail arm doesn't bend more than 90 degrees. And, if you are performing the 9 to 3 you really shouldn't see much bend at all in the trail arm.
February 19, 2018
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bradford
You mention a swing viewer. Where is this viewer that compares my swing to your swing on this lag video.
January 11, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Bradford. The Self Analysis Tab at the top of the page. Once you upload a swing. You can use the viewer as a comparison.
January 11, 2018
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Dave
in general, i was at range today and focused on bowed left wrist position on backswing and on impact left hand knuckles down. started hitting baby draws more solidly. it was just something i thought of and tried it. seemed to work. what do you think? i think i was cupping my wrist on back swing causing club face to be open at impact.
November 6, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. Ideally, the lead wrist will be flat at the top of the backswing. If you start bowing too soon it will lead to an overly shut face, or more of a body release.
November 7, 2017
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Dave
I feel i can get solid hits with short and mid irons, but when i go to longer irons my shot leaks to right (fade). when i try a stronger grip i hook left...
November 5, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. Performing the drill above, or in general?
November 6, 2017
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don
Are there drills to train yourself to begin weight transfer prior to completing the backswing. I tend to finish my back swing prior to weight shift Roy
September 6, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Roy. Start the Downswing Before Completing the Backswing Video.
September 6, 2017
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Mariam
Is there a down the line video demonstrating proper technique for the 9 to 3 drill?
May 1, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jay. I can't think of a DTL 9 to 3 Video/Drill. I apologize.
May 2, 2017
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Jean-Philippe
hello, You are talking about "swing mirror" to compare our swing to yours. Can you tell us more about that ? Where can we found this swing mirror ? Many thanks and best regards, Jean-Philippe
October 21, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jean-Philippe. We have a 360 Training Mirror in the Training Aid Store to help with practicing proper moves. Or, you may video your swing and upload it to the Self Analysis Section on the site and compare it to one of our model swings.
October 22, 2016
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Jean-Philippe
Hello. Ok thanks...
October 22, 2016
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Kevin
Clay, I have been working on grating more distance and began working the 9 to 3 lag drill. As I donit, though, I'm noticing two things...1. I seem to be cupping my left wrist, and 2, my tempo seems really quick trying to get the supple wrist cock. Contrary to these problems, I did suddenly start hitting my 9 iron and 6 iron about 10-15 yards farther, even on 3/4 swings. Thx
June 1, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. I would rather you not cup the lead wrist too much. Try to keep it more flat to bowing at impact. Add the Perfecting Impact Part 4 to the arsenal. A little longer move may help you smooth out the tempo issue.
June 2, 2016
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Kevin
OK...Thanks. I guess I didn't say that the wrist cup is happening at the top of the swing. Is this ok, or should I avoid it also?
June 2, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. The wrist should be flat at the top. Take a look at Using the Wrist Effectively and Efficiently to see all the positions.
June 2, 2016
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steve
dear rst, do the wrists stay loose, like when a martial guy is swinging a numchuk ? i saw this kid on tv last night swinging those things and the outside part of the device was moving wicked fast. sort of like the joint between the two pieces would be the wrists. what do you think ?
March 14, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Steve. It can be like a nunchuck. Enough grip pressure and control to hold on to the weapon. But, the wrists soft and passive enough to create a whip like reaction.
March 14, 2016
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Mark
How does the clubface square up and get closed if the wrist is flat?
February 14, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mark. The lead wrist will be flat and/or bowed at impact. This will help keep the face square and de-lofted. Take a look at the Left Hand Release Video and 5 Mins to the Perfect Release to understand how the face squares into the strike.
February 15, 2016
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Mark
Thanks
February 18, 2016
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Jay
When doing this with Left hand only, I feel a ton of pressure on my left thumb as I shift to downswing, in fact that left thumb stops the club from lagging even further. My question is, when doing a full swing, at the top, should I feel this hard pressure on my left thumb? This seems to take the right hand out of the swing.
October 18, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jay. You will feel a little pressure in the thumb because it gives you an element of control. The key is to not push hard with it against the shaft. Take a look at the Left Thumb Nail Pain Video.
October 19, 2015
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matt
Is this different from "float loading"? I thought Float Loading was bad, and didn't lead to lag? Are you guys still recommending this approach?
September 28, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Matt. You want to use more of the momentum change and lead arm pull for lag. Sometimes players have to train a feeling of float loading to try and understand what the club moving closer to the body feels like. Ideally, you don't want to be a float loader.
September 28, 2015
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Joseph
I have a tendency to loop the club under the plane on the downswing and release early to save the shot.. it leads to weak pushes and thin shots. I've been working on trace the plane in order to get the club more out in front of me at impact, but that wrist rotation seems to cause me to just release early. When I try to incorporate the downcock and lag drills, the club seems to get stuck again. Any suggestions on how I marry the two concepts?
September 9, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Joseph. Take a look at the Sledgehammer Video to help get the right arm working more in front and less stuck. Seems like you have good left arm rotation, but the right arm is lagging a little bit.
September 9, 2015
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Jarek
What are the main causes of chunking in front of ball when Im practicing this 9-3 lag drill for the first time? Also is the block out to the right solely a function of not rotating that right forearm enough?
August 30, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jarek. If you are chunking it after the ball the you aren't releasing it correctly of pulling enough with the lead arm. Take a look at the Fix Your Release Video. (For Right Handed) If you are blocking the ball you are probably pushing through and not releasing. The former video mentioned will help with that as well.
August 31, 2015
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Mitchell
I can't seem to get my right hand to Bottom out on my left thigh. It's too heavy. It bottoms out on m right unless I start with my weight on my left heel. When my hands are together no problem
August 25, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mitchell. It can be hard to get the right arm all the way to the left thigh. If you want to add weight or preset it a little for training purposes that is okay.
August 25, 2015
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Jim
I have noticed in my downswing when my shaft gets about horizontal and my hands are at waist level, the driver in particular starts to bow so that it is concave downwards. I struggle with driver accuracy, not distance so much. It seems to me that this configuration of the shaft shouldn't be at this stage in the swing. Can you explain why this happens and what I might do about it if is indeed abnormal?
August 21, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jim. Are you saying at waist high the face is shutting towards the ground? You need to work on your release and launch. Take a look at the Driver Launch Angle Video in the Bomb Your Driver Series to help with Setup changes and understanding different ways of releasing through the strike.
August 21, 2015
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jeren
Moving through the swing model at very slow speed generates questions like this one for me. First my understanding: When the lag begins to release, the wrists are nearly fully extended downward and become a fulcrum which moves horizontally with a slight elliptical shape toward the ball. (I hope this description is accurate.) My question is: where, in relation to the body, specifically the legs, are the hands when they begin their fulcrum role and where on the line do they stop operating as a fulcrum? I think they start their fulcrum duties just at the outside of the right leg line and continue as a fulcrum until they reach the inside of the left thigh (for right handers). Can you correct? Entrancing content--thanks!
July 15, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jeren. You are correct. The wrists will start to release just outside the trail thigh positioning and into the lead thigh. Take a look at the Using the Wrist Effectively and Efficiently Video in the Introduction Advanced Section and the Left Hand Release Drill in the Downswing Section.
July 15, 2015
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William
Thanks Clay! This is an excellent video and explanation on how to 'build' a proper 9-to-3 drill. I've been a 'flipper' for so long it's going to take time to flush it out of my golfing system - but I think the 9-to-3 drill, done properly, can only help me achieving my dream of compressing a golf ball... Thanks! William
July 12, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Great William. Thanks for the post.
July 13, 2015
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Frank
I have trouble progressing to full swing. I mastered the 9-3 swing with one arm and both arms. However, 9-3 swing has very small shoulder turn. When I put in full turn and go to full swing I cannot keep the lag as I continue to throw too much from top. I tend to open my shoulders too soon on full swing (shoulder spinner). What is good way to move up from 9-3 to adding full turn (swing) and not loose the lag? There seems to be another step beyond the 9-3 that includes shoulder turn. That is the step I struggle with. Suggestions?
July 12, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Frank. It is hard blend, but it sounds like you don't have too much problem getting longer in the backswing swing. The issue is when you turn more you build up tension and fire the trail shoulder too early. Take a look at How to Swing from the Ground Up in the Introduction Advanced Section to relieve the throw tension and also the Sledgehammer Video in the Advanced Downswing Section to help stop the shoulder spin.
July 12, 2015
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Frank
Thanks, using those ideas helps. Also, I find the straight right arm video helps as rt arm bends little in 9-3 but can easily over bend in the full swing.
July 12, 2015
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JD
Hey guys. This drill has helped me a lot. I didn't find a DTL view of Clay performing the drill. When doing the drill correctly, with each hand independently, from the DTL view, should the club head follow the elbow plane just as in a full swing. Thanks.
June 25, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jd. Yes. The lead arm might shallow out a touch more since the trail side is what steepens the plane. However, it should still be following the correct plane.
June 25, 2015
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ERNESTO JOSE
Hi. When I do the miniswings i feel that my left thumb is compressed by the club and limitates the lag. Is that a wrong position of my thumb? Thanks
June 22, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ernesto. There could be a grip issue. Take a look at Left Thumbnail Pain Video in this section to make sure you are pushing against the shaft.
June 22, 2015
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JD
I've been working on RST for a few months. My back swing has always been under the plane , deep, and long, which I've been working on improving. When I started doing the lag drills, especially the one handed drills, my ball striking improved a lot. However, doing these drills, especially with the left hand , has gotten my swing back into that deep position, with the left arm swinging across my chest. Where am i going wrong? How can I check to make sure I'm doing the correct back swing technique, one handed, with the club in front?
June 9, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jd. When you start using the lead arm only going back. Make sure you still pull back with the trail shoulder and not push back. It is a hard thing to accomplish. You just have to be aware that you aren't trying to fling the club to the top that you still want to set it in the correct position by rotating and keeping the lead arm working back correctly. You can see in the Using the Wrist Efficiently Video in the Advanced Introduction Section how Chris manages to do so. Its all about good focus.
June 10, 2015
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Francis
Hi, Been having difficulty with the one handed drills with the golf club. Particularly with the left hand. The club (7 iron) is heavy and it takes a lot of effort to do the short swings (especially the takeaway) where you stop at impact point and allow the club to follow through.
March 4, 2015
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Francis
ps. I can do the drills but because of the weight of the club, I don't think that i'm doing them properly and am nable to get the club and hands in the right positions
March 4, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Francis. You need to utilize the weight of the club. Try not to over stress or force the issue. Try some bigger swings and see if you can free up some tension. Proper Muscle Activation Video in the Introduction Advanced Section.
March 6, 2015
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Francis
Thanks for the reply, Craig.
March 6, 2015
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Sujit
I'm really struggling with lag. I've watched every video on this site on lag and still can't get it. It seems like there are three methods taught on this website to get lag - down cock, floppy wrists (as shown in this video) and using the right elbow to hit the right hip. I find down cock doesn't maintain my lag while floppy wrists don't maintain the lag either. The right elbow technique puts a lot of strain on my tricep and most of the time I can't get a clean strike. Most of the time it becomes too heavy. I find the best feeling is if I hold my wrist cock but in this video Clay says that is not the right method. I must admit that even though it feels good and gets ok shots when I watch the video it still doesn't get to the right spot when my club in parallel to the ground. So I guess my question is which of the three methods do you use or is it a combination of all of them? As pro golfers, do you have a specific feeling that you look for? Do any of you just purely hold your wrist hinge?
December 14, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Sujit. If you try and hold the wrist angle. The tendency will be to lose the lag early. You can force lag to be maintained. Use the lead arm, weight shift, and supple wrist. Pull out your camera. If you perform some lead arm only swings as described in the Re-Shaping Your Swing for Lag - Introduction Section. You will see an improvement in lag. Turn off the trail side. Use gravity and lead arm pull. I would advise you to watch the Dramatic Swing Change Video in the Bonus Series - Before and After.
December 15, 2014
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Michael
Which club(s) do you suggest using in practicing the 9 to 3 drill?
November 14, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Michael, You can use any of the normal striking clubs (i.e. not putter), but the most common club used in these videos are the 7-iron and the Driver, depending on the video. I always use the driver because I'm not trying to tear up my yard, but if you have a hitting mat or an area where you don't mind tearing things up, a 7-iron will work for most of your drills that you do on the site. R.J.
November 14, 2014
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joseph
How do I make a video of my swing? How do I get it to you? Thanks
October 10, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Joseph. You can use any camera. Digital, Iphone, Android, Ipad, etc... Upload the files to your computer. Then, submit the review in the swing review section. Any questions or troubleshooting. Use the contact us link at the bottom of the page and let customer support know.
October 10, 2014
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Shawn
Great video. I'm a flipper at impact have very little to no lag when my hands reach my right thigh. This video has helped a ton to understand the wide-narrow-wide and the soft wrists/dropping arms for lag. I can effortlessly do the drill with 90 degree lag at right thigh and impact angle looks good EXCEPT when i try to hit a ball using the 9 to 3. It's like a mental block because a ball is there and I go back to my old ways. I keep repeating swinging without a ball to try to engrain the muscle memory but one the ball is placed i do the cupping/flipping thing again. Any suggestions??
September 16, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Shawn. You have to practice at pace. Work very slowly. Start with small shots. Allow the lag to be created. When your practicing the swing. You don't focus on hitting the ball and the lag produces itself naturally. When the ball comes into play, you more than likely try to force things to control ball flight. Use a lot of lead arm only training and practice small shots. Let the ball get in the way as cliche as it might sound.
September 16, 2014
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Steve
What about the driver? I have a much harder time creating lag with the driver vs the easier to control irons. Great info.
September 15, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Steve. With such a short motion this drill would be tougher with a driver. Use the Re-Shaping Your Swing for Lag Video in the Introduction Section to get the correct pull/lag with the lead side.
September 15, 2014
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vernon
This drill as well as most other swing drills use a mid iron. Is the golf swing using short irons or hybrids and drivers done exactly the same way?
August 25, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Yes. It will be hard to do these drills specifically with a driver. But, the shape of the swing with rotation, width and leverage will stay the same.
August 25, 2014
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john
I put my attempt at the 9 to 3 drill on camera and saw that I was doing it incorrectly. Now that I seem to have the hand./arm release looking good should I continue to practise this more. What is the best method of incorporating it into my swing. It really adds more power and length.
June 14, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Working on the 9 to 3 drill will not hurt your progress at all. It's great to help keep the downswing in check, when you start to get off track. Build up slowly. Try doing full swings at pace. 30-40% effort. Focus on the move not the power. Work your way up.
June 16, 2014
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john
If I do the lag drills and shift wt to the left to increase lag does it follow that this will work itself into my swing eventually. Also the forward lean of the club at impact---should this be a conscious movement or does it come about unconsciously due to lag and wt shift ? Thank you in advance
June 4, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey John. This is a great drill to start creating and retaining more lag into impact. It will start to work itself into your full swing. The forward shaft lean needs to be retained. Some have to focus on it at first because its a new position and feeling. But, it will become more natural and happen sub consciously the more you ingrain it.
June 5, 2014
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Doug
The short initial swings are proving pretty challenging. It's like I don't feel that smooth, tension-free look I see in the video. Is this a case of "just keep at it"? I feel like my hands are a bit "dead" and wrists a bit stiff but will keep working on it. I don't have a donut but sure it might help me to feel the movement even more.
June 4, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Doug, the key is giving up control to gain control. You're probably so used to controlling the club and the amount of wrist set its become very ingrained. Try exaggerating the supple feel with the wrist. Over doing the feeling by giving up control of the club head should smooth the movement out for you.
June 4, 2014
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richard
Hi guys, I was working on this drill in conjunction with the Reshape Your Swing video and felt like my swing got better and more effortless if my shoulder muscles (deltoids) felt more relaxed and I felt my arms "falling" and really swinging through impact with the club falling behind (lagging). When I got this more relaxed feeling, I realized that earlier attempts were more trying to put my hands and the club in the right position rather than letting it get there. Is this the feeling I'm looking for? Chuck talks about gravity starting the downswing (after the shift), but I don't hear much about it in other drills.
April 29, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Forcing the hands and arms into a position can be detrimental to being able to maintain lag. That can create unwanted tension and cause early flipping of the club among other areas. The sensation and understanding you are getting now is correct and should make it much easier for you to build lag properly into the move.
April 29, 2014

How to build lag in your golf swing

If you want to increase your consistency and your power, then you have to understand the importance of lag in your golf swing. Most golfers throw their lag away right from the top of their downswings. By the time they reach impact, there's nothing left to hit with.

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