Pushing vs. Pulling - Golf Swing Physics

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This 7 part video series walks you through the keys of RST. This first video shows you a simple physics lesson that will change the way you view golf instruction for the rest of your life.

This single fundamental of RST and physics principal can you give you another 5-10, even 15 mph clubhead speed - instantly! More importantly, it will give you more control and help you hit the ball further with less effort.

BONUS VIDEO: Reshaping Your Swing for Lag

Video Practice Points
  • Eliminate pushing from the trailside in your golf swing for more speed and consistency
  • Understand how important pulling can be for speed and control

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Do you understand the physics of the golf swing? There are tremendous forces at work, acting on both the golf club and your body. One of the most important physics concepts you need to understand to really improve your golf swing is to understand the forces of pushing vs. pulling in the golf swing which I discuss in this golf instruction video you're about to watch. Most golfers try to "push" everything in their golf swings. The push the golf club back with the left arm during the golf backswing and then they push with the right side during the downswing. This pushing motion feels powerful, but it causes the golfer to lose the most important force in the golf swing - leverage.

Leverage gives the golfer the ability to multiply force exponentially without increasing effort. By using leverage in the golf swing created from the angle between our wrists and the club shaft, we have tremendous potential energy that takes very little effort on our part.  This leverage is often completely thrown away, a motion referred to as casting, when the golfer pushes from the right side.

Chuck Quinton founder Rotary swing golf.  My pursuit in developing the Rotary golf swing was all about developing an objective and analytical view of the golf swing.  That was based on fundamentals such as science anatomy and biomechanics.  I took a lot of time learning the scientific aspects of the golf swing to develop a very black-and-white objective point of view on the golf swing.  In this video today I want to talk about the physics perspective of the golf swing using my awesome little truck and trailer example that I use all my golf clinics.  This will illustrate a concept that I use as the foundation for all Rotary golf swing teaching and that is the concept of pushing versus pulling in the golf swing.

Think for a second and let me know if you've ever seen a truck pushing a trailer down the highway before.  I bet you haven't.  But do you know the physics basis behind this.  Well, if you've ever tried to back your trailer up into your driveway you found the going even very slowly can be a serious challenge.  The reason behind this is that a posh moves away from the force of movement in any direction and a pull always moves in towards the center of the force of movement.

In the example of a truck pushing a trailer the trailer tries to rotate around its own center of gravity when being pushed from behind.  This is what causes the trailer to want to turn very easily.  However when you pull the trailer from the front it instantly straightened itself out, and aligns its center gravity with the center of gravity of the truck pulling it.  This is a critical concept to understand in the golf swing.

When you push a golf club through the hitting area the club face also is trying to rotate around its own center gravity.  However when you pull a golf club through the hitting area with the left arm the club face stays very quiet throughout the entire golf impact area.  This amazingly simple little illustration of me pulling this trailer with the truck should help you instantly understand how simple the golf swing is when following the Rotary Golf Swing mechanics and the RST Five Step Golf Swing Training System.  That is because we teach you how to align yourself with the laws of physics because no matter what you're never going to outsmarts Sir Isaac Newton.

If you wonder why the tour pros consistently hit the wall so straight compared to the average amateur this is the number one reason why.  Hitting a golf ball straight has more to do with doing less and abiding by the laws of physics that does to do with your hand eye coordination and the number of golf balls hit everyday.

Hi, I'm Chuck Quinton, founder of Rotary Swing Golf. When I developed Rotary Swing, it was all about getting an objective view of the golf swing, based on biomechanics, physics, and anatomy, and how the brain learns new movement patterns. In doing so, I took a tremendous amount of time researching these different aspects of the swing to come up with a very objective and black-and-white view of the swing.

                                One of these things I want to talk about is the physics perspective. I'm going to use my awesome little toy truck here to give you a really clear picture of a concept that we use a lot, which is pushing versus pulling in the golf swing.

                                I'm certain that you've never seen, and if you have, I'd love to see a video of it, of a truck pushing a trailer down the road. Obviously this would be very difficult to control. If you've ever tried to back up a trailer, you know how easy it is to get the trailer moving in a different direction all the time, any time you're pushing it.

                                But now what happens when you change that, and you pull it down the highway, which is how you see all cars going down the highway when they're pulling a trailer. The trailer falls in a perfect straight line behind the truck the entire time, with no effort on the driver. He just pushes the pedal, and it goes straight in a straight line.

                                When you're pushing something, it tends to move off line. Why is that? The reason is you need to line up the force of movement, which in this case is the truck that's moving the trailer. The trailer's not going to move itself, so the force of movement coming from the truck must line up perfectly with the center of gravity of the trailer. If it's just off to the side slightly, this trailer will rotate around its center of gravity. It will move it off line, and it will not be able to track in a straight line.

                                Believe it or not, this is a perfect example of how you should swing a golf club and why it's so difficult for most amateurs to swing a golf club. The reality is that most amateurs, because they're right-handed but playing from the left side of the golf ball, tend to use their dominant hand, which is their right hand, of course, to push the club and to impact it. It feels more powerful, but it actually creates more problems in the golf swing.

                                Now let's go and take a look at it with a golf club in the hand, and take a look at what this pushing and pulling looks like in the golf swing.

                                Now let's take a look at this push versus pull concept with a golf club in our hands. With the club, it becomes very easy to understand and self-diagnose problems that most golfers have in their swings. The most common one that we see is when they take the club, and from the top of the swing, the club starts to go out. You'll understand this as losing lag, or casting the golf club from the top. The club starts to look like this as it comes down. They look very scoopy, and the right wrist is pushing through and flipping the club through.

                                The trick is understanding what causes that movement. Let's look at it. How would I get the club, even though this is an unwanted characteristic in most people's golf swings, how would I create that movement if I wanted to?

                                Let's see what we can do here. The first thing that I would try to do to get the club to move out that way is to take my right wrist and push against the shaft with my thumb. As I'm doing this, this is going to allow me, or I can yank down on it with my hand here, to try and get like a hammer motion. That would make the club do that. We understand that if I could do this with a club on purpose, I don't want to do this. I want to do the opposite, so this right wrist must be relaxed at the top of the swing. I don't want to be pushing against the club to try and make it throw out away from me.

                                The second way is to take my right arm, and move it from my elbow, and that will also cause the club to throw out away from me. We don't want to do that. The other one is I can take my thumb, my left thumb in this case, and push against the shaft, and make the club go out that way.

                                Those are three common causes. We know we don't want to do those things, and all three of them involve pushing. What would we want to do? If we want to not do those things, we've got to do the opposite. Let's relax all of these muscles. As we start down and shift our weight, and my wrist are soft instead of pushing out against the club, now my wrists maintain that lag angle.

                                This motion going from this to this is what dramatically changes and will revolutionize any golfer's game who casts the club. You will not have any club head speed if you cast the club. The vast majority of your speed comes from the leverage that's produced from your wrist. About two-thirds of your overall club head speed comes from just that motion of releasing the angle you set in your wrist. It's important to understand and develop this motion to keep our wrists and our arms soft at the top, and use our weight shift with our lower body to help bring the club down.

                                Now the great thing is I've got some really simple drills that I want you to focus on in this video, as a bonus video, called, "Reshaping Your Swing for Lag." It will help you work through this motion training both hands independently, so it's easier to understand and develop this motion. Take a look at this bonus video, and it will help you tremendously in building way more lag in your swing and get rid of this dreadful motion of pushing against the shaft and throwing the club out away from you at the top.

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