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Rotary Swing vs Rotary Hitter

Online Golf Instruction By: Chuck Quinton, Master Instructor • FULL BIO •

Rotary Swing vs Rotary Hitter
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This video is unique in that it provides 4 different views of the Rotary Hitter Golf Swing in action - Face on, down the line, from the rear and up the line. It also goes in depth explaining the differences between the Rotary Hitter and Rotary Swinger in the ongoing "Swinger vs Hitter" discussion.

It discusses how and why the takeaway is not as inside and shut as it is in the Rotary Swing and how this aids in releasing the golf club through impact for speed for the Hitter. It also discusses the top of the swing position and the dynamics at the top of the swing. Chuck Quinton's swing is used as he commentates about the transition he has been making to a Rotary Hitter (which was later absorbed into the wildly successful Rotary Swing Tour methodology - learn more).

The question for many, apart from the technical differences of the swing, what are the philosophical differences in the swing? Or, more importantly, which one is right for me - hitter or swinger?

In a nutshell, you should go off two things. First, what do you already do naturally in your golf swing? Do you tend to get your arms out in front of your body and have your shoulders more shut than open at impact?

That is a significant determinant factor as the impact dynamics are more difficult to change for most golfers. The second thing is what do you like to feel in your golf swing? Do you like to feel more of a hit with the body or do you like the feel of releasing the club with the hands through impact?

If you like the feeling of hitting hard with the body and torso, learning the Swinger fundamentals is best. If you like the feeling of using your arms and hands for speed, then the Hitter route can be best. Either way, you will learn some more of the intricate differences such as clubface angle and shaft plane in detail in this video.

tiger woods top of golf swingNote the position at the top of the swing of the Rotary Hitter is nearly identical to the number one player in the world, Tiger Woods.
 

Checkpoints for Practice

  • Rotary Hitter is for golfers who want to use their arms more, while arms are more passive in the Rotary Swing
  • The first difference is a disconnection in arm swing & shoulder turn going back, lengthening the swing - this can decrease accuracy, but boost club head speed
  • The Hitter keeps the club more in front of the shoulders & body going back - the club comes up more on plane
  • Squatting at the top allows the arms to drop back in front of the body
  • Coming down, shoulders stay fairly square, arms come into position as lower body unwinds
  • The body stays quieter than in a Rotary Swing, while hands and arms provide the release
  • The head stays back - the golfer is well behind the ball at impact
  • The Hitter's release is much more aggressive, and happens more in front of the body than underneath

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Video Transcription: Rotary Swing vs Rotary Swinger

Top of the swingTop of the swing, face on

As many of you know, I've been working on changing my golf swing to the Rotary Hitter fundamentals that I've been discussing on the website, which is a diversification of the Rotary Swing fundamentals.

It allows golfers who tend to really want to dominate the swing with their arms, and have difficulty transitioning into an athletically passive arms golf swing, the Rotary Hitter allows you to use your arms, and changes some of the fundamentals of the golf swing.

In order to demonstrate that, I've been converting mine over so that you can see an active model that's easy to understand, and I can walk you through piece by piece.

I've been working on these changes for about four months now. After these past four months, you can start to see some of the main differences that I'm going to discuss in this video.

We're going to use four different views. We're going to use face on and down the line, that we have here, and then we're going to have both up the line and back behind, so this will be four unique views of my golf swing, that were taken here recently. You'll be able to see some of the differences, hopefully.

One of the main things that you'll notice, as the club is taken back, as I get to the top there will be a bit of - my swing is not quite as long as it has been - but you'll see in some of the other videos the top of my swing, my shaft has gotten a little bit longer than it used to be.

Shoulders backShoulders back as lower body unwinds

Because I have more disconnection in my arm swing and shoulder turn going back, that has allowed me to lengthen my swing a little bit. The tradeoff there of course is that as you lengthen your swing, the accuracy can tend to decrease, so you have to make sure that you're doing a lot of other things correctly before you start lengthening your swing.

At the same point, lengthening your swing can - as long as you're doing things correctly - give you a boost to club head speed.

As I go back, my club head is tending to get a little bit longer here. This is a little shorter in this one.

Hitter vs Swinger Downswing

As I come back down, you'll notice that I'm not just unwinding my shoulders. In fact, you'll see that my shoulders are actually staying relatively square, and even a little shut going back. Now my hips, of course, are starting to unwind, but as I come back I have tried to keep my shoulders back a little bit more and bring my arms down into position as I'm unwinding my lower body.

As I come down, my arms and head stay back. Notice that I stay well back behind the ball. If we were to draw a line here from the back of the ball up, you'll see it's just about on the inside of my armpit, which is where we talk about placing the ball with the driver.

Well behind ballWell behind the ball at impact

You can make some adjustments to get the ideal launch parameters here, but this is a pretty standard golf shot.

My head is much farther back. As I'm doing that, you can see if my head was to move forward I'd be tending to drive my upper body and my chest through the ball a little bit more, but as I'm keeping my shoulders a little bit more shut, keeping my arms working back in front of my chest, as you can see here, it changes the way I release the club.

You'll notice that, as you can see, the logo on my glove from face on, as we go through you'll notice that that hand is rotating shut.

Swinger vs Hitter Release

Because of the differences in the Rotary Hitter versus the Rotary Swinger, the swinger tends to square the club face with his body rotation. With the hitter, if you're getting your arms back in front of your body and turning your shoulders, you're just going to pull everything dead left.

Where the hitter gets a lot of speed is not from his body rotation, but in fact the releasing and whipping of his hands through impact, so you can see a noticeable release and rotation, just after my hands reach the outside of my left thigh here. You can see the knuckles and the fingers on my left hand.

Lots of crossoverLots of crossover

It's a lot more release than a swinger needs, because a swinger is going to rotate his shoulders through. He has to get his speed through the body rotation. The hitter gets it through releasing the arms and hands for the shot.

You can see a lot of rotation here, through the ball, and my right hand is on the club, releasing over. A lot of crossover here, into a full finish.

Now we'll take a couple of looks at that one at full speed here.

You can see a very quiet body. The head stays back, the lower body unwinds. We'll take a couple of looks at this one at a little bit slower speed.

The lower body is quiet, the shoulders are a little bit more quiet than they are for a swinger. The arms are really releasing, hands really releasing, through the ball.

Club on planeThe club comes up on plane

Now, when we go to look at this same swing from down the line, you'll notice some other differences. One, the club will tend to come up much more on plane for a hitter because it's a little bit more upright move.

He's trying to keep the club in front of his shoulders, in front of his body going back, whereas the swinger can tend to be a little bit more under the plane, a little bit shallower, because he's going to rotate hard from the top, and if you get too steep your shoulders rotating hard from the top will throw the club out over the plane and you'll pull it.

That's why, for the swinger, it's OK for the club to go back a little bit shallower, à la Ben Hogan and Snead, where you saw the club work around the body a little bit more.

The hitter's got to get the club working up in position a lot earlier, keep the club in front. You'll notice the club going through the right forearm here. We're in a good position. Hands are not as deep as they would be for a swinger. The left hand would tend to cover that right bicep more. Here they're a little bit more in front of the chest, another difference between the swinger and hitter.

Swing is longerSwing is longer

As we go back to the top, this is one where you can start to see my swing getting a little bit longer here because, again, I've got to really release that club head going through. This is giving me a little bit more freedom to build up a little bit more club head speed and get a little bit more release.

Also, you'll notice that the club face is very square. For a swinger, you'll notice that the club face can be a little bit shut. Again, we're releasing the club with our body, not just by releasing it with our hands, so for the swinger the shut club face allows you to rotate through the ball.

The club comes in what would technically be considered a somewhat late position, but because the club face tends to go back a little bit shut, be a little bit shut at the top, you can play from that position or rotate hard through the ball without fear of slicing the ball. Again, just another difference there from the hitter vs swinger.

Clubface more square to forearmClub face is more square to forearm

Here you can see the club face is much more square to my forearm here. If anything, the hitter can tend to err a little bit on the side of being slightly open at the top, but at some point it's got to square up here.

You notice the arms are also a little bit steeper here. Rather than being low and shallow, we're trying to keep the arms and club more in front of the body. You can see that move here.

As we come back down, you'll notice that the first move is kind of a squatting move. You'll notice - it may be somewhat difficult to see here, but a little bit of bend in that right knee, a little bit of squatting - why would I want to do this? This allows my arms to start to drop back down in front of my body.

The best in the business at doing this is, of course, Tiger Woods. He has a little bit of squat in that right knee. You'll notice if you look at the hips back behind me here, the hips will tend to squat a little bit. They'll go work back behind me.

Hips cleared, on planeHips have cleared, swing is on plane

When that happens, that's allowing me to give the arms time to fall back in front of the body, rather than just unwinding and throwing everything from the top.

As I come down, I'm being patient with my shoulders, getting those arms coming down. You can see that I'm in an on plane position here, in very good shape. My hips have already cleared here. You'll notice that at this point, right about there, my left leg has already disappeared so I'm really starting to clear the hips.

Bring down into a good release position, my arms are working farther away from my body. The only thing that I am still continuing to work on a little bit as this changes is keeping my shoulders a little bit more square, or even shut, coming down.

I tend to unwind them a little early; of course that's a swinger characteristic. When that happens - trying to do everything as a hitter and you unwind your shoulders a little bit too early - you don't have time to square the face so you'll tend to hit a ball that starts pretty straight and is going to fade off to the right a little bit.

Shoulders slightly openShoulders slightly open

I'm still working on those changes in my own personal golf swing - you can see that I'm just a little bit open here with those shoulders. I'm continuing to work to change that.

One thing that you'll note here is that, as the club is coming through, there's a much more aggressive release. Notice how that left hand, the logo of my glove is facing down to the ground and that right hand is crossing over. The club head is releasing.

That's how the club face is squared for a Rotary Hitter. This is the Stuart Applebys, the Tiger Woods, the Trevor Immelmans, even Vijay Singh; a lot of the Tour pros who release hard with their hands and get that extra boost of club head speed at the bottom.

Of course, the difficulty of this is, timing this move consistently takes a bit more athleticism, a bit more work, a bit more understanding of the golf swing. It's much more difficult to square the club like this than how it is for the Rotary Swing, when you simply rotate your body with the club face that's just a little bit shut at the top.

ReleaseRelease

Here you can see a much more aggressive release coming through. The club is releasing more out in front of my body instead of underneath, and come on to a full release.

We'll watch that a couple of times at speed so you can see that working back.

You notice, pretty mellow with the body movement. There's a bit of lower-body drive, but again mostly working on the club working on plane and releasing through with my hands. It's a very important piece of the swing.

We'll play that one a couple of times in slow motion here, so you can see a little bit more of the dynamics in place here. As the club's working back you'll notice it works back pretty well just barely to the inside, not as inside and shut as for a Rotary Swinger vs a Hitter. A little bit of load and transition in there, then the good release coming through.

Loaded into left, spine slightly tiltedLoaded into left, spine slightly tilted

Now we're going to take a look at a couple of different views that you've not seen before. We're going to look at both the back view and up the line view. Now what you'll see are a couple of unique views that give you a different perspective on exactly what it is we're doing in the Rotary Hitter golf swing.

We'll start with this back view here. Of course I'm hitting into a wall here, so I'm using a foam ball, but you'll still get the idea as I take the club back.

Notice that there's a pronounced load into that left side, but my spine is tilting back just slightly from the target in a good setup position here.

I take the club back, staying very centered going back. You'll notice you can see some dynamic tension loading into my right side, but it's not a shift. My head stays very well in position here. Arms are working to stay in front of the chest there, staying very centered.

You'll notice that my hips don't shift going back, on that right leg. There is definitely some power loading up into that right leg, but there's no sway. It's loading up on the inside of that right leg there.

Longer swing, loading left leg loadedLonger swing, left leg loaded

This is one of the views where you can start to see, as my swing is getting a little bit longer, I can get a little bit more club head speed because of the disconnection and the higher hands at the top here, that allow me to get a little bit more leverage in my swing.

Here I'm in a pretty coiled position going back. As we start to unwind, you'll notice that that first move is the club is still going back but I'm obviously loading into that left foot. That left leg is getting the load here before the club starts to work back toward the target.

If you look at that very closely, you can see my weight is moving onto that left leg, and the club is still setting at the top. That allows me to load the shaft properly and use my body and get the club coming down in the proper sequence.

Now I'm starting to unwind my hips. I'm getting that club, my arms are starting to work back down in front of my body here. Here I'm definitely set on that left side, continuing to work everything back, getting my arms back in front of my body here. Then you'll notice that, of course, the more aggressive release coming through the ball.

Club head in line with handsThe club head is in line with the hands

Now from up the line, you'll get to see a little bit different, unique view, primarily of the release. You'll notice here we're working on keeping the club out in front of the body. You'll notice it doesn't sweep aggressively to the inside. It's a very natural arc going back.

The club head is in line with the hands at this point. We're working up on plane, we're in a good position here.

Again, that load at the top. You can see the club head wants to drop just a little bit because my hands are soft at this point, but I'm starting to really load and use my legs to unwind. You can see as I get to the top my legs are starting to unwind, my upper body is getting really coiled against that lower body so there's a lot of dynamic tension at this point in my golf swing.

You'll notice that my arms are a little bit steeper than they have been in the past. Again, this is in an effort to keep my arms and hands more in front of my body, which is imperative for the Rotary Hitter. You don't want to get your arms too deep back behind you, because then it becomes much more difficult to get them out in front.

Then you start combining fundamentals, where you're trying to get your shoulders too much open at impact and it becomes a little bit more of a maintenance issue with your golf swing.

Left hand rotating flatThe left hand is rotating flat

Now as I unwind you'll notice the club is coming back down on plane. My hips are clearing. At this point my hips have really cleared. My arms are working back down in front of my body. That left hand is starting to rotate flat here. I'm starting to be able to square the club with my hands.

Now as I release, I'm trying to get the logo on my glove to face the ground at this point. That's going to allow me to square the club and get a good release and whipping through impact.

You can see that just after impact my right hand is really releasing over my left. Here it's fully released. That left hand is rotating back. There's a lot of release there, so that's where a lot of the club head speed is driven from. You can see my right hand is completely flat here at this point.

We'll take a couple of quick looks at that, going up the line.

Then a couple of looks here, at the behind view. That's going a little quick. We'll run it in slow motion so you can see some of the dynamics at work here.

This should give you a much more clear picture of what's going on in the Rotary Hitter golf swing, versus the Rotary Swing. Hopefully that will help you in making your transitions, whether you're a Rotary Hitter vs a Rotary Swinger, to help you understand the swing, and if you are a Rotary Hitter, learning the moves.

This will give you a good idea of four different views of what you're trying to change in your golf swing.

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