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Rotary Swing 1.0 vs Rotary Swing 2.0 – Some Differences

To explain all the differences would take a while, so I’m just going to point out a few here that can be seen to help you guys moving along while we prepare to shoot the DVD. The images on the right are from 2005 and the images on the left are from today.

At address, it’s pretty easy to see that my setup has improved significantly. I’m biomechanically better connected to my core at address with my shoulder blades (don’t ask, covered in the DVD!) and my legs are not “knock knee’d” to provide more stability and allow me to rotate against my lower body. I’m also set up with the ball more up in my stance and my head more behind the ball.

At the top of the swing, I’m clearly more “torque’d” up at the top. I no longer allow my hips to rotate back with my upper body, I coil against my lower body and this helps to control the length of my backswing, amongst other things. I’m much more stable here and feel far more powerful.

Needless to say, I have much more control over my ball flight now! My impact position has changed a lot. The shot on the right was a little steep so I was digging a trench, but that just helps illustrate the point. My divots are much shallower now, again, giving me a flatter trajectory and more control over the spin. Before, I was at the mercy of how clean my strike was.

Moral of the story: your golf swing is a journey and you can make tremendous progress, but be patient and enjoy the ride. It lasts a lifetime and I still feel like I improve almost everyday!

 
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397 Yard Drive Today – 13th at Sugarloaf Mountain

It was a cool day today, around 60 degrees this morning and windy. The 13th hole at Sugarloaf is a hole that is flat until around 250 yards and then starts going downill a bit until around 300 yards where it starts to significantly go downhill. It’s a 507 yard par 4 that was playing downwind. If I hit a good drive here, I’m typically about 200 yards out and hitting a 7 iron because the second shot is where the hole really starts to play downhill. Not today :-)

After giving some lessons and hitting a couple balls, I went out to the 13th to play a few holes. We’re overseeding the range right now, so Sugarloaf is on a temporary tee box where we can’t hit drivers on the range, so I wasn’t warmed up very well. I decided to go this hole and hit my first drive of the day. Not being warmed up, I took it pretty easy, I thought, and smashed a drive. Zero effort, didn’t feel a thing and it was as straight as an arrow. Knowing I hit it well, I went to my “usual” spot in the fairway but my ball was nowhere to be found. I saw something shining down near the bottom of the hill about 100 yards away, but my eyesight’s not that great, so I couldn’t tell what it was. When I drove down to the bottom and realized it was my ball, I was STOKED! Hey, I still get excited about smashed tee shots! I found the closest sprinkler head that read 120 to the middle of the green and I was 10 yards ahead of it for a total of 397 yards off the tee! The pin was upfront to boot, so I hit a lob wedge to the hole. Not bad, driver, lob wedge to a 507 yard hole. It was downhill and downwind, but still a poke and 100 yards longer than normal for me, so I’ll take it. There might be something to this Rotary Swing 2.0 stuff. ;-) Did I mention I felt no effort?

 
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Rotary Swing 2.0 Takes a Turn to Revolutionize Golf Instruction

Last week, I spent four days working with Alison Thietje of Motion Memory Golf in St. Louis, MO. Alison and I had been talking about teaming up because our ideas of the swing are so incredibly similar, but approached from two different angles. I’m primarily concerned with sending the ball to the target with the proper compression, trajectory and shot shape and have developed a swing model that allows golfers of all levels to do that using the body as the primary mover in the swing. Alison is primarily concerned with how the body moves in the golf swing from a medical and biomechanical perspective and uses neurokinetics to engrain “muscle memory”. Put the two together and you have a match made in heaven for golfers.

As a golf instructor who has always advocated the use of the core to power the golf swing, it was very exciting for me to work with someone who could explain the exact “How” to my “What and Why” in my swing model. Alison’s teaching model she has developed is unlike anything else in the market place and fits perfectly with ALL aspects of Rotary Swing, including the “Mushin Golf” mental aspects and this has prompted us to look into moving further down the road with introducing a product to the golf market unlike anything ever seen before. We plan to show the golf world at large the irrefutable biomechanically correct way to swing a golf club that will be unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. The swing model is still very simple, in fact, even simpler, but there is a very specific way that it must be learned. In order to best present our ideas to the world, we are looking into producing a DVD or set of DVD’s that will completely change your understanding of the golf swing, so stay tuned as we get closer to this momentus occasion in golf instruction!

-Chuck

 
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This will NOT be a winter of discontent

Well the golf season is slowing working its way to an end for me. I live in the southern VA area and we are getting the occasional 60* day still but the season is basically over. Normally the onset of cold weather has me feeling a little down and restless because I can’t play golf nearly as often as I would like and although this is the first season that I have dedicated to really trying to improve and become a steward of the game I am really looking forward to the winter months. Because of the Rotary Swing site I have learned more about golf, and not just the swing, in the last 8 months than I have in the last 20 years, especially the importance of being in good “golf shape”.

 This winter is going to be one of the most exciting for me because I am really dedicating a lot of time, energy, and resources to improving my overall game and to make a run at playing in the state of Virginia’s qualifying for local and US amateur events next year. To accomplish this I have to get my handicap down another 4 points by May of next year and I am confident that I can do it…especially if Chuck ever gets in gear with this 2.0 stuff ;-)    

So to start things off I have signed on with a Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) certified trainer to get an evaluation and a golf specific workout. Because of the RS site I have come to realize how important it is to not just be in good physical shape but you have to be in good “golf shape” and although I feel like I am in awesome shape I have come to find out that I am in HORRIBLE golf shape. I have extremely limited range of motion in my upper core area and my shoulders and really tight leg muscles (calf and hamstrings). This comes from years of pumping iron and not stretching!

 So for the first time ever I am not down about the arrival of the cold weather or lost about what to do with my new found time, for me this will not be a winter of discontent. It will be an exciting winter as I challenge and push myself to take this next step in this wonderful journey of mine.

Well, time to check my inbox…my TPI workout should be ready any moment now and I cannot wait to start! God I love this game!

 

MATHEW 17:20 “…if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

 
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Rotary Swing 2.0 – Lesson 1

So, I’ve been working on the Rotary Swing 2.0 concepts into my lessons and wanted to share with you some video of the first official “Rotary Swing 2.0″ lesson that I gave. He is a high handicapper, as evident by the first two baseline swings you can see in the video. His posture at address had him way out on the balls of his feet with a very rounded spine making it impossible for him to swing in balance and make decent contact. After 15 minutes of work, I think you’ll be impressed by the change in his posture, swing and balance.

Now take a look at the video:

 
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Finally played golf today…

I’ve been working hard on the changes and been busy teaching, so it was nice today to get out and actually play golf. Yesterday, I was doing the first day of a mini 2 day clinic for a couple of students and in the afternoon we went out and played 9 holes. This was the first time that I’ve played with someone since embarking on all these changes, previously I’ve just played on my own and practiced, so there’s a bit more pressure (if you let there be!) than when nobody’s watching. What would happen in the real world?

To say the least, I was very pleased! I hit the ball as well as I ever have, in all honesty. The first 6 holes I hit every fairway and every green and did so authoritatively. Right down the middle with all my tee shots, perfect control over my ball flight, unbelievably flat trajectory with the longer clubs and I hit the irons relatively close. I almost made a hole in one on the 5th hole par three from 160 with an 8 iron that stopped a foot from the hole. I had two loose tee balls that found the rough, but that was it and I still hit the green from there anyway. In fact, I didn’t miss a green and only missed two fairways. It was only 9 holes of focused play, but it was a VERY solid 9 holes and gave me a lot of reinforcement in the changes I’m making.

 
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Made Progress with the Driver

It’s far from where I want to be, but, it’s progress. These swings were taken about an hour a part. The photos on the left are the baseline swing (embarrassingly horrible) are the baseline swings and the swings on the right are after some video work. I post the baseline swing because it is SOOO bad that it should offer some encouragement that quick progress can be made by ANYONE when you’re working on the right things. Let’s take a look.

At address, I’ve been really setting up behind the ball too much in an effort to get a solid positive angle of attack. But it got a little sloppy and I started hitting the ball too high and slipped into having too much weight on my back foot at address. I now feel that my left leg is slightly more vertical and the ball is slightly back in my stance (ignore the tee height, I was tired of breaking plastic tees so I just left it on the little rubber peg). There is a point of diminishing returns when it comes to how high to launch the ball with the driver. As a rule of thumb, the faster the clubhead speed, the lower launch angle necessary to achieve maximium distance.

At the top of my backswing, I’ve turned into John Daly. This swing on the right is a slower swing and I’m thinking about coiling going back and am clearly overdoing it. This is super common when working on your swing, certain other things that may have been good before get a little loose because your swing is slower and your transition later, etc. I’m not worried about this and I’ve actually still managed to get into a much better position on the right as I’m not nearly as far on my right leg. This was, again, a result of really trying to launch the ball high – Mission Accomplished! I can now back it down and be more coiled at the top as I am here on the right and now really use my left glute to get set onto my left foot.

This is just flat out embarrassing. I’ve started the downswing with my arms (maybe I should read that golf instruction book, “The Rotary Swing”) and I’ve completely failed to set my weight onto my left side. Because of this, I’m just “spinning out”, more or less, right from the top and throwing the club away. You can clearly see that I have less lag on the left compared to the swing on the right. On the better swing, I’m more set onto my left side and my arms and wrists are very relaxed. My swing thought here was to “squat” onto my left side and feel my left glute rather than just spin out from the top.  The “bump” onto the left side I describe in the book is the same thing.

The swing on the left is ugly, but after an hour of work, I got it more straightened out, so I consider this good progress. I post this to show that:

a) everyone slips into bad and even terrible habits without realizing it
b) progress can be made quickly when you work on the correct things
c) progress still took an hour working exclusively on this one thing! (Keep this mind you are trying to change something in your swing next time!)

Wow, is that really me on the left? Just awful, I’ve lost a ton of lag and my left leg looks like it’s broken. Good on the right though, much better use of my hips to bring the club down and set on to my left side and I’m maintaining lag here still. The shaft is still stressed, more evidence that I’m not “throwing the club away” as the grip of the club is pointing vertical is still.

That guy on the left is a total hack.

More posted up at impact, it’s obviously creating a much lower launch.

In the last sequence, I have a much better release, more of a crossover release that I’m working towards. Below is a video of the swing on the right from today. As I’m working on things, these swings are a bit slow, this was 111 mph.

 
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112 mph 8 Iron – Breaking the Speed Limit

My “300 Workouts” have left me with a lot of confidence that while making a controlled swing I can get into many of the positions I want, but the problem is that it’s a controlled swing. By controlled, I mean that when I practice and film I’m often swinging between 60% and 70% of full speed so that I can focus on what I’m trying to accomplish. When doing this, it’s easy to get caught up in a rut of being too mechanical and lose a ton of clubhead speed in the process. That’s why it’s important to balance out slow, controlled training for building muscle memory with full on, all out, speed training.

I’ve done about 1,000 slow motion reps and that’s enough to start to slow things down in a hurry, so today I decided to balance it out with some 100% swings to remind my muscles and my brain how to move fast. It’s also interesting to check your progress with your changes to see if they are adding clubhead speed and if you’re making the right changes, they should add speed or atleast maintain what you have. I decided to test my speed with an 8 iron since that was the club I was working with all day and I don’t like swinging the driver in doors. My average “full speed” on the course swing with an 8 iron is around 95 mph, and I average more around 90 on a stock shot. I’ve never really tried to go up to 100% until today, so I don’t have a great baseline for this, but I do know that 3 weeks ago I was swinging my DRIVER the same speed I was with my 8 iron today!

The first swing I took was 105 mph. I thought that seemed high and sometimes the Swing Speed Radar can catch the ball as well, so I tried again, but moved the ball a little further forward to ensure an accurate reading and went all out. When it said 112 mph, I was shocked! As I mentioned in my earlier post, I’m really working on powering my golf swing with the correct big muscles of my backside and in the perfect sequence. It’s obviously working because I’ve never swung such a short club that fast. I’m posting the video of the swing below.

My swing is a bit all over the place here, but that’s fine, mechanics are going to break down when going all out and working on swing changes, but I wanted to see progress and to make sure I still had speed! I’ll give you a little tip here, what I was specifically working on in this swing was speeding up my backswing to go as fast as I could, not actually trying to make my downswing as fast as I could. The downswing speed was instinctive and not me actually trying to swing that fast through impact. Lastly, my finish is completely relaxed and balanced, something I could never have done before the RS2.0 changes while swinging this fast.

 
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Hindsight is 20/20 in Golf

Today, I’m working on another view after Alison requested a swing of mine from this angle. This is a great angle to see just how the key muscles of the backside to the Rotary Swing 2.0 are working. I have some really bad habits in my golf swing that I’m learning to break with Alison’s Motion Memory training and am still making my 300 hundred swings per day. But, I’ve started adding some speed to what I’m doing and I’m looking at my swing from more than just face on now.

In the swing below taken from the rear, you can clearly see how my lower body is not only braced going back, but also I’m using my left side more actively to clear out. My bad habit is to “push” as Alison calls it with the right side and over power my left. This causes numerous problems, one in particular is to get your head and body too far out in front of the ball and come too far from the inside. Here, I’m staying back better and using my left side better.

I’m most pleased with my transition here as I’m working to get it to happen earlier in my backswing and that work is beginning to show. If you step through frame by frame by dragging the slider (hit play first and then pause it) you can see that I’m actively setting my weight to my left side and beginning to use my glutes and core muscles to unwind me from my backswing. This is a powerful and dynamic move that is the secret to power, and as you’ll see in my next post, I’m already starting to experience some stupid power with no effort.

 
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Final round observations

Well, I went trick or treating on the course, and pulled a trick and it worked out a treat!

I belong to a little 9 hole club. The weather was gorgeous for the end of October (60°F and sunny) and so I headed out for what is very likely the last 18 of the year.

I made a few setup changes after reading about RS2.0, but it didn’t really ‘take’ until I stuck my ‘counterbalance’ out more (allowing the weight to set – and stay – ankle side) and suddenly shots were effortless. The only downside to this was trying to ‘squeeze a little more’ out, I’d slide my hips as opposed to pivot an cold-top the ball, but it could be argued that this would be the result with or without the setup change.

As the mercury rose, more people came to the same conclusion that I had – that it was a great day to be golfing. So after playing 9 I decided to play 9 more ‘Tin Cup Style’ – bringing only my 7 iron along. Interestingly enough, my score didn’t really change one 9 to the next, which leads me to really believe that the ‘answer’ to scoring is short game (putting with a 7 iron is kind of sketchy!)

For a guy who spent the majority of his golfing life mechanics-bound, it was very revealing and exciting to play 9 holes where touch, feel, and playing ‘by eye’ became the order of the day (grounds had pulled the tee chocks, yardage sticks and flagsticks earlier this week). Obviously I tried to leave myself a full 7 iron into greens, but more often than not it didn’t quite work out. How exhilirating to move the ball back a bit to add some yards and to move it up and sweep it to hit it higher and shorter. Sure, some of you are thinking ‘huh?’ but please keep in mind that while my clubs are well fit, my game is, um, lets say ‘developing’ as I just broke the 20 handicap barrier this year. I think it was mostly exciting doing it ‘on purpose’ as opposed to having it happen ‘by accident’ – including a sweet punch kept under low branches that hit the green and rolled just off, or opening up the face of the 7 iron to hit a small cut lob from a shortsided position near the green. Shots that I’ve never practiced but seemed to be able to relatively pull off, once again showing the power of visualisation combined with an ounce or two of athletic ability (and paying attention to where the divots show up in the practice swings) go a long way on the course.

Needless to say I think a couple video lessons over the winter are in order – to make sure I’m drilling the right things into my swing. I’d hate to drill the wrong move in, then have to spend all next summer compensating for it!

 
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Today’s Tournament….

Played in my club’s weekly tournament and had another step forward in my journey. Now my score doesn’t reflect how well I feel I played (82) but it was 44* degrees when I teed off and I didn’t get into the sun until about the 7th hole. I got on the bogey train for those first 7 but played the last 11 at 3 over. But today I hit 10 of 14 fairways which is awesome b/c my driver has been my nemisis before seeing Chuck. I really did hit my irons well but on the front the short game eluded me. Bottom line though scores are coming down, what was normally a 90 is now an 82!

The biggest take away from today was my mental game. In a previous post I discussed how I allowed myself to be taken out of my game by a situation I found myself in on the course well today I did not let that happen. I found myself playing with an older gentleman who’s TREX was huge (ego) and he was cussing and throwing clubs which I absolute cannot stand (cussing not too bad but I hate when people throw clubs). Anyway I was really able to keep focus on the task at hand and my own shots and did not allow this idiot to bother me especially when I was on that early bogey train. So even though I shot 82 I still feel that today was a HUGE success and I don’t think I could have done it without all of the info on the mental game in the Rotary Swing site…it definitely save me a bunch of strokes today!

 
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It’s Night and Day After Lesson from Chuck

Well I have gone on and on about my lesson with Chuck and how awesome it went and that the key point was that I had ZERO shoulder turn (believe it the one on the right is at the top of my old backswing) and since I started doing the 185 slow motion swings working on sliding the right scapula back I wanted to take a quick video in the backyard just to see if there is any actual progress. Now I am sure there are other things to work (left leg) but when I do the 185 swings I have only been working on shoulder turn. So here it is the before Chuck lesson and after. Remember this is just a quick swing in the back with no warm up. I am very excited with what I see here and can’t wait for the next step. I think tomorrow I will concentrate more on the left leg…

Todays swing is on the left and before is on the right

Todays swing is on the left and before is on the right

 
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Tiger Woods Biomechanics

I just completed an article on Tiger Woods’ Biomechanics and how it pertains to the Rotary swing 2.0 fundamentals that you guys will be learning this winter. Here is the link to the article:

http://www.oneplanegolfswing.com/oneplanemembers/golfbiomechanics/tiger-woods-golf-biomechanics.jsp

 
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Day 4 Progress Report – Golf Biomechanics and the Rotary Swing

Long day, I’m beat, but feel like I made great progess. After working on my swing with the camera for hours, I went to go hit some golf balls outside to see what was going on there. I hit it very straight, but not on the trajectory I’d like. It was a little floaty and not struck as solid, but you can’t expect anything different after such invasive surgery on a golf swing. I’d realistically expect to have ups and downs for the next month or so, but I’ll keep my playing light and just stay the course. It will be easier to stick with the changes when I’m not hung up on watching the ball flight, which makes this work perfect for you guys stuck up north in the cold. I promise we’ll have drills and videos coming up soon.

On a total positive note, I hit 126 mph twice today near the end of my range session. Again, I’m tired from a long day and my brain is pretty much “mush” right now, so I consider this great progress. My high on Monday was 123 mph I think and I only did that once, so this is a nice boost. My average was up a bit, right around 123, so that’s getting closer to my goal of 125 mph. This goal might be tough given how extensive the changes are, but I’ll keep trying. Overall, I consider today a great success and I learned a lot of new “feelings” in my swing that are heading me in the right direction.

 
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All Torque’d Up…

Still working here guys. I gave Alison a call for a little guidance on something and she has helped jog my memory on some things. First of all, a good backswing is so torque’d up that it would be impossible to hold that position at the top, or even get there in slow motion. I had lost some of that torque and she gave me something to work on during my takeaway that, along with some extension going back that I felt I was lacking, created a much better position at the top.

The capture from the left is from today and the middle pic is from yesterday. Of course, on the far right that’s “Big Daddy”, or Tiger Woods. You might notice some similarities that were absent yesterday. I looked like a goober at the top of my swing yesterday, but knew I could fix it with some more time. Today’s position is much more torque’d up, in fact, I couldn’t even get to this position in slow motion, I am forced to “swing” to this position with momentum and couldn’t hold it if I wanted to. The more I alter my biomechanics, the more it seems that Tiger is the only person using his body to maximum efficiency. Is that really a surprise?

 
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