Former David Leadbetter Student Switches to Rotary Swing Tour

Golfers who are very serious about their games and understand the swing well typically stick with an instructor they believe shares similar ideas for a long time. Ik-Joon Lee falls under that category. After working with David Leadbetter for 6 years at the IMG Academy which costs over $50k per year for the privilege, Ik-Joon felt he was not getting the answers to his swing he was looking for. He always struggled with a weak, high ball flight and getting stuck on the downswing. After 6 years of being told his swing “looked great and it’s just in your head – you need to play more often”, he finally took a break from the game and believed what Leadbetter and his instructors were telling him.

It’s pretty frustrating to spend over $350,000 to be told essentially, “there’s nothing else we can do for your swing, it must just be you.” So when Ik-Joon got in touch with me for lessons he was pretty excited to find out that I DIDN’T believe that it was in his head but it WAS in fact in his poor mechanics. In fact, I saw quite a LOT wrong with his swing and felt that we needed to do some serious work on it. Over the next week, the transformation was quite incredible. Below is a pic of how we changed his impact position to produce a penetrating ball flight by using the drills and videos on this website. To find out more and read the rest of the story, visit

Former David Leadbetter Student switches to Rotary Swing Tour
Former David Leadbetter Student switches to Rotary Swing Tour

Ball Flight Teachers

In the world of golf instruction, there are basically two different types of teachers – ball flight teachers and method teachers. As someone who has spent years researching and developing the golf swing, it should come as no surprise that I fall in to the latter as a method teacher. RST is a method based on science, primarily the science of anatomy and human movement. It has parameters and “laws” if you will that are in place to guide you along the path and keep you from injuring yourself and developing bad habits.

A ball flight teacher only has the laws of ball flight to guide you along the way. For instance, if you slice, the ball flight teacher may have 5 or more different ways to fix your problem. All of these “fixes” can typically be called “band-aid” fixes because they only address symptoms of poor mechanics rather than the cause. As an example, imagine the golfer who doesn’t make a full shoulder turn and so he lifts his arms very steep to the top of the backswing and then hacks down from the top with only his arms; thus producing an over the top swing plane and out to in path. The ball flight teacher may fix this by having the golfer strengthen his grip to square the clubface to the path to create a pull. No doubt, this is better than a slice, but we haven’t addressed the root cause of the problem.

An RST golf instructor would look at this problem completely differently. The first thing we would do is teach the golfer what is causing his path and plane issues, which, in this case is the lack of body rotation which adds depth to the swing. Next, we would teach the golfer exactly HOW to turn, using the correct muscles. From there, the golfer would immediately see himself in positions he has never achieved and is now on the pathway to LASTING change and improvement.

We don’t do band-aids, we teach you how to move correctly. We fix the problem, not the symptom. Proper movements create a proper plane, path, impact position, etc. Chasing after ball flight problems without fixing faulty movement patterns is no different than a doctor that treats a compound fracture by putting a band-aid over it rather than resetting the bone. If you want lasting improvement and change in your game, stop putting band-aids on it and avoid ball flight instructors because you’ll end up having to go back again and again to apply new band-aids as the old ones “fall off”.

Of course, it should be made clear that I’m not saying ball flight is unimportant. It is very important. I’m simply saying the reason golfers haven’t improved over the past 50 years is because instruction hasn’t ever addressed the root cause of the problem. The truth of the matter is that ball flight is EASY to fix once the basic proper movement patterns have been established, which is exactly what is all about. We teach people via our online learning system HOW to create this basic, very simple movement patterns that you can see below in my swing:

Chuck Quinton Golf Swing

In the video of my swing above, you can see that my movements are very simple, very efficient, and if you compared my swing to that of Tiger Woods, you’d see striking similarity (for the comparison, click Build the Golf Swing of Your Dreams). The reason is that Tiger and I both move very efficiently and that movement is based on very basic anatomy and physics. When I hit a bad shot, say a cut shot, I don’t go and try and flip the face or strengthen my grip on the next swing, that would be manic constantly chasing after one fix or another! No, I simply look at the basic movement that created that shot. For me, if I hit a cut shot, I know I pulled too much with the left shoulder coming down and I have several drills, all of which are on the website, to correct the faulty movement. Therefore, I drill the correct movement for the next shot and correct the problem, thus fixing the symptom of the bad ball flight.

It’s the only way that makes ANY sense to learn the golf swing whatsoever. If you’re tired of bouncing from golf tip to golf tip that are all symptom based, get with the program – the Rotary Swing Tour Program and start progressing like all those in these testimonials.

Anthony Kim: A Complete Swing Analysis

A two time winner on the PGA Tour, Anthony Kim represents one of the many young, rising talents who has made people sit up and take notice every time he tees it up at an event.  He earned his card through qualifying school in 2007, and made quite the splash during his rookie season notching four top ten finishes.  When examining AK’s statistics from his injury riddled 2009 season, his ball striking numbers were quite fascinating given the much discussed “simplistic” nature of his swing.
Driving Distance:  16th
Driving Accuracy: 175th
Total Driving: 103rd
Greens in Regulation: 164th
Let’s take a look from an RST perspective of both the positives and negatives of Kim’s golf swing.

Looking from the face on view, we can immediately notice that Kim’s stance is much wider than 2 inches outside of neutral joint alignment.  This places him in an anatomically inefficient position, which is going to force him to move laterally during the backswing.


From the down the line view, we can see Kim could use more hinge from the hip.  Take notice of the line drawn from his posterior to the ground.  The lack of space from this line to the back of his heels is a clear tell he needs more hinge from the hips.  When examining his weight distribution, the back of Kim’s knees are not directly over the center of his ankle joints, which informs us that his weight is on the balls of his feet at address which will place unwanted rotational stress on the left knee during the downswing.  Finally, the elbows are extended outside of the shoulders, which indicates a slight reaching for the ball.  The farther we extend our arms, the more the weight is shifted to the balls of our feet.  To briefly summarize, Kim is not grounded and anchored correctly at address which places the body in an anatomically incorrect position.

As Kim starts his takeaway, he makes an excellent shoulder turn away from the ball.  There is no evidence of arm swing, and as he finishes Move 1, his arms are straight and remain directly in front of his sternum.  In addition to a wonderful shoulder turn, I want to highlight the lack of hip rotation.  Kim executes Move 1 by turning his shoulders 45 degrees and the hip turn is almost 0 degrees, exactly the way RST defines Move 1.



Although Kim executes Move 1 very well, his excessively wide stance forces him to have an exaggerated lateral shift to the right.  We have talked at great length in the past of why lateral movement is undesirable in the golf swing, and if you would like to read more please refer to “Why Can’t I Stay Centered” blog.

As with many players that I encounter on a daily basis, AK starts to get in some trouble during Move 2.  Once the shoulders turn 45 degrees, we need to employ some shoulder elevation to keep the club in front of our chest, keep the club on plane, and prevent the arms from working too far around the body.  AK fails in this critical area.  Take note of his hand position in the following picture.  The arms have nowhere to go when they remain pinned to the body in such a manner.  The club subsequently now works too far around and behind the chest as he arrives at the top of his swing.  In addition, take note of how Kim’s back foot has rolled to the outside.  He has failed to roll the ankles in slightly at address, and once the weight moves to the outside portion of the right foot during the backswing, this makes it much more difficult to transfer the weight efficiently back to the left in the downswing.



From my multiple film study of Kim’s swing, I found a very interesting trend.  There were some balance inconsistencies in a number of swings I examined.  For example, on certain swings I noticed the left heel spinning out indicating the weight had been transferred onto the ball of the left foot in the downswing.


In another example, Kim fell backwards slightly indicating his weight was still trapped on his right side.


The penultimate issue that I see causing the downswing problems reverts back to the arms being trapped behind the body due to the lack of shoulder elevation.  This paired with the wide stance and the weight shifting to the outside portion of his right foot certainly will cause weight transfer issues even for a golfer with tremendous talent.  Kim displays tendencies to push from his right side in the downswing to compensate for the lateral shift exhibited in the backswing, note the right foot is quite active.  This pushing move, in addition to Kim’s aggressive hip rotation will accentuate the arms getting stuck behind him on the way into impact and may help explain his 2009 ball striking statistics.


Steve Stricker: A Complete Swing Analysis Part 3 (Move 2-Back to Target)

Move 2 is the completion of the backswing, and specifically, the shoulder turn.  To briefly summarize what occurs in Move 2:

1.    Shoulder blade glide continues turning the shoulders another 45 degrees for a full 90 degree     turn.
2.    The shoulder blade glide pulls the hips to turn approximately 45 degrees.
3.    Arms elevate, hinging from the shoulders (Shoulder Elevation).
4.    The right arm hinges at the elbow (Right Elbow Flexion).
5.    External rotation of the right humerus occurs.



The effects of Stricker’s Setup and Move 1 become more clearly defined in Move 2.



By this point in the backswing, the Rotary Swing Model advocates that an efficient right shoulder blade glide will have turned the shoulders almost a full 90 degrees and the hips approximately 45 degrees.  This is demonstrated by Chuck Quinton on the left, as the yellow arrow illustrates the position of the right shoulder.  Notice how Chuck’s right shoulder is not apparent in the photo, while Stricker’s right shoulder is clearly visible, indicating the inefficient turn due to the arms dominating the backswing.  The orange arrow further highlights this point as Stricker’s left shoulder has “shrugged” and is disconnected from the core muscles of his body.  The blue arrow illuminates that Stricker’s left arm is above his right, further indicating his arm driven turn.


When examining Stricker from down the line at the same point in his swing, we must pay attention to the circled area.  Stricker’s hands are noticeably behind his sternum, his right elbow is securely glued to his side, and the left forearm is over-pronated.  Once again, Stricker’s push from the left side has caused the club to work too deep, too around, and too flat at this point in his backswing.  He has failed to perform proper shoulder elevation which is responsible for creating some vertical movement of the club to keep the club on plane.


Here we can see the full results of Stricker’s complete backswing.  The orange arrow illustrates the arms being too deep and slightly behind the torso.  The red arrow highlights the loss of right knee flexion, which can lead to weight transfer issues in the downswing.  Finally, the yellow line was placed on the front of Stricker’s head at address, and it is quite clear how much he moves toward the ball on the backswing.  This tipping forward onto the balls of the feet is inevitable for Stricker, because his body must attempt to counterbalance the forces that he created by pushing the club to the inside.



This final image serves to illustrate the effects of Stricker failing to roll his ankles in slightly at address.  The black arrow on Stricker’s right foot shows how his weight has rolled to the outside portion of the ball of the foot.  Notice the white arrow on Chuck that shows that foot securely planted on the ground.

The culmination of Steve Stricker’s slight flaws: push from the left, out of the box, lack of shoulder elevation, loss of the flex in the right knee, and weight distributed over the outside portion of the right foot all contribute to make a proper weight transfer more difficult, even for an elite golfer.  This shall be examined in detail in our next installment, Move 3-The Downswing.

Why Can’t I Stay Centered?

I am entering my seventh month as a certified RST instructor, and the number one issue that I see plaguing my students is the ability to minimize head movement and stay centered during the swing.  While it may seem benign enough, I can tell you this problem destroys speed, power, and efficiency of the golf swing.

Examining the golf swing from a purely scientific perspective, we can all agree that the swing is circular.  It stands to reason that we can summon upon our tedious days in physics class to further understand the laws of motion that govern our golf swing.  Who knew our college general education requirement could help us hit more greens in regulation?  The diagram below illustrates the forces at work during circular motion.

The Rotary Swing is based upon creating centripetal force.  Centripetal force can be defined as the component of force acting on a body in curvilinear motion that is directed toward the center of curvature or axis of rotation.  Using the diagram above, we can plainly see that the origin of movement is the figure rotating in the center of the circle.  The figure rotates in order to swing the ball on the end of the string in a circular fashion.  The faster the central figure rotates, the faster the ball will travel at the end of the string.

What would happen to the speed and path of the ball if the central figure moved several inches to the left or right during this rotation?  Would the ball on the end of the string accelerate at a greater rate?  You don’t need a Ph.D. to recognize that once the fixed origin of movement is moved, the resulting path of the ball is disturbed by the added lateral movement.  This is exactly what happens to a golfer that exhibits excessive lateral head movement as the swing begins.  The origin of movement has been disturbed, negatively affecting the speed, power, and efficiency of the resulting swing.

Hope I did my college professor from American University proud with my contrite explanation of circular motion, but now the question becomes, how do I stop this from happening in my swing?  This is what we golfers really care about; no offense Mr. Newton.

First, check your stance width.  Remember that advice you received about your stance being shoulder width apart?  Let’s think about that for one moment.  As Chuck Quinton so eloquently stated to me, “The last time I checked, my legs and feet were attached to my hips, not my shoulders.  Why would the width of my shoulders have anything to do with how wide I want to stand?”  Rather than using the shoulders, the Rotary Swing provides an exact measurement for each golfer to find the appropriate stance width to maximize the swing base and prevent excessive lateral head movement: you must have the center of each ankle joint two inches outside of neutral joint alignment.  In other words, the center of your ankle joint at Setup will be positioned two inches outside the center of your hip joint on each side.  Any wider than this, it becomes very difficult to prevent lateral head movement during your backswing and will interrupt the creation of rotary motion.

Second, in order to create a truly rotary motion, make a full shoulder turn, and minimize lateral head movement, the golfer MUST pull the right shoulder (for right-handed golfers) behind his head to create the desired backswing.  To most golfers, this will feel quite alien in nature, as almost all golfers start the swing either with the hands, arms, or left side.  Any such movement to start the backswing forces the golfer away from center and now has the golfer moving in a linear fashion.  The head and upper body are forced to follow the motion, and the result is a swing sapped of power.

RST’s goal is to create movement that rotates around the spine while staying centered.  If you have been scratching your head asking that perplexing question, “Why can’t I stay centered?” I just provided you with two possible answers.  Check that stance; work on pulling that right shoulder behind you to start your swing, and pay attention in physics class!

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:

“300 Workout” Continues….

I’ve made some more progress from yesterday where I was actually pretty happy with the changes that showed up on film in such a short time. Today, I got even better results after my workout this morning. I notice that at certain levels of time, say after maybe every 60-80 swings I really catch on to something new and give it some focus as I continue. Here’s a screen capture from today on the left vs. yesterday on the right:

In this image, you can see I’ve gotten my wrist into a much better position. Doing the drill yesterday helped me get comfortable with a lot of things so that I could catch some more detailed things like this, but it came at a slight cost because I didn’t post on the left leg as well. That’s why it’s important for me to stick with the core drills for 3,000 reps without getting off on too far of a tangent because my body hasn’t “memorized” the work from the day before, it needs more repetition. So, after I stopped and looked at this for a minute I realized that I needed to keep focusing on rotation as well, but am still much happier with this position coming down into impact, it’s much more powerful with less effort.

It is nice when hard work on your golf swing produces visible results!
It is nice when hard work on your golf swing produces visible results!

120 mph average clubhead speed

Last year when I did the “Bomb Your Driver” research with McChicken from the forum, I spent 3 months hitting nothing but drivers. By the end, we had discovered the perfect driver shafts, heads and launch conditions and I could regularly hit 330-340 yard bombs. After a while, I decided it would be helpful if I learned to hit an iron again, although I really wasn’t hitting anything longer than a wedge into the green most of the time! Anyway, during this process, my clubhead speed slipped – a lot. I went from my first driver “warm-up” swing of the day being 124-125 mph to 110-112 mph. I was still hitting it very solid and could work the ball, but it still hurts knowing I’m leaving that much left in the tank. Enter Rotary Swing 2.0…

When I was swinging in the 120’s, it was putting a lot of stress on my knee and hip. This would cause me to back it down or only be able to comfortably play a few days. Since making a setup change over the weekend, my first swing of the day today was 122 mph without me trying to get to 122 mph. I had hit 7 irons for about 2 hours before this, so I was already worn out to boot. My average CHS for the first four swings was 120 mph as shown in the video below and I felt like I had the same control as I did at 112 mph. I packed up my stuff right then and there and headed out to the course to play a few quick holes, the results spoke for themselves. On the 3rd hole at Sugarloaf Mountain, a 458 yard par 4, I hit a driver, 9 iron to a middle pin from the back of the tee box, this was in the vicinity of 313 yards off the tee and was absolutely effortless and pure as it gets. The 4th hole I hit my hybrid 10 yards longer than normal off the tee, and with less effort. I know it will take a few weeks for these changes to settle in before I can really maximize their potential and I wouldn’t be surprise if I crack the 130 mph mark within the next couple months beating my previous high this past winter of 129 mph. Lookout McChicken – I’m coming for you!

Many ways, but only one biomechanically correct way to swing the club

In my estimation, I’d say there are atleast 8 valid, complete golf swing models out there that someone could take from beginning to end and successfully strike a golf ball. But there is only one way to biomechanically use the body as it was designed to function. Of course, my preference is for my students to learn the Rotary Swing because it is FAR simpler to learn and easy to perform on a consistent basis with minimal upkeep. And, as I’ve now been informed by biomechanics experts, it’s the only swing model they have found that is biomechanically correct. That being said, there are things that can be refinded to help protect the joints and use the large muscles even more than I already teach to my students. Today I’m going to talk about one of those “Rotary Swing 2.0” modifications.

The setup is something where you can see a million different tour pros do it a million different ways and be completely functional. However, there is only one way for your joints to line up and for the human body to perfectly balanced. Being perfectly balanced allows the golfer to perform other movements correctly and with less effort, so this is a critical component to the swing as you can imagine. Now, don’t get to caught up in all the details just yet, I’m only going to be talking about one piece of the setup in this post and will be explaining the rest in far greater detail with videos in the Member’s Vault.

Examine the photo below:

Rotary Swing 2.0 Setup Angles and Joint Alignments
Rotary Swing 2.0 Setup Angles and Joint Alignments
In this photo, I want you to specifically look at the green line. This green line is eminating from the center of my right ankle and working vertically at 90 degrees. The back of my right knee is also setting on this line. This alignment allows me to balance through the center of my ankles which is exactly how the human body was designed to be in perfect balance. Typically, the golf swing has been taught to have the weight more towards the balls of the feet or center of the foot in a “ready” position. The catch here is that if your natural fully balanced position was in the middle of your foot, that’s where your ankles would be, but they’re not, they’re near the heel. In setting up this way, you’ll notice that the center of my hip is now behind my ankle, represented by the red line. This is not only balanced but allows me to fight the tremendous centrifugal forces of the downwing by moving my center of gravity away from the ball. But for now, just study the ankle and the knee and check your setup with a camera or mirror. If you feel the weight going straight through the middle of your ankles and feel “anchored” to the ground, you’re in a biomechanically balanced setup that will allow you to generate more force with less effort.