Is Rotary Swing Tour a “Body” or “Arms” Golf Swing?


I often get asked whether the RST is a body-driven or arms-driven golf swing.

Here's a great and more in-depth version of that question I recently got from one of our RST devotees from the Bridges in Rancho Santa Fe:

"I have some thoughts about the swing that I wanted to get your feedback on.

You may remember that I asked you where your club head speed came from when we played together, and you told me your wrists.  I now get that and can produce speed the same way.

As you indicate in so many words and videos, the vast majority of amateurs try to produce speed by muscling the rotation of their body.  Obviously, this can work to a degree, although it's very inefficient.  Many friends of mine who are scratch players do so successfully, but not surprisingly, they seem to have quite a few injuries.

So there seems to be two distinctly different ways to generate club head speed, 1. rotating the body or 2. the RST method with a correct sequence, minimal early hip and shoulder rotation with a lot of lag and wrist speed.

I understand the many benefits of the RST (easier on the body, less effort, not getting stuck, minimizes secondary axis tilt for better angle of attack and ball compression, fewer things to go wrong, etc.) and am a huge fan, but I have a question:

When I watch tour players, I see both types of swings, Louis Oosthuizen with RST and Dustin Johnson with body rotation as examples.  Out of curiosity, do you view this the same as I expressed above as there generally being these two distinct ways of swinging the club to generate speed?

If so, do the two methods ever get combined by amateurs successfully to generate even more club head speed?  It seems that some touring pros are able to do that, but I suspect that amateurs would lose a lot of control and consistency in impact position with only a marginal (if any) gain in speed. "

- B. Mason


I wanted to share my reply with you as I'm getting ready to do a new Premium video on this very topic.

So, here's your sneak peek at what's coming...

"Incredibly perceptive of you, shocking really.

I've never discussed this in a video, but this is the exact topic I'm working on for my next video that will deal with how much shoulder/arm elevation you should have in the golf swing.

I deal with this on a daily basis in lessons and not many have connected the dots on their own like you just have - sounds like YOU should get Certified!

You've really hit the nail on the head and picked two great examples, although Louis tends to try and combine the two, and this is a bit dangerous.

To simply answer your question, RST is actually a system built around allowing EITHER movement, arms or body dominated. Again, the main determinate variable being how much elevation you have.

If you like the feeling of taking it very easy on the body and taking out a lot of stress on the joints, you'll need to make up some club head speed with the wrists by having a little more leverage, ie lag and arm elevation.

The higher the hands, the more potential leverage you have, and the more time you have for gravity to help accelerate the hands downward, which requires less effort.

If you have little elevation like Tiger Woods, for example, you'll need to rotate your torso quickly to create speed as you have less potential leverage.

Combining fast torso rotation with high hands and lots of lag is a recipe for massive blocks and blices (block slice).

So, you'll see body spinners have less elevation and tend toward a more shut club face (Duval, Johnson, etc.) so that they can bring the club into impact "late" and still start it at the target. Not a hard and fast rule, but a generalization.

As you noted, this type of movement leads toward the potential for a lot of injury and degenerative joint issues and requires that you're very fit and flexible. But for those that want to swing this way and fit this mold, RST allows for it 100%.

For those who want to swing as effortlessly and low stress as humanly possible by minimizing torso speed via rotation, you need to create the potential for club head speed through leverage (hand height in the backswing and lag).

Assuming the golfer is extremely fit and athletic, the greatest potential for club head speed lies in the body rotation, but with it comes the greatest risk for injury.

Either will allow tour-caliber ball striking and tour-level distance, one a little more potential than the other, and one with dramatically less effort required and risk of injury."

- Chuck Quinton, RST Founder

Stay tuned for the upcoming online golf instruction videos on this topic.

In the meantime, make sure to check this Premium video out on what shoulder/arm elevation is in the golf swing.

Related free and Premium Content: (Learn About Membership)


chuck quinton avatar

Chuck Quinton

is the founder of the RotarySwing Tour online golf instruction learning system. He played golf professionally for 8 years and has been teaching golf since 1995 and has worked with more than 100 playing professionals who have played on the PGA, and other major tours around the world.

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