Clay Ballard Rotary Swing

The golf swing is a complex movement that requires skill and technique to perform correctly. One of the most popular swing techniques used by golfers is the Clay Ballard Rotary Swing. In this article, we will discuss what the Clay Ballard Rotary Swing is, its key principles, and how to apply them to your own golf swing.

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What is the Clay Ballard Rotary Swing? The Clay Ballard Rotary Swing is a golf swing technique that emphasizes rotation of the body rather than the traditional back-and-forth swing motion. Developed by golf instructor Clay Ballard, this swing method is designed to promote consistency and power in the golf swing.

Key Principles:

  1. Rotational Movement: As mentioned earlier, the Clay Ballard Rotary Swing is based on rotational movement rather than linear movement. This means that the golfer should focus on rotating their body around a central axis rather than moving forward and backward. This creates a more efficient swing motion that generates more power and consistency.
  2. Connection: Another key principle of the Clay Ballard Rotary Swing is connection. This means that the golfer should maintain a connection between their arms, hands, and body throughout the swing. This promotes a more natural and fluid motion that leads to better ball-striking and distance.
  3. Balance: A crucial element of any golf swing is balance. In the Rotary Swing, balance is achieved by maintaining a stable spine angle and posture throughout the swing. This helps the golfer maintain their rotation and generate more power in the swing.

How to Apply to Your Golf Swing:

  1. Work on Your Rotation: To apply the principles of the Rotary Swing to your own swing, start by focusing on your rotation. This means practicing rotating your body around a central axis and avoiding any unnecessary lateral movement.
  2. Maintain Connection: Next, work on maintaining connection between your arms, hands, and body throughout the swing. This can be achieved by keeping your arms and hands close to your body and avoiding any excessive movement.
  3. Focus on Balance: Finally, focus on maintaining a stable spine angle and posture throughout the swing. This will help you maintain your rotation and generate more power in your swing.


  1. Grip: To start, make sure you have a proper grip on the club. The grip should be neutral, with the club’s handle running diagonally across your fingers. Avoid gripping too tightly or too loosely, as this can affect your swing motion.
  2. Setup: Next, set up your stance for the Rotary Swing. Position your feet shoulder-width apart and angle them slightly outward. Keep your weight evenly distributed between your feet and maintain a slight bend in your knees.
  3. Backswing: As you begin your backswing, focus on rotating your shoulders and hips around a central axis. Keep your arms and hands close to your body and avoid any excessive lateral movement. As you reach the top of your backswing, your weight should be evenly distributed between your feet.
  4. Downswing: In the downswing, focus on maintaining your rotation and connection between your arms, hands, and body. Keep your spine angle and posture stable, and avoid any excessive movement. As you approach impact, your weight should shift slightly to your front foot.


  1. The Wall Drill: This drill involves standing against a wall and practicing your swing motion without touching the wall. This helps golfers focus on their rotational movement and maintain connection between their arms and body.
  2. The Chair Drill: This drill involves placing a chair behind you and practicing your backswing without hitting the chair. This helps golfers maintain a more compact swing motion and avoid any excessive movement.
  3. The Slow Motion Drill: This drill involves practicing your swing motion in slow motion, focusing on your rotation and connection. This helps golfers develop muscle memory and refine their swing technique.

Clay Ballard Golf Instruction

Drill NameFocus AreaDifficulty LevelEquipment NeededDescription
“Impact Bag”Impact PositionIntermediateImpact BagStrike the impact bag with the clubhead in the correct position to ingrain muscle memory of a good impact position.
“Swing Plane Trainer”Swing PlaneBeginnerTrainer DeviceThe trainer helps golfers maintain a consistent swing plane, which is essential for accurate shots.
“Alignment Stick Drill”AlignmentBeginnerAlignment StickUse an alignment stick to check your alignment, ensuring your feet, hips, and shoulders are aimed correctly.
“Hip Rotation Drill”Hip RotationIntermediateNoneFocus on rotating your hips through impact to create more speed and power in your swing.
“Putting Gate Drill”Putting AccuracyBeginnerGatePlace two tee pegs in the ground to create a gate and practice putting through it, improving your accuracy.

Benefits of the Rotary Swing

ConsistencyThe Rotary Swing emphasizes a repeatable, consistent swing motion that reduces the risk of bad shots.
Increased DistanceBy improving swing mechanics and body movements, golfers can generate more clubhead speed and distance.
Improved AccuracyBy ensuring that every aspect of the swing is efficient, golfers can improve their accuracy on every shot.
Reduced Risk of InjuryThe Rotary Swing places less strain on the body than other golf swings, reducing the risk of injury.
Lower ScoresThe Rotary Swing’s focus on consistency, accuracy, and power can help golfers lower their scores.

Key Concepts of the Rotary Swing

StabilityKeeping the lower body stable during the swing allows for a more efficient transfer of energy to the club.
ConnectionConnecting the arms and body throughout the swing promotes a smooth, powerful motion.
RotationRotating the hips and shoulders in a coordinated manner generates power and accuracy.
LagCreating lag in the downswing by delaying the release of the wrists until impact can increase clubhead speed.
ReleaseReleasing the wrists at the right moment can generate speed and power in the clubhead.

Common Swing Faults and Fixes

Over-the-TopPractice making a more inside-out swing by placing a tee behind the ball and trying to hit it on the downswing.
CastingFocus on keeping the wrists cocked throughout the swing, delaying the release of the clubhead.
SwayingKeep the lower body stable and centered over the ball throughout the swing.
FlippingFocus on maintaining the angle between the left wrist and the club shaft through impact.
Chicken WingPractice keeping the left arm straight and rotating the forearms through impact.

Clay Ballard’s Golf Philosophy

Focus on FundamentalsBallard believes that focusing on the basics, such as grip, alignment, and posture, is essential to success.


The Clay Ballard Rotary Swing is a powerful and efficient golf swing technique that can help golfers of all levels improve their game. By focusing on rotational movement, connection, and balance, golfers can create a more consistent and powerful swing motion that leads to better ball-striking and distance. With practice and dedication, anyone can apply the principles of the Rotary Swing to their own golf swing and achieve greater success on the course.


Clay Ballard Rotary Swing


  • Ray Barnes

    Ray Barnes, our Senior Staff Writer and a Golf Analyst with a PhD in Sports Analytics, is a beacon of insight in the golfing world. With a deep understanding of the sport's nuances, statistical analysis, and a talent for demystifying complexities, he provides in-depth analysis and captivating narratives that engage golf enthusiasts worldwide.

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