Chuck Quinton is the founder of the Rotary Swing and a former Teaching Professional at Castle Pines Golf Club in Colorado. He also founded the Rotary Swing Golf Academy in Orlando, Florida.
Chuck Quinton is the author of “The Rotary Swing” golf instruction book that has sold thousands of copies around the world as well as the creator of the instructional DVD series, “Swing Plane Made Simple” and “Short Game Made Simple”.
Chuck Quinton’s instructional website, https://rotaryswing.com/ is one of the largest golf instruction sites online today with thousands of visitors every day and is host to over 150 instructional videos that Quinton has created, as well as over 100 articles he has written. He has been featured as a guest on ESPN Sports Radio numerous times, as well as numerous local radio shows around the country
Chuck Quinton has helped thousands of students of all abilities, including players on the PGA Tour, Nationwide Tour, European PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Futures Tour, Hooters Tour, Gateway Tour, and numerous other mini-tours and hundreds of thousands of others through his popular videos and instructional materials he has made available online.
We are delighted to have a few minutes to talk to Chuck about how he got started and what he is doing now.
Tell us about your first golf lesson.
My first golf lesson was a little bit of a disappointment. Growing up, we didn’t have any money for golf lessons or anything like that. But with practice, and more practice, I got decent enough. I got to a two handicap by my senior year of high school. I played golf my senior year for our high school team and then was offered a golf scholarship.
One of the things that the coach at the college said was, “Listen, you obviously have potential. You can play. You got down to a two handicap working on it on your own, but I’m going to get you the great instruction that’s going to help you get to the next level.” I was that kid who was out there 45 holes a day.
I’d get to the practice course first thing in the morning and be there all day. I was always imagining myself making a putt to win the Masters and hitting a tee shot on the 18th hole at Augusta.
I had dreams of playing at an elite level from a very young age. My belief was that the thing holding me back was just getting great instruction. I knew if I could just work with somebody who was a great instructor, who could tell me what I was doing wrong, because I didn’t have any idea it would make all the difference.
I did as best I could on my own, but I thought that if I could just hire a coach that could show me exactly what I needed to do, then I could play at the next level. My first lesson was with about eight or nine guys on our golf team, and our coach brought in somebody who worked at a local golf store, selling clubs and things like that. He was a PGA professional and I think he fitted clubs.
He basically came in and sat on the range in front of us all and said, “Okay, well you really want to strengthen your grip. If you are slicing, aim left and if you are hooking, aim right.” That was the lesson. I’m like, “What? What?”
Even back then, I had this idea that there’s got to be some sort of right and wrong in hitting the golf ball. But it wasn’t so simple to find that right idea. It was just like, if you’re doing this, you do this. If you’re doing that, then you do it this way.
We all just kind of figured out on our own and we all just kind of find our own way. He was a PGA professional and it was the first professional golf lesson that I’ve ever had. We had a few more guys that our coach brought in just like this.
I later came to realize that our coach, who had sold me on taking this golf scholarship, couldn’t break 100 to save his life. He owned a couple of TCBYs, and the only reason he was our golf coach is he was the only one that would do it for 100 bucks a semester. It was really just volunteer work for him. He just loved golf.
That’s how a lot of people get into golf and coaching and things like that. Even it was NCAA, it’s a Division II school and here’s our golf coach, he owns TCBYs and he doesn’t know anything about golf. He was doing the best he could, but he would just bring in these random people who he knew who fitted clubs or worked at a golf store or worked in a pro shop. We got all these random things.
After that, my first paying lesson, the first guy I ever hired and wrote a check to said to me, “All right, now we’re done with this nonsense over here, I’m going to go hire the real deal.” It was in Denver. This guy worked with a lot of LPGA players.
He was a well-known coach in Denver, a famous guy, in the magazines and all this stuff, and he was expensive. He was 150 bucks and I think I had just gotten out of college and I was ready to take that next step and commit and spend the money.
I didn’t have the money to spend, but I wanted to hire a real golf pro. I hired this guy for a lesson and I still remember the whole thing to this day. I was hitting the ball.
I went to him and they say, “Hey, well, what’s going on with your swing? What can I do to help you?” I said, “Well …” I said, “sometimes I hit my pitching wedge 130 yards and sometimes I hit it 160 yards and I have no idea why.” He’s like, “Okay.” He looks at my clubs and then he watches me hit a couple shots. Just like I had said, I hit one pitching wedge 170 yards. I just nuke this thing.
Then I hit another one at 130 yards and I’m like, “It’s kind of hard to play golf when your pitching wedge is going 30, 40 yards different distance.” He’s like, “Here’s what you need to do. All you need to do is imagine that there’s a table in front of you and you’re just trying to hit it under that table.” That was my lesson.
That was the whole lesson for 150 bucks. Obviously, that didn’t fix anything.
The problem was not only in my swing and how I was flipping my hands at the bottom that was changing the loft of the club, but also my clubs. I was using regular flex graphite Callaway clubs that were so soft that the club was just flipping all over the place at impact.
Here’s this guy working with LPGA pros, making all this money on the tour, and the whole lesson … Didn’t look at my clubs, didn’t do anything about the flipping at the bottom, it was just, “Imagine you’re hitting it under a table.” That was the first time where I realized that golf instruction, and this was the first step in many lessons that I took later on, that it was based on nonsense.
It’s feelings and visualizations. But for me, I don’t work like that. I want a scientific reason. I want a black and white definitive answer, this is what you’re doing. Here’s what’s causing it. Here’s how to fix it. I didn’t get that.
That was the first lesson I ever took. I still, to this day, it’s been 20 something years, 25 years, and I still have not forgotten that lesson.
What inspired you to write your first book?
The first book I wrote was in 2007. By this time, I was already having a lot of back and hip problems. I mean, I was having back and hip problems from the time I was 19. That stuff in the first book was all about coming back to a way to learn to swing the club that was simple and that made sense. Because all the instruction that I was receiving at this point, it didn’t make any sense to me.
I’ve always had two questions about the golf swing. When somebody tells me something during a golf lesson or I read something in a magazine or I saw some expert on TV, I ask first, why? Second, how? First of all, tell me exactly why you want me to do. Tell me how that’s going to affect what’s going on in my swing.
Then tell me exactly how you want my body to do it. If you can’t answer those two questions, then I’m not going to listen to you anymore. You have to be able to explain to me why you want me to do something.
With the golf swing, that book in 2007 was all about making something really simple. I want people to play golf. I was so frustrated and so confused because every teaching pro I went to would tell me something not only different than the other teaching pro, but literally the exact opposite in most cases.
Then I would open a golf magazine and on one page, you’d have one instructor saying, “If you want to do this, do it this way.” Then literally on the very next page, this instructor would be saying literally, verbatim, the exact conflicting opposite. To me, that was insanity. It’s lunacy.
How can you have a magazine printing literally two completely conflicting things one page apart?
When I wrote that book, I’m like, “Dude, let’s get away from all this nonsense and just make the swing simple. Here’s what you really need to do. Here’s all it needs to be. It doesn’t need to be this complicated thing.” That book was really my first step in publishing my own ideas on how to make the swing understandable, how to make it simple.
Rotary Swing: Simplifying the Golf Swing. That’s what it was all about. That to me was, stop struggling with your swing. The Rotary Swing makes learning the game fast and simple. That’s what I cared about because I was so freaking frustrated with all of my experiences that I’d gone through.
The more lessons I gave and the more people I started talking to, I realized that there was this commonality that there were so many people with this exact same experience. They go to so-and-so instructor and he tells them one thing and they go to another instructor and he says the opposite.
They’re frustrated because they don’t have the time to look into this and figure out who’s right and who’s wrong or if there is a right and wrong. Whereas for me, this was my passion from the time I was a kid, and so I was going to figure out a way to help all these people who had gone through the same experiences that I had gone through.
You’ve created an amazing website and video series that attracts tens of thousands of golfers every month. What is next?
I’m not stopping anytime soon. I have set some pretty extraordinary goals for myself. My biggest goal that I’m working towards now is that I want to help a million golfers break 80 for the first time. That’s pretty extraordinary, but if you’ve seen in our Facebook group, we have guys posting all the time, “Hey, I shot 69.” A guy shot 62, shot 67.
These guys have never broke 70 before, some of them hadn’t broke 80 before and they’re shooting in the 60s and they’re doing it an unbelievably short period of time. It’s all a result of The DEAD Drill. We created a Facebook group so that people could go in there and get help really quickly for free and learn how to do The DEAD Drill right, and get community, support from other people doing it.
Then see the results that people are getting from this.
The latest innovation is AXIOM which will revolutionize golf instruction, especially when combined with the DEAD Drill program, it practically guarantees golfing success. We are going to bring this program to as many golfers as we can so that all of the frustration and aggravation that is usually associated with golf will be a bad memory.
Big thanks to Chuck Quinton for sharing the story of Rotary Swing and what exciting things he has planned next.