Interview with Chuck Quinton – Rotary Swing Founder & Golf Teaching Pro
Chuck Quinton’s instructional golf website is one of the most popular golf instruction sites online today attracting thousands of visitors daily and hosting over 300 instructional videos that Chuck Quinton has personally created, as well as over 150 educational and informative articles he has written. Chuck Quinton’s videos on YouTube have been viewed millions of times and he has been featured as a guest on ESPN Sports Radio many times, as well as numerous local radio shows around the country.
Chuck Quinton has helped thousands of students of all abilities, including many players on the PGA Tour, Web.com Tour, European PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Futures Tour, Hooters Tour, Gateway Tour and numerous other mini-tours. Chuck Quinton. Has spent thousands of hours of tireless research, continuing instruction and countless hours of hard work to create Rotary Swing.
Chuck Quinton is a former Teaching Professional at Castle Pines Golf Club in Colorado. He also founded the Rotary Swing Golf Academy at the Ritz Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Florida where he teaches golf during the winter months.
Chuck Quinton is also the author of “The Rotary Swing” a top-selling golf instruction book that has earned him fans and followers worldwide as well as creating the instructional DVD series, “Swing Plane Made Simple” and “Short Game Made Simple”, and most recently the “Rotary Swing Tour Certification Manual”.
We were lucky to catch a few minutes with Chuck between rounds to talk a little about how he got started and what he is up to now.
How did you get started as a professional player and instructor?
After I graduated college I played a little bit of amateur golf in Colorado, and I’d taken my first real lessons with a well-known Colorado golf pro, and I was like, “You know what? I just need to go to a place where I can practice year-round. I can play 365 days a year. I need to go where all of these top golf pros are. The guys I’m seeing in the golf magazines, the guys I’m seeing on TV, I want to have access to that.” In golf, you’ve kind of got a few options. You’ve got California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida. We ended up choosing Florida as our home base, and there are tons and tons of high-level golfers there. The mini-tours are full of super great golfers there, great ball strikers there, and tons of coaches. I started flying back and forth from Colorado to Florida interviewing golf pros. I had one simple criterion. Because at this point, I’d taken some lessons and I kind of was starting to form my own ideas about the swing.
I’d started teaching when I was pretty young, but of course, I didn’t know what I was doing. I was just teaching based on what I was trying to do with my own swing. But I started looking for somebody who I felt could really help me get to that next level and turn pro. My only criteria were before you give me a lesson and before I write you a check, all I ask is you go play one round of golf with me. Not a single person would do it. Not a single golf pro would be willing to go out and play golf with me. I finally found one guy after interviewing a dozen different teaching pros. These are guys that are on TV all the time. These are guys in the magazine. None of them would play. I found this one guy who was working under David Leadbetter and working with a bunch of tour pros that I later became to work with, Robert Gamez, and Ernie Ells, and Trevor Immelman, and all these big-name guys. He’s like, “Yeah, I’ll go play with you.”
He went out and absolutely played lights out on a cold, windy day in Florida. I played my absolute best as well as I could play. I shot even par and he shot a 68 and made it look as easy as pie. I said, “This is my guy. This guy can teach me something.” Having that experience of seeing somebody that can not only talk about the swing but could actually do it, was everything to me.
I’ve always been the belief that if you can’t do simple math, you can’t add, I’m not going to try and learn algebra from you. If you can’t do what you’re asking me to do and demonstrate it to me, then you can’t teach me what you’re asking me to learn. You have to be able to do it. Experience is the most important thing in the world to me. That experience with him taught me another important thing, because he was a phenomenal golfer. We ended up doing a couple of golf DVDs together back many, many years ago. But I realized another important lesson is, just because you can do it, it doesn’t mean you can actually teach it.
There’s a mixture here. In the ideal world, you find somebody who not only has the experience and proven track record, that they can actually do what they’re asking you to do so they know that it works, but they also know how to explain it and articulate it in a way that’s digestible and you can learn.
So you finally made it to your first pro tournament, what was that like?
It was a little frustrating. I think golf has got a lot of frustrations in it. I certainly had a lot of frustrations early on. But my first pro tournament was in Orlando. I went out and I’d been preparing for this for a while and I was really excited about it. It was a one-day event and I went out and shot 72. I had four birdies and four bogeys.
I was pretty frustrated because had I just not made those four bogeys, I would’ve won a check. I would’ve made some money. But in these one-day events, it’s kind of like an all or nothing. The top three or four or five guys get paid and the rest we’re all sent home packing. I shot 72 and I called my coach right after that and I said, “Man, here’s what happened. I shot this.” I’m walking him through my round. I asked him, “What do you think? I still was missing the ball out to the right. That’s always been kind of my miss.” Asking, “What do I need to do?”
He literally said to me, “Make fewer bogeys.” “I’m trying. What do you mean make fewer bogeys? No kidding, obviously, I want to make fewer bogeys, but how? Why am I still missing these shots that we’ve been working on for eight hours a day? I’m hitting six, 700 balls a day. I’m practicing eight hours a day. I’ve been practicing for months.
I still miss the exact same shots. I missed the same way. It’s costing me these bogeys and you’re telling me, make fewer bogeys. I’m asking you to tell me how to make fewer bogeys. We need to fix my ball-striking issues.” That was not the answer I was looking for because he just didn’t have the answers. He didn’t know exactly how to fix my issues. He could hit the ball great himself, but getting somebody else explaining it to them is completely different. It’s a completely different skill set.
So how did you transition from player to teacher?
After my time with the instructor that I was working with, I went to several other instructors just because I was trying to find somebody who could tell me what to do. Like, “How do I do this?” I know, obviously, in college, I was two handicaps before I went to college. I was maybe two or maybe I had got down to scratch in college. Then after I turned pro, I couldn’t break 80 two days in a row. I was taking more lessons.
That’s when I really started taking lessons. I became so frustrated that I went from being able to shoot par on any course to not being able to break 80 and playing as a professional. It was all because I was taking lessons and the lessons were making me worse. It was infuriating for me and it was costing me a fortune. I didn’t have any money. For me, every lesson that I was taking, was a serious investment.
I really, really, really got frustrated. But at the same point, while I was playing, even though I wasn’t scoring as well as I could, I won several tournaments and I played some tournaments and I was traveling around and playing state opens and things like that, and Monday qualifiers for the PGA Tour.
But I started picking up students because of the guys that I played with. Because they would see me hit the ball, they liked my swing and they said, “Dude, I want to hit the ball like that.” I started picking up a lot of other pro students. Very quickly thereafter most all of my students were tour pros. Which was really strange. It’s not a normal pathway to golf instruction, but it just happened to be that they were like, “Dude, I like the way you’re hitting the ball. I want to hit it like that. Tell me more. Tell me what you’re doing.” Again, because even while I was working with these other instructors, I was reading every golf book under the sun, buying every golf DVD, constantly tinkering with my swing. I’m a lifetime tinkerer. I’m always in front of a mirror working on stuff, trying to understand how stuff works.
Which of your techniques do you think has had the greatest impact on improving the game for golfers?
I feel like The DEAD Drill has given me that platform to make the golf swing super easy to learn, super fast to learn, really simple in a way that gives you a powerful, consistent swing that’s safe for the body.
Now, my goal is to get results from that. We’ve had thousands and thousands of people tell us in our Facebook comments or our YouTube comments and emails and all our testimonials, which you see all the time, we get hammered with testimonials of people like, “I shot my best score ever. I made a hole in one.” People are super excited. That’s where I’m going next. I want to take this to the world and I want a million golfers to break 80 for the first time. That’s not even good enough.
I want a million golfers to consistently shoot in the 70s every single time they go out and play golf. With The DEAD Drill, it’s possible. Most recently, I introduced AXIOM to our Rotary Swing members, which combined with the DEAD Drill, will revolutionize golf instruction and virtually guarantee golfing success.