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One more video I stumbled on, just to add to the collection. Shows a decent player supposedly tweaking his steepness, although from what I saw one a brief look, the fix was to simply get a bit steeper on the backswing and then start the swing with the lower body. No real tips other than that I could get out of it. Just thought this was a different sort of video that might be of interest.

Off to the range to practice shallowing.

 

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You can do what I did there and look back at a mirror while making swings.

It's been the best thing I've done.

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5 hours ago, RandallT said:

One more video I stumbled on, just to add to the collection. Shows a decent player supposedly tweaking his steepness, although from what I saw one a brief look, the fix was to simply get a bit steeper on the backswing and then start the swing with the lower body. No real tips other than that I could get out of it. Just thought this was a different sort of video that might be of interest.

Given his description, it made me wonder if there's a little chicken and egg problem. He said that 3-D analysis indicated that the upper body (shoulders) were leading the downswing. The fix was both a steeper b/s and he told him to lengthen / 'wait for it' in the transition. The actual shaft angle on the 'after' downswing didn't look a whole lot different than the 'before' swing to me (though I didn't capture still frames).

Could the steeper b/s just adding a bit of an effective 'loop' have given him more time to separate / clear his hips and 'wait' for the slot to develop before firing his shoulders? In other words was it less about the actual shaft angle on the downswing but the timing of delivery of that shaft angle relative to the lower body movement?

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OP, any progress since your last update?

I've been experiencing the same problem since I started reinventing my swing about 6 months ago. The club just refuses to shallow no matter what I try. Slow-motion no problem but hitting a ball -- even on a quarter swing -- no dice.

When I lay the club off on the top as described in some drills, the club face opens significantly. If I just continue down in that position, I'd hit the ball with the back of the club! How does one get it back to square at impact? Rotate the left forearm? The whole thing feels so flippy and manufactured.
 

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7 hours ago, cartierbresson said:

OP, any progress since your last update?

I've been experiencing the same problem since I started reinventing my swing about 6 months ago. The club just refuses to shallow no matter what I try. Slow-motion no problem but hitting a ball -- even on a quarter swing -- no dice.

When I lay the club off on the top as described in some drills, the club face opens significantly. If I just continue down in that position, I'd hit the ball with the back of the club! How does one get it back to square at impact? Rotate the left forearm? The whole thing feels so flippy and manufactured.
 

I'll update more in the next few weeks, but it's still a work in progress. The key for me has been to get regular video lessons. I use Evolvr, and this A4 to A6 piece has been my priority for a while. I have posted some pics in my swing thread on this site, and there is some improvement. The important thing has been to get new assignments regularly. Each one helps advance my knowledge, and see things from a slightly different perspective (but it's a unified view- not like hunting random youtube clips that could conflict).

There were lots of good tips here in this thread too. First, I use an alignment rod under the butt of my club often to ensure where the butt of my club is pointing. That I learned here.

Second, from the top, I am feeling a slightly different travel path of my hands to promote the shallowing. In the past, my hands and arms have been all about coming straight down. That promotes steepness obviously. That idea was from the thread.

Third, I think another breakthrough has been to get the right feel from A6 to A7. Just isolate that and make sure you know the hip/club/shoulder alignments at each. That felt so awkward to me for a while. Once I could get that, things started to feel better throughout the swing. 

Lastly, my instructor has me very recently doing things at the start of the backswing that are really helping. I'm getting a little steeper in the backswing along with a couple other minor tweaks, and it's helping with the flow at the top of the swing, I think. 

I've learned you can't really actively shallow it with your wrists/arms with deliberate concentration in the swing. Like you say, you can't manufacture anything. It has to just flow from the overall movements, or else it won't stick. It all ties together, and if you try to manufacture something when you've gone awry in your swing already- forget it. You're toast. I went down that path, and my instructor noticed in one of my slow motion videos that I was improvising my own techniques! Lol.

Overall, the key is to stick with the advice of a good instructor and use video effectively to see what you are doing. It'll come bit by bit, don't expect overnight success.

Like I said, I'll update after a bit more progress. 

 

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I'd be curious to see what this feels like to you . . .in your backswing, start your turn as normal with your shoulders and arms . .when the club starts to naturally lift (right around A2) - raise your arms straight up.  Ie - no lateral movement with the arms - the arms only go up as you keep rotating back. 

This was HUGE for me . .because I thought the club was not getting behind me in my backswing but it totally was.  Once I started to do this I could feel my club head tracing the swing plane and it helped my impact a ton.  The key thing with this, for me at least, is to make sure my left wrist is flat before I start down - the tendency is going to be for my left wrist to be cupped and then I'll have steepness issues.  It's ok if my left wrist is a bit cupped at the top as long as it's flat when I start down.   

Anyway - just a curiosity . .not saying it will help but at least it won't take long to try. 

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Here's another video that talks about shallowing, me the sucker (not disparaging instruction vids - just tend to buy some of them indiscriminately) for instruction videos, bought it and watching it bits and spurts, can executive summary it later.

 

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So..   I was brought to this thread. by a suggestion from @mchepp over on my My Swing thread..   

I've spent the last hour or so reading through everything here, and I think that it has been immensely helpful.  I think that not shallowing the swing plane is one of the most common flaws in an Amateur swing, and even a flaw that is exaggerated in my case.  Because my natural first move is over the top, I have to place all of my focus on just not coming way over the top, rather that placing my focus on more important things (like striking the ball).   If I could just make a move to a shallow path natural, I would have so much more room in my brain for other swing thoughts....   

While sitting here, in my office, not working, and reading about golf...     I came away with one quick take away.  "holding the pizza" is not something that I am doing.   with a couple practice takeaways with a pen in my hand, that became immediately evident.  Now, while doing another couple practice takeaways and focusing on "holding that pizza", I noticed something cool.  To get your wrist/hand to open to the sky, it forces you to turn your chest more, promoting a bigger shoulder rotation.  That is something I have been trying to work on for a while.  So, it appears that "hold the pizza" is an awesome, dual-purpose swing thought...   can't wait to work on this.   

guess whole going to the range over lunch today???    

this guy.  that's who.   I'll report back. 

 

 

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Hold the Pizza!

I love this tip!  when I got to the range I found it to be exactly the way I thought it would while I was taking back-swings with a pen in the office. To accomplish getting your hand facing the sky, you definitely need to make a full shoulder/chest turn.   

Obviously, the first dozen swings or so were messy.  topped a few, chuncked a few until I started to get the feel for it.  But, once I started hitting the ball, I could tell an immediate difference.  First off, because you're coming in at a bit of a flatter angle, more swings that are slightly off feel like you hit it on the screws.  

My favorite thing about "hold the pizza" is that is produces a distinctly different ball flight. It is higher and the draw is a bit sharper and breaks later.  That is awesome, because there is an immediate visual key letting you know you didn't get your hand to the sky.   this is something you can see and correct in one swing if it starts to break down at the course.  

looking at my swing plane, this was producing a flatter take away and a flatter path to the ball, but unfortunately my first move was still up towards over-the-top.   But, I can definitely see how this is a step towards where I am trying to get to.  I am putting myself in position to make the correct move.   

back to the range after work!

 

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Any luck @lastings? I see your other thread on lateral hip movement, @cartierbresson, which you mentioned you think is helping steepness. 

I'm just writing a placeholder note right now to remind myself to update this thread very soon. I took a couple months off golf in the summer, but have been back at lessons again recently. I think I'm making some progress, and I can jot down some of the elements that helped me make progress. Just gotta get some photos organized and think through some things from past lesson notes.

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@RandallT I've tried several different ways of shallowing the club. All of them work to some degree, in that I can get the club to shallow but it introduces a separate flaw. I'm not sure if that means that the flaw needs to be fix or approach abandoned.

  • Keep my hands back more

If my hands don't move almost vertically down at the start of the transition, I find it impossible to shallow the club. But forcing my hands back introduces tension in my swing. That forces my arms to get left behind and I get flippy, or they violently thrust down at some point causing the club to steepen after it's parallel to the ground.

  • Roll my wrists (i.e. suppinate my left wrist while increasing the right wrist break)

This shallows the club immediately but feels manufactured and I have a very hard time doing this reliably. It's very, very difficult for me flatten my wrist AND do all the five other things I want to do in the 1/20th of a second it takes my downswing to complete.

  • Externally rotate my right arm so the club is shallowed 

This sort of works. It works for small swings but getting my right elbow in front of my body forces the face of the club to open significantly. I find it very hard to square the club (it feels like if I rotate too much I might hit the ball with the back of the club). I don't know if I need to combine this with suppinating with left wrist. Also, pn full swings just doing a right elbow drive flatten the plane. I have no clue why it doesn't. Maybe I need more reps.

  • Slide my hips 

This is very confusing to me, for reasons I talk about in this thread

  • Do all of the above 

Like I allude above, perhaps what I need to do is all of the above together. I don't know if there's one big move or lots of small moves.

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While I've seen it written many times, I didn't know what "shallowing the club" was until an hour ago. It makes me wonder if some of the contact issues I'm having aren't a result of too steep of a downswing.

All this kind of plays into what I'm trying to improve - which is getting my weight properly forward. It makes sense that when the hips move forward and the upper body stays back, it club may shallow out. But if I mistakenly move my upper body forward on the downswing, it may contribute to too steep of a downswing?

Anyway, I'll be referring back to this topic.

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30 minutes ago, JonMA1 said:

While I've seen it written many times, I didn't know what "shallowing the club" was until an hour ago. It makes me wonder if some of the contact issues I'm having aren't a result of too steep of a downswing.

All this kind of plays into what I'm trying to improve - which is getting my weight properly forward. It makes sense that when the hips move forward and the upper body stays back, it club may shallow out. But if I mistakenly move my upper body forward on the downswing, it may contribute to too steep of a downswing?

Anyway, I'll be referring back to this topic.

@JonMA1 If your instructor has never talked to you about swallowing the club, don't start working on swallowing the club!!! Keep working on what he is asking you to work on. Remember, this is about priorities. From what I understand, your priority is Weight Forward. Getting better at that will help to shallow the club, but shifting the focus to swallowing the club will lead you down the rabbit hole and more likely than not, cause you to develope compensations that allow you to shallow the club even with a bad weight transfer. DON'T DO THAT! Trust your instructor and work on the weight transfers. Trust that it will help you to shallow as a by-product. That's the whole point of priorities. 

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7 minutes ago, Ernest Jones said:

@JonMA1 If your instructor has never talked to you about swallowing the club, don't start working on swallowing the club!!! Keep working on what he is asking you to work on. Remember, this is about priorities. From what I understand, your priority is Weight Forward. Getting better at that will help to shallow the club, but shifting the focus to swallowing the club will lead you down the rabbit hole and more likely than not, cause you to develope compensations that allow you to shallow the club even with a bad weight transfer. DON'T DO THAT! Trust your instructor and work on the weight transfers. Trust that it will help you to shallow as a by-product. That's the whole point of priorities. 

You are absolutely right @Ernest Jones. My comment was meant more for discussion and to reinforce the idea that improvements made to our one priority often fix peripheral problems. 

I will try to stay on task. Thanks.

Edited by JonMA1

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16 minutes ago, JonMA1 said:

You are absolutely right @Ernest Jones. My comment was meant more for discussion and to reinforce the idea that improvements made to our one priority often fix peripheral problems. 

I will try to stay on task. Thanks.

It's from the heart, bro. I went down the "shallow the club, become a scratch" rabbit hole much to my detriment. I could lay that sucker down flat as a pancake if I wanted to, but I could'nt make decent contact to save my life. Better weight shift and a steady head has helped me achieve both better contact and a shallower club. Not as dramatically as when I was creating weird compensations to achieve it, but better, and in anycase, a shallow club on the downswing is not the goal, better golf is the goal. 

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You post wasn't taken as anything but useful advice @Ernest Jones. It was much appreciated.

A bit off topic but...

I'm not getting professional instruction, btw. And with my index, I could be the poster child for the virtues of taking lessons. 

Anyway, with that lack of a pro's guidance, I have to identify a priority (which is hard enough) and then find ways to fix it. Lots of trial and error. So I'm painfully familiar with rabbit holes. 

It's amazing how tied together the 5 keys are. A suggestion such as "swing towards first base" may seem like a swing thought intended to help key #4, for example, but it actually helps me improve key #2.

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8 minutes ago, JonMA1 said:

You post wasn't taken as anything but useful advice @Ernest Jones. It was much appreciated.

A bit off topic but...

I'm not getting professional instruction, btw. And with my index, I could be the poster child for the virtues of taking lessons. 

Anyway, with that lack of a pro's guidance, I have to identify a priority (which is hard enough) and then find ways to fix it. Lots of trial and error. So I'm painfully familiar with rabbit holes. 

It's amazing how tied together the 5 keys are. A suggestion such as "swing towards first base" may seem like a swing thought intended to help key #4, for example, but it actually helps me improve key #2.

Yep

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1 hour ago, Ernest Jones said:

It's from the heart, bro. I went down the "shallow the club, become a scratch" rabbit hole much to my detriment. I could lay that sucker down flat as a pancake if I wanted to, but I could'nt make decent contact to save my life. Better weight shift and a steady head has helped me achieve both better contact and a shallower club. Not as dramatically as when I was creating weird compensations to achieve it, but better, and in anycase, a shallow club on the downswing is not the goal, better golf is the goal. 

I thought shallowing would "solve" a lot of my swing too, but it's more shallowing puts in you a good position going down, you still have to carry all that good stuff you worked hard on through the pivot. It's just one part of building good stuff into your swing.

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