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Daniel Coleman

Flat Swing vs. Steep Swing

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I’m a born again golfer after having to take time off to build my business and raise 3 young children. 

Probably around a 20 handicap... used to be about a 10 at my best.

Im a really long hitter, somewhat of a steep swing.

Im testing flattening out and it feels kind of unnatural but I’m getting some crisp shots off.

What are your thoughts?

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9 hours ago, Daniel Coleman said:

I’m a born again golfer after having to take time off to build my business and raise 3 young children. 

Probably around a 20 handicap... used to be about a 10 at my best.

Im a really long hitter, somewhat of a steep swing.

Im testing flattening out and it feels kind of unnatural but I’m getting some crisp shots off.

What are your thoughts?

We have a really good thread on that below. Also, I recommend starting a My Swing thread as @saevel25 suggested. We've all worked on this.

 

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Don’t be too steep and don’t be too flat. If you want change something you will need to be specific about what you are changing in order to get the result you want. And it will take time...believe me. 

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12 hours ago, Daniel Coleman said:

I’m a born again golfer after having to take time off to build my business and raise 3 young children. 

Probably around a 20 handicap... used to be about a 10 at my best.

Im a really long hitter, somewhat of a steep swing.

Im testing flattening out and it feels kind of unnatural but I’m getting some crisp shots off.

What are your thoughts?

Two thoughts.  First, you say you have a steep swing.  What is that evaluation based on?  Have friends said that, or perhaps a pro, or maybe you've looked at video of yourself?  Most of us who try to self-diagnose our swing faults are completely unqualified to do it accurately.  Even if your swing is too steep, there might be an underlying cause that you haven't recognized, some change that will flatten your swing without you actually trying to flatten it.  As the others have said, if you start a My Swing thread with video of yourself, you can get some good advice from a couple of very good instructors.

But assuming that you DO need to flatten your swing as a first step towards getting better (its important to prioritize, do the most important change first), its supposed to feel unnatural.  What feels natural to you now is "too steep".  A flatter swing isn't going to feel natural, its going to feel different, weird, uncomfortable.  That's how you know you're doing something different, it FEELS different.  

Bottom line, get some good advice from a competent instructor, whether through a My Swing thread on this website, or in person, or some other way.  

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12 hours ago, Daniel Coleman said:

I’m a born again golfer after having to take time off to build my business and raise 3 young children. 

Probably around a 20 handicap... used to be about a 10 at my best.

Im a really long hitter, somewhat of a steep swing.

Im testing flattening out and it feels kind of unnatural but I’m getting some crisp shots off.

What are your thoughts?

Unless there is good guidance, 99 percent chances are you are talking about a road to nowhere. 

Steepness/flatness are simple in theory only. 

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13 hours ago, Daniel Coleman said:

I’m a born again golfer after having to take time off to build my business and raise 3 young children. 

Probably around a 20 handicap... used to be about a 10 at my best.

Im a really long hitter, somewhat of a steep swing.

Im testing flattening out and it feels kind of unnatural but I’m getting some crisp shots off.

What are your thoughts?

Is your lead wrist flat?

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One of the things that I have found really helps me is if I take lessons. Took my first one a week ago and changed my game dramatically. The pro instantly recognized some grip flaws and told me I was coming in way to steep. To use his words it was as if I was splitting wood. Since I never had a lesson before I always thought my swing was pretty flat, and it just wasn't so. The other thing was I had my back bent over too far which contributed to coming in so steep. I am puring my irons like I never have before, and the whole swing just feels way better. I wish you the best in figuring it out!

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Agreed on the value of an instructor here. It's better to have a coherent overall plan that impacts the plane rather than focusing on the plane as the sole primary variable you want to change.

That said, I've gone from steep to much flatter over the last two years working with a great pro, so I'll share. When I was steep, I really could only fade the ball, and I like being able to work it both ways now, which has become much easier with a flatter swing and more neutral path.  Maybe even better than that, being more neutral allows me to adjust better on the course: if I'm hooking I can push towards a fade swing and straighten it out, or vice versa. This lets me avoid big misses on the course, which is huge.

Score-wise, I've gone from low to mid 90s down to consistently low 80s and am sometimes breaking 80 now, which was new for me just a couple months ago. I wouldn't say the flatter swing is the cause exactly, but I would say it's an important aspect of the larger changes.

 

Edited by jallenbradley

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47 minutes ago, Daniel Coleman said:

Thanks for the input. Most reasonable, and helpful response on the topic so far.

Not really knowing what your swing plane currently is makes it difficult to analyze anything accurately. You probably have better feel than I do which isn’t saying much as it’s all a mystery to me. But if you haven’t used video and are only going on your feels you may be in for quite a shock. I’ve worked with pros who really got me to exaggerate a move and lo and behold the video showed how off my feels really were. Do you have any videos of your swing? I struggle with being too flat so I’d like to see someone trying to get more flat from too steep. 

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I had the opposite issue with my swing where I used to be too flat up at the top of the backswing, with my arms below the angle of my shoulders (https://youtu.be/xcaPHYA3MCg and https://youtu.be/k5xBkAphn40). I've fixed that since, but haven't posted video in my thread for a while to really show the improvements/changes.

The best way to tell if you're really that far off the form is if you post a my swing thread. Beyond that, a good instructor can help you make changes that will be beneficial rather than simply cosmetic.

 

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Idk. Call me old fashion, but I found early on, to just let the length of the club determine the steepnees, (or the not so steepness) of my swing. This on normal shots.

Obviously there will be a few situations where a flatter, or steeper swing may be needed. In those few instances, you just put the club face on the ball, automatically. I may stand closer, more upright, (steeper) or farther,  less upright,  (flatter) away from the ball. 

 

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