Have you ever found yourself hitting inconsistent golf shots? Perhaps you have a slice or a hook in your swing, or maybe you just can’t seem to make solid contact with the ball. Regardless, an inconsistent golf swing can make for a frustrating day on the course and take the fun out of the game.
If you’re an amateur golfer looking to shave a few strokes off your handicap, one of the components of your swing that you may want to focus on is called “shallowing.” Shallowing essentially means getting your club into a more horizontal position during your downswing. If you have a shallow golf swing, you’ll likely find your ball striking improves due to the angle of attack that you’re taking toward the ball.
In this article, we’ll cover how to shallow a golf swing. Specifically, we’ll look at what shallowing is, what you need to do to shallow your swing, why shallowing is so important, and a few drills to help you practice. By the end of this article, you’ll be itching to get to the driving range to work on your swing.
What Is Shallowing?
“Shallowing” is a golf term that refers to getting the club plane more horizontal during your downswing. The ability to do so typically leads to longer, straighter shots. The opposite of shallowing would be an over-the-top downswing.
If you watch PGA Tour pros, you’ll find that they have varying backswings. Some, like Matthew Wolff’s, are very unconventional and quirky. However, no matter how different their takeaways and backswings are, you’ll find that pretty much every pro has the same swing plane on the downswing.
Having said that, let’s take a closer look at how to shallow your golf swing.
How to Shallow a Golf Swing
To shallow properly, it’s important that you utilize your lower body during your downswing. Your lower body consists of your larger, slower muscles — in other words, your legs move slower than your arms. If your arms get out in front of your legs, you’ll likely either hook or slice the ball.
Proper shallowing means starting your downswing with a weight shift through the low body. By doing so, the clubhead will follow into the shallow position.
Another way to maintain a shallow angle is by being mindful of your left wrist if you’re a right-handed player. (Left-handed players need to be aware of their right wrist.) Specifically, you’ll want to make sure that your lead wrist is flat at the top of the backswing. Doing so will allow you to attack the ball with a square club face as the club shaft lags through the swing in the shallow position.
If you implement these two components into your swing, you’ll find your shaft angle improving naturally.
Why Shallowing a Golf Swing Is Important
- More consistent contact
- A quieter, more compact golf swing
- Longer, straighter drives
- More compression on your irons and wedges
Unfortunately, many golfers are too steep during their downswing. This means that instead of having a shallow, horizontal club angle, they come over the top with the club with a vertical downswing. Though it varies from one golfer to another, the main cause of this is starting the downswing with the upper body instead of the lower body.
As a result, the downswing is rushed, and the angle of attack is inconsistent. Additionally, the lower body is not utilized, which can result in a loss of speed and power. When utilized properly, the lower body can be the most powerful component of the golf swing. Eliminating steep swings can make a dramatic improvement in your game.
Golf Tips and Drills to Help Shallow Your Golf Swing
If you’re looking for a few things that you can do to help change your angle of attack, you’ll want to consider a few of the golf drills below to help improve your swing.
Work on Your Tempo
One way to shallow your golf swing is by practicing your tempo. Specifically, learn to slow down during your swing. Your body and club will do the work naturally if you learn to make consistent contact with the ball.
The takeaway is a big component of this. The takeaway is the pause at the top of your swing between the backswing and the downswing. When taking practice swings, be sure to have a nice easy tempo and emphasize a pause at the top of your swing. This will allow you to fire your hips, generate power, and put your club into a shallower position. A non-shallow position often occurs because the downswing is too rushed.
Utilize an Alignment Stick
An alignment stick is a great training aid to help you achieve a shallower swing. You can put an alignment stick in the ground at a 45-degree angle. When swinging, you’ll want to avoid making contact with the alignment stick. If you do make contact, it’s the result of being too steep on your downswing.
The Golf Academy’s Kelley Brooke says, “Bring your club to the top of your swing, and then slowly slide the club underneath the alignment stick. … Once you feel comfortable, then [you can] take a real swing.” This is one of the best drills to provide instant feedback on whether you are shallow enough during your swing.
Alignment sticks are available for purchase online, your local golf warehouse, or maybe even at a course near you. They are an inexpensive training aid that can help you improve multiple facets of your game.
Try the Wall Drill
Another drill that you can use to shallow the club is the wall drill. All you need to complete this drill is a wall and a golf club.
This drill is another excellent option to receive live feedback on whether your swing is too steep and whether you are properly driving your hips at the beginning of the downswing. It’s also helpful because you can complete it anywhere, even when you need a break at work or are watching tv.
For most amateur golfers, there are always facets of the game that could use improvement. If you’re looking to hit better golf shots, you may want to focus on learning how to shallow your swing. Shallowing is an essential component of the golf swing but is difficult to master and often overlooked, especially by those who play golf casually.
To create a shallow golf swing, you’ll want to focus primarily on your weight shift and your lead wrist during your downswing. Implementing a proper weight shift after your takeaway will naturally lead to a shallower shaft angle, as your upper body will lag behind your lower body. If you’re looking for help learning how to shallow the golf club, consider using Skillest.
Skillest is a virtual platform that offers you access to golf coaches. You’ll select the coach and then set up either live sessions or submit videos for feedback. You can take these lessons from your living room or backyard, making them an excellent option for those who don’t live close to a golf course or don’t have time to make it to a course for training. Whether you’re looking to hit longer drives or improve your short game, Skillest’s golf coaches can help you get started.