Ball-striking issues? Do this to easily shallow the golf club for better contact
Images via David Woods
Welcome to Play Smart, a regular GOLF.com game-improvement column that will help you play smarter, better golf.
If you’re like most golfers who are always looking to improve, you’ve likely heard the term “shallowing the club,” which is in reference to the club’s shaft motion in the downswing.
But just because you’ve heard the term doesn’t mean you actually know how to shallow the golf club — but it’s so important if you’re trying to hit more consistent golf shots.
While there are many reasons why it’s necessary, the most important one is to allow the clubhead to essentially travel from behind the hand path — which greatly aids in consistent strikes.
Great ball-strikers always make sure that the clubhead (the center of mass) is trailing the hands during the transition from backswing to downswing. They remain in this structure until the club’s shaft is at least parallel to the ground as it approaches the ball.
A shallower shaft often aids in achieving these important positions.
How to shallow the golf club
Now, there are many ways to shallow the club. However, when I’m working with Tour professionals or observing pro players on the range, there are a lot of common traits.
The most common way that the best players in the world shallow it is by lengthening or straightening the trail arm in the downswing, all while keeping the trail wrist in extension (as shown below in the ProSENDR wrist cradle).
In my opinion, this is also the easiest way for the average golfer to achieve shallowing the golf club.
The vast majority of golfers can’t rotate like the pros — which typically includes aggressively laying down the shaft with a match up that creates a solid strike. Therefore, a much more achievable way to shallow the club is by lowering or straightening the right arm.
Most great players bend their trail arm to approximately 90 degrees at the top of their backswing, keeping that angle briefly in transition, then lengthening the arm and still maintaining the wrist condition.
A good feel drill for this move would be to swing to the top of your backswing, then, while keeping your back to the target, lowering the arms to about waist high; all while maintaining the clubhead to trail the hands.
So if you want to learn how to shallow the golf club, work on these feels above, and you’ll slowly be on your way to better impact!
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