One of the key components of a good golf swing is the shallowing of the shaft in the downswing. This move gets the shaft on the correct plane as the clubhead approaches the ball and allows for solid, consistent contact. However, producing this shallowing move is easier said than done.
Lots of recreational players have a difficult time shallowing the club and finding the correct plane on the downswing. Often times they will get far too steep on the downswing and cut across the ball, producing left-to-right spin and shots that flare out to the right. But in order to become a good ball striker, it’s necessary to attack the ball from the inside and swing from in to out.
Logically you might think that in order to shallow the club correctly you need to make adjustments on the downswing, but in practice it is often the opposite. What your club does on the downswing is largely dictated by what you do in the backswing. So if you want to be on the correct plane in your downswing, you first need to assess your backswing.
GOLF Top 100 Teacher Jonathan Yarwood recently posted a short explainer on Twitter regarding this exact concept. As he puts it, at times, the left arm gets too high which causes the steep plane, but that can actually be caused by the right arm.
“His right arm is so stiff, it doesn’t fold or it doesn’t spread, which pushes his right arm away from him,” he says. “As a result, his arm works up his chest too much.”
To fix this, Yarwood has his student “soften” his right arm in order to get the arm to fold more in the backswing. This softening gets his right arm working behind him on the backswing and puts the club in a much better position to shallow out on the downswing.
“Now as he comes down, he’s going to automatically shallow it,” Yarwood says.
If you feel you’re getting too steep on your downswing, try thinking about softening your right arm and getting it more behind you on the backswing. Chances are, this will get you into a position where you will automatically shallow the shaft on the downswing and hit much more consistent shots.