124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2


How to shallow your golf swing: A 3-step guide for better feels


When you know how to shallow the downswing can improve contact with longer irons, increase consistency and boost swing speed—and now it’s even easier to learn with this step-by-step guide from Erika Larkin, one of Golf Digest’s 50 Best Teachers.

Follow her three simple steps to find the slot and maximize your power and speed.

How to shallow your golf swing

  1. Feel pressure on the right wrist
  2. Trail elbow drives into the body
  3. Drag your club down the wall

How to shallow your golf swing #1: Feel pressure on right wrist

Players that get too steep in the downswing often manipulate the club or are too tight at the top of their backswing. To get in position to shallow your downswing, let the club lay off a bit and feel pressure build in the back of your trail wrist.

“It’s like a waiter’s tray position,” Larkin says, “the wrist is back and you’ll feel some of the weight of the club resting back against the right wrist.”

How to shallow your golf swing #2: Drive trail elbow into body

Next, feel your trail elbow drop down and drive into your side, like Larkin is doing here. As you pull that elbow down, it should feel like your arms narrow slightly.

Driving your elbow into your body shifts you slightly behind the ball and gets your club path on plane. Which helps you keep the club behind you for longer and creates effortless lag in the downswing.

How to shallow your golf swing #3: Drag the club down the wall

The final step in this process is to feel like you’re dragging your club down a wall. Here, Larkin shows you an example of what not to do first. This over-the-top move is common with many amateur golfers, and might be your first instinct when you start your downswing, but Larkin says to feel like you're dragging the club vertically down towards the ground, as if it were dragging along a wall behind you.

“We're not outside, we're not steep, we're not over the top, we're just letting the club lay back on the plane,” Larkin says, “and it’s a pretty direct route to the ball from there.”

As you practice this motion, Larkin says to be aware of how much you're hanging back.

"This can cause you to get too shallow too quick," Larkin says, "and if you over exaggerate these feels too much, you'll be unsuccessful."

So stick to her check points, and try not to overdo it.

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