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Golf instruction truths: Your steep swing is leading to weak impact—here's how to fix it

June 07, 2021

Golfers who pull or sky their tee shots invariably suffer from the same impact problem that the embattled slicer does—a steep angle into the ball. The path the club takes into impact is too V-shaped, or up and down, and needs to be shallower for the player to hit the ball more solidly and on target.

Swing coach Josh Zander, one of Golf Digest’s Best Teachers in California, explains how to create more width in your swing arc, a key ingredient to shallowing out your angle into impact and avoiding those dreaded pop-ups and mis-hits. Zander says one effective key is to get more extension in your arms as you go back, which sets up a more sweeping, neutral swing path through the ball.

Zander uses the analogy of a tire to illustrate the importance of shallowing out the swing. When a tire sits vertically on the road, very little tread touches the pavement. That’s like a steep swing that comes down too abruptly. But if you press down on the tire, the bottom flattens and more of the tread contacts the road. “That creates a more U-shaped bottom,” Zander says, “which is a great image to think about to stop you from being too steep in your golf swing.”

To create that U-shaped bottom to your swing, Zander says avoid hinging your wrists too soon, which narrows and steepens the swing arc. You want more of a sweeping move off the ball and less of a lift. At the top of the backswing, Zander says you should strive to get the clubhead as far away from your head as possible. The farther you can keep it out, the wider your arc, and the shallower—and more solid—your impact.

In this video, top teacher Josh Zander explains how to widen your arc:

Learn to diagnose and fix not only steep misses but also shallow misses in “Contact Cures,” now available in Golf Digest Schools. In this four-part series with Josh Zander, a Golf Digest Teaching Professional, you’ll find out how to determine whether your impact signature is too steep or too shallow. Then, once you go through all of the detective work, you’ll learn a series of key moves and practice drills to help you become the consistent ball-striker you’ve always wanted to be.

“Contact Cures” is one of more than 100 video programs in Golf Digest Schools. Take your game to the next level with instruction from the top teachers and players. And with the new Golf Digest Schools app, you can bring it all with you anywhere you go. Check out Golf Digest Schools, a revolutionary experience in golf instruction.

For more video instruction from Golf Digest’s Best Young Teachers, check out Golf Digest Schools here.