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Tyler Ferrell is the only person in the world named to Golf Digest's list of Best Young Teachers in America AND its list of Best Golf Fitness Professionals in America. Meet your new instructor.

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Arm Shallow Checkpoint

Arm shallowing has a lot of benefits in the golf swing. A few of them are:

  • It allows more body rotation.
  • It allows for a wider flat spot at the bottom.
  • It aids with slowing down the rate of clubface closure.

If you're not sure if you're shallowing or not, here's an easy golf swing check point. See how close the shaft matches perpendicular to the spine early in the downswing. The more it matches, and the earlier it matches, the more your arms are in a shallow orientation.

Tags: Transition, Concept

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This concept video is the arm shallow checkpoint.

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So I always get a question at least once a month or so of, hey, am I shallowing my arms

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You know, what's my transition look like?

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So I want to give you a quick, a quick single image that you can use to evaluate your

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steep and shallow balance.

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Now, granted that steep and shallow balance is going to continue for the whole downswing.

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So sometimes you could have a perfect position and still mess it up.

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But in my years of coaching has been one of my tried and true places to look for first.

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And basically what we're looking at is from the down-the-line camera angle.

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We're looking at the angle of the shaft compared to the body, kind of early in the downswing

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right around when the arm is parallel or right around P5.

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So somewhere around here looking for the angle of the club compared to the body.

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And I say that because compared to the body is how we'll see if it's shallowing more

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from the arms or from the body.

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To get into the shallow arm position, we pre-build this into the delivery position.

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So the shallow arm position is a rotation of the left arm and a rotation of the right arm.

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On the left arm, it's primarily from the shoulder with a little bit of forearm, from the right arm or the trail arm.

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It's primarily from the shoulder because the forearm is actually as it goes into extension is actually going into a little bit more of a steepening loop.

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So as you'll see, we'll look through a number of examples here, just kind of rapid fire.

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And as you'll see, there's some variance.

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There's some people who are a little bit more up and down compared to the body.

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This would be more steep and there are people who are closer to parallel.

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You have some extremes like Morcau and John Rom who are actually maybe even flatter than parallel.

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I think that in general the shallow arms can be a bit of an advantage.

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One kind of example that I use is if I had the club straight up and down and I just dropped it down to the ground,

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it would you can see it kind of hits the leading edge really hard and bounces off the ground.

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Now in order to not make that slam into the ground, I would have to pull up away from the golf ball either with my arms or with my body.

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So I would have to time this stand up move with the arm swinging more vertically.

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If I swung the arms in more of a horizontal fashion, now the club is going to skim along the ground simply because it's coming in a more shallow angle.

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So in my book the Stocktower Swing I use the example of landing a plane.

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If the plane is coming down vertically like this it's going to have to pull up perfectly or else it's going to bounce off the runway or miss it.

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Where if it's coming down on more gradual pattern it's got more margin of air.

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Also it's easier to do this little pull up move in a light airplane than it would be in a giant, you know, international plane.

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747 or 777. I can't say I know those numbers very well, but hopefully you get the point which is with the longer clubs especially like the driver and the long irons.

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If this gets steep it becomes harder to time that stand up pattern.

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So let's take a look at a number of examples.

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I'll take them from the same T so we can see kind of the spectrum of what we're seeing here in transition with this arm shallow checkpoint.

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Hopefully you saw the pattern there.

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If you're looking at your arm shallow checkpoint I'm going to give you a couple little keys to look in on.

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One from the body you're looking at basically how well you've maintained your spine angle.

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So if this has gotten really flat or you might have to add the face on camera to see if you're tilted way behind.

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Because oftentimes that steep arm pattern will be accompanied with a shallow body pattern.

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Now it looks like the club is on plane, but I'm going to have a low point nightmare trying to balance that steep arm and shallow body pattern.

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So if I'm shallow or if I'm steeper in this body position so I'm more on top and down, then the arms are going to have to be in more of a shallow position.

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Looking at the trail arm that will look like the arm is more in front of the body as opposed to behind the body.

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Looking at the lead arm if you're looking at where the elbow is pointing the elbow will be pointing more out towards the golf ball instead of down towards the ground.

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So if it's pointing if the lead elbow is pointing more down or the trail elbow is pointing more back that's more of a steep arm pattern and you will have to shallow that with your body.

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If the trail arm is more in front and the lead arm is pointing out that's more of a shallow arm pattern and you will have to steep in it by staying in your posture and turning through.

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Those are typically helpful complementary patterns.

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Okay even though this is a concept video let's do a real quick demo.

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So if I have the arms in a steeper pattern like this that club is going to slam into this mat unless I stand up at the right time but we'll see some arm bend some stall and that felt pretty jarring.

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Doesn't feel like that would be something I could do really consistently.

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As opposed to if I get this into more of a flatter arm position from here now this should have very little timing.

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All I have to do is extend the arms and stay down and turn my body and the club is just going to slide along your ground.

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So this arm shallow is one of the ways that Torpros build in some consistency to their pattern.

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A thing that most amateurs are complaining that they wish they had more.

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