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In transition, shallowing the club sets up the swing for success or struggles. The most common way for tour pros to shallow the club in transition is to use their shoulders. This allows them to use their legs and trunk for creating speed instead of for controlling the path. This combination helps gets the arms in position for a release with a good flat spot through the ball and a chance to have a high level of consistency in the strike.
Tags: Transition, Analysis, Concept, Intermediate
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In this analysis video, we're going to look at examples of the arm movements and how
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they relate to the shallowing of the club.
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So over on the right, as I used in the details of the arm shallowing, we can see Ben
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Hogan demonstrating, he's talking about his lower body, but you can see as he gets into
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this position, his left elbow is roughly above his right, not exactly, but you can see
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that there's kind of in a similar path, similar point there.
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Now we're going to use that as a reference as far as this shallow movement.
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So the elbows do a great job of showing us what the shoulders are doing, right?
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The hands to the elbow shows us a lot of what the forearm's doing and the elbows can help
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us see what the shoulders are doing.
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So here we have a kind of a novice golfer, and as he comes down, you can see that his elbows
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are roughly parallel to the ground, if anything, that right elbow is actually a little
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bit higher, and we can use that as a reference against the spine angle, and we can see
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that there's a pretty good difference between the two.
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We were looking at Ben Hogan here, his spine would be kind of like so, and his elbows are kind
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of like this, it would be less than an angle.
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It'll make more sense when we take a look at some of the pros from that same down the line
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So now over here on the left we're going to have a golfer who tends to battle hooks because
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he does most of his shallowing from his body, and then over here on the right we have
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Carl Peterson who's an awesome ball striker.
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So what used the elbow location during the backswing is kind of their reference, so you
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can see that roughly Carl spine is kind of like this, and at this point his arms are
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more or less perpendicular to it.
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Now as he goes up towards the top of the swing and he starts back down you can see that
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the spine angle pretty much stayed the same, but now instead of having the right elbow above
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the right elbow is below, we're closer to that angle of the spine.
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So here we have the same two lines over on the left, as he goes up we'll see that there's
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a big shift as far as what his elbows look like, but you can also see that there was a
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bout an equal shift in what's going on with his body.
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So the other way to kind of look at it is he gets to a similar elbow orientation as Carl,
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but Carl did it while his posture if anything got steeper by dropping slightly down, where
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the gentleman left it by standing up.
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We're going to take a look at a few more tour pros to see examples of this elbow orientation
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during the transition position.
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So here we have two more examples, Jordan's feet on the left, Graham on the right.
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We're going to use the kind of elbows compared to the spine as a representation of what
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kind of shoulder rotation movements they're doing.
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So you'll see his spine has dropped down, but now on the way down his right elbow is getting
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slightly underneath the left.
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Graham is going to do it a little bit more, so we'll see those elbows roughly parallel
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to the ground at this point.
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His spine is actually getting down, but we can see that as he comes down now his right
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elbow is underneath the left, similar to what Ben Hogan was demonstrating in the early
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part of the video.
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Let's look at a few more.
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So here two more fun examples, we've Kenny Perry on the left and Sergio on the right.
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Now Sergio will actually demonstrate that he does not do a lot of that rotation from the
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You can see that the elbows, which is going to give us a better indication of what's
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going on at the shoulders, are is relatively level.
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Now he still gets it the flatten, which means he's doing it more from his forearms,
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because that's his only other option.
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But that's the only other way that you could have your upper body go down slightly the
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way that we want during transition, which is an indication of how well you are using the
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So here we have Kenny Perry up at the top of the swing with his slight loss of posture.
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So you'll see that upper body start working down, but you can see that right elbow
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working underneath the left and that left arm slightly rotating.
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That's what helps get in that appearance of the elbows more parallel to the spine angle as
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opposed to perpendicular as we saw with the amateurs.
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Now I like to show you some of the differences between the driver and the iron.
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Anytime I'm doing these videos, so here we have Steve Strikker with the driver.
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You'll see that right elbow gets well under the left, so he's created that shallow movement
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with the shoulders.
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But here he's hitting just a three-quarter wedge, and you'll see that as he comes down,
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even though the spine angle is relatively the same, you can see that he hasn't had nearly
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as much of the shoulder rotation.
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So it's not as critical for the short shots.
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Filmmackelsim would be another one who doesn't make the adjustment with his driver, and
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that's part of the reason why he struggles with the driver.
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And one more set of examples.
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I wanted to show you that it is possible to see from the face on view.
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I think it's easier from the down line, but from the face on view what you'd be looking
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for is the ability to see that trail arm underneath the lead arm as they approach delivery
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So kind of down in this area and then looking at the timing of when you start to see that
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left arm on top of the right, that's giving you an indication of how much those shoulders
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So here cameras a little bit higher, but you can see the point of that elbow.
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Actually Nick Watney does it more than Graham, but you'll see similar movement where we
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can see that right elbow just underneath the left as they approach delivery position.
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I can give you an indication of what they're doing with the shoulders, how they're
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shallowing it out, and how it relates to the rest of the swing.
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This shoulder movement is one of the movements that I see unlock a lot of things for the
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parameters, but some of the coaches who use our site have indicated that it's one of
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the key movements that they use, especially for golfers who tend to get over the top,
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struggle with open club face and tend to struggle with having enough body rotation on
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the way through.
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So if that fits your description, consider looking into the different videos we have
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on how to properly shallow out the club using your arms.