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Swing Plane Simplified - Working with steeps and shallows

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Defining Steep and Shallow - Understand Swing Plane

Steep and shallow is the term we use to define swing plane or club path. If the club is too steep then you will typically struggle with deep divots, driver trouble, slices and pulls, and toe hits. If the club path is too shallow then you will typically struggle with thin/fat, picking the ball, short irons/wedges, blocks and hooks, and heel hits.

Tags: Fundamentals, Poor Contact, Early Extension, Standing Up, Sway, Chicken Wing, Cast, Draw vs Fade, Iron, Driver, Fairway Wood, Pitch, Chip, Impact, Transition, Release, Member Question, Concept, Beginner

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This concept video is defining steeps and shallows.

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Steep and shallow is a common way of looking at the path of the club as it relates to the golf ball.

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One of the early examples that I learned was from Jim Hardy talking about landing a plane.

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So if you imagine this is the runway, you would want the plane to come on a gradual landing into the ground or into the runway.

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It was coming down to steep, it would have to pull up and it would have a bouncy landing and if it was going to shallow, it would miss the runway.

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When we apply that to golf, we're going to look at the path of the club coming into the golf ball.

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There are two major influences to steep and shallow.

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One is how narrow is the circle or the radius, and two is how horizontal is the path.

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I'm going to use a couple different circular objects to mimic that.

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So imagine the path of the club swinging around me in a rough circle.

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We're going to represent that with a Hula hoop and with a range basket.

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Now I've got a piece of blue tape to help just kind of zero in on one part of the Hulu.

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Now if I have both of these circular objects, we'll do it.

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Oops, we'll do it like so.

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So if I have both of these circular objects with about the same low point,

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you can see that the smaller circle has a steeper path.

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You can see that the wider circle is coming in much more gradually or has a flatter bottom,

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and the narrower circle has a more acute bottom.

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So that's version one.

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Anything that narrow is my arc is going to steep in my path and anything that widenes my arc is going to shallow it.

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That's part of the reason why one of the big shallowing moves is

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straightening the arms or casting or standing up because that helps widen the arc,

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which helps shallow the path.

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The other option is looking at how horizontal or vertical the swing is.

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The more if I turn this upside down, we'll pretend that this is the ground here.

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The more that I get this vertical, you can see that there's a certain amount of distance

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between the bottom of the Hulu hoop back here and the bucket or the ground.

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Now as I start lowering and lowering and lowering and get this closer to horizontal,

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that part down there comes in on a more gradual path.

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Now we're used to looking at steep and shallows from down the line.

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And basically what we can see is the true definition of steep and shallow would be the height of the club

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compared to the golf ball. So if I have a golf ball right here,

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then at any given height like on plane, if I was to bring it more outside,

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now there's less distance between the golf ball and the club,

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but there's the same amount of height. If there's the same height and less distance,

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it's going to decrease distance more rapidly. So it's going to come in steep.

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If it was more behind me or what would look shallow or underplane,

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then there's a greater distance even though it's the same height.

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Greater distance, same height, it's going to be coming in on a more gradual path.

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So that's how we get these definitions of outside and steep or inside and shallow.

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And you'll, but the two simple ways to look at it or anything that narrows it is going to make it

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steeper, anything that widens it is going to make it more shallow. Anything that makes it more vertical

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is going to make it steeper, anything that makes it more horizontal is going to make it shallower.

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I have a lot of videos helping explain the different combinations of steep and shallows,

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but it helps you understand general concepts and principles,

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such as when you're in the rough, you generally want a steeper swing.

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That helps minimize the amount of grasp between the club face and the golf ball.

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Many golfers will either lunge in front, which steepens it by kind of increasing the angle of attack

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or making it work more vertically. But the other thing that they'll commonly do is they'll choke

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up a bit. And just by choking up it narrows the circle, which makes it a few degree steeper,

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which may be enough to give you all you need in order to perform out of the rough.

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So by understanding these two definitions, hopefully it helps you understand general concepts

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and troubleshoot what you need to do if you need to shallow out the club or if you need to

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steep in the club, this helps you understand how these different options actually show up in the swing.

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