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Discussing Shaft Lean - Member Question

Golfers will often wonder why or how they need to create shaft lean at impact. This concept can be quite confusing at times, especially when one considers all of the variables in the swing. To answer the "why" of the question, we have to remember that our clubs are lofted anywhere from 60 degrees for a lob wedge to 8 degrees for a driver. In order to make sure that the ball is making contact with the center of mass, or sweet-spot, there is going to be some amount of shaft lean required at impact. This is going to ensure that the maximum amount of energy is transferred to the ball. In general, you'll want to have about 10-14 degrees of forward shaft lean for most shots. As for the "how" portion, we have to remember that shaft lean is not something a golfer wants to actively focus on creating. Instead, it is going to naturally occur as a product of the lower body shifting towards the target in transition and the fact that the upper body is rotating on an angle. So, if you are struggling with poor contact and an inability to control low point, you are going to want to key in on your weight shift and pivot. Properly combining these two movements will ultimately create the shaft lean for you and allow you to transfer the most energy to the ball without any conscious effort. 

Tags: Fundamentals, Poor Contact, Impact, Member Question, Beginner

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This video is discussing Shaftleen.

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So I had a member question that I thought was a pretty good one about Shaftleen.

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So like, you know, what's the deal with Shaftleen?

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When is it too much? When is it good?

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When do I know if I need to try to put more in?

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Basically, what's this whole concept of Shaftleen and why do we need it?

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Okay, so this is primarily working on low point control and primarily working on hitting the ball in the center of the face.

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So if you had a club that was straight up and down and the golf ball was sitting on the ground kind of like even with the golf club,

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you would see that the golf club would make contact with the golf ball with the bottom two grooves.

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That would be a lower position on the club than the sweet spot.

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So one of the reasons that we want to have the club leaning forward is so that we can make contact in the center of the club.

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That's why you'll tend to feel the ball jump off the club or one of the reasons you'll feel the ball jump off the club when you have Shaftleen is because the golf ball will go.

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We'll have a little bit more energy transfer because you hit it in the middle of the club.

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Now the problem is some people take that too far.

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The normal amount that we're looking for is about 10 to 14 degrees.

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If I have a 36 inch club or we'll say 38 like this, that means that I'm only going to be about six inches ahead of the golf ball in order to have that 10 to 14 degrees.

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And it doesn't necessarily take into account the bend of the Shaftle.

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So it may actually be less than that.

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But if I was to just earmark roughly, well here's the golf ball, then if I go half a pelvis, that's about six inches in front of the golf ball.

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So now where that's going to come from, where the Shaftleen is going to come from, is I'm going to have a bit of weight shift.

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And then I'm going to have some body rotation.

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Now you can see that the hand is basically in front of my left eye and I've got some good lean, but I didn't do it by really forcing the hands down and forward.

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And that's when it becomes a problem.

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Oftentimes in my lessons, I'll put my hands on the club on the grip end.

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And just kind of feel and listen to how the golfer is applying force into the golf club.

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Oftentimes what I feel is down through here, I will feel like the grip is going down into the golf ball kind of like this.

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And you can see from the face on camera how exaggerated that is.

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And there's no way that that would work in producing a nice shallow bottom to the swing.

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Club would slam into the ground very steeply.

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And I would have to do some major shallow movements last minute.

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Well common ones would be flipping the wrists, which kills my Shaftleen or standing up to then help the wrist flip.

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So most of the good late, shallowing movements aren't that great solutions.

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Instead of driving the grip down like this, we actually want the grip to be coming slightly up.

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So the grip coming slightly up happens because the body is rotating and now the left shoulder,

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where the left side of my body is higher than the right side of my body, and that left side is pulled the club up.

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As the arms are extending down, it's getting pulled up more because of what the body is doing.

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So a better way to think of that Shaftleen is just thinking of getting those hands slightly ahead or hitting more forward of the golf ball, not so much hitting more down.

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If you have a what I find is that golfers who have more of an emphasis of really trying to hit down will have more of a look kind of like that.

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As opposed to golfers trying to hit forward, we'll tend to make sure that they get their body facing, which puts them in the right impact position for having Shaftleen.

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Because the main requirements for having Shaftleen are the weight shifts, so the pressure in that front foot.

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Let's say 30 degrees of rotation and side bend and the hand still in front of the chest, but the chest pointing more out in front of the golf ball.

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To do that, the club is going to be slightly behind my body instead of straight out in front of it, and I'm going to still have some extension in that trail wrist and some bend in that trail elbow.

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So I'm basically coming through like this and it's not that I'm trying to hold my arms back, but I've turned my body so that impact happened before I finished extending my arms.

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The closer to when I started extending my arms, then it is feel wise to when it finishes.

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If you get those couple pieces of the body position and the arm timing, then you won't really have to force or manufacture the Shaftleen.

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The Shaftleen will simply show up on video and you'll feel a much more solid contact.

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So hopefully that clarifies why we're trying to get into the body impact position that we are, why we need to shallow in transitions so that then we can keep your body rotating and get into that.

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And then we can get into that more steep or open position that impact and basically how all of these release movements relate to what the club is trying to do.

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You only want 10 to 14 degrees of Shaftleen, which is somewhere around 6 to 8 inches in front of the golf ball.

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If you're really forcing trying to get the hands down and trying to get the hands a foot in front of the golf ball, you may be sacrificing some of the consistency pattern or some of the shaleness to the bottom of your swing.

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And that's going to mess up your iron play worse than if you didn't have Shaftleen, but you did it in a better way.

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So now we'll do that little impact fix of basically just pre-setting where we're trying to get to and then we'll go up and do a little 10 to 2.

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Just trying to get back into that impact position.

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If we go through that impact position, whether it's a short shot or a full shot, we'll tend to hit the ball higher up on the face.

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Get more energy transfer that feeling of effortless power in the ball jumping, and that'll let you know that you have the right amount of Shaftleen for this shot.

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