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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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Understanding Steeps And Shallows

Swing plane and the path of the club are important to understand if you want to really own ball flight, then you need to understand the swing path. In this drill, I show you how to use your at home swing plane trainer to start to understand how to balance movements and create a swing with a neutral path.

Playlists: Keys To Transition, Understand Your Swing Plane/Path, Swing Plane Simplified - Working with steeps and shallows

Tags: Fundamentals, Not Enough Distance, Intermediate, Beginner

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This concept video is understanding steeps and shallows.

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Now, what we're talking about here is the angle of attack or the angle that the club is coming

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into the golf ball or into the ground with.

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Now, the best analogy that I've ever heard for this is an airplane landing on a runway.

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If the airplane is coming into steep, it won't be able to pull up enough and all kind of crash land.

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And if it was coming into shallow, it would be going parallel to the runway and it would overshoot the runway and never land.

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So, we want the angle of attack.

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We want the golf club coming into the golf ball on a somewhat gentle angle of attack, somewhere

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4,5, 6 degrees with irons, flat to even a few degrees up with driver.

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Where many amateurs get going either very, very steep or very, very shallow.

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Now, the only way to really measure this is with a device like Trackman or FlightScope.

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But we're going to give a general idea from looking at swing plane.

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For a long time, swing plane was thought of the end all and be all, but we've realized that you can have the exact same swing plane

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and dependent on where you're making contact along this plane.

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It can change the angle of attack pretty dramatically.

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So, we're still going to use this swing plane for a good visual representation.

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But how much you're hitting down, which will be revealed by how much of a divot you're taking,

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can adjust where the swing plane is pointed.

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So, in general, this is not absolute, but in general,

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the more that I get above this swing plane.

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So, I've got my horse, my swing plane trainer here,

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and if a swing was on plane, then it would basically be from waist height to waist height,

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roughly the same angle that the club was at impact.

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So, if we pretend that this is about the same angle from waist height to waist height,

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that would be roughly on plane.

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Now, when on plane swing will work pretty well with both an iron and a driver.

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The tricky thing is it's very hard to be exactly on plane.

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So, what we want to figure out is where is our margin of air.

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Well, with an iron, we tend to do better if we're getting a little bit steep,

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and with a driver we tend to get better if we do a little shallow.

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And here's what I mean about it.

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So, if we have this swing plane trainer,

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all the space up here, or here's the line,

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all the space going this way above the swing plane trainer, is going to be steep.

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All the space down here is going to be more shallow.

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And the way that works is let's say I get the club out over here,

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which is above the swing plane.

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This would be a steeper angle of attack because compared to the horizontal distance,

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like that club is only a few feet from the golf ball,

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but it's also a few feet from the ground.

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So, in order to get down to the golf ball in time,

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it's going to be traveling very much vertically.

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I'll demonstrate on this one real quick, so you can see what I did.

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So, you can see that's only a few feet from the golf ball,

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and it's a few feet off the ground, so it's going to be traveling very much down steeply into the golf ball.

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Well, if I did the opposite, if I got the club way underneath, like so,

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now it's only about a foot off the ground,

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but it's still four or five feet away from the golf ball.

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So, it's going to come in very, very gently.

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If I did that here, so it's a foot off the ground,

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but it's still four or five feet, it'll come in very, very gently.

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Okay? Good drivers of the golf ball will tend to get a little bit more underneath this plane.

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Good iron players will tend to get a little bit more above that plane.

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So, it helps you understand your swing pattern is,

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if you are pretty solid with your iron,

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but have a lot of trouble with your driver, and you take your video,

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and you see that you tend to be a little bit more above plane,

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well then we need to practice these movements to get us under plane.

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And obviously, if I say if you're good with your driver,

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struggle with your iron, we have to do practice some of these movements

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to get us a little bit more over-plane or steep.

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So, I hope that clears up steep and shallow.

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Now, let's talk about the common combinations that players use,

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and why I describe the transition the way that I do.

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So, the transition is basically from the top of the backswing on the way down.

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What a lot of amateurs do is they will use their arms steeply.

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So, your arms working steeply would be working more straight up and down like so.

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All right? So, they get to the top of the swing and the arms start working very steeply.

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That would cause the club to get almost vertical,

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unless I stood up with my body.

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So, if I go shallow with my body steep with my arms,

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now the club is coming down close to plane but a little bit over.

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The opposite of that would be a golfer who goes very horizontal with the arms

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or very shallow with the arms, but they go steep with the body.

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This is what Torpros tend to do where the body will actually get a little bit closer

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to the golf ball during transition as the arms work more shallowly around their body.

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I think that tends to give them a little bit better energy transfer as well as a bigger margin of air.

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But just understand that for a short term fix,

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the closer you can get to either slightly steep for irons or slightly shallow for a driver,

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the better that it's going to be.

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So, keep this little visual in mind as you're practicing on the range.

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I think it can help you understand steep and shallow for angle of attack.

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