Why You Need This: Today you'll see a comparison of what it means to "Shallow the Golf Club Vs. Across the Line"
I'm sure you've heard an instructor say that you shouldn't go "across the line" on your backswing.
But, if you know anything about me, you know that I don't feel you have to follow an exact blueprint to have a good, consistent golf swing.
That my main focus is to make sure you're doing the 5 Real Fundamentals that ALL good golfers do the same rather than worry about the tiny details that many do differently.
The topic of crossing the line on your backswing follows these same guidelines.
You may wonder how it's possible to "shallow" the club if you go "across the line" on your backswing.
In today's video, you'll learn:
- the difference between shallowing the club and going across the line,
- the proper time to shallow the club, and
- the perfect checkpoint to see if you're shallowing the club correctly
You'll even get to see a perfect illustration of why shallowing the club is so good for your swing.
Golf Pros Featured:
Instructors Featured: Clay Ballard
Video Duration: 9:29
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All right, so shallowing the club, and by shallowing I mean getting this club in this kind of flatter position here. Some people would call it in the slot, some people would call it kind of shallow or laid off.
If that’s so good, then why do we see a lot of great players throughout history, players like Jack Nicklaus, who were a little bit across the line at the top of the backswing?
So at the end of the backswing, you’ll see their club instead of pointing to the target, it’s going to be pointing a little bit to the right of the target.
Players like Greg Norman also did this. Even if you go back and look at Tiger Woods from the late ‘90s, you’ll see before he made some of his swing changes, that club pointing a little bit across the line.
Some of those players like Fred Couples not only going a little across the line, but actually going a little past parallel.
Why do you see so many really good players with their club pointing that way at the top of the backswing if this shallow position or getting in the slot is so good?
Shouldn’t their club at the top of the backswing be pointing more on plane or even a little bit laid off? Wouldn’t that make more sense?
Well that’s a post that I saw recently from a fellow golf instructor, and it kind of got me on this idea of explaining when is the proper time to shallow, how much should we do, what’s the easiest way to go about it, and how do we know if we’re doing it right?
I’m going to cover all that in this video.
All right, so here’s the number one difference. When we’re talking about shallowing out this club, we’re talking about the downswing, not the backswing or the top of the swing.
It’s actually completely fine to have a little bit of a more upright backswing, you don’t have to have this club going shallow in the backswing.
It’s completely fine to have that club a little bit across the line at the top, or even a lot a bit across the line at the top as long as you give yourself time to shallow that as you start the downswing.
Here’s exactly what shallow means, and I have a great very easy way for you to test this with your own swing that I’m going to talk about later in this video.
But here’s exactly what I mean when I’m talking about shallowing in the golf swing. So if I make this swing, as soon as I start my downswing, I’m looking at the path that my hands are taking.
So this angle that my hands are moving as I’m making the downswing. Somewhere early in the downswing, somewhere here around shoulder height, I would like to see that club on a flatter angle than where my hands are moving.
So I’m going to really exaggerate here. If my hands are moving this way, this angle here, I like to see my club head on a flatter angle than that.
It doesn’t have to be nearly this exaggerated, a little bit is plenty fine, but I want to see it a little bit shallower than that.
Here’s the reason why. When I get that club a little bit below my hands, what happens is, I move my hands in the downswing, that wants to kick that club forward.
It’s helped aiding that club in squaring up and releasing toward this golf ball. There’s a great way I can demonstrate this.
If I have a club kind of laid off here, pointing this way, I’m going to take my hand and I’m going to pull that club straight toward the fairway in the distance here.
Since my club is shallower or to the right side of this from my perspective, as I pull this club, you’ll notice that it wants to kick toward the direction I’m pulling. That’s kind of like my hand path moving in the downswing.
That club’s wanting to kick forward, help release the club, help to release this club face. If would go ahead and put the club the opposite direction and now I do that same thing, I pull my hand straight toward the fairway again, what’s that club want to do?
It wants to kick the opposite way, so it’s going to want to move more this way if my club is pointing more this way.
So, let’s take that into the downswing now. If I go to the start of the downswing, my hands are moving this way. My club is shallower, what happens with that club?
It wants to square up, it wants to release the face, it wants to make it easier to get in the slot and hit the draw like a lot of players want to hit.
Now let’s do the opposite, let’s imagine that my hands are moving the exact same direction, but now that club is steeper.
As my hands move down now in this direction, that club shaft wants to go this way. It wants to fall in behind me, it wants to get stuck behind my body.
It wants to make me hit that 50 or 60 yard block out to the right, what would be in the water on this hole. It makes things more difficult, it makes it easier to hit that slice which is what a lot of players don’t particularly want to do.
So, that’s the reason for shallowing. It’s not a backswing move, it’s not a top of the swing move, it’s an early in the downswing.
So I like to look at it when my hands are about shoulder height here, I want to see that club shallower than what my hands are doing, that means it’s going to aid in releasing this golf club.
Now I’m going to give you a sure-fire way to figure out if you’re doing this correctly or not. What we’re going to do, is you want to set up your camera, have just your cell phone is completely fine, have somebody take video for you.
I want to imagine, or I want to actually draw a line on there when I’m editing this, but I’m going to line up to where I’m going to hit it, and I want to draw a line from the hosel of my club up through my elbow, my right elbow at address.
What I’m going to do, is I’m going to set my camera up kind of on that line. So I want the person videotaping my swing to have the camera about waist high and pointing down my toes, so it would basically be shooting through that red line toward the target. That’s how we’d set it up.
So basically, waist-high with the camera, pointing down your toes and toward the target. So if I’m splitting those two big trees out in the distance, I’d be pointing my camera down my toes and toward those two trees that I’m trying to split. That’s how I’d line u my camera.
Now if you do this, that’s going to put your camera on the same plane that we’re trying to visualize here. If you’re shallow, what will be happening is, the club head will get below this red line.
If I’m steep in the early downswing, this club head will be above that red line. If you’re above that red line, typically what’s going to end up happening is that club’s going to want to do this later in the downswing. It’s going to get stuck in behind you.
If you’re below that red line, the club’s going to want to do this in the downswing, kick out in front and release to help aid you in hitting that draw. Let’s go ahead and give one a whirl, here.
I’m going to set up, you’ll see how that red line’s going through the hosel of my club, up through my right elbow, and now I’m in a good position to where I can hit a nice, solid draw.
All right, we see from that one going right down the middle of the fairway, nice straight shot, hit it very solid. That helps to be shallowing that out early in the swing.
We can definitely see as my club head is coming down, the main thing I’m looking for is at some point, maybe halfway in the downswing, or as I’m starting that downswing, I want to get that club head below that red line. If I’m too steep, it’s going to be trouble.
Now the second part of this question is, well, does that mean that across the line at the top is OK, well yes, it’s perfectly fine, as long as I shallow it out below that red line as I get to start the downswing.
So players like Fred Couples, Jack Nicklaus, early Tiger Woods like we were talking about, all those players that are a little across the line at the top still get that club head below that red line as they start their downswing.
Let me exaggerate or I’m going to attempt to be across the line at the top and make this same move in my own swing so you can see how this would look. We’ll take a look at this slow motion video here, also.
All right, so another one. Right down the left center of the fairway, pretty dag-gone straight, and I was across the line. We’ll see from that slow motion that even though I was across, I still shallowed that club out.
Then finally, if I’m laid off at the top of the swing, that’s completely fine, too. The goal is to get that club at the start of the downswing working in the correct position in relationship to my hands.
I can do that from a shallow position too. Typically, I don’t have a very shallow swing, or I’m not very laid off at the top, but I’ll give it a whirl, see if I can do my best here.
There we go, that felt really weird to me. Probably not my best swing because it felt a little odd to me, but I can still hit the ball pretty well going from that position.
So whether you’re across the line, on plane, or laid off, all those are completely fine as long as you shallow that club out early in the transition.
One question I get a lot of times now, is OK, Clay, I’m starting to shallow this club out, but every once in a while, hit a lot of good shots, I’m in the slot, I’m even seeing a lot of nice draws.
But every once in a while, I still see those weaker slices that go out to the right. I still lose some distance. What do I need to do so that I know I can square up that club face? I feel like I’m trying everything, it’s just not happening for me.
Well that’s actually what we call The Move in the Top Speed Golf System. There’s two pieces to it. Number one is a shallowing out like we just talked about in this video. Number two is how you square up the club face and specifically how you do that with your hands.
If you do it the right way, you’re going to feel like you can swing as hard as you can, you just know you’re going to hit a draw.
You’re also going to see this nice bowed angle in your wrist. You’re going to see those really hot shots that just jump off the face that feel really hot that have a lot of power to them, and they get that nice right to left curve every single time. That’s what we call The Move.
If you want to ingrain that, if you want to have that just be part of your swing and not even have to think about it, what you’re going to do is go to the Instruction tab at the top of the screen.
Click on the TSG System, click on The Move section, and then work through each of those videos. Once you’ve worked through those, it’s going to be so much easier to hit that nice, power draw to swing very consistently and to feel like you get some extra distance.
Let’s go ahead and get started.