Shallow vs Steep Golf Swing

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Ways to Improve Your Swing: Shallow vs Steep

Getting to know all the fancy golf jargon can be confusing, even if you live and breathe this sport. Today, among the range of terms found, we will have a look at both shallow and steep golf swings. What are they and how should- or shouldn’t- these swings be used? 

Let’s explain.

Shallow Vs Steep Golf Swing

Defining Steep or Shallow Golf Swings

To put it simply, both a steep and shallow swing refer to your swing plane. In other words, the position of the golf club’s shaft during the swing.In a steep swing, your golf club will be more vertical to the playing surface. A shallow swing will be the complete opposite and has a shaft that is more parallel to the ground. Let’s learn more about shallow golf swings first.

Shallow Golf Swings

In many instances, shallow swings produce fewer deep divots and take on the ball with a positive angle of attack. This will help reduce backspins. Shallow swings have a bunch of other uses as well. 

The Importance of Shallow Golf Swings

You can find some benefits from shallow swings, even if you get great scores. Becoming familiar with shallow swings will let you handle your club all the more to get an even lower score on the hole.

By becoming more familiar with the muscle movements, you should notice that your shots will become even more reliable. 

Performing shallow golf swings will increase your chances of landing shots on the fairway each time you use your driver. 

This is important in cases where your shots are over the top. Shallow swings will let you hit more on the inside of the ball making room for straighter ball flight.

Probably the biggest reason for you to learn how to perform shallow golf swings is that it doesn’t take much strain on the body. This makes them more effective compared to other swinging approaches. This lets you play easily for hours without exhausting yourself.

Now that you know what shallow swings are and how you can benefit from them, let’s find out let’s look at if your golf swing can be too shallow and a few drills to improve your shallow swing.

Can A Golf Swing Be Too Shallow?

The shallow approach angle lessens the possibility of smacking the ground first and hitting the ball last. However, a swing that is too shallow can leave you with some nasty duck hooks. This is when the ball turns sharply and quickly into the ground shortly after impact. Remember that the smaller the angle, the flatter you will swing.

Drills to Practice for Shallow Golf Swings

We’ve covered all the major benefits of shallowing your golf swing and how it can be too shallow. 

Now it is time to look at some of the fantastic drills you can practice. Take into consideration that not all of these drills are completely committed to shallowing your golf swings. Instead, a few of these drills are intended to improve your overall performance as a golf player. 

The Body Isolation Drill

The key to tap into the swing that you want is by isolating your upper body and lower body. Well, here is a drill you will have to practice just for that. For this you will need an alignment stick or one of your clubs.

  • Firstly, position yourself in your usual golf posture. Keep your knees bent and hips pushed forward.
  • Take your club or alignment stick and grip it crosswise over your chest by crossing your arms over your shoulders.
  • Start practicing moving your lower body without moving your chest. Emphasize on moving your body from the waist down.
  • Alternate movements and do the same with your torso. Your lower body should remain motionless as you move your torso.

The Exaggerated Drill

Here we’ll overstate the things you should be doing. In this drill you are going to shallow your club nearly directly parallel to the ground behind you.

  • Assume your usual stance and get your club to the highest angle of your swing.
  • Move the club down in such a way that the club is parallel to the ground.
  • Rest directly in the middle of the downswing. This could feel a little bit unusual, but that is what we are aiming for here. The trick here is that as soon as you shallow your swing more than you need to, your ordinary swing will be useful to the right angle.
  • You have to feel the club at a few positions and angles that are not the same while hitting the ball until you land a straight shot.

The Water Bottle Drill

Feel like taking a few risks? If so, this is the best drill for you. In this drill get a water bottle that is filled half-way. You are going to attach this bottle to your short iron or your pitching wedge. The water bottle drill is fairly simple to do, but extremely effective at improving your shallow swing.

  • Get into position with your uniquely improvised club.
  • Perform a backswing and move the weight.
  • Should the weight transfer be at fault, the water bottle will hit you in the head. Remember that bit we said about taking risk? Yea, that’s what we meant.
  • Move your body weight in a way so that the bottle doesn’t hit you. Your movement has to feel natural and the club should move downward from inside your body.
  • Keep practicing this drill until you get it right. If you don’t, well you wont look so bright getting smacked by a water bottle. 

The Wall Drill

This drill is better suited to be performed at a place that has lost of walls, you know like your house? This is how you do it

  • Position yourself approximately 6-10 inches in front of a wall.
  • As you perform your backswing, the club shouldn’t be touching the wall in the slightest. In case this happens, you will have to work on your backswing before progressing to the downswing.
  • When kicking off the downswing, here you should connect with the wall and move the club face across it for roughly midway throughout the swing. If the club drags beside the wall, this means that you are swinging at a shallow angle. 
  • If you lose contact with the wall, it means your swing is too steep.

Steep Golf Swings

To put it simply, a steep swing is a golf swing that moves more upwards than down. Rather than the club moving around your body, it moves upwards and back down to the ground. In a steep swing the club becomes more upright in the downswing resulting in an undesirable angle of attack. This leaves you with hitting down on the ball harshly and more divots.

What to Do When My Golf Swing Is Too Steep

In the first place, you should rearrange your address position. If at all possible, you would be standing more upright than usual. Doing this will make it less tricky for you to swing your golf club around. As a result, you will be capable of attacking the ball with a good trajectory.

Moreover, you will want to keep your headline further back from the ball during the backswing. By doing this you will be able to create a shallow angle of attack towards the downswing.

Likewise, one of the most often found mistakes for people with a very steep golf swing is a golf club that is strained inside. You can try to do the opposite by means of holding your golf club nearer to the target line.

A Good Drill for Preventing High Steepness

If you find yourself battling with steep swings, don’t feel bad. Falling victim to the steep swing plane is one of the most often found errors in the midst of beginner and casual golfers. Here is a quick tip on how to shallow it out.

Turning through the ball is a vital factor of being able to perform a solid swing. But then again as it seems to happen regularly, too much turn can do more harm than good. Spinning the ball way too early, gives way for the swing plane to become just a bit too steep, and makes for an out-to-in swing path. 

In other words, you will have a mixed bag of too much upper-body tilt with too much lower-body control which will give your swing a reverse pivot look.

To address and fix this problem, you need to feel like you are moving your weight down and into your front foot for the duration of the shift. This simple trick will help keep your shoulders locked longer and will also help to avoid the shaft from getting too steep on the downswing. By doing this, the club will move from the inside and produce a connection that is a lot more solid.

Record and Analyze Your Swing 

In order to see where you can improve your swing, you can record any practice you do and take note of other issues that you may want to look into. 

So get your hands on a small tripod and use your smartphone for filming. There are quite a few apps that will allow you to easily draw lines displaying your club path at set-up. You will also be able to see if you are coming inside or outside of that path in your downswing.

Many of the best apps out there have great features that will give you the best feedback you need to accurately analyse and fix your swing.


How do I slow down my downswing in golf?

  • Practice decelerating your swing.  This seems easy but takes a lot of patience and observation.
  • Swing at half speed for the duration of a round of golf. Add an additional club to your swing to compensate for a slower shot that is not as energetic.
  • Choose the right club. Swinging a club that is too light could impact your ability to slow down your downswing.  
  • Position your arms correctly.

Why is the golf swing so hard?

The most common error is a grip that is too weak, or turned too far to the left on top of the club. Another common error is a grip that is too strong, or turned too far to the right on top of the club. Often a grip that is too strong is the sign of a golfer trying to hit the ball too hard.


In an ideal world, you should gear towards a swing that is neither steep nor shallow. 

Yet, a perfect swing is not really possible. A swing that is too steep or too shallow will have its complications, but being slightly on one side or the other isn’t all that bad. Many of the pro golfers out there have played with swings that were both steep and shallow. Just make sure you don’t wander too far on either side of the scale.

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Young talented golfer and writer and top rated weekend golfer. He's favorite player is Tiger and he spends most of his spare time on a golf course.

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