GOLF: Three Main Reasons You Get Steep In Your Downswing

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Three Main Reasons You Get Steep In Your Downswing

In this video we talk about the three main reasons you get steep during the downswing. I also give you a couple of drills to fix it.

There are a lot of different reasons that a lot of different things happen in the golf swing, but in terms of the downswing getting steep, there truly are three main reasons that I see probably 90 plus percent of the time.

When I’m referring to steep during the downswing, what I’m really referring to is the shaft. If the shaft gets very vertical, or pointed straight up and down, that would be what I mean by steep.

We’ve talked in previous videos about the idea of during the downswing, getting the butt of the club pointed back at the golf ball or the ball target line. And that’d be a fairly good reference point. But what about for you guys and gals who swing down and it gets too steep? Why does that happen?

When you do a backswing and takeaway the more horizontal the shaft on the way back, the more vertical it’s going to be on the way down. The opposite of that is also true. If you go back and get the shaft more vertical going back, that means you’re going to be able to get it more horizontal coming down. So if you’re steep during the downswing, and I’m saying to you, you need to do the opposite of that earlier. To change that, what would you want to do? You would want to get the shaft going more vertical going back. So it goes horizontal down. You don’t want horizontal early. That’s going to lead to vertical down.

We posted a video about two drills to get rid of those things during the takeaway. ( We had a stick on the club that would ride down the leg to fix that. I also had a tee drill where I put the tee in the butt of the club and I wanted to feel that t run into my legs.

Now, let’s assume your takeaway is good. What else could cause you to be steep during the downswing? There are two other pieces. The second one is pulling your hands down from the top, holding your arms and hands from the top of my swing. What you want to avoid is is pulling my arms and hands down.

A lot of people come in and they think, hey, I’m going to pull my arms towards the target or from this side I’m going to pull my hands and arms down. But, if you go up to the top of your swing, the more you pull your arms and hands down, what does that do to the shaft? It gets vertical.

But, if you just held the club from the top and you started to turn your body towards the target, what would the shaft do naturally? It would lay down and we’d go towards horizontal. You want to avoid pulling the shaft from the top. That’s the point here.

The third reason you get steep in transition is the combination of the left wrist being cupped and the clubface being too open. Where your clubface is in space dictates so many other things. You could fix 90% of swing flaws by fixing the clubface. If you go to the top and have neutral wrist conditions, (Which is saying a lot! A lot of you guys aren’t going to have that in the first place.) As you start down, if you were to cup the lead wrist or extend the lead wrist, what does that do to the shaft? The more you cup your left wrist, the more you extend your left wrist, the more vertical the shaft is during the downswing and probably the worst you’re going to hit it.
Fortunately, the opposite is also true. If you have a shaft on a given angle and you were to bow or flatten out that lead wrist, what does that do to the shaft? It takes it from its angle and it actually flattens it out.

So, If you are steep in the in the downswing – that means shaft vertical not hands and arms out – you need to check the three pieces covered in this video.

You can’t get the shaft horizontal going back or else it is going to go vertical. Have the shaft more vertical back and it’ll lay down. That’s part number one.

Part number two, we can’t have you pulling your arms and hands down from the top at all.

And part number three, you need to check your wrist conditions. If the left wrist is cupped, you’re probably in trouble. Even if the left wrist is good, but you have a weak grip in the face is open, you’re still probably in trouble because you got a square that club face up.

So, understand what we’re talking about when we say steep first things first. Second, check those three areas.

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  1. I've not long watched Mike malaska, this is the opposite of what he shows . Have you heard of him ?

  2. So the backswing should be be steeper, i.e. more vertical, than the downswing. But how do I create lag without pulling the club down?

  3. Too many golfers simply think too much. I talk during my own swing, bc I already know how to swing and if my brain gets in the way I'm doomed. Stop thinking. Swing. Repeat.

  4. Nobody trains as well as you do. Understanding the mechanics has changed my game.

  5. Hey Eric, really cool to see how the quality of the your content went up throughout the past year or so. Keep em coming!

  6. Really enjoy your style Eric, let me know if you're ever in the Seattle area and have nothing better to do than teach someone some golf. Thanks for the ideas and keep up the good work.

  7. Good vid. We’ve (golfers generally) been told to pull on the chain/pull the hands down to get them back on plane for years. Secondly we’ve been told to hold onto lag in the downswing, and by the way a cupped left wrist feels more powerful and feels as if wrist cocked more so you can see why people confuse that feeling. For some people these feelings worked I.e. Sergio pulling on the chain, but not for everyone. I think you are right Eric in that these things are related and someone might pull the hands down and also cup the left wrist. Which is why it’s hard to fix. They try to fix the steepness by not pulling down but still have a cupped left wrist – so they assume that the swing thought isn’t working and try something different.