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Close the gap to shallow angle of attack




Average golfers produce several different kinds of ball flights, but the most common one I see is a low-launching, high-spinning shot that fades away from the target. It’s a ball flight that I usually see paired with a deep divot. The goal for these golfers is to reverse those contact characteristics and resultant ball flight — they will usually play better with a ball flight that launches higher and spins less, and they’ll be more consistent with a shallower angle of attack.

There are numerous mechanical reasons why golfers hit low-launching, high-spinning shots, however, and an all too common reason is a takeaway with the club going behind the hands. This type of takeaway will cause the lead arm to quickly separate from the chest and leave a large gap in the forearms that will likely result in a steep downswing with an out-to-in path.

Before discussing the fix, we need to examine the design of the golf club and how it is meant to function. The golf club sits on the ground at an angle because of its lie angle. For that reason, the club should travel with some relation to the angle established at address. I do not mean it needs to stay on that imaginary line, but rather that there is an acceptable range the club should move throughout the swing to produce consistent, functional shots. To achieve YOUR desired backswing and downswing plane, there should be a blend of shallow/horizontal and steep/vertical components. The club needs to go around the body, but also upward on the backswing at a fairly constant rate.

To further clarify, I’ll relate it to a javelin being thrown. The thrower will launch the javelin up into the air, but also downfield at the same time. A javelin thrower will not be effective if he throws his javelin even with the ground or straight up in the air. It’s a blend.



A gap takeaway means the club goes too much around the body. This will require the golfer to lift the club upward. Not blending the two components (horizontal and vertical) and doing them separate will tend to stall the pivot and make it difficult for the body to interact with the ground correctly. The downswing will then likely be too steep with an out-to-in path.



The solution to closing the gap is to reverse the takeaway by moving the club more upward and less around the body. Exaggerating this will likely result in a takeaway somewhere in the middle.


No. 1: Body — Less Forearm Rotation

  • Try having the lead forearm move underneath the trail forearm on the takeaway. Doing this move with a centered head will likely result in the forearms, shoulders and hips working on a steeper plane.


No. 2: Club — Hinging of the wrists

  •  The club should also work on a steeper plane in the takeaway. Changing the movement of the wrists will accomplish this change. The wrists need to hinge rather than bend so much. The sensation should be that the lead hand presses the handle of the club downwards.



Incorporating these two exaggerated changes will “close the gap” in the takeaway. It will be easier to continue blending the two components (horizontal and vertical) throughout the backswing. This will help achieve a more desirable backswing and a shallower, more outward path on the downswing.

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Andrew honed his communication and technical skills under the guidance of his first mentor and Top 100 teacher, Brad Redding. He completed three teaching internships including a Nike Golf Camp in Pebble Beach, CA. Andrew also attended numerous certification classes (Flightscope, Purestrike 5 Simple Keys, Lynn Blake Certified, and US Kids Certified) and workshops of top instructors. Now he specializes in helping competitive and serious golfers reach their potential.



  1. enrique

    Nov 8, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Now write an article for us that shallow out too much on the way down – coming from the inside – re-routing.

  2. classik

    Nov 7, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Good write up for am’s struggling.

  3. parker

    Nov 7, 2014 at 1:30 am

    I use to perform this exact move in the golf swing creating huge divots, low trajectory, and horrible fades. I fixed it by doing what this article suggest, basically keeping the club head outside of the hands on the way back and worked on shallowing my divots. What a change in my game it has made, I hit higher straighter and more consistently with all my clubs. I wish this article had be published 5 yrs ago.

  4. other paul

    Nov 6, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    So, after hitting balls in my garage for a half hour, I decided to mass with the gap using my 3 iron. Definitely noticed a difference when experimenting with the gap size. Also discovered that I can hit a 3 iron now ???? your article helped someone.

    • Andrew Moore

      Nov 7, 2014 at 12:33 pm

      I am glad I could make a difference. Thank you!

  5. alex

    Nov 6, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    Of course it looks like it’s too much…because it is! It has to be exaggerated because it’s a feel or a drill. Not something you have to copy exactly.

  6. Ryan

    Nov 6, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    Thanks for the article. These are the exact movements I’m working on right now for my backswing – more so the hinging up feel like I read in a Haney book. Glad to see third-party confirmation that I’m on the right track.

    • Andrew Moore

      Nov 7, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      Keep working on it. Your hard work will pay off!

  7. DaveMac

    Nov 6, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Is it me or does the fix look like Rickie Fowler’s old swing? Yes the one he had Butch fix!
    So I am not keen on this article, the primary fault does not always produce the results suggested (high spin slice).
    Equally the fix applied incorrectly could produce exactly the shot it is supposed to fix.
    Use with caution.

    • Ryan

      Nov 6, 2014 at 9:19 pm

      They are exaggerated to show the two movements….of course it’s use with caution (and with video), but every golf tip is that way.

    • JJ

      Nov 7, 2014 at 10:05 am

      I’m no expert but I think any of us would take Rickys swing (pre Butch) with whatever swing faults he had/has. Plus as mentioned, it was an exaggeration.

      Keep in mind, a lot of times the pros and good players have the opposite problems as we have. Most of us amateurs take it back low and inside and come over it on the way down. Pros often get too shallow on the way down. It’s funny because you’ll see someone like Tiger, Graeme, etc.. on the tee box taking practice swings of what looks like an over the top swipe across the ball. They probably do that as the opposite extreme as us because they know it will help there actual swing end up somewhere in between. I could be wrong but I think you get my point. Heh.

      • Andrew Moore

        Nov 7, 2014 at 12:38 pm

        JJ, you are spot on with your assessment. It is difficult to change a pattern especially if you have been playing a long time. Exaggerated moves are meant to expedite that process, but like DaveMac said you should “use with caution”. If you perform any exaggerated move for long enough you can certainly go the other way with your swing. I hope you liked the article!

  8. marcel

    Nov 6, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    such a confusing article… getting lesson on the website is like getting a hair cut on the website… surely coach can do better job as the hairdresser would do. my golf coach always told me… these free instructions are keeping me in business as everyone gets worse off confused coming back for more… so yes great article!

    • other paul

      Nov 6, 2014 at 9:27 pm

      Ha! I have heard the same thing. Free online articles and YouTube are ruining us all. Mark crossfield helped me though. Love his videos. I went from a 38 to a 10 thanks to his stuff and have to thank my swing coach Rob for cleaning things up for me as well.

    • dr bloor

      Nov 7, 2014 at 8:08 am

      I’m sure your coach will be pleased that you took the time to read the article.

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Davies: Training the trail elbow in the golf swing



Alistair Davies shares with you how to get the correct trail arm and elbow action in the downswing. He shares some great drills that can be done at the range or at home to help lower your scores.Get the correct training for the trail arm here today!

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The important lessons you can learn from Peter Senior’s golf swing



He may not be a household name in the United States, but Australia’s Peter Senior has a swing for the ages. At 60 years old, Senior has 34 worldwide professional wins including the 2015 Australian Masters beating a competitive field with several top-ranked players in the world. Turning professional in 1978, his career has spanned over 40 years.

Senior’s game and swing have stood the test of time, and the longevity of his career should be recognized. Senior formerly worked with Australian instructor Gary Edwin, and the structure to this swing taught to Senior paved the way for a future of consistent, high-quality professional golf.

Having a great golf swing isn’t the only key to becoming a great golfer, one must learn to play the game. However, you can learn a lot from Senior’s swing.

The origin to Senior’s swing lies in his set-up. Senior sets up in what I call his “hitting angles” or a position that mirrors impact.

From this position, Senior is able to simply keep these angles he established at address throughout the swing. This is why the set-up is so critical. The further he deviates from these “hitting angles”, the more he will have to find that impact position with his body in the backswing and downswing. In other words, more movement. The goal of his backswing will be to maintain these original starting angles.

From the picture, Senior has maintained his original body shape that he established at address. From this position, it will be much easier and repeatable to return the club to impact.

Note how his impact position now mirrors his original address position. All his original angles were maintained with a slight bump of the body towards the target. From impact, he can simply fold up his arms as his right side of his body rotates around his left side, keeping the clubface square to the body.

This standing tall finish position with the head following the torso is much easier on the back. His body has come forward and around beautifully, covering the ball for a proper strike.

The beauty of Senior’s swing lies in its simplicity. The changes Senior made to his swing can apply to anyone. Let’s look at two simple drills to make your swing more efficient and powerful.

“To a large extent, my backswing is a product of my set-up position” – Tiger Woods, Golf Digest 2020

To get into these impact angles simply practice pushing into an impact bag with the head and shaft of the club. Make sure your trail arm is tucked, lowering the trail shoulder as you pressure the bag.

To get the feeling of the proper coil from this set-up position, grab an impact bag and hold the bag in front of you.

From here, swing the bag around you with your arms keeping the top of the bag level. You will feel the trail side of your body move back and the lead side move out, coiling around your spine angle.

The trail glute will also move back and around with this drill, a key move the great Ben Hogan used to pivot his body. To develop an efficient swing and a long, injury-free career, take note of Peter Senior’s key moves.

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Fix early extension: 3 exercises to get your a** in gear



It’s pretty common knowledge that “early extension” is a problem for golfers everywhere, but how does it affect your body and your game? And what can you do to fix it?

First, let’s look at early extension in its most simple form as a physical issue rather than a technical issue.

During the swing, we are asking our body to not only create force, but also resist a number of different forces created by the aggressive rotational pattern we call a golf swing. The problem comes down to each player’s unique dysfunction which will likely include bad posture, weak glutes or a locked out thoracic spine for example.

So when we then ask the body to rotate, maintain spine angle, get the left arm higher, pressure the ground, turn our hips to the target (to name a few) a lot of mobility, strength and efficiency are required to do all of this well.

And not everyone, well actually very few of us, has the full capability to do all of this optimally during the swing. The modern lifestyle has a lot to do with it, but so does physiology and it has been shown that tour players as well as everyday golfers suffer from varying levels of dysfunction but can ultimately get by relative to learned patterns and skill development.

But for the majority of players early extension leads to one or more of the following swing faults:

  • Loss of spine angle/posture. During the swing, a player will ‘stand up’ coming out of their original and desired spine angle, this alters the path and the plane of the club.
  • “Humping” the ball. Johnny Wunder’s preferred term for the forward and undesirable movement of the lower body closer to the ball.

Lack of rotation during the swing occurs due to the shift in the center of gravity caused by the loss of posture as your body does its best to just stay upright at all.

Ultimately, early extension leaves us “stuck” with the club too far behind us and nowhere to go—cue massive high push fade or slice going two fairways over (we’ve all been there) or a flippy hook as your body backs up and your hands do whatever they can to square it up.

Not only is this not a good thing if you want to hit a fairway, it’s also a really bad way to treat your body in general.

As a general rule, your body works as a system to create stability and mobility simultaneously allowing us to move, create force, etc. When we can’t maintain a stable core and spinal position or force is being transferred to an area that shouldn’t be dealing with it, we get issues. Likely, this starts with discomfort, possibly leading to prolonged pain, and eventually injury.

The body has a whole lot to deal with when you play golf, so it’s a good idea to start putting in the work to help it out. Not only will you reduce your risk of injury, but you’ll also likely play better too!

So we have three simple exercises for you here that you can do at home, or anywhere else, that will help you with the following elements

  • Posture
  • Core strength
  • Glute function
  • Thoracic mobility
  • Asymmetrical balance
  • Ground force development

#1: Forward lunge with rotation

  1. Standing tall, core engaged with a club in front of your chest, take a reasonable step forward.
  2. Stabilize your lead knee over your front foot and allow your trail knee to move down towards the ground, trying to keep it just above the surface.
  3. Maintaining your spine angle, rotate OVER your lead leg (chest faces the lead side) with the club at arm’s length in front of your torso keeping your eyes facing straight forwards.
  4. Rotate back to center, again with great control, and then step back to your original standing position.
  5. Repeat on other leg.

#2: Bird dog

  1. Get down on all fours again focusing on a quality, neutral spine position.
  2. Extend your left arm forward and your right leg backward.
  3. Control your breathing and core control throughout as we test balance, stability and core activation.
  4. Hold briefly at the top of each rep and return to start position.
  5. Repeat with right arm and left leg, alternating each rep.
  6. If this is difficult, start by working arms and legs individually, only life 1 arm OR 1 leg at a time but still work around the whole body.

#3: Jumping squat

  1. Start with feet shoulder-width apart, eyes fixed forward.
  2. Engage your squat by sending your knees forwards and out to create pressure and torque, whilst sending your hips down and back.
  3. Squat down as far as possible whilst maintaining a neutral spine, active core and heels on the ground.
  4. As you naturally come out of the squat, push the ground away using your whole foot, creating as much speed and force as possible as you jump in the air.
  5. Land with excellent control and deceleration, reset and repeat.

Got 10 minutes? Sample workout

3 Rounds

  1. 10 Forward Lunge with Rotation (5 each leg)
  2. 10 Bird Dog (5 Each side or 5 each limb if working individually)
  3. 5 Jumping Squats
  4. 1 Minute Rest

If you can take the time to make this a part of your routine, even just two or three times per week, you will start to see benefits all round!

It would also be a perfect pre-game warm-up!

And one thing you can do technically? Flare your lead foot to the target at address. A huge majority of players already do this and with good reason. You don’t have to alter your alignment, rather keep the heel in its fixed position but point your toes more to the target. This will basically give you a free 20 or 30 degrees additional lead hip rotation with no real side-effects. Good deal.

This is a great place to start when trying to get rid of the dreaded early extension, and if you commit to implementing these simple changes you can play way better golf and at least as importantly, feel great doing it.


To take your golf performance to new levels with fitness, nutrition, recovery, and technical work, check out everything we do on any of the following platforms.

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