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An overly steep golf downswing is often the result of poor mechanics on your backswing. As a result, the club is in a poor position at the top, so you swing vertically, from a steep angle. This type of swing path will often cause you to reach past the ball prior to contact. Your clubhead will take an outside-in path to the ball, resulting in a slice. Alternatively, you may chop down at the ball, taking a divot before you reach the impact zone. If you improve your backswing mechanics, you can easily shallow out your downswing.
Open Stance Drill
Open your stance when you're in the address position. If you typically line your feet up parallel with the target line, for example, aim your feet 30 to 40 degrees to the left of the target. Left-handed players should aim to the right of the target.
Take the club back as if you were hitting along a target line parallel to your stance.
Swing toward the actual target on the downswing, using about a 70 percent effort at first. As the open-stance swing begins to feel more natural, increase your swing speed.
Gradually close your stance as you continue the drill, while maintaining the same inside-out swing plane.
Progressive Swing Drill
Address the ball, taking your normal stance.
Raise the club straight up with your hands, so the club is parallel with the ground but remains perpendicular to the target line. Keep the rest of your body in the address position.
Swing the club around your body as if you were hitting a ball at waist height. Swing several times, making sure to follow through on each swing. Note the club's flatter position at the top of your backswing -- relative to its position in your normal swing -- which leads to a shallower downswing.
Lower the club and take a few more swings as if the ball were teed up at knee level.
Lower the club again and take a few swings as if you were hitting a ball at ankle height.
Hit a few balls off the practice tee while maintaining the shallower downswing.
- As you gradually close your stance in the open stance drill, observe how well you hit the ball along the way. If you feel more comfortable with a slightly open stance, stick with it.