5. Analyzing Shaft Lean in Professional Golfers

June 18, 20248 min read

Part 5. Learn from the Pros | Analyzing Shaft Lean Techniques of Professional Golfers

Hi Friends and golfers! Coach Erik Schjolberg here with EJS Golf coming to you from Scottsdale, AZ and McCormick Ranch G. C. Here we go again on this journey to get to the bottom of shaft lean and ultimately what it will do for you. Shaft lean is something many of my online golf students are looking to attain as well as my students that are part of my Scottsdale Golf Lessons.

Are you struggling to achieve consistent ball striking in your golf game? One critical aspect that many golfers overlook is shaft lean. Understanding and mastering shaft lean can significantly improve your ball striking and overall performance on the course. In this blog post, we will delve into what shaft lean is, why it’s essential, and how you can achieve it in your golf swing.

At any point for further clarification or research, don't hesitate to check out my other blogs or go to my YouTube Channel. I even have video shorts that can be found on the likes of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. All of these are sources to be used to further understand the subject in front of you.

Introduction

Studying the techniques of professional golfers can provide valuable insights into achieving proper shaft lean. By analyzing their swings, we can learn how they maintain shaft lean and apply these lessons to our own game. In this blog post, I'll examine the shaft lean techniques of top professional golfers and discuss how you can incorporate their methods into your practice. The ability to master shaft lean can significantly impact your ball striking and overall performance on the course.

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods is renowned for his impeccable swing mechanics, including his shaft lean. At impact, Tiger's hands are always ahead of the clubhead, ensuring a powerful and controlled strike. To emulate Tiger's technique, focus on maintaining a firm wrist position through impact and practicing drills that reinforce this position. Watching slow-motion videos of Tiger's swing can also provide valuable visual insights. Additionally, working on drills like the "impact bag" can help you feel the correct hand position at impact. Tiger's disciplined approach to practice and consistency in maintaining shaft lean can serve as a model for golfers at any level.

Detailed Techniques:

  1. Firm Wrist Position: Keeping a firm wrist position through impact is crucial for maintaining shaft lean. This technique helps to ensure that your hands are leading the clubhead, which is essential for a solid strike. Practice maintaining this position by using alignment sticks during your swing practice.

  2. Impact Bag Drills: Using an impact bag can help you practice maintaining the correct hand position at impact. Hit the bag with the clubhead while ensuring that your hands are ahead of the clubhead at the point of impact.

  3. Slow-Motion Analysis: Watching slow-motion videos of Tiger’s swing can provide you with a visual understanding of how he maintains shaft lean. Take note of his wrist position and hand placement during different phases of his swing.

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy's swing is known for its fluidity and power, partly due to his excellent shaft lean. Rory maintains a strong lag in his downswing, allowing his hands to lead the club head at impact. To achieve similar results, practice drills that help you maintain lag, such as the "pump drill" where you stop at the top of your backswing and then swing down slowly, keeping the angle between the shaft and your lead arm intact. Observing Rory’s swing in slow-motion can also highlight his technique of maintaining lag. Incorporating these drills into your routine can help you develop a swing that mirrors Rory’s powerful and controlled impact.

Detailed Techniques:

  1. Maintaining Lag: Lag is the angle between the club shaft and the left forearm (for right-handed golfers). To maintain lag, practice the pump drill. Start by swinging to the top of your backswing, pause, and then swing down slowly, focusing on maintaining the angle between the shaft and your lead arm.

  2. Pump Drill: This drill involves stopping at the top of your backswing, pausing, and then swinging down slowly while keeping the angle between the shaft and your lead arm. This helps in maintaining lag and ensuring that your hands lead the club head at impact.

  3. Slow-Motion Analysis: Observing Rory’s swing in slow-motion can highlight his technique of maintaining lag. Pay attention to how he keeps his hands ahead of the club head through impact.

Justin Rose

Justin Rose's consistent performance on the course is a testament to his sound swing mechanics, including his shaft lean. Justin's impact position showcases a strong forward lean of the shaft, resulting in solid and accurate strikes. Analyzing slow-motion footage of Justin's swing can provide insights into his technique. Focus on drills that promote a strong impact position, such as hitting an impact bag with your hands leading the club head. Additionally, practicing with alignment sticks can help you maintain the correct hand position through impact. Justin's meticulous attention to detail and commitment to maintaining shaft lean can significantly enhance your consistency and accuracy.

Detailed Techniques:

  1. Forward Lean: At impact, Justin Rose showcases a strong forward lean of the shaft. To emulate this, practice drills that focus on maintaining a forward lean during impact.

  2. Impact Bag Drills: Use an impact bag to practice hitting with your hands leading the clubhead. This drill helps to reinforce the correct impact position and improve your ball striking.

  3. Alignment Stick Practice: Place an alignment stick in the ground in line with your target. Focus on keeping your hands ahead of the clubhead through impact to ensure a forward lean of the shaft.

Commonalities Among the Pros

While each professional golfer has their unique swing style, there are commonalities in their approach to shaft lean. These include maintaining a firm wrist position, keeping the hands ahead of the clubhead at impact, and practicing drills that reinforce these positions. By studying these commonalities, you can identify key elements to incorporate into your own practice. Drills like the "impact bag" and "pump drill" are universally beneficial for improving shaft lean. Observing and mimicking these techniques can lead to significant improvements in your swing mechanics and overall performance.

Key Common Techniques:

  1. Firm Wrist Position: All professionals maintain a firm wrist position through impact, ensuring their hands are ahead of the club head.

  2. Hands Leading Club head: Keeping the hands ahead of the club head at impact is a common technique among pros. This helps in achieving a solid and controlled strike.

  3. Drills: Practicing drills like the impact bag and pump drill are essential for reinforcing the correct positions and improving shaft lean.

Applying Professional Techniques to Your Game

Incorporating the techniques of professional golfers into your practice can help you achieve better shaft lean and overall performance. Start by analyzing slow-motion videos of the pros and practicing drills that replicate their impact positions. Remember, consistency and repetition are key. Seek feedback from a professional golf instructor to refine your technique and ensure you're on the right track. Regular practice and professional guidance can help you achieve the consistency and control seen in the swings of top golfers. I offer personalized lessons both in Scottsdale and online to help you refine your technique. Visit my website at EJS Golf for more information.

Steps to Incorporate Techniques:

  1. Analyze Slow-Motion Videos: Start by watching slow-motion videos of professional golfers to understand their techniques.

  2. Practice Drills: Incorporate drills like the impact bag and pump drill into your practice routine to improve your shaft lean.

  3. Seek Professional Feedback: Get feedback from me, Coach Erik, to refine your technique and ensure you're practicing correctly. Visit EJS Golf to book a lesson.

  4. Consistency and Repetition: Regular practice and repetition are key to mastering these techniques. Make it a habit to practice daily.

Conclusion

By learning from the shaft lean techniques of professional golfers, you can gain valuable insights into improving your own game. Focus on maintaining a firm wrist position, keeping your hands ahead of the club head, and practicing drills that reinforce these positions. Regular practice and professional guidance can help you achieve the consistency and control seen in the swings of top golfers. Emulating the techniques of professionals like Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Justin Rose can elevate your game to new heights. Remember, the key to improvement is consistent practice and seeking guidance from a professional instructor. For personalized feedback and further improvement, book a lesson with me at EJS Golf.


My name is Erik Schjolberg. Most people call me Coach Erik since I have been teaching golf for over 25 years. I teach in Scottsdale, AZ at my academy called EJS Golf. I coach PGA Tour Professionals, advanced juniors, college golfers, and others that are willing to commit to daily practice around 15 minutes per day using assigned feedback. Visit my website at ejsgolf.com for Scottsdale Golf Lessons or to book online sessions.

Erik Schjolberg

EJS Golf Academy

Scottsdale Golf Lessons

Online Golf Lessons

Are you lost at times on the golf course or the driving range and just don’t know how to correct your slice, hitting it fat, topping the ball, etc.?  What if you had a plan, maybe even on a notecard in your golf bag as many of my student do, that is your simple blueprint towards your desired shot?  This isn’t a pie in the sky dream.  These are the tools I want to give you so that your athletic ability, mobility, strength, etc. are working as one for you!  
 
I will liberate you from those thoughts of where your body parts should be during the golf swing.  In turn, you will give yourself the chance to self organize and focus on either some external cue I will develop with you or just being in the flow state. In my system you will no longer be subject to golf myths, swing tips of the day, guessing, etc.  ​

Coach Erik Schjolberrg

Are you lost at times on the golf course or the driving range and just don’t know how to correct your slice, hitting it fat, topping the ball, etc.? What if you had a plan, maybe even on a notecard in your golf bag as many of my student do, that is your simple blueprint towards your desired shot? This isn’t a pie in the sky dream. These are the tools I want to give you so that your athletic ability, mobility, strength, etc. are working as one for you! I will liberate you from those thoughts of where your body parts should be during the golf swing. In turn, you will give yourself the chance to self organize and focus on either some external cue I will develop with you or just being in the flow state. In my system you will no longer be subject to golf myths, swing tips of the day, guessing, etc. ​

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