Keeping your head

The last few columns have been devoted to the pivot motion, the movement of the body for the entire golf swing.

Moving the body correctly positions the body for the hands and arms to swing the club into and beyond the ball with the face square and the club on the correct path. One part of the pivot motion is without doubt the most misunderstood part of the swing: The role of the head in the golf swing.

Everyone is convinced that they know what the head should do: The head should stay down and still and you must keep your eye on the ball. If you think this is what the head should do you have been mislead. The head cannot stay still during the swing: The shoulders and chest have rotated 90 degrees on the movement away from the ball. This is impossible if the head is perfectly still. The head will turn a little to the right and move an inch or laterally on the back swing. On the forward swing the head moves forward several inches to the finish position.

To understand the role the head plays in the swing you must first realize that the head does nothing and is not responsible for your height changing during the swing. If your height changes during the swing it is a result of a poor body motion not the head moving.

The phrase "keep your eye on the ball" is misleading. It paints the picture of having your head down and still. In fact the head should be up at the address position. The golfer should watch the ball of course but the head must be allowed to go where the body takes it.

When you are playing golf do not worry about your head, simply let it go with the turning of the body. A very good swing thought is to finish the swing facing and looking at the target - which by following this column is where your ball is headed!

Terry Gingell is The PGA Director of Instruction at Eagle Valley Golf. Terry can be reached at 690-7970

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