Keeping your head on the course
May 3, 2005
Most golfers would like to improve their game by hitting the ball more consistently and more powerfully.
This is not as difficult to achieve as you might think. Being plagued by inconsistent ball striking is often the result of focusing on the wrong things at the wrong time. Most golfers have a tendency to practice their golf swing on the golf course instead of the driving range. They also practice too many things instead of the root of the problem.
The most common fault along these lines is focusing intently on what the head does during the swing. The most common myths of the golf swing are that the head should remain down and still. This is simply not true. There are no good golfers who keep their head still from start to finish during the swing. While it is true that the height should remain constant through impact the head must be allowed to respond to the movement of the body.
As the club swings away from the ball the head should be allowed to rotate slightly to the right. Some lateral head movement is acceptable and is common among good golfers. Through impact the entire body moves on to the front foot. The head follows and at the completion of the swing the head is several inches forward of its start position. The height has also increased beyond impact. Allowing the head to respond to and move with the pivot motion allows for an athletic and unencumbered swing. Trying to keep the head still simply restricts and stiffens the swing thereby reducing the chance of consistent golf.
This is not to say that the head cannot be in the wrong position throughout the swing, of course it can but this is the result of a poor body motion. Therefore the correction for incorrect head positions throughout the swing is to improve the pivot motion and not try to keep the head still.
I have great news for you. You never again have to worry about keeping your head down and still during the swing. Let it simply respond to the movement of the body.Ý
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The next time you visit the driving range focus on allowing the head to follow the body, feel the body doing the work. The next time you play golf focus on the target and balance. Don’t get caught up with any detailed thoughts of technique.
Terry Gingell, a PGA professional, is the Director of Instruction at Genoa Lakes Golf Club and the Genoa Lakes Resort. For information regarding group, private lessons and junior golf programs, call Terry, 690-7970.
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