The Golf Swing

This blog is dedicated to the golf swing. Please feel free to discuss any tips, techniques and methods that you use to improve your swing.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Fixing Common Mistakes - Keep Your Head Down

It's happened to all of us at one time. You hit an ugly shot and your partner says "you lifted your head". Although your partner was probably right the problem really isn't with your head. More than likely you had too much movement of your body which caused the head to move. We've all been taught that it's necessary to keep your head down or still throughout the swing. What happens, however, is that you become so intent on keeping your head still that it restricts the turn of your upper body.

Rather then concentrating on keeping the head still what you should be concentrating on is the angle between the hips and the spine and the amount of flex in the knees. Straightening either of these angles during the swing will result in the lifting of the head. The change in these angles will also alter the arc of the your swing. Causing the angle of the swing to be too steep and result in poor contact with the ball. Usually a topped shot.

On the other hand, too much bending at the knees or hips during the swing tends to drop the head and upper body and lower the arc of the swing so the club strikes too far behind the ball, usually into the ground.

Therefore, you have to get in the habit of forgetting about your head and concentrate instead on maintaining the angles at the hips and knees from address through impact. If you can do this you shouldn't be bothered again by topped or fat shots.

Here's a drill you can use to get you in the habit of keeping the angles between the hips and spine and the knees consistent. In order to perform this drill it has to be a sunny day. You need to have the sun behind you so that your shadow is cast directly in front you when you are setup to the ball. Take your normal stance and notice your shadow. Mark the point on the ground that corresponds to the top of your head. I like to place a club on the ground. The club should line up parallel to your target line and once again be at the spot where your shadow indicated the top of your head. Now set up so that your shadow is just touching the club on the ground and swing the club (you don't have to actually hit a ball). Keep your eye on your shadow. If you're keeping your head down which means the angle between you hips and spine stays consistent and you're maintaining the correct flex in your knees the shadow of your head should remain relatively consistent with the club you placed on the ground. If it's not remaining along this line than practice the drill until it does.

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