THE GOLF ACADEMY / LA

Pick Your Head Up! — by Brad Skupaka

Why keeping your head down too long is NOT good for your swing

bob grissett golf blog december 2014Take an afternoon and observe the golfers at your local driving range. No more than five-minutes will pass before one of them hits a poor shot and is then told by his friend to keep his head down. The idea of keeping one’s head down may at first seem like a logical concept, but most golfers take this idea to the extreme and end up staying bent over for too long. This causes the golfer to have a difficult time making consistent contact.

3D motion capture demonstrates that the best players in the world are actually less bent over at impact than they were at address, and that they are certainly not keeping their heads down after impact.

The first objective of the golfer is to make solid contact to help get the ball airborne. When the golfer keeps his or her head down for too long (or stays in forward bend for too long), it becomes difficult to make consistent contact. This is because the golfer is forced to flex their arms and extend their lead wrist too early (see the image above). This is done in an attempt to shallow the descent of the club and hopefully prevent it from crashing into the ground. When the amateur golfer is constantly flexing their arms and extending their wrists they will have a very difficult time making solid contact.

To learn how to correctly extend your body and arms, use the image of bailing out water from a boat. In order to throw the water as far and as high as possible, you would have to create a vertical thrusting motion as you rotate. This would help you throw the water up and out.

Try practicing this motion with a small bucket or small waste basket. Begin in your golf posture with your arms straight. Make a small takeaway to create momentum and as you begin to swing the bucket forward push off the ground with your lead leg, thrusting your hips toward the target. If done correctly, you’ll notice that your weight finishes on your lead leg, your body will be rotated toward the target, and you will be standing upright.

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