The Steady Head
The 2012 newsletters have a theme and an order to them. The first half of the year are the five keys to improved ball striking. The second half of the year will focus on the five keys to lower scores. Ball striking and scoring are two separate aspects of golf and must be treated that way. In review, the February key was the flat left wrist and the March key was weight forward at impact. I must remind you that these keys come with drills, and if key 1 and 2 are not mastered, be careful moving onto key 3, the steady head. For best results, work on the keys in the order they are numbered.
The spine is the axis you rotate your hips and shoulders around in the golf swing. For this tip, we will treat the head as the top of the spine. Minimal head movement is paramount in order to increase ball striking efficiency. Its importance was documented by Homer Kelley in The Golfing Machine who tabbed it one of the essentials in the golf stroke. From impact to the finish, the head will move, but from start up to impact, minimal movement is a must. Anything more than minimal-watch out!
Side to side lateral head movement or up and down bobbing, follow these drills to steady the head and avoid both!
1) Mirror check with weighted club. While looking at a mirror, swing a weighted club in slow motion to simply monitor and be aware of head movement. Again, allow the head to move from impact to the finish, but from the time you
start the club back until the moment of truth (impact),
keep the head ALMOST still.
2) Shadow swinging. Anytime you can get the sun behind you while practicing or playing it can act as a spotlight and project a shadow of your head on the ground. While making a practice swing, look at the shadow of your head and monitor its movement. This is a good on course exercise.
3) What are friends for? Have your golf buddy hold a shaft on either side of your head, or both sides if necessary, while hitting balls. The key here is to move the shaft or shafts just prior to striking the ball.
Remember, there are 5 keys to follow. All are important! One of the keys just may be your missing link. The important thing is it will take all five keys to really improve.
Owner/Director of Instruction
Classic Swing Golf School
2005 Carolinas PGA Section Teacher of the Year
TPI Level 1 Certified Golf Fitness Instructor
G.S.E.D., The Golfing Machine