Tuesday Tip: DONíT Keep Your Head Down

Our very own Dan Williams, PGA Professional and golf instructor at Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club, is back with advice that you may find a little shocking … DON’T keep your head down. 

But DO keep reading to find out why your head lift may not be the problem and how to go about fixing your swing. Here’s what Dan had to say…

So many recreational golfers prioritize keeping their head down, or not lifting their head, in their golf swing. And even though they are trying to avoid standing up during the swing, they don’t succeed, and if they do, they can still hit bad golf shots. The hard part with this topic is that standing up early in the golf swing is usually a reaction to a different error that has already been made, so keeping the head level or still doesn’t actually solve the problem. Here are some common errors golfers make that result in standing up during the swing, and what you can do to fix them. And it’s not to focus solely on keeping your head down.

Too Much Knee Bend
Many golfers get very low in their setup position. This makes the length of the club, plus the length of the arms too long. When they take a swing, the club is going to dig too deep which results in hitting the ground well before the ball. So, the golfer will unconsciously react by creating more space for their arms and club by standing up as they swing which creates very inconsistent impact positions. Instead of focusing on keeping your head down to solve this issue, start from a taller position by having less knee bend and a relaxed back so that you don’t have to get taller at impact.

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Increasing Lag
Lag is a golf term that refers to the angle between the lead arm and the club shaft. A good golf swing should include a wrist hinge, which is another way of referring to lag. But, many golfers believe that by increasing the lag in their downswing, they will create more swing speed and ultimately hit the ball farther. The problem here is that this can create too much lag which means the golfer needs to aggressively reduce this angle late in the downswing, which is going to make the golfer have to stand up during the swing to create enough room to hit the ball. Again, just keeping your head down will not fix the error.

Instead, aim to keep a consistent wrist hinge in your backswing, at the top of your swing and in the downswing. Doing this will make it so you don’t have to stand up to avoid hitting way behind the ball. It will also make it easier to turn through the swing.

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No Hanging Back
If a golfer is standing up too early in their swing, look at the right heal on a right-handed golfer or the left heal for a lefty. If the heal is flat to the ground or only slightly elevated in the finish position, this is a sign that too much weight is on the trail foot. This move will increase the golfer’s likelihood of hitting the ground before the ball and, again, result in the golfer having to stand up during the swing to avoid this.

Instead of trying to fight to keep the head down, try to let the trail hip turn towards the target helping create the classic look with the trail heal being up with 90% or more of your weight on the front foot. This will help move the low point of your swing closer to the ball and you won’t have to stand up to make good contact.

There are certainly golfers out there who keep their head down and like the way they play, and that’s great, but if you currently feel like you can’t keep your head down no matter how hard you try, it’s time to try something different! Try to identify the reason you are pulling your head up and needing to stand during your swing and work on fixing the real issue.

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Looking for more advice to improve your game? Check out these 4 golf tips to make your practice perfect and learn how to Fix your golf slice – for real this time.

Members who are interested in booking a lesson with Dan can email him directly at dwilliams@superstitionmtngc.com.