If you’ve been told the key to better ballstriking is to keep your head down, odds are you’re a golfer who puts a slice on the ball. Also, you’re a victim of bad advice, since keeping your head down can cause a variety of swing (and back) problems. Keeping your head down on your backswing actually will cause your head to get in the way and restrict your body turn. This means your arms and upper body will lift upward instead of around, and you’ll swing with an upright, outside-in swing path.
The right way to manage your noggin is to keep it out of the way. This starts with maintaining a straight spine, from your tailbone to the top of your head. By standing tall, your body can rotate under your head more effectively and keep your swing on a flatter plane. This not only leads to better swings, it also helps keep your back and neck from getting injured, a common occurrence among golfers with bad posture or who have been told to keep their head down. Keep that head up for better shots!
Notice how when my head is down, the shaft angle is more upright. This position usually leads to a slice. Keep the head and neck straight to flatten your swing.
Paul Ito, PGA, is the director of golf at the beautiful Puakea GC on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. To learn more, check out puakeagolf.com.