Experts Weigh In On Head Movement During The Golf Swing
A great deal has been written and verbalized about the movement of the head in the golf swing. Here are some written comments and/or observations from top golfers and from golf instructors.
Tiger Woods, from his book, How I Play Golf. “Impact should look like address. My spine angle is the same and my head is in virtually the same spot. It proves how uncomplicated the golf swing can be.” Actually, Tiger’s head moves slightly down on the downswing and just at impact, as can easily be seen in this video, Youtube with Woods and Scott.
Jack Nicklaus, from the book, Golf’s Greatest Champion, by Mark Shaw. “Keeping the head still meant disregarding the old adage to ‘keep your eye on the ball.’ That was possible even if the head wasn’t stable. Jack Grout (Nicklaus’ first instructor) believed that since the head was ‘the balance center’ for the swing, it had to be rigid from address to follow through. At age 11, Jack was still a ‘head bobber.’ One summer afternoon, Grout grew frustrated and trotted out his assistant, Larry Glasser. When Jackie addressed the ball, Glasser was instructed to grab a lock of the prized student’s blonde hair and hold on while Nicklaus made swing after swing.”
The tactic worked and Jack kept his head still, even cocking his head in a fashion that has become his trademark.
Tom Watson, in an article from Golf Digest. “Sam Snead was my swing model. Sam told me late in his life that his secret was to swing around his head. Sam was the best at keeping his head still. It contributed to his great tempo and with good ball position, resulted in consistent ball striking. In bad swings, the head moves up and down too much causing the body weight to go to the heels or toes. Strive to keep your head in place during the backswing and into impact.”
Joe Dante, one of America’s best known teaching professionals, from his book Four Magic Moves To Winning Golf. “Keep the head still.” This impossible advice has been given in one form or another for about as long as there has been any literature on golf: “Keep your head down.” Keep your head still.” Keep your head fixed.” “Keep your eye on the ball.” “Don’t lift your head.” “Don’t look up.” You’ve heard these directions a thousand times. If they would only say, “Keep your head back,” they would be much closer to being right.
Percy Boomer, On Learning Golf. “Perhaps the greatest value of “keeping your eye on the ball” is the assistance which it gives in building up sight through feel. When the ordinary golfer sees the ball, he becomes obsessed with the idea of hitting it; the ball is made the climax or the end of his activity. That is to say the highest speed attained by his club head is at the moment of impact, or worse still, he may try to stop the club head as soon as it has struck the ball. Such may be the effect of seeing the ball as something to be hit.”
Paul Wilson, Swing Machine Golf, 2002, Story Trend Publishing. The Follow Through. “Continue the circular rotation of your body, and allow your arms to be pulled forward until they are both fully extended and pointing down the target line. Resist the temptation to look up with your head. Your eyes should still be looking at where the ball would have been at the address position. At the midway through follow through position, the shaft should be pointing parallel left of the target line and parallel to the ground. The club head should be pointing straight up. Your head position should still be in the same position as it was at address.”
David Leadbetter, The Golf Swing. “Your spine angle at impact is identical to the angle at which you set up at address. Your head and spine are behind the ball. Post impact…. Your body continues to turn but your head remains in its impact position. Your head, although in the position it filled at impact, swivels to allow your eyes to look under the shot.”
Need any more be said about the head, the spine angle and their importance to the golf swing?