Keep a Steady Head and Maintain Your Golf Spine Angle
Here is an excellent article published in the Korea Times on Jan. 10, 2012 and written by Kim Jeong-kyoo
Tommy Armour emphasizes in “How to Play Your Best Golf All the Time” that, “The cardinal principle of all golf shot-making is that if you move your head, you ruin body action.”
Bobby Jones was quoted as saying, “Should your head ever get ahead of the ball, at any point in the swing, a poor shot will no doubt result.”
The Little Red Book’ written by Harvey Penick says, “A golfer must stay behind the ball. I mean set up with your head behind the ball and keep your head behind the ball. If you move your head forward during your downswing or through impact, you will hit a wee, ugly shot, probably a pulled slice.”
Jack Nicklaus is the most steadfast in his belief that you have to keep your head still. In his book “Golf My Way,” Nicklaus warns, Any shifting of the head, at any point from address to impact, will alter the arc and plane of the swing, which, if not a totally destructive factor, is certainly a complicating one.”
Despite its paramount importance, it can be difficult to keep your head steady during the swing. It’s simply not easy and unnatural, but just think what Ben Hogan said, “Reverse every natural instinct and do the opposite of what you are inclined to do, and you will probably come very close to having a perfect golf swing.”
After all, as you cannot make a perfect golf swing without steadying your head, you need to find ways to do so.
A simple way of steadying your head is to turn your attention to the lump at the nape of the neck rather than your head. It’s far easier to keep it steady than your head, which is destined to move innately and readily.
Keeping the lump at the nape of the neck, or rather the top of your spine steady during the swing makes it unnecessary to strive to keep your head steady. By doing this, you can steady your head all naturally.
One of the tenets crucial to making a consistent, powerful swing is to establish a correct spine tilt at address and maintain it throughout the swing. You can retain the spine angle by simply steadying the lump at the nape of your neck.
In a good golf swing the lump functions as the suspension point of the shoulders, arms, hands and club and to make a perfectly circular golf swing it’s necessary to keep the suspension point steady.
Visualize yourself forming a circle with a pair of compasses. That is the same circular motion demanded for a successful golf swing. Imagine the lump at the nape of your neck being the metal point of the compasses. To draw a perfect circle you need to keep the pivot point static or firmly fixed. There is no way to draw a flawless circle if the central point moves.
The same should be true in a golf swing. The lump at the nape of your neck, or rather the suspension point of the club, needs to serve as your swing center, which should remain in a steady position from the address until well after impact. Only after impact does momentum cause the swing center to swivel toward the target.
Allowing the lump at the nape of the neck to move to the right away from the ball on the backswing leads to a sway and failure to keep it from moving forward ahead of the ball on the downswing causes a lunge. Both motions are big swing faults that lead to poor shots.
Recreational golfers tend to keep the head down at address to steady it, which is also a fatal fault. It causes them to bury their chin in their chest, which restricts shoulder turn and forces the head to wobble or bob.
To make a dynamic swing with a full body turn and free arm swing, you need to hold your chin and head up with your eyes fixed on the ball. Not only does that allow your shoulders to turn fully under the chin on the way back but it also encourages your arms to swing freely on the way down, with your head remaining steady.
Chuck Evans’ video on the Importance of a Steady Head
Chuck Evans, Director of Instruction for Medicus Golf, offers his comments on the Importance of a Steady Head in this two plus minute video. Near the end of the video, Chuck suggests the golfer get the feel of putting her/his head against a WALL.
This WALL idea is exactly what the PRO-HEAD Trainer offers.
The WALL idea can also be heard from Golf’ Channel’s Martin Hall on the pro-head website.
Martin refers to it as the “Hall WALL.”