Two Golf Myths for the New Golfer

David GrahamWritten by David Graham
Certified Instructor, Faldo Golf Institute

There are a few myths that show up on the lesson tee from time to time. These myths are passed on from generation to generation, and can have a harmful effect on your golf swing. I have chosen two of the most common myths to debunk:

No. 1 – You should always keep your head down
No. 2 – You have to ‘get under’ the ball to get it airborne

Do any of these sound familiar? Are you currently trying to incorporate any of them into your golf swing.

Myth No. 1

A very common fix offered by sympathetic golf buddies and spouses is “Keep your head down.” In reality, this hurts your game far more than it helps. When golfers keep their head down through the swing, any chance of getting into a good balanced finishing position is lost.

Myth No. 1

Look at the photo of the two finishes. The photo on the left is an example of what happens when a golfer attempts to keep his/her head down during the swing. Notice how, by keeping my head fixed, my golf swing is restricted and I’m unable to transfer my weight onto my left side. I drew a vertical line from my left foot up through my body. Notice the difference between the two swings. By allowing the head to turn with your chest so that you’re watching the ball in flight, versus looking at the divot where the ball used to be, your entire body can rotate to the target and finish in a good, balanced position.

Myth No. 2

The idea that you must get under the ball to get it airborne is the root cause for many chilly dipped and thinned wedge shots around the green. Golf is a brilliant game of opposites. You want to hit down on the ball to make the ball go up. If you try to swing up on the ball, you’re actually raising the club up into the ball. As a result, you will either bottom the club out too early (a fat shot) or work the leading edge of the club up so you will strike the ball in the equator ( a thin shot). Notice the photo of the two impact positions. In the image on the left, I’m trying to “get under the ball.” Notice how the shaft is tilted backward. That is a weak position to strike a ball. The photo on the right is a better impact position because I’m trying to swing down and through the ball, rather than lift it. The shaft has a forward lean and my weight is in my left side where it should be.

Myth No. 2

Sometimes those old standard golf “tips” aren’t all that beneficial. Let your head turn with your shoulders into a good proud finish position. Teach yourself to hit down and compress the ball and get away from the thought that you have to help the ball into the air. By getting a better picture in your mind of what the swing is, you will be on your way to a sound golf game.


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