Keep Your Head Up - Not Down - For Better Shots

Keep Your Head Up – Not Down – For Better ShotsBy Trish Ziegel
PGA Teaching Professional
Missing Links Driving Range
and Isla Del Sol Y&CC

One of the most common phrases I hear from amateur golfers after a bad shot is “I lifted my head”.

Most golfers believe when they top the ball it’s the result of lifting their head when, in fact, it’s usually something completely different. However, because of that belief players proceed to bury their heads down into their chests which creates a whole other set of problems.

There are two common areas where golfers tend to keep their head down too much and/or too long:

  1. During the set up. That’s when they bury their chins into their chests.
  2. On the follow through. That’s when their heads stay down past impact.

During the set up, your head should be aligned with your spine. Your tilt should be from your hips, not you neck or head. During the golf swing you want your shoulders to be able to rotate under your chin. With your head buried in your chest, your shoulders are restricted from rotating which can lead to many other issues including a reverse pivot.

Contrary to popular belief, there can be some head movement behind the ball on the back swing. Then, as you turn into the ball, your head will return to its starting position. The other common fault among amateur golfers is keeping their heads down after impact. The body needs to stay down/tilted through the impact zone, but your head should rotate with your torso after impact to allow for a compete, balanced finish where your body faces the target at the end of your swing.

If you keep your head down beyond impact it will restrict your finish and could put strain on your lower back. This will influence
the position of your club face at impact also. The club face will tend to stay open instead of square.

Look no further than David Duval on the PGA Tour and Annika Sorenstam, former #1 on the LPGA Tour for great examples of head rotation after impact. It’s as if they both follow the flight of the ball after impact.

My last piece of advice: If you want to win your next match against your buddies, just keep telling them to keep their heads down. It should guarantee a win!

Trish Ziegel teaches at Isla Del Sol Yacht & Country Club in St. Petersburg on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays and at Missing Links Driving Range in Largo on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. To schedule a lesson, call Trish at (727) 709-3329 or E-Mail:


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