By Josh Zander
How many times have you heard keep your head down? Don’t do it! What I am saying may sound like heresy but all you have to do is look at tour players and see that they release their heads on their follow through. What do Annika Sorenstam, David Duval and Robert Allenby have in common? They all release their heads before impact. They are actually looking at the target before they hit the ball. They are not even close to keeping their heads down. They do maintain their spine angles but releasing their heads makes their bodies explosive through the hitting zone. I am not saying you have to exaggerate as much as these players but realize that every tour player is looking at the target on the follow through. If you cannot see your ball flight immediately, your head is down too long.
How many times have you heard swing slower? If you swing slower, your ball will go shorter! I have been teaching for 15 years and almost every student has asked me for more distance. You cannot hit it farther by swinging slower. If you have a technical fault in your swing, slowing down is not going to fix it. Fix the mistake and then speed up your swing to get distance. Don’t confuse slow with smooth. Ernie Els and Vijay Singh are smooth swingers but they are not slow.
How many times have you heard to hit down on the ball? This advice may be the reason 90% of golfers slice the ball. While good ball strikers do compress the ball, it is a function of having a forward leaning shaft and their weight shifting correctly through impact which creates a divot that is past the ball. If you look at the spine angle of a tour player from the face-on point of view, you will see that every one of them has a spine angle leaning backward away from the target. This is the same spine angle you would create if you were going to throw something up in the air. Golfers misinterpret hitting down on the ball by swinging down steeply which creates deep divots, pulls and slices. Try swinging up on the ball and you will become a drawer of the golf ball.
Before taking any swing advice from friends or golf professionals for that matter, always ask the following question. Will this advice help my ball flight and impact? If so, go for it but beware of swing myths!