This is the 3rd article in our series of 3 articles focused on simple and super easy methods to dramatically improved your golf consistency. As opposed to the other tips, being able to keep your head more still requires golf flexibility and we link to some good golf stretches in this article.
First, I want to make sure that it is clear that I am not advocating that the head be perfectly still. Some motion is normal but it should be so slight that you don’t notice it.
How Do You Know if Your Head is Moving In Your Golf Swing?
The simple answer is that if your head is moving in your backswing, the bottom of your swing (where the club is at its lowest point) will not be consistent. In other words, you won’t hit the ball flush on a consistent basis and your divot size and length will be inconsistent.
Keeping the head still is golf’s one universal, unarguable fundamental.
– Jack Nicklaus
This will occur if your head is moving horizontally or vertically in your swing. It is very difficult to move in the backswing and move back to the same exact point at impact on a consistent basis. You can do it, but it takes the amount of practice that a professional puts in to make this work.
A surefire indicator that your head is moving back too much in your backswing is if you hit a lot of “fat” shots on uphill lies.
Why Do Instructors Want Your Head to Move
Keeping your head perfectly still is an old stand by that has recently fallen on hard times. You will find in nearly all professional golfers, that the head does move in the backswing. So to be a world renowned ball striker, you do need to move your head and golf instructors will want you to do that.
Are you a professional golfer?
If you have the time to practice hours on end under the watchful eye of a golf coach, you probably don’t have to worry about it. However, since we focus on golfers over 50 and you are probably over 50 if you are reading this, your body can’t even handle that intense practice time.
How still should you keep your head?
If you are struggling with consistently hitting the sweet spot, I would say try to keep it more still and see what happens.
In addition, since you are over 50, the cause of your excessive head movement may have more to do with your neck flexibility than simply focusing on keeping the head still.
Causes of Excessive Head Movement in the Golf Swing
- Your shoulders are raising up in the backswing and they are running into your chin (common deficit found in women).
- Your head is tilted too far downwards and your shoulder is running into your chin on the backswing.
- Your neck is too stiff (the head need to be able to rotate at least 70 degrees in order to be still in the backswing when you rotate your shoulders).
If your neck is stiff and you would like to fix it, you can click this link to a previous article in which we addressed that specific issue here: Fix Your Neck to Improve Golf Consistency
Thanks for reading!
Dr. Ryan York, DPT CGS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Golf Performance Specialist