HOLD YOUR HEAD STILL
Okay it’s time to get real about golf. The cardinal rule is that you must hold your head still. If you have been playing golf more than 15 minutes, you’ve already heard this ! If you haven’t already heard it, then that in itself could be why you’re not breaking 100 ! So hear it now. Any Century Golfer who hopes to be a Bogey Golfer, must master this point. It is one of the most critical, and yet one of the simplest problems to solve for most golfers.
The average golfer will have too much head movement if on of three situations is occurring:
(1) The backswing is too fast
(2) The golfer is hitting the ball too hard or
(3) The golfer is looking up too soon to see where the shot goes
At all times you must concentrate on holding your head still. This applies to practice and play. Make sure that after you’ve gotten yourself set and are ready to start your hip movement, your head DOES NOT move. This is my Cardinal Rule. Hold that head still. Do not let it bob up and down, or move from side to side while swinging. Of course, the head must follow the body on the follow through, but this will only amount to a few inches, and the ball has already been struck.
Many players are unable to tell if they are holding still or not. As we have already discussed in Step 2 under muscle control, feel is something you develop. After players have trained their muscles, they will be able to feel the movement, and hardly even have to think about it, but until then, they will have to rely on others to help them with this.
While practicing (or even during play) have a friend check you by standing at least 10 ten to 20 feet behind you. They will hold out a club shaft level so that it is visually even with the top of your head, and also touching a distant object at it’s top. This will provide a constant that will allow them to see if you are dipping your head. Your head should not leave contact with the shat. he more head movement, the less control. If you dipped your head severely at the top of the backswing it is a safe bet that your head will be jerking around again and when you start your forward motion, at impact and at completion.
Shooting golf is not different from shooting a gun or a bow, in as much as head control is concerned. How can anyone expect to accurately sight anything if they can’t hold their head still? The Happy Gilmore approach to golf doesn’t work in reality. Now, there are golfers, even pros, that are not good at holding their heads still, but these golfer are either naturals or have practiced thousands of shots in manner that they play. If you are a Century Golfer, then apparently you do not qualify on either count.
Don’t look up to see where your shot is going either. Let your opposite shoulder push your head up naturally. You don’t have to worry about where your ball is going because, NOW you always know where it’s going!
A slow backswing is like anything else in life; it is possible to of course, to overdo it. Please temper what I have to you with good sense; and create a fluid controlled backswing, not an artificially slow one or an excessively slow one. Feel comfortable and fluid. If your backswing is so slow that you have cobwebs growing off of you, then it’s a safe bet that it’s too slow.
SLOW DOWN YOUR BACKSWING
A backswing that is too fast will create a number of problems for any Century Golfer. As mentioned in Step 3, the speedy backswing is on of the 3 major reasons for the moving head. If you’re pulling back too quickly, it can throw you off balance, which will cause you to bobble. It makes you jerky. It can cause you to lose your footing, twist your body so your shot is in the wrong direction. It can and will cause a magnitude of problems. A golfer with too fast of a backswing cannot feel his movement, and therefore cannot correct or even abort a bad or sloppy stroke.
REMEMBER: MUSCLE MEMORY
You must have muscle control over your body. Back stroke, delivery and finish. Practice these three very slowly every day. When you have mastered the proper swing routine in slow to medium speeds, then when you go to the course to play, your swing will be honed into your muscle memory.
It is difficult to cover this topic in an instructional manual because I can’t see if your backswing is too fast or not. I can’t give you any fool proof way o f knowing that your particular stroke is too fast either, but if you are swinging so fast that you can’t keep your balance at the end of your follow through, then it’s probably too fast. My advice comes as words to the wise, not as strict requirements.
Here are three thoughts about backswings.
(1) 90-95% of all Century Golfers that I have worked with have backswings that are at least 50% faster than they can control. Your backswing should be slow enough that you can feel the coiling effect, that you can feel if you are off of your normal swing patter, and it should allow you time to correct the problem or abort the shot.
(2) You can ask your friends to let you know what they think. Does your backswing look too fast or jerky to them?
(3) Watch pros and local low handicappers. When you see a good golfer taking practice strokes or working at the driving range; swing along with them and copy their tempo, rhythm and speed. I’m not saying all good golfers have the exact same timing, but it is remarkable how close their times are to one another.