Retain power and consistency during the golf swing by staying behind the golf ball. Find out what this means and how to do it with this golf tip.
It is important to stay behind the ball during the golf swing motion. Staying behind the ball means that the head stays still, acts as the center of the swing and remains in a static position behind the golf ball, while the rest of the body and body weight drives forwards through the ball. The head needs to stay back to create the correct body shape so that the golf club can swing in a straight line through the ball for accuracy and so that the lower body can drive through the ball freely to create power. If the golfer"s head moves forwards to a position in front of the golf ball, the bottom of the swing arc (where the club head reaches it"s lowest point) also moves forwards and the club will be driven down into the ground too steeply losing power and consistency of ball strike.
Also, as the head moves forwards there is not enough room to turn through the ball correctly which can result in a lack of consistency as the golfer pulls the club up away from the golf ball with the arms, meaning that the club does not contact the ball correctly from the middle of the club face.
To stay behind the golf ball, place a golf club on the floor directly in the middle of the feet at 90 degrees to the line connecting the ball and target. This is a great visual marker for the head to keep it"s position. Take some practice swings and stay looking down at the point where the ball would be, making sure that the head remains behind the club on the floor and stays in this position until the back shoulder swings through. Because it is impossible to look over your own shoulder, as the back shoulder turns through the ball it pulls the head forwards into the classic finish position where the golfer stands up straight watching the ball fly out to the target. Now hit some shots, making sure that the head stays behind the golf club lying on the floor and have the thought of trying to see the grass underneath the golf ball after it has been hit. This thought will hold the head in position behind the ball for a fraction of a second longer and will create a swing that is more solid for more consistent shots.
Keeping the head not only still but behind the ball consistently improves ball striking ability and allows the club to be delivered through the golf ball efficiently for more power.
Golf Swing, Stay Behind the Ball
Learning how to stay behind the ball in golf is critical to making solid contact and hitting consistent golf shots. With too much body sway, consistent shots become near impossible because the returning the club to a square position at impact is purely based on timing. As golfers gain experience, they will realize that this common beginning advice, but the principle holds true for intermediate or advanced golfers. Seasoned instructors will remind students that the body must turn left and the hands must lead the club face into the impact zone, but head position at impact outweighs the other movements. The impact zone – the moment of truth as the club descends into the ball on a proper angle of attack – is the most important area in the swing. Golfers that master the principle of how to stay behind the ball will be more consistent ball-strikers and produce longer, straighter golf shots. This leads directly to a tighter shot dispersion and lower golf scores. Golfers that can make a good golf swing will typically start with proper fundamentals at address. Their weight is balanced between the right side and left, and the beginning head position.
If a golfer starts with their head in front of the ball at set-up, this position will promote a tremendous amount of sway to generate coil and power in the transition. Stay behind the ball at impact is one of the core principles in a high-level golf swing, and this becomes impossible with body sway. If the head moves forward, the arms must come down on top of the ball, which will usually lead to a smother hook to the left. Smother hooks are one of the hardest shots to control in golf and typically are the most penal, with trees, rough, and out-of-bounds coming into play for shots that are grossly off-line. Keeping one’s head behind ball at impact helps avoid smother hooks. If a golfer does not keep a proper position at impact, swing path could come drastically from over the top and produce a block slice. This shot is the opposite of the smother hook and is equally as bad. Staying behind the ball in golf becomes critical to avoiding both of these extreme misses. Since golf is a game where low score wins, shots with a large dispersion off-target tend to affect score much faster than shots with a tight, refined pattern. The only way to develop a good a golf swing is to practice constantly.
Practicing golf drills to ensure that this movement will hold up under pressure. Refining a good body position is one of the first steps golfers should take to achieve success in the competitive game. Golf professionals, swing coaches, and advanced teachers are all proponents of swinging the club in a fundamentally correct manner. Moving the head too far out in front of the ball causes a litany of errors and miss-hits. Thin shots, shanked shots and heavy shots all come into play because the action through the impact zone becomes impossible to repeat from a position where the golfer’s head is way out in front of the golf ball. The reverse also holds true if a golfer’s head is too far behind the ball. Manipulation and compensations must occur to get the club into a playable position. This makes repeating shots nearly impossible and makes the elements of scoring very hard to repeat on a regular basis.
The Head During The Swing
One of the toughest principles for a beginning golfer to master is how to keep the head behind ball at impact. Fortunately, there are a variety of golf drills to help teach golfers the feel and fundamental of a proper impact position. One involves using a weighted club and impact bag. Golfers can take slow practice swings, focusing on turning laterally instead of sliding horizontally, making sure they keep the head behind ball at impact. Repeating this drill for a solid week of practice with the supervision of a friend or instructor will teach the golfer the basics. More golf drills include having a second person stand face-on at address, then placing a club or foam noodle on the left side of the swinging golfer’s head. To promote a head behind ball golf swing, the second person can apply pressure with the object to teach the golfer how it should feel.
Full swings can be made because the second golfer is well out of the way of the swing plane, and must teach the swinging golfer how it should be at impact. The hands press forward, and the shoulders and hips turn hard left while the hands drop into the slot, but the main principle remains the head at impact. Golf drills to include small forward presses with the hands while the head remains quiet. Golfers eventually move from just a forward hand press to making a full shoulder turn and hip rotation with the head remaining quiet. While it would be impractical to think the head remains entirely stationary throughout the golf swing, keeping it quite is a principle that is crucial for repeatable success. Under pressure, even the best golfers tighten up. Tension prohibits timing moves from being effective, and learning the basics takes many timing moves out of a golfer’s swing. The result is longer, straighter, more consistent golf shots learned by the emphasis of body alignment. As the golfer progresses, it becomes easier to sync every movement in the swing and ensure that lateral rotation does not become a lunge or sliding move to the left. Posting up on the left side and rotating around the left leg becomes critical in developing a top rate golf swing.
There is a distinct amount of feel to the golf swing as well, being that many golfers are adverse to overly technical elements of golf instruction. Golfers can simply feel a larger proportion of weight on the right side during the backswing. When it comes time for the transition and keeping head behind ball at impact, golfers must feel the core uncoil and the shoulders turn while keeping the right position. Moving out in front of the ball causes fatal errors that reduce the entire impact zone to a giant timing move. On the other side, falling too far behind the ball and overdoing it will cause just as many problems if not more, as it will be impossible to generate any power throughout the impact zone. Golfers should focus on golf drills, swiveling the head and not swaying a large amount back and forth. With the introduction of high-speed video swing analysis into golf instruction, golfers can get a clear picture of the entire golf swing. If an instructor were to draw a circle around the head at address, the head can swivel back and forth as a natural motion from the coil and shoulder turn during the back swing and down swing. The head should not, however, move a tremendous amount from side-to-side and should definitely remain slightly behind the ball at impact.
The Head During The Swing
Golf professionals dedicate their careers to teaching core principles and fundamentals of the golf swing. The body positions are practiced by many top level tournament players and amateur golfers. These players have been receiving top instruction for the majority of their golf careers. They have practiced numerous golf drills for head control.
There is always room for more emphasis and more practice on this core principle of a solid golf swing. The Golf Swing is a mantra repeated by thousands of top instructors across the country. While it is not an absolute – golf swings come in a variety of shapes, forms and tempos – maintaining the right principles at impact and keeping a consistent golf swing is more technically correct.
Playing from an out-front or stuck position – where the body outraces the arms and the hands remain stuck well inside the natural swing plane – becomes very difficult to repeat. Making a head behind ball golf swing will give the golfer room to turn the hands over at impact, promoting a strong draw that starts out slightly right of the target line and moves back to the left. The amount of draw is caused by the club face angle and the swing path, while fundamentally correct angles that allows this to happen.
A draw is caused by the club head attacking the golf ball from the inside, along with the face of the golf ball rotating to a shut position and imparting side spin on the golf ball. Conversely, a fade is caused by a club path coming across the ball from out to in, and the face angle remaining open through the impact zone. In a perfect golf swing, golfers are able to control the face angle and the swing path through proper set-up, alignment, and mechanics on both the back swing and the down swing. Stay behind the Ball becomes critical to maintaining that correctness throughout the motion.
The Weight Shift
While the weight needs to shift from the right side to the left during transition, the best golfers post up on their left side by planting their foot firmly in the ground. As the ball is contacted, the weight shifts to the left and directly up as the golfer completes the follow through. Lunging involves moving hard to the left and swaying horizontally. The golfer’s body actually slides from the right side to the left with a large lateral movement. This might feel like a powerful move, but leads to the body outracing the hands and causes the swing to move off plane. Golfers who slide and can’t stay behind the ball have to throw their hands at the golf ball to catch up. This leads to a variety of miss hit shots, and it is hard to play consistent golf from this position. This problem can be manifested and amplified in the short game, where a shorter swing is necessary to deliver the ball off tight lies to tough landing areas on and around the green. Lunging is an absolutely critical error for short chipping and pitching. Golf drills can help fix this problem, but the learned technique in golf comes natural to better players and experienced golfers. With such a slim margin for error is allowed in short game shots – the impact position is essential along with using the bounce of the wedge effectively by sliding the club underneath the golf ball – a good swing gives the golfer a chance to press the hands forward and achieve optimal short game results. Golf drills include swinging with both feet together. The restriction of keeping the weight directly under the shoulders will emphasize a coil of the hips and a wide shoulder turn. Other golf drills to develop swing include getting on a swing arc where a circular pipe guides the club throughout the entire swing.
These training devices can be found at a higher end golf facility and force the head to stay behind the ball because if there is any sway or lunge action, the golfer would fall over. Golfers can measure how effective their swing is by looking at a measure of compression, a metric known as “Smash Factor.” Smash Factor is measured by dividing club head speed by ball speed to yield a ratio. The faster the club travels and the more on-center and compressed the impact strike is, the higher the ball speed and the better the smash factor ratio will be. Using this number to measure compression is a leading indicator in the golf swing. With compression, the golf ball jumps off the club face and travels farther on a penetrating trajectory. Flipping and scooping the hands at impact is a fault exposed from being ahead of the ball and too far out in front. While the weight must move left and the arms rotate through impact, over doing either action is a sure sign that a golfer must practice more golf drills. Impact bags, foam noodles, circular swing pipes, extra clubs, and using a partner or certified golf instructor are just some of the many golf drills and exercises that can help ingrain the proper feel and motion required during the entire golf swing. The repetitive nature of the sport requires intense practice to perfect this concept. Practicing with feedback is always important to ensure that golfers are not repeating the wrong motion and wasting their time ingraining a bad move with too much slide or head movement in the golf swing.
Head Position In Putting
When golfers master the golf swing, the results are usually positive. This is also true in putting, which requires even less body movement and definitely needs head position at impact. The head can rotate on a swivel in putting, but should not move laterally more than a turn to look the ball down the target line and see it drop into the hole. The action of putting - -the main movement is a rock of the shoulder blades and a small rotation of the putter face from square to open on the backswing and from open to square to slightly closed on the follow-through. This helps the putter swing back and through on a natural arc and promotes positive impact.
If a golfer is out in front in putting, the hands will come through way ahead of the ball, effectively de-lofting the putter and causing bounce and skid. Putting is one of the most important areas in golf and can mask a lot of other deficiencies in the full swing and short game pitching, chipping and bunker play. A good putter will always pick up strokes around the greens as the ball is holed out consistently faster that one’s competitors. Golfers can practice with a mirror to check their head and eye position while using a metronome to control stroke tempo. Many players prefer hitting putts under the supervision of a swing coach or trusted friend. Ultimately, years and years of practice will cause this action to become second nature and golfers will use minimal effort to roll putts on line and make more putts. Pitching and chipping, and putting is so important to the final tally for the round.
Many tournaments come down to just one or two shots. Inconsistencies plague even the best of amateurs and college players. Professionals have practiced their swing action for many years, making sure of their swing moves. Bunker technique is largely the same as short pitching and chipping, but with a longer swing needed with an open clubface to generate height and spin on the golf shot. Golfers find themselves in hazards like sand bunkers many times over the course of the round. Developing one’s head control at impact will ensure that golfers aren’t hitting shots fat or heavy out of the sand. This might cause the ball to come up well short of the target and even promote a fatal error out of sand which is leaving the ball in the bunker. The weight needs to move left, and the club needs to be swung with lots of speed and maintain an open face through impact, but the golfer’s head must stay behind the golf ball at impact.