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Should I Let My Head Move During My Golf Back Swing“Keep your head” is the infamous phrase of all playing partners across the world, and this is saying generally does more damage than good!

The movement of the head during the golf swing plays a big role in a players consistency on a shot to shot basis. Players have differing golf swings from one another therefore more head movement will occur in some players.

It is important to understand that some players move their heads due to poor flexibility, others try to swing the club as long as possible or some golfers notoriously do both! The amount the head moves also comes down to how good their set up is and particularly their posture. Issues such as rounded shoulders will cause players to bend their arms to create more length in the swing but also shift more weight to the right foot and turn away from the ball.

This poor posture will create four to eight inches of lateral movement away from the ball meaning the player now needs to shift it all back towards the ball in time for impact. As expected, this amount of movement will create more inconsistency in strike and direction.

When playing partners give help such as “keep the head still”, although they may be right, they just dont know why or then how to recommend stopping it, and human nature will tell you to tuck your chin into your chest and then stop moving totally, causing more poor strikes. Be careful with the methods of improvements you use.

To allow for the correct amount of head movement, the posture needs to be strong with a straight back and good flex from the hips and a small knee flex. During the golf swing it is important to make sure the shoulders are rotating around the spine angle on the back swing and the hips are driving through impact on the down swing, all of this happening with very minimal head movement. The head may dip in height at the transition of the back swing to down swing, but only because this player may squat and rotate to unleash an explosive power movement towards the ball. Power will not be created with lateral head movement.

To practise this, check, amend or maintain the posture by using a mirror and then look face on to the mirror and swing. This will show the amount of head movement in the swing. The aim is to keep the head still as the body rotates around the good spine angle created.

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If the head moves to the right and subsequently stays there for the remaining duration of the golf swing, it will encourage the club to bottom out earlier which means the club will meet the ground before the ball rather than ball then turf. Positioning of the head and weight at impact is critical to consistent ball striking.

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At address, the head should be slightly behind the ball and stay there throughout the back swing. If the head starts over the golf ball at address but actually moves left of the ball at the top of the swing then this means the body weight has gone left also, which will create a steepened angle of attack into the ball and potentially more fat shots.

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Allowing the head to follow the golf club during the swing is basically allowing lateral movement to occur during the swing. For a short time this could work if the timing is absolutely perfect, however, once the timing goes, the shots will become erratic, shorter in distance and poorly struck.