Let your head follow your body for a better release
Trying to keep your head down during your downswing or follow through is a key mistake made by golfers of all skill levels. Why is letting your head go with your body so important? To start, your body will simply follow your head, and having the trail side of your the body rotate through the shot is a key component to keeping the club face square to the body; a major move for consistent, straight shots. A demonstration of how your body follows your head is to imagine someone asking you a question or yell your name behind you. What happens? Your motor skills take effect and you turn and look. Movement occurs when electrical signals are sent by neurons from the brain and spinal cord throughout the body and then into our muscles. If we slowed down and examined the sequence of how your body moved on film, your head would begin the movement, and then your chest and body would follow.
You will see some tour players actually start moving their heads before impact, such as a Henrik Stenson or Anika Sorenstam, two of my favorite downswing moves. Some players’ heads will directly follow their body post impact position. This is a common trait among some of the best ball strikers in the world. The relationship between the club face and body after impact (where the club face is still square to the body) is a sign that the shaft and body have rotated in the proper sequence and there were no sequence moves or hand timing required to square the club face. Why does head movement matter if it’s after impact? That’s a common question I hear when I’m working to get someone’s head to release or let go with their body. My answer: When our head doesn’t have the freedom to rotate with the body through the shot, in most cases, our body will stall at impact and the hands will take over.
Think of what happens when a car is going 60 mph, and then the driver slams on the breaks. As the car stops, everything in the car is flying forward. In the golf swing, the car would act as your body, and the objects in the car as your hands. As a result, you will see swings that have a lot of hand action at impact. In some cases, players will flip at the ball, which is a breaking of the wrists. Even the common chicken wing can be seen.
Fix: Look over Left Shoulder Drill
A great drill to get your trail side moving around and through the shot is to feel as if you are looking over your left shoulder at impact (if you’re left-handed, look over your right shoulder). You can rehearse this at setup or as you take a practice swing, coming down into an impact position. Practice looking early, just before impact, to make sure your right side rotates around your left, which will put you into a nice tall finish.
Drill: Nose follows the shaft
Another great practice drill is to hit soft shots with a mid iron, with the feeling of your nose following the shaft through impact. Take a mid iron and swing at 50 percent, focusing on your nose following the shaft around post impact. Make sure your head works around and toward the target, the same way the shaft moves. The head should not move under, where your right eye would fall below your left. This would cause your upper half to fall back and your right shoulder to dip.