Golf Myths

Keep Your Head Down – Truth About The Oldest Myth In Golf

The advice to keep your head down rings in so many ears on golf courses all over the world that one might think that it is a fundamental of golf.

But depending on your swing and how you interpret the advice trying to keep your head down can actually do more harm than good for your game.

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Let’s take a closer look at the oldest cliché in golf and when and how it could be actually useful to you.

What You Will Learn

Why people think it’s important to keep their head down during the golf swing

How to keep your head down like a pro ;-)

What you need to do when somebody tells you to keep your head down


Why People Think It’s Important To Keep Your Head Down During The Golf Swing

At first it seems to be logical to keep your head down during the golf swing because if you lift your head to early you basically lift your upper body which leads to mishits.

At least that’s what many people believe.

If you look at some of the top players in the world and look at a post impact position you notice that they are indeed still looking at an area where the golf ball was.

Tiger Woods in his post impact position.
Tiger Woods in his post impact position.
Ben Hogan in his post impact position.
Ben Hogan in his post impact position.

But the thing is that it’s not a conscious decision for them to do so. Especially notice how their shoulders continued to rotate through the golf ball. As well as the rotation of their hips. So overall there was a lot of movement there and nothing was standing still.

We’ll get back to this important detail at a later point.

Unfortunately most people put too big of an emphasis on how they move their head. As far as I know most people actually don’t hit the golf ball with their head. ;-)
It just comes along for the ride.

In fact you can hit the ball perfectly without keeping your head down. Even worse everybody can miss the ball completely while staring at it intently.

To make my point take a look at the most famous professional player who actually lifts her head early during her golf swing.

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Annika Sörenstam – with 93 professional wins including 10 majors she’s the most successful female golfer today. Guess what, she never keeps her head down during her golf swing. Instead she actually doesn’t even look at the ball when striking it.

Take a look at her swing.

I guess some guys would still mumble something about the moving head if they saw their wife or girlfriend perform a similar swing.

Not necessary, as it turns out. ;-)

How To Keep Your Head Down Like A Pro

So if you keep your head down for too long or focus on keeping it still over the golf ball you actually limit your power and accuracy as you also limit your body movement and shoulder turn through the shot.

  • Because if you consciously limit your head movement you’ll also limit the rotation of your torso and lower body.
  • With that being said here are some useful thoughts if people keep telling you to keep your head down:
  • Instead of focusing on your head try to maintain the tilt of your upper body throughout the whole swing.
  • Always swing through with proper weight shift. Don’t limit your swing by staring at the ground or the golf ball. Don’t even worry about your head.
  • Focus on your shoulder turn and don’t sway with your upper body from left to right when rotating through the shot.
  • Focus on a part of your neck and rotate around that.
  • Get your right shoulder behind you on the up swing and your left shoulder on the down swing. (The other way around for you lefties out there.)

Wrapping It Up

Keeping your head down is usually bad advice and not a good practice habit. Don’t worry about your head.

If you lift your upper body before your hit the ball try to keep your spine angle while rotating around your neck.

Always take a full swing back and through! Never limit your golf swing! Just hit it!

How often are you being told to keep your head down?

Will you react differently from now on when somebody tells you to keep your head down?

Did that advice ever do you any good?

Share your experience with a comment below and feel free to share this blogpost with your friends.






2 responses to “Keep Your Head Down – Truth About The Oldest Myth In Golf”

  1. Owen Avatar

    I think getting out of your head is more important when taking a golf swing. “You swing your best when you have the fewest things to think about.” – Bobby Jones.

    1. Author: Greg Avatar

      Hey Owen,

      so true. In fact I released a blogpost about exactly that mentality.
      Check it out: https://www.good-at-golf.com/the-zen-of-playing-golf/

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