Keep Your Head Back and Behind the Ball Through Impact! Six Top Golf Pros Agree

By | June 24, 2022

As early as the 1920s, Bobby Jones published golf tips in several newspaper columns. Fifty of these columns were compiled and printed in a book entitled The Best of Bobby Jones on Golf, published in 1996. Jones was quoted as saying, “Stay behind the ball is a great maxim. Point in the swing will undoubtedly result in a bad shot.”

In Harvey Penick’s, The Little Red Book, published in 1992, page 75 is headed “Stay Behind the Ball”: “All great golfers tilt their head back slightly before and during impact, but never forward. A golfer must stay behind the ball. I Stand with your head behind the ball and keep your head behind the ball. If you wiggle your head forward during your downswing or impact, you’ll hit a tiny, ugly shot, probably a pulled slice.

Tommy Armor points out in How to Play Your Best Golf All the Time (1953): The cardinal principle of all golf shots is that if you move your head you ruin body movement. In his summary of the 12 key points for his book, Armor lists key points 5, 10, and 12 identically to “Keep your head still.” Interestingly, however, in all images of golfers’ swings throughout the book, the head behind the ball can be seen through the impact area.

David Leadbetter in 100% Golf, 2004 says, “Your head and torso stay behind the ball as you swing off and accelerate into impact.” Try to maintain your spine angle from setup to the moment of impact, and don’t worry if your head moves a little sideways. Your head and spine are behind the ball at impact.

Jack Nicklaus is the most steadfast in terms of head movement. In his book Golf My Way (2005), Nicklaus warns, “If you’re hoping to improve your game through these sites but can’t or don’t want to learn to keep your head steady during your swing, read no further. There is nothing I or anyone else can do for your golf game. Any movement of the head, at any point from address to serve, will alter the arc and plane of the swing, which is, if not an utterly destructive factor certainly a complicated one.” All of Jack’s swing pictures show that his head is kept steady, but also well behind the ball until after impact.

Like many golfers, I have tried dozens of tips and teaching techniques, all with little or no success. It wasn’t until I started focusing on that aspect of the swing that I finally hit 80, and that was at the age of 65. Since then I’ve passed 80 several times and can finally enjoy the game. It wasn’t easy learning to hold your head back. It took a lot of practice, much of which was done without hitting balls. New muscle memory had to be learned and it wasn’t easy, especially at my age. But with tactile feedback to the head, the bad habit of “looking up” could be broken.

Tiger Woods published his book How I Play Golf in 2007 and it has already become a bestseller. He writes, “Impact should look like address. My spine angle is the same and my head is practically in the same place.” The picture on the right shows his head far behind the ball. His conclusion: “It shows how uncomplicated the golf swing can be.”

What complicates the golf swing are the often conflicting instructions that can be found in print and through word of mouth. Some pros will teach that the head should remain still throughout the swing. Some will preach that it’s okay to do some backward or sideways movement on the backswing and just before impact. Others will say keep your eye on the ball. But NONE will suggest that the head comes up or moves in front of the ball until the impact is made. As written above, most if not all pros agree that the head MUST stay behind the shot through the impact zone.

Thanks to Bob Doyle | #Ball #Impact #Top #Golf #Pros #Agree

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