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Eyes And Head In The Golf Swing
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Eyes And Head In the Golf Swing

How many times do your hear golfers say they hit poor shots because they take their eye off the ball? This is not as critical as you might think. It is excessive movement of the head that causes bigger problems.

The eyes in the golf swing

Every golfer knows that you must keep your eye on the ball, and clearly to do anything else would not make sense, but at impact, it is not quite as critical as head movement because the actions of the golf swing happen so fast. It is this that makes the golfer lift his eyes and with them the head, which is the main reason for miss-hits and poor shots.

Professional golfers can actually achieve swing speeds in excess of 100mph. The average male golfer swings at about 85mph and the average senior male golfer and female golfer at about 65mph.

Your eyes have effectively completed their job during the downswing and at this stage have no further influence on the swing or accuracy of the shot until after impact. If you think about it, immediately before impact, you could actually close your eyes, but this would not help with your follow through.

Your eyes are essential in your preparation before playing your shot and when following the flight of the ball after impact.

Should you fix your eyes on the ground after impact?

This is another misleading notion that does not help to promote an effective golf swing. Some golf instructors will suggest that you keep your eyes staring at the ground until after the ball has gone, no doubt to encourage you to stay in position during impact, but this can also have a harmful effect on the remainder of your swing.

Staring at the ground will keep your head in the same position, but can prevent the eyes, head and body from naturally following the ball towards the target and completing the swing effectively. Your eyes should move at the same time as the ball to ensure that the right shoulder gets through towards the target and the body follows.

Keep your eye on the ball until you have hit it but no longer. Let your eye pick up the flight of the ball directly after you have hit it.

The head in the golf swing

Keeping your head reasonably still is actually more important than keeping your eyes on the ball at impact. You can move your head and keep your eyes on the ball, but if you move your head before impact, it will result in a poor shot. Your head is close to your upper chest, which is the centre of your golf swing. Therefore, any movement away from centre will cause you to sway and affect your swing.

This said you must not hold your head rigid after impact as previously discussed, as this will prevent the essential rhythm of the swing and follow through from happening.

The difficulty with golf is that there is little margin for error when compared to other ball sports. We have already discussed the speed of the golf swing, but consider these other factors, which make golf shot accuracy particularly difficult.

The golf ball is one of the smallest balls used in any ball sport and the size of the clubhead used is small. Tennis uses a larger ball and racket. Squash has a similar sized ball, but larger racket. Cricket has a larger bat and ball. In all these sports, you are also closer to the ball when you play your shot because the tools of the trade are shorter in length. They are also more forgiving because of their size.

Therefore, when playing golf shots, prevention of excessive head movement is an essential element of success. Your head must remain steady and your centre constant.

Making it work

Set up carefully as part of your pre-shot routine using your eyes and mind to focus on the ball. Do not let your eyes roam, as this is likely to move your head, which will cause you to sway, resulting in a poor shot.

Once you activate your swing, endeavour to keep your eyes and head level until impact, but no longer. Let your eyes pick up the ball as soon as practicable after impact to ensure the correct rhythm and follow-through. Allow your hands and arms to go through naturally towards the target. Do not become rigid and play every shot without restraint or fear.


Street Talk

Sound advice for business and life! Thanks for a great golf article.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thank you for your comment Cynthia.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

All I know is if there is water or sand anywhere near me, I will find it.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

This is a good article expounding true knowledge of the game. My Grandfather who came from Scotland and had played some of the great course of the world as well as being a scratch player, always said follow what is comfortable. don't force the head to stay down but let it move naturally with the swing. He was a fantastic player and coach, taught me a lot but in ways that just made sense. My problem I can't remember all the things he taught me.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

I understand golf theory pretty well, but struggle putting it into practice out on the course - a common complaint of the average golfer. Just wish I'd started playing when younger.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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