Lydia Ko | Minimize Head Movement

In this video, I'll show you how Lydia Ko rotates her body and minimizes head movement in the swing, allowing her to be a more consistent ball striker week in and week out.

  • Watch video #1 of the play your best golf series in 6 weeks. 
  • Drill 
  • Get ready for video #2

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Jackson
Hi Chris. When I Am In My Backswing, I Can See That My Head And Left Shoulder Move Toward The Ball A Significant Amount. I Feel That This Throwing Off The Rest Of My Swing. Any Suggestions? Also, When I Get To The Top Of My Swing, I Can See In Camera That My Right Elbow Is Sticking Out Behind Me Almost Like A Chicken Wing. Are These Two Problems Related? I Have Tried And Tried But I Cannot Seem To Fix Them. This Is What I Look Like At The Top Of My Backswing.
November 23, 2019
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Jackson, hope all is well with you. The position that you are showing me at the top is going to be caused mostly from you turning the shoulders too steeply going back and also some lead arm push. Yes, the are connected as a fault. I would work on shallowing off the shoulder plane first, and then work on keeping the forearms and elbows close together as you move from the takeaway into the backswing (with no lead arm push), this will force the humerus to externally rotate and the right elbow more in line. Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions at all.
November 24, 2019
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Jackson
Thanks Chris. This definitely helps. What is a good way to work on shallowing the shoulder plane?
November 24, 2019
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
My pleasure. Best way to start working on it is get rid of the club from an address position, cross arms over your shoulders and then start working on pulling your right shoulder towards center. If you dont see the head drop at all, or move too much laterally when rotating, then you are more than likely rotating on the correct plane HOWEVER, I would like to see it first before you start repping it out, to make sure its perfect. Also, make sure your weight is moving into the right ankle joint, you look a little over the forward part of the foot.
November 26, 2019
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Gareth
Hi Chris. I just wanted to ask you about the movement of head position. In my last swing review i notice when i turn my shoulders back my head seems to fall forward. i cant seem to stop this. What is a good thought to help this. I am assuming that my head should turn behind the ball a little and stay in line with my shoulder angle. i know this head positions stops me turning properly and increases my chance of reverse pivot
August 17, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Gareth, typically when you see the head move forward like this, that can be attributed to the weight shift over the toes rather than moving into the heel OR could be from you trying to turn the shoulders too steeply. Check out the necktie drill in the backswing section. Yes, some people will see the head turn behind the ball a little bit and from a face on perspective.
August 18, 2016
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Robert W
I hesitate to criticize anything about Lydia's swing. It is such a thing of beauty. However to me she seems to open her hips early. I believe that RST says shoulders and hips still closed at impact. The release brings the shoulder and hips around to the finish position. Comments? Also it would be nice to have the date the video was posted making it easier to look for related postings. Video #2 is still to come? Thanks
April 24, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Robert - We want the hips to be open at impact, roughly 35-45 degrees open. We are looking for the shoulder line to be square at impact. After impact, the club should be puling you into a finish position. Video #2 and #3 are already out. Head to the latest videos tab in the video menu and you will see all the most recent content.
April 24, 2016
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Robert W
Thanks Chris The other two videos are actually in the tour-pro section not the recent videos section. The third video really answers my question about hip rotation. What an awesome analysis that is. One of my fav videos so far.
April 24, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
My pleasure Robert and glad you enjoyed the videos.
April 24, 2016
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Donald
Lydia seems to have a more upright swing. I'm still trying to understand the creation of the back swing plane, club head and right shoulder pulling relationship. It feels like the plane will be flatter. Can you give some clarification since this is confusing?
April 5, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Donald. Yes, her swing is a bit more upright. The trail shoulder is creating a horizontal motion. The arms are creating a vertical motion. As one rotates back the arms will move vertical compiled with flexion of the trail arm and wrist set. This will create the swing plane and keep the arms in front of the body as the body rotates horizontally. A bunch of good videos to this in. Understanding Shoulder Elevation, Understanding Arm Elevation, 4 Square Drill, Pool Noodle Drill and the How to Maintain Club Head Speed as You Get Older Video.
April 5, 2016
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Ellen
Can you expand on your concerns about spine leaning more towards target --- what specific dangers are you referring to.
April 4, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ellen. I would recommend taking a look at the Importance of Axis Tilt Video and the RST Necktie Drill for some visuals and quality information regarding proper lean away from the target. In the meantime, when the axis reverses or leans towards the target at the top the lower vertebrae in the lumber spine become compressed. This is when you will see a player in the L5-L4-L3 region and lower start to have pain. The spine isn't designed to bend back on itself. This common error can also have the reverse effect on the downswing creating too much lean away from the target coming into impact creating the "reverse c" look that is also detrimental on the Lumbar Spine.
April 5, 2016
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Anthony
Are there going to be anymore videos from the winter golf training program. I think only three have been released and there are three more to go.
April 4, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Anthony. The Winter Series is a 3 Part Video Series. 2 Weeks for each core program video for a total of 6 weeks of work.
April 5, 2016
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Jim
It seems like Lydia loses the right side her tush line before impact. Is it alright if any part of the tush line (in this case the left side) is maintained on the line you drew? And is this line only measured up to impact? Thanks, Jim
April 4, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Jim. The lead side needs to maintain through the release to stay in the posture properly. The trail side before impact can come away slightly, but you have to make sure both don't come away from the line into impact.
April 4, 2016

We are back with this week's tour analysis with Lydia Ko who just became the youngest player in LPGA history to win two majors, so congratulations to Lydia. She's an absolutely phenomenal talent and so great for the game of golf. Since we're in the midst of a six-week video series here on how to become a better, more consistent ball-striker, I figured who better to showcase than Lydia now.

                We're gonna be showing you some of her head movement that she has in her golf swing, much like we discussed in video number one. We're gonna be talking about what we're gonna be working on in video number two that's coming out later this week. Let's go ahead and get started now.

                As we're in the midst of six weeks to playing the best golf of your life, becoming a more consistent ball striker, we have Lydia Ko picking up her next victory. I thought to myself, there's no better person out there for us to start to talk about consistency, because she is a fantastic ball striker, does a really great job of controlling the bottom of the swing arc and has very very good control of the club face, which leads her to number four on the LPGA tour in greens and regulation. When you're hitting that many greens and regulation and you're number one in putting, that makes for a dangerous, dangerous arsenal there and a winning combination.

                Congratulations to Lydia for all the hard work she's done, she's absolutely great for the game of golf. Let's get right into it here, again we're gonna talk a little bit about head movement. Lydia does make a little bit of an unorthodox move with her head. Again, the important part is that the movement that she makes is not creating any sort of inconsistencies in her swing. Ill get further into that as we start to go through things here.

                I'm gonna mark what we call the tush line, I'm gonna mark the front of her head, then from a face on perspective, I'll mark the head and we're gonna draw what we call the right hip line. These are pretty common lines you'll see us use when we do these tour analysis. You'll notice there's a little tiny bit of space here between the right thigh and the right hip line that's drawn straight up from the ankle. The unorthodox move here is she's gonna make more of a sitting move. I know we talked about that in video number one, is that we don't want to have any downward head movement. What she does here is she's gonna sit into her right side. That's going to start her golf swing.

                From a face on perspective, you're gonna see that she sits. You see the movement of her tush going through that line, now you can see that her head moves downward through that line where it originally started from. Is that a bad thing? No, it's not a bad thing because again, what we're trying to do in our golf swing, our main goal for consistency is to make sure that we keep our head quiet, yes, number one. But number two, we want to maintain the angle to our spine through the takeaway, through the back swing, through the down swing and even into the follow through, we want to maintain that spine and go as long as possible. That way, we know that our hands and arms are getting lined back up at the bottom of the swing arc, which in turn is going to allow us to get good, consistent contact round after round.

                Of course, there are other variables that are involved with consistent ball striking, and we're gonna get into that later this week when we start to release video number two. The important thing is is that this downward movement, yes it's increasing her spine angle a little bit, but she maintains the tush line throughout the golf swing. She's gonna actually keep her spine in check the entire swing now, so she can see that she maintains the angle to her spine all the way to the top. Then in the downward half here, you're gonna see her head stays right in that same position to where she started. You see how her hips are still back against this line. Absolutely critical for consistent ball striking is making sure you maintain the angle to your spine. That was really the main purpose about talking about head movement, is head movement is one of those things that can have your center, your spine moving all over the place. Then again, it makes it very difficult for you to get the bottom of the swing arc in the same spot every single time.

                Let's go ahead and look at this from a face on perspective. You're gonna see that little gap between the right hip line gets nice and filled in there. Then she's only shifting off the golf ball maybe an inch, inch and a half or so with her head. You see her head made that downward move, just a slight one, just to get loaded into her right leg. Then she's made her head move laterally about an inch, inch and a half or so. Again, so why is it okay for our head to move an inch, inch and a half or so off the golf ball? I showed you in video one, if you don't allow your head to move and you're going to try to rotate around your axis, you're gonna try to rotate your shoulders, chances are you're gonna see that your spine will lean more towards the target which is dangerous, dangerous, dangerous.

                You can see here at the top of her swing, she's been able to maintain axis tilt which is absolutely critical for safety in the golf swing and also allows you to rotate around your axis without starting to compress your lower vertebrae and gets you into a loaded, powerful position. That's basically it, that's the run down of this week's review. She does make a sitting move into her right leg so she's gonna have a little downward movement of her head. But she does keep her hips back, she does load her right side beautifully here. You can see that she keeps that leg flexed, much like we talked about in video number one.

                I hope you guys are out there working really hard through video number one. Again, we are going to be focusing in on video number two, releasing tension in the hands and the arms, just like you see Lydia here when she starts to release this club, you can see that she carries very little tension in the wrists and the forearms so that she can allow them to release, roll over the top of one another and extend down the target line beautifully. That's what we're going to be working on in video number two guys. I hope you had some great success with your reps. Let me know if you have any questions or comments below and I will certainly help you out along the way. We will talk to you guys later in the week. 

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