Find Out Why Your Head Sways...And Fix It
Online Golf Instruction By: Chuck Quinton, Master Instructor • FULL BIO •
Moving Your Head off the Ball? Try This!
A very common fault that you may struggle with during the golf takeaway is your head moving off the ball.
It creates a lot of instability and inconsistency in your swing because your one fixed point, and the most important part of your nervous system - your eyes - are moving around throughout the swing.
Golf is hard enough without trying to introduce more variables into it!
Of course, we all know that we want to stay centered and rotate around our fixed axis, our spine, but that's easier said than done for a lot of people, because they don't understand the mechanics of what creates that rotation without moving off the ball.
Why Does It Happen?
If your head shifts off the ball during takeaway you're probably doing one of two things:
- You let your hips slide because they don't have any stability (they're not anchored at address)
- You're pushing from the left side
Pushing from the left side is the most common reason.
You take the club back and start moving it with your left shoulder. If you picture that movement, you can see that if you're moving just from the left side, your head is going to start to move off the ball. That's the push versus pull that we talked about earlier.
Instead, you need to learn how to pull. Focus on pulling your right shoulder behind your head. Instead of thinking about pushing the club back away with your left shoulder, you want to pull your right shoulder back, behind your head.
Once you learn to do that, your head will stay nice and centered, without moving off the ball as you rotate back.
A Simple Fix
It's a simple fix; you just need to learn how to do the takeaway correctly. The fix you need will depend on which problem you have.
If you find that your head is struggling to stay centered, you have one of the following problems:
- You're not really anchored, so your hips are allowed to slide and you're moving all over the place
- You're pushing from the left side (the most common problem)
- You're standing too wide at address; your feet are too far apart.
Let's look at that third problem.
If your golf stance is too wide, your head has to move when you try to make a proper weight shift. That's why we talk about the fundamentals of how wide your stance should be, relative to the width of your hips. If it's too wide, your head will be forced to move in order for you to make a full weight transfer.
Are You Pushing from the Left? Try This Drill.
Again, the most common problem is the second one; pushing the club back away from the left side. If you find that you're struggling with that, here's a simple drill for you:
With your right arm, do a little shoulder elevation, right elbow flexion, keeping your upper bicep and your chest connected. Focusing on that bicep/chest connection, rotate your upper body to the right, maintaining that connection.
If you're really left-side dominant and you start to focus a little bit more on that right side, you'll start to feel that that rotation is coming from the right side of your back.
All we're doing with this drill is keeping the bicep and chest connected, and using your core and your obliques to pull that right shoulder blade back, keeping the arm in place.
If your head is moving off the ball, chances are you're too left-side dominant. Do this simple drill to get a feel for keeping that right side a little bit more active during the takeaway.
Checkpoints for Practice
- Anchor properly to keep your hips from sliding
- Pull from the right, don't push from the left
- Check that your stance is not too wide