Carolina Colours: Picture – #18


Hole #18:  431yd par 4.  It’s a solid finishing hole.  It’s also very rewarding if you hit your best drive.  The tee shot is slightly uphill before it plateaus in the landing area for average drives….  Bomb it and you’ll hit the downslope that runs towards the green.  Another really fun hole because you can hit wedge or 4 iron depending on the drive and where the pin is located on this deep green.  Oh, and don’t go in the fairway bunkers on this hole….  They really make the hole play long, and they are steep faced! 

Let’s Start a Movement

Let’s begin to change the “keep your head down” cliche.  I complain about it.  I discuss how and why it is damaging…. but I’ve yet to offer an alternative “mantra” for golfers who feel like their head continues to come up in their downswing! 

We know that most instances when the head lifts up it’s not because a golfer wants to see where the ball is going, rather it’s a physics response to a downward pull of the arms!  Action/reaction.  The arms pull down to strike at the ball.  The body responds by pulling up. 

I would agree that occasionally a golfer will look towards the target too soon in anticipation of where his/her ball may go.  It’s critical to understand that in most cases, keeping your head down will only exaggerate the bad tendency golfers have to NOT move their body’s correctly.

You see, when you lift your head to see where the ball is going, that wasn’t the reason you missed the ball.  The problem was that you only turned your head, and not your body around your forward pivotal axis.  Your swing arc collapses if the rotating body is not turning the club on an arc through the golf ball.  Because you are no longer looking at the ball in order to HUNT IT (very bad concept), you most often mis hit the shot. 

Click here to see what I mean:  Annika’s eyes are most certainly not looking at the golf ball at the moment of impact, but her body is freely and completely rotating around her left pivotal axis….

When most golfers gain comfort in the short term by keeping their heads down, they shut down rotation which causes long term inconsistencies. 

Back to the “movement”!  Every time you here someone say “you need to keep your head down”, I want you to begin correcting them by saying “you need to turn level”.

“You need to turn level”

Surprise, surprise, this blog is running long.  Perhaps I’ll go into more detail as to why “turn level” is far better than “keep your head down” in my next blog. 

P.S.  Tiger is looking pretty sharp. Should be interesting to watch him in 2011!

Benefits of Turning Level

Path integrity is influenced by physics, geometry, physiology and neurology.  Simple, really.  So is walking or riding a bike!

To allow the swing to move on the correct path, one element that is critical is a swing axis that remains level, rather than moving up and down.  At address, the top of your head is at a certain location in space.  During the swing, we don’t want that location to move upward.  If you add height to your swing during the swing, you must make manipulations to “find” the golf ball….  This is highly chaotic in terms of consistency.

So turning level is a better way to think about your swing.  You certainly don’t want your body getting stuck or fixed in the swing while you “look at the ball”.  You would much rather keep your level as you TURN INTO YOUR FULLY ROTATED RELAXED BALANCED FINISH. 

So every time you have an urge to say “keep your head down”, I want you to say, “turn level.”

The image is of a golf swing that keeps it’s spine angle through the hitting area and also has a full turn around the forward pivotal axis. 

You finish like Freddy

P.S.  Coop, when I hit spell check today something happened that’s never happened before!!!!  I spelled physics, physiology and neurology correct on my first attempt!  Even old pros can learn.  Made my day.

Nanook Goes Golfing

Nanook must do everything he can to continue to TURN his core in cold weather.  His arms and shoulders should not dominate, his arms and shoulders should be MOVED by his core! 

Nanook will need to take extra club to deal with several factors, including his 5 layers of clothing which restricts his turn…..  No problem,  he must still use his core to get the arms and shoulders into motion in the backswing. The turn won’t be as full, but it should be sufficient to get the arms and club moving on their own momentum.  If successful, he can maintain his path integrity on the downswing by slinging his arms and club through the ball with his forward turn around his right pivotal axis (you didn’t know that Nanook was a lefty?). 

Gravity meets rotation = Path integrity                 …..even at 40 degrees.

Myths That Linger and Damage Your Game

Keep your head down…. 

keep your body still over short shots….

Feet parallel to the target line…

I can’t take anymore!  They will probably last forever because they give a sense of control to a golfer in the short term…. These damaging statements seem to make sense.  They appear to be things that you can control and with golf being so difficult, it’s easy to fall prey to these nasty myths. 

I’ll keep fighting the good fight! Learn the truth about the golf swing!