Over the years there has been much discussion of the role of the head in the golf swing. These discussions range from where the head is located during the swing as well as where the head is located at setup. We highly recommend that the head be as steady as possible throughout the swing and at setup (address) the head is aligned between the feet.
A Steady Head is one that provides a central point which your body can turn freely underneath. With your head between your feet at setup, the head stays centered from backswing and downswing to follow-through. For reference, follow-through is when the club is pointed at a 45 degree angle to the ground after Impact – and it’s the only time during the swing when both arms are straight.
Don’t some good players move their heads?
Yes. As you observe other players, including some PGA Tour professionals, you will undoubtedly see some who move their heads from side to side during the swing and still manage to play good golf. We strongly prefer the Steady Head so the golfer has as few of moving parts, in the smallest possible space, as possible. Why add extra movement that contributes nothing to power and accuracy and can cause many other problems.
Golfers who follow our simplistic approach to teaching and learning this Key will learn and experience:
- The Head is the center of rotation
- Improved balance
- Reduced bobbing and swaying
- Reduced fat and thin shots
- Reduced heel and toe shots
- Improved impact alignments
- Consistent ball position
- Simple cues that will have you:
- Achieving this Key
- At setup
- Throughout your swing
- Achieving this Key
- Drills to assure:
- The correct application
- Create your own feel
- Continued maintenance
- Continued improvement
- Developing the correct habit
What’s the bottom line?
As you work on keeping a Steady Head, remember that all progress is good progress. A head that moves 2 inches during the swing is better than one that moves 4 inches — though a head that moves zero inches is best. Keep working incrementally to eliminate head movement until there is no movement at all.
Time-tested advice from “The Greats” of the game
“The first and always the most important of Jack [Grout]’s fundamentals concerned your head. You had to keep it in the same place throughout the swing, not rigidly anchored, but steady.” — Jack Nicklaus describing the teachings of his longtime instructor, Jack Grout, in My Story
“Sam [Snead] told me late in his life that his secret was to swing around his head. Sam was the best at keeping his head still.” — Tom Watson in Golf Digest