By Jon Woodroffe – Master Professional, World of Golf London
There is one phrase in golf that makes my blood boil more than any other. It’s when you hear this after a poor shot: “You lifted your head. Keep your head down”.
What a heap of rubbish that advice is! On their next shot, all that happens is the player then forces their chin down into their chest, in a valiant attempt to lower their head. This position means that the chin is now in the way of the shoulders turning. Thus, either the player does not complete a shoulder turn, causing multiple associated issues, or even worse, they end up having to lift their head to be able to make the shoulder turn. This in turn leads to a bad strike. The assessment is correct i.e. that “you lifted your head” but takes no account of the fact that you had no option, due to the initial poor head position. What a mess!
You should always have your head up at address. You need to see the ball clearly, but you need your head up, not down. A really good way to feel the correct position is to take a tee peg and place the pointed end in your chest and the end where the ball rests under your chin. This way if you force your head down, you will spear yourself with the tee peg. If you really want to perfect this, use a cocktail stick, then you spear both your chin and your chest. Ouch!
Another issue here can be the use of Varifocal glasses. If you look through the lower part of the glasses the golf ball is blurred, so the tendency is to drop your head, so you are looking through the upper part of the glasses. This is going to make your posture poor. If possible, wear regular glasses when playing golf and let your playing partner watch where your golf ball goes. If you find you are then losing a lot of balls, it’s time to change your partner, rather than your glasses!