Golfers are genuinely helpful of each other but sadly, much of the advice they offer is misguided, to say the least.
And of all the useless bits of encouragement we are given, the instruction to 'keep your head down' is probably the least helpful. People mean well, and usually are trying to encourage us not to lift our heads during the shot - which is fine - but the words 'keep your head down' give the wrong message.
They don't even mean 'keep your head still' because for many of us a slight lateral movement away from the ball on the backswing is natural, and probably not too damaging. But up-and-down movement leads to a host of poor shots, most commonly hitting 'fat', behind the ball, or topping it.
Nick Faldo has always been blessed with good balance and a steady head - in more ways than one - and what he demonstrates here is that, although at the top of his backswing, his head is rock steady. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is to address the ball and then lift your chin - not enough to take your eyes off the ball but certainly enough to make sure it is not tucked onto your chest.
This allows a full shoulder turn underneath the chin, and reduces the temptation to raise your head.
So next time someone says 'keep your head down' think 'keep my chin up and head still'.
|| 2 - AUGUST 2004