GOLF: How To Keep Your Head Down In The Golf Swing (And Why You’re Really Hitting Topped Shots)

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How To Keep Your Head Down In The Golf Swing (And Why You’re Really Hitting Topped Shots)

Let’s talk about this idea of picking your head up in the golf swing. Over the past decade of teaching golf, certainly the most common thing I hear when someone hits a bad shot is, “I picked my head up” or “I lifted my head up” or something along those lines. What I’m really here to tell you in this video is that there’s probably not a lot of truth behind that.

In 10+ years of watching a lot of swings and a lot of swing videos I can say confidently that I’ve never seen someone hit a top shot, a fat shot, a thin shot, a shank or anything because they lifted their head up. I personally think it’s just blatantly bad information. I think there’s no truth to it.

So let’s talk about why you are getting these shots. If you trust me that it’s not because you lifted your head up, what are you doing then that’s causing poor contact? The two pieces that I see most often that can make a difference are arm structure and where your body is in space.

If I take a normal golf setup, my arms are somewhat straight – maybe 80 percent, 75 percent straight -and my inclination to the ground or how I’m standing puts the golf club on the ground even with the ball. Then in swing, if I bend my arms more than they are at address, that club would go up in the air and up in the air or farther from the ground is going to lead to no contact or thin contact. Now, what would be the solution there?

I want to eliminate a thin shot. My arms are bent, so what do I do? I straighten my arms. Now all of a sudden the club goes down towards the ground. So if I wanted to give myself the best odds to hit the golf ball, I’d have the straightest arms. I don’t care if your arms are bent a lot or a little at address. I’m saying at and in particular past impact a foot, two feet, three feet past impact. If you had your arms, the straightest, that would give you the best chance of solidness of contact.
The second part is where your body is in space. The more your body is to the right of the golf ball for a right-handed golfer or behind the ball, the odds of me hitting a thin shot or bad shot increase. That means if I set up way right, the odds of me hitting a thin shot increase.

So how do I fix these things? You hit a top shot. I’m saying arm structure and where your body is in space caused that shot. I would want the opposite of those things. I don’t want my arms bent. I want my arms straight. How do I practice that? Just play with straightening your arms first! Hit a shot, hold your finish and ask yourself, “are my arms straight,” yes or no? It’s that simple. You don’t necessarily need a drill for that.

Number two is where your body is in space. If you are hitting top shots or bad contact and you notice you start really far right on your right foot, you must fix that. Where do we want it? Probably 50/50. If you hit top shots and you notice you go really far to the right off the ball in your right foot, you must fix that. How do you fix that? Stay 50/ 50 and stay over the ball going back. If you notice during the downswing, you’re weight is really far back on your trail foot – your right foot -and you hit top shots, you must fix that. How do you fix that? You go from your right foot to your left. How much to the left? How far? How fast? As much as you can.

Now imagine I’m trying to keep my head down and I make a swing. What would my swing look like if I exaggerated keeping my eye on the ball or keeping my head down? I’d be very bent forward and facing the golf ball and I would probably maintain that the entire swing. If I keep that going back, I wouldn’t turn at all. If I keep that coming through, I wouldn’t turn at all. How do my arms look when I do that? Very straight and good like a pro or very bent and someone who top shots? Well I’ll answer that. It looks like someone who tops shots.

The point being, you’re killing yourself with this idea of keeping your head down. Keeping your head down is not a permanent fix. What is a permanent fix? Watch your weight structure. Keep your arms straight, and let yourself turn towards the target as you shift into your left side.

The concept of “keeping your head down” is a big, big epidemic in the golf industry. Let’s stop it. Let’s do it together.
If you have any questions as always, please leave us a comment down below.

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Reblogged 11 months ago from


  1. Thanks Eric, I do this a lot (topping) and I now think it may be due to arm structure, I will try it out next time.

  2. When I get a buzz I have a great tendency to pick my eye off the ball and hit it Fat.