Originally Published in the June 2007, “Golf For Women” magazine.
By Annika Sorenstam and Dave Allen
Keeping your head still is a myth. Here’s why it helps to turn it with your shot.
As beginning golfers, we’re taught to keep our heads down and our eyes on the ball. But this is often bad advice. You can’t rotate your body through the shot and finish properly—weight on your front foot, right shoulder facing the target—if your head remains stuck in one place. Your weight has no place to go but backward, making it impossible to swing the club forward with any acceleration. I learned this lesson as a junior golfer; I would try to keep my head still and ended up finishing with my upper body tilted backward in a reverse-C—not the straight letter “I” position I have today. Because my upper body was moving in the wrong direction, I couldn’t hit the ball solidly or with any kind of consistency. Then one day my coach, Henri Reis, said to me, “Move your head with your follow- through. Let it turn with your body as if it were chasing after the ball.” After several repetitions of this drill, I was hitting the ball so well that when Henri told me to go back to my original swing, I said, “Forget it. I’m sticking with this one.” To this day, my head rotates forward during impact, like it’s on a swivel. The head turn has become my signature move, and it’s a big reason why I’m able to hit my irons and wedges so consistently.
Train your head to rotate during the swing by hitting balls with your right hand only (right). Tee each ball up and use a high-lofted iron, such as an 8-iron. To avoid topping the ball or whiffing it, turn your head toward the target in an aggressive fashion as you swing. This will help you transfer your weight forward onto your front foot, so you can hit down and through the ball. You’ll have an easier time turning your shoulders and unwinding your hips on the downswing; that way your arms can swing freely and generate more clubhead speed. By shifting your weight forward, the clubhead bottoms out farther forward in your stance, on the target side of the ball. This ensures the proper ballturf contact with your irons. When your weight falls back, your natural tendency is to lift your head and spine, which usually results in a thin or topped shot. Keep your head level as you rotate it toward the target and you should be rewarded with a solidly hit ball.
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