Get A Head Start For A Great Season by Sue Kaffenburg


The most harmful thing you can do to wreck your ball striking is to keep your head down!  It’s time to STOP trying to keep your head and your eyes straight DOWN for so long in your full swing!

Locking your head and keeping it down produces a buried chin and an eye line that stays parallel to the ground. This will inhibit and sabotage the appropriate body movements that are essential to hitting the ball far!

Facing a mirror or sliding glass door, stand in a golf ready posture. Put a piece of tape on the glass across your eye line with two vertical end pieces to keep your head centered. Keeping your head down is reflected (literally) by the line of your eyes staying parallel to the ground. Notice that if your eyes remain on the red line and in between the vertical end pieces, you are restricted in being able to move your lower body towards the target. Furthermore, you can’t move your trail shoulder down to get to a dynamic impact position all great players display. You are STUCK, and, literally, POWERLESS!!

Without letting your weight shift to your back foot, TILT your right eye and ear down to the ground matching the green line (for right-handers this is your trail side). Observe in the mirror that your left eye is higher than your right. And that change in eye angle caused your left hip (the one closest to the target) to MOVE closer to the target and UP. It also caused your right shoulder to go down towards the ground while your left shoulder got higher.

The “HEAD START” you need to work on, is to train this feeling in front of the mirror to drill a sense of dynamic hip bump and shoulder action. Note that your head will maintain its same distance from the ground throughout your backswing and impact.  Anticipating and allowing your eyes to tilt as you pass through impact will make a huge difference, producing a critical tilt in your neck too!

At the range, set up with a short iron and hit half shots, half speed. Start thinking about right eye and ear “down” as you move through impact. Don’t be surprised to find yourself propelled to a finish position with all your weight on your front foot for a change! Using this trigger of anticipating the slant/tilt of your eyes as you move through impact will produce dramatic improvement in the quality of your shots.

Sue Kaffenburgh, PGA/LPGA, 
Bayberry Hills Golf Course, Yarmouth, MA.  508-364-GOLF (4653)