by Bob Augustine
There is an amazing amount of golf swing myths. I hear them all the time when I am at the practice tee listening to what amateur golfers are telling each other. Here are a few of the most common ones I hear:
KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN
If the golfer buries his head into his chest, he will usually lift it up as he approaches impact. “Head down” limits the ability of the shoulders to turn under the chin. Usually keeping the head down is a result of poor posture at address.
KEEP YOUR HEAD STILL
If a golfer keeps his head still, he will limit his ability to turn and shift his weight properly. Most players allow their head to move slightly in order to allow the shoulders to turn properly. Usually the head moves approximately two inches with the upper spine during the backswing.
KEEP THE LEFT ARM STRAIGHT
If the left arm is kept rigid or straight throughout the entire swing, the arms would work independently of the body. Also the stiffness in the arm will create tension and limit the rotation of the left shoulder.
PULL DOWN FROM THE TOP OF THE BACKSWING WITH THE LEFT ARM AND HAND
If a golfer pulls down with the butt end of the club or pulls down with the left hand or arm, he creates angles with the arms. This will force the left elbow up to the sky, which will leave the clubface open at impact.
THE GOLFER SHOULD TRY TO SHIFT THEIR WEIGHT
The weight shift is created by shoulder and hip rotation. The shoulder turn is responsible for most of the weight shift in the backswing, while the hip turn is responsible for the weight shift in the downswing. There is a minimal amount, if any, sliding of the hips during the entire swing.
These are just a few of the things that I hear. They are simply myths. To get the right information and to not waste time and energy when practicing, take a lesson from a qualified teaching professional. In five minutes a professional can see what it may take you years to figure out on your own.
Bob Augustine is a PGA instructor and the director of instruction at Peninsula State Park Golf Course.