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Maintaining the head position

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  • Maintaining the head position

    Watching the PGA I cannot help but observe that the pros really keep their head in the same position throughout the swing until well after contact. I do not remember any of Shawn's videos addressing the issue of maintaining the head position (no swaying, lifting or moving forward with the downswing). Can any of you direct me to any of Shawn's videos that address this - and any exercises like the PMD that help instill the feeling. Cheers!

  • #2
    Craig you have to understand that the things Shawn teaches us are for the "non" professional tour type golfers. He gives us tools with which to learn to play the game successfully. The "Pros" have trained their bodies to be far more flexible and stronger stability wise than the weekend golfer. This means if we try and copy a lot of the things that Pros are doing it actually hurts our golf performance.


    • #3
      Another way Shawn discusses the positioning of the head is by saying we need to maintain our spine angle (i.e., tilt) throughout the swing. Not only should we maintain our tilt, but it should actually increase slightly through impact. By maintaining our tilt, we can preserve the power sequence where the elbow leads the hand, which leads the fingers. It also allows the clubhead to approach the ball from the inside and compress through the ball. The way we maintain our tilt is by using his various analogies, like hammering into a door frame, skipping a stone on water, chopping down a tree with an ax, using a battering ram, slicing through a melon with our sword, and many others. These are examples of external focus, which allow us to control the body through focusing on something outside the body, rather than trying to feel the head staying back (or still).

      Here are a couple of videos that I find helpful, and also a link to a playlist I put together on tilt.


      • #4
        Thanks for the thoughts. To one point I recognize that I am never going to swing like a pro, and that was not the intent of my question. I feel as though on occasion I move my head forward or lift up. The result is not pretty. Maintaining the tilt is sometimes hard. Probably due to a lack of concentration or target focus. What I was looking for was a review of how Shawn helped us maintain the steady head. I really appreciate the video recommendations for the tilt and to help keep the head steady. Thanks.


        • #5
          As a follow-up, I have found that when I use the double pendulum as described and demonstrated by Shawn, my head stay very still. If you look at the old Mo Norman tapes that is exactly what he does.


          • #6
            Hi gcraig

            The head bobbing video that Shawn has on You Tube should explain that your head will bob up and down if you 'get out of the way' properly. To allow your hips to move out of the way properly (while they are tilted) , there will need to be 'some' extension in both legs. I've found that trying to keep the head steady seems to short circuit the fluidity of my whole swing (ie. kinetic sequence gets out of sync). If you look at this analysis of Mo Norman's swing , his head moves up and down quite a bit during pre-impact.



            • #7
              One thing that stands out to me is the focus on the set up. This includes head position. Shawn says 20/20, 20 degrees toward the back foot and a 20 degree lean of the head toward the shoulder. If the set up is correct then by keeping the head in this position until the shoulder moves it allows you to release the club toward the target. Bobbing up and down is OK, back and forth, not so much. When I focus on the set up and especially my head position I find I strike the ball much better. The first video referenced covers this, I think. At the course where I play I was practicing on the range next to the pro giving a lesson. He was trying to teach the young lady to rotate instead of sway. He asked me to demonstrate. I was very careful in my set up and when I swung the club I was conscious of keeping my head from swaying. As a result I hit the best shot I'd hit out of the whole bucket.


              • #8
                Kind of off topic, but a technical question regarding the pre-turn of the head. Is the 20/20 from the older videos or is that just for the driver where the ball is forward in the stance and off the ground? I mean, I do use a pre-turn of the head, but not a pre-tilt. I think the idea comes from the fact that if there were no pre turn of the head, then your head would have to turn in the back swing in order to match up with the spine alignment at the apex of the shoulder turn. That makes perfect sense to me in order to maintain a "steady" head. However, the pre-tilt seems to be unnecessary, and to me, at least, distracting. What exactly is the purpose of the pre-tilt, and for what specific shot(s) is it intended?

                Sorry for semi-hijacking your thread gcraig, but I think my question is somewhat pertinent to the original post.


                • #9
                  I often forget to aply the 20/20, but it is basically a good idea.
                  For me it is similar like the pre turn of the body, best visible, when Shawn demonstrates a draw. It helps to be already in the static set up in positions, which should happen later during the dynamic swing.
                  Look at a PGA player, that ernourmous difference between set up and impact situation.
                  Shawn recommends to pre-set already in the set up to prepare the body/ brain best for the upcoming motion.
                  Last edited by Alpineberlinette; 12-16-2015, 12:51 AM.


                  • #10
                    Hi guys,

                    I too, often forget to apply the 20/20, and ALSO suggest it is a basically good idea?

                    I think the 20/20 sets your body in a position that is better ORIENTED to sending "energy" on a more LATERAL plane (towards the TARGET).
                    Without it, your body is set in a more VERTICAL plane (towards the BALL) orientation?

                    Think of throwing a Frisbee long and far....

                    Go into your bathroom (close the door?) and look at yourself in the mirror.
                    Now pretend to throw a Frisbee (long and far) and note the ORIENTATION of your HEAD (and EYES) when you're done?

                    If you're anything like me, your head is in a near-perfect 20/20 position.


                    Because our BRAIN is oriented to that TARGET long and far out THERE!
                    NOT at our feet.

                    Thanks to this thread, I've just decided that my 2016 Winter Project will be to incorporate 20/20 into my pre-shot routine and setup.
                    Make sure that I NO LONGER "often forget" the 20/20.

                    Thanks, guys
                    Be water (or ice, this winter?) my friends
                    "costa dude"
                    Last edited by COSTA103; 12-16-2015, 10:29 AM.
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                    • #11
                      An oldie but goodie:


                      • Schrodinger
                        Schrodinger commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Hi Shawn - You mentioned at 3:07 on this video that the weight is redistributed 50:50 after we take the braced tilt. I've always thought that the braced tilt setup was favouring slightly more weight on the inside of the front leg. So for your individual swing (when braced tilted), can I assume you are a centre anchor golfer ? That your COG hasn't really moved from a standing position to the braced tilt position and that your upper and lower body have just counterweighted each other? But I am assuming that when you have done the braced tilt, the weight on your front leg has redistributed more on the inside of the front foot (ie.extra pressure) giving only the 'feeling' as if you had more weight on your front foot?

                    • #12
                      While looking through You Tube Golf videos (like I normally do as its a hobby of mine) , I found this one which was quite interesting as it also mentions about head position and contradictions in golf insturction.


                      PS. I bought and followed that Leadbetter video instruction and it just happened to short-circuit my game for 10 years.


                      • #13
                        In these days you can also pretend to cut a X-mas tree with an axt....just in case it is too cold outside for playing frisbee.


                        • #14
                          This guy Ron Sisson (the video link I posted above) seems to be a clone of Shawn's methods (he's also from Canada). Wonder if Shawn knows him?


                          • #15
                            Don't know him; did not have time to watch the whole thing; what was his final conclusion?


                            • Schrodinger
                              Schrodinger commented
                              Editing a comment
                              I spent over 60 mins watching his videos and he was advocating light grip, feeling the weight of the clubhead using centrifugal force, awareness of the clubface using the small muscles in the fingers/wrists/hands. He basically advocated using your own internal 'hand/eye' coordination for swinging the golf club plus quoted some experiments conducted on internal/external cues. That people who use external cues (ie. concentrating and feeling spatial awareness of the clubhead) rather than internal body movements improve more rapidly. He says that your swing dictates the mechanics not vice versa. That bio-mechanics are just the 'dressing' on top of the cake that can 'hone' your golf swing. That Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods have the same swing but different mechanics. So in essence, just words but nothing else that I can see to support them - and he wants people to vote for him as best online instructor . Lol.

                              PS. From his website- seems a little dubious to me.

                              The first skill is a consistent “real swing” defined by the clubhead swinging freely, fluidly, and fast through the impact area. Most people are able to learn this skill in about 20 minutes!!!
                              The second skill involves acquiring a highly developed sense of “feel” for the clubhead’s “heavy feeling” circular path as it swings around you so you will be able to strike the ball on the centre of the club-face consistently.
                              For the foundation of your golf swing, we help you develop skill with the only thing that actually has any effect on the ball: the clubhead. As you develop these two critical “foundation” skills, you will achieve a consistency you never thought was possible!
                              Last edited by Schrodinger; 12-17-2015, 11:58 AM.