Center Your Swing Motion ... Nose

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After you have established your posture/stance to the ball, the single most important fundamental in the game is to look at the ball while you are trying to hit it.  Sounds simple enough, but millions of smart, athletic golfer don't seem to be able to get the point.  Here's the short version ... multiple scientific studies have proven you can't hit what you can't see and you can't see what you're not looking at!  Here is the most simple way to keep you eye on the ball ... point your nose were the ball WAS and let your arms fly past your nose.  Where your nose is pointing is where your eyes are most often focused.  Where your eyes are focused is the easy way to focus your mind.  Combine a physical "feel" que with a visual que and you have a very powerful "chunked" que which will lead you to better golf.

Looking at the ball is NOT the same thing as keeping your head still or keeping your head down.  Keeping your head still or down has caused a lot of swing problems for a very long time.  This view is only a simple acknowledgement that your eyes are the "queen" of your senses, providing the most direct form of feedback to your nervous system.  Keeping your head in a fixed position is the key feature of the 60's era, Hogan or Nicklaus swing model.  Both of these models feature a distinct reverse pivot top of the backswing position.  While these swing styles may have worked for these great players, they do not work so well for recreational players.  That's the good news!  The bad news is these titanic influences on the game have made learning much more difficult for recreational players.  Today another titanic voice is once again expounding the benefit of limiting the lateral movement of your head.  Tiger's new coach is teaching him to keep his head still.  The rationale for this is that any movement affects your vision which in turn affects your body and arm movement.  This would be correct if all head movement is of equal importance.  The scientific truth is all eye movement is NOT equal!  It takes more time to focus your vision when your head is yo-yoing up and down than it does when your head is moving laterally, in the same direction as the clubhead.

Limiting the lateral movement of your head is counterproductive to the development of a biomechanically efficient swing motion!

Let's look at the benefits of looking at the ball.  First, it helps focus your attention of the target of the swing motion.  Again, there is a big difference between your strategic target (fairway or green) and your swing target.  Vision dominates the learning of golf skills.  You may want to play by feel, but vision directs and coordinates with feel.  In golf, it is critical to have a distinct focus on what you want to do right.  The integration of feel checkpoints with focused vision is the trick to accomplishing this task.  It works like a funnel.  As you practice, you develop feel for various technical points of performance.  The goal is to integrate and associate these feel points with a point of focus you can see.  The easiest thing to see is the ball which is also the object of your swing motion.  When your eyes are focused on the ball, your mind can be focused on a feel point.  Distractions are eliminated and what you intend to do right is assisted by your vision. 

Second, it creates a center for your swing motion.  The golf swing has often been described as being like a wagon wheel.  This simple analogy is good enough to see how if the hub moves, then motion is transferred outward through the left arm, causing the rim to move.




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