The best golf lesson of late is learning how to stay on the top of your ball during your swing.
Unless you stay on top of your ball during your golf swing, you most likely will sway and shift the top of your spine angle. This will cause the arc of your swing to bottom-out at the wrong point and result in a mishit golf shot.
It is very interesting how the instructional community as well as professional players continue to change the description of simple golf mechanics.
The golf-swing instructions remain the same but the terms and nomenclature to describe different golf mechanics continue to change with each new generation of golf instructors, it seems.
They now have chosen to call this most important discipline: “staying on top of the ball”. “Staying on top of the ball” is required if you wish to hit straight golf shots.
It is a term used to describe how the top of the spine angle should remain stable during the back swing.
Perhaps the best way to describe this necessary discipline to hit a golf ball straight is to maintain eye contact with the ball from the beginning of the swing through contact with the ball.
Theoretically, if you maintain eye contact with your ball throughout your golf swing, you will not be able to move your head laterally away from your ball.
Another way to describe the swing thought of staying on top of the ball is nothing more than the historical admonition of keeping a steady head during the swing.
Whether your swing thought is “staying on top of the ball,” keeping a steady head during your golf swing, or maintaining eye contact with the ball through impact, you must keep a stable top of the spine position during your golf swing in order for your swing arc to bottom-out in the same position as at the beginning of your golf swing.
Just as there has been some confusion about the concept of “staying on top of the ball” during the golf swing, there has been equal frustration about the concept of keeping a steady head during the golf swing.
Keeping a steady head during your back swing does not mean your head should not move during the down swing to counter-balance the rotation of your hips. Indeed, it must.
Neither does the concept of keeping a steady head mean it can’t move at all during the swing.
For example, you could swivel your head in the manner Jack Nicklaus made famous and yet maintain a top of the spine position during your golf swing.
As long as the top of your spine remains effectively in the same position during your back swing as at the completion of your setup routine, you could move it anyway you desired.
So what then should you do to stabilize the top of your spine during your swing in order to “stay on top of your ball?”
First, keep your left foot firmly planted throughout your golf-swing.
Keeping your left foot planted during your golf swing will help keep the top of your spine stable and improve your golf swing dramatically.
Second, maintain eye contact with the ball through impact.
As stated above, maintaining eye contact with your ball through impact will help keep the top of the spine stable.
Thirdly, avoid raising, lowering or moving your head sideways during your backswing. If your head does not move up, down or sideways during your backswing, the top of your spine will remain stable.
If you do these three things correctly you certainly should “stay on the top of your ball.” Applying the combination of these three may truly be the best golf lesson of late.
Copyright © 2012 by Gordon Jackson