“Keep your head down.” One of those myths in golf that just won’t seem to go away! It's frightening!
I was working with a student just last week and noticed a man hitting balls behind him that kept his head down the entire time… THE ENTIRE TIME! From address position to his VERY incomplete finish! He was upset because he was topping shots and pulling them left (I have know idea how he knew he was pulling them since he never watched a single ball)! In addition, while holding his finish with his eyes glued to the ground at where his ball used to be, he looked and sounded like he was in pain... LOTS OF PAIN.
If you have a strong back (there’s my disclaimer), try it for yourself. Take a practice swing and don’t let your eyes come up at all! OUCH! Little twinge back there huh? Also… notice how restricted your finish was (OUCH times TWO!!)?
Not only does keeping your head down after impact restrict the follow-through and prevent the upper body from finishing completely, BUT, it affects the entire swing, causing it to become very arm-dominated... translated: DISTANCE LOST!
Amazingly, it’s hard to convince even good players that it’s okay to look up. They feel as if they are committing the unpardonable sin in golf (research reveals that bending the left arm on the backswing comes in second place… not first… as far as golf sins are concerned... I'm just saying.)!
Soooo, rather than telling my students to keep their head down, I tell them, “keep your eye on the ball.” Meaning that once they (you) strike the ball at impact, they (you) should try following it with their (your) eyes. Truth of the matter is that it is impossible to do. You won’t actually see the ball during it’s initial takeoff. However, it’s a good swing thought to get the head rotating… thus freeing your upper body turn. Dare I say… perhaps even adding a bit more distance?!?!
But don’t take my word for it (although you should!), try it for yourself. Hit some full shots, short shots, chip shots… and try following the ball with your eyes and see how much freer your body’s rotation is. Go ahead. You’ll be okay. I promise!