Play Your Best | Gimme One ThingSeptember 22, 2014

Watch It Go

Keeping your head down can sap your power

THE KEY MOVE: Let your eyes follow the ball. You'll turn through better and generate more swing speed.

THE KEY MOVE: Let your eyes follow the ball. You'll turn through better and generate more swing speed.

One thing I find myself repeating every day is, "Follow the ball out." A lot of golfers who come to my schools keep their heads down so long after impact. They're instinctively afraid of missing the ball. I just about have to tell them where their shots are going. That locked-down position restricts their turn through impact, and that reduces power.

To create speed through the ball, you need a free-flowing motion. Young limberbacks and tour players might be able to keep their heads down and turn through, but most of us can't. If your head position is rigid, you risk losing speed or, worse, hurting yourself. I promise you, fewer bad shots come from turning your head to follow the ball than from staring down. So give it a whack, and watch it go.

BUTCH'S BASICS

When you want to win the long-drive contest with your buddies, here are three things you can do. First, stand a little wider. Drop your back foot another six inches away from the target. This will set you more behind the ball and promote an aggressive move into impact. Second, make a deliberate backswing. I don't mean slow, but you have to complete your windup before starting down. Third, swing through the ball, not at it. Get to a full finish, and you might be the guy to beat.

Butch Harmon is a Golf Digest Teaching Professional.