InstructionMay 12, 2016

The Body Part You Never Thought Of That Could Be Ruining Your Swing

You're probably used to hearing people tell you to keep your left arm firm, or to turn your shoulders, or rotate your hips.

But in going through a bunch of Tiger Woods instruction pieces in Golf Digest, two words pop up in a bunch of pieces -- on everything from drivers to bunkers to iron play: Chin up.

Are these two revolutionary words in instruction?


Are you probably underestimating their importance and impact on your swing?


Getty Images

Tiger Thurs.jpg

According to Woods, these are all the things that keeping your chin up affects.

  • "Many amateurs bury the chin in the chest during setup, which restricts the shoulder turn," says Tiger. Try it: Stand like you’re going to hit a ball, and tuck your chin down. Try and turn your shoulders back. You can’t make a full turn. And that’s bad.

  • When you can’t make a full shoulder turn, you’re inhibiting your weight transfer. Pick your chin up, and feel your left shoulder turn underneath. Tiger says, "When my left shoulder easily clears under my chin, my weight has moved into my right side at the top of my backswing." Since your shoulders and hips are connected via your core, by letting your shoulders turn, you’ve let your hips turn, too. That allows a proper weight shift.

  • Keeping your chin down also affects your spine angle – in a bad way. A lot of amateurs have a tendency to let the angle of their spine collapse down at impact. That’s bad news, because you’re setting yourself up for a chunk. If you keep your chin up, you’re straightening our your spine. If you maintain that ‘chin up’ position through impact, you’re more likely to maintain that good spine angle, therefore setting yourself up for much cleaner ball contact.

  • A tucked chin hurts your ability to stay in balance. Keeping your chin up promotes a strong, stable core position that you need to stay balanced throughout the shot. Tiger says, "Focusing on good posture allows me to finish with both back pockets fully in view from the back. I'm in perfect balance."