How many women have been told to keep their heads down? Or how about keeping your left arm straight? These are two of the worst swing thoughts you could have. Let me explain.
By keeping the head down, throughout the swing, you will restrict the follow through. In the forward swing the center (the front of your upper body), should move through the ball to a level and balanced position facing the target. The head remains steady and over the ball in the back swing until contact is made in the forward swing. Then the head must rotate and move forward with the center, getting all the weight off the back foot in order to finish the swing properly. A simple way to get this feel is to watch the flight of the ball after you hit it. You should be in position to continue walking down the fairway upon completion of your swing.
Now what about keeping your left arm straight in the back swing? (Left handed people please reverse). One of the many reasons golf is so difficult is because the body must be as relaxed and as flexible as possible. A slight bend in the back swing of the left arm is OK as long as it has not totally collapsed. Do not attempt to do anything with your body that will make your muscles tense up including your grip pressure. Hold the club like it’s a wounded bird and let the arms hang naturally from the body when addressing the ball. This will allow the club head to release in the hitting area with the right arm crossing over the left arm in the follow through.
When teaching I like to talk about reaching or stretching the arms in the back swing and forward swing and about letting your head go with the shot after contact so your body becomes your power. The distance you acquire, comes from your body and arms working in unison not just from your arms, especially in women as our upper body strength is far less than a man. Do not try to keep your head down just over the ball in the back swing and do not tense up that left arm, just let it hang naturally with a soft grip. Have some fun, it’s much easier when you are relaxed.