If I had a dollar every time I heard the phrase “You brought your head up” or “Keep your head down” I’d be a few grand richer.

These are the kind of phrases that 25 handicappers pass on to other 25 handicappers because they want to try and help their buddies when they’re having a bad day on the course.

Here’s four of the most common things to check if you find you’re hitting the ball thin..

1. Keep Your Spine Angle

We need to keep the same amount of tilt in our spine through impact as we had at address. If your spine angle moves up for example during the downswing, your hips will move closer to the ball and your head will move higher. Technically, yes, the 25 handicapper’s observation as described above is correct. But a 10 year old could also make that observation.

What people need is the route cause of why the head is moving, and a loss of spine angle during the downswing is a common theme.


Position your golf bag behind you so that your backside is touching it at address. Go slow at first, and during your backswing make sure your right buttock maintains contact with your bag and as you turn into your downswing and through swing make sure your left buttock maintains contact. This will help keep your spine angle through the shot and in turn keep your head steady.

2. Keep Your Weight Forward

Having your weight forward helps ensure the low point of the swing arc is past the ball. If you’re familiar with Bobby Clampetts’ ‘Impact Zone’ book he advocates the low point of the swing to be 4 inches past the ball.

If the low point is past the ball this means that the club head is still descending at the moment of impact with the shaft leaning forward – which is what we’re after. This is very difficult to achieve when the majority of the weight isn’t sufficiently on the front leg at impact.

Generally, with the weight back the hands and arms tend manipulate the club and the low point tends to be behind the ball instead of in front. This then leads to not only thin shots but also fat shots as well.


Start with the majority of your weight on your front leg and keep it their throughout the swing. Take slow practice swings next to the ball and make sure you’re striking the ground past the ball. Once you’ve done this a few times take that feeling into a short shot.

3. Keep Your Left Arm Straight

Imagine the spokes on a bicycle wheel, the center doesn’t move but the spokes keep going round and round maintaining the radius of the circle.

If your left arm doesn’t stay straight during the swing until at least the follow through position (just after impact) the radius of the circle isn’t kept. Imagine your left shoulder as the center of the bicycle wheel and your left arm as a spoke. Your job is to keep this spoke the same length from setup through impact.


Take some slow swings at first but practice holding your follow through position. This is the position just after impact when the shaft is at about a 45 degree angle to the ground. Here we want a straight line from your left shoulder to the club head. if you can practice this position and hold it after impact, you’ll start to get a feeling of keeping a straight left arm and a flat left wrist.

Also to help keep your left arm straight during the downswing, try and feel your right arm straighten. During your back swing your right arm will bend as you hinge the club and during the transition into your downswing your forearm should get closer to your body. But after that, try and feel as through your right arm is trying to straighten during the downswing. This will keep some nice width to your swing as well as helping to keep your left arm straight as well as ensure both arms are fully extended just after impact in the follow through position.

4. Train Your Right Hand and Wrist

Most right handed players have a tendency to release the wrist hinge in the right hand coming down into impact. This extends the radius of the swing to early in the downswing and generally causes the low point to occur before the ball. From this motion you’ll again either hit the ball thin or fat. Understand that centrifugal force releases the club head and the correct feeling in the right hand and wrist  is to keep it bent all the way through impact. This then helps keep a flat left wrist.

Final Thought

A final tip would be to make sure you strike the ground with your practice swings, even if it’s just brushing it. When I’m out on the course conducting playing lessons what I’ve found is that people don’t strike the ground during their practice swing. My advice would be to not worry about taking a divot. A practice swing should be a rehearsal of the shot you are about to play, and if you’re not hitting a drive which is teed up high, then you should be striking the ground with your club.

As always, feel free to leave a comment, question or suggestion below and I’ll answer it personally.




P.S. If you’d like me to help you build a better golf swing but can’t get out to see me for a one on one, join my Online Academy and take some mobile lessons. They’re the easiest and most cost effective way of getting some solid instruction and drills relevant to your swing. Click here