I’m beginning to think golf was originally a way to teach the fundamental’s of the miracle that is the human anatomy by imparting the basics of good posture and body control more than scoring birdies or pars. Everything about it is so Zen – it’s all about precise mind/body control. And every time I get one thing down like my grip or weight distribution or foot placement – out of nowhere a whackamole pops up asking me to focus and yet another body part alignment.
This time it’s my chin.
It makes sense. The head has weight. The golf swing is all about pendulum swings that revolve around your center of gravity and how your various joints (knees, elbows, wrists, ankles, shoulders – ya’know all the round objects that connect to straight objects) cooperate while orbiting your CoG. In order to avoid your entire body from tipping off axis like a decelerating top throughout the swing that axis needs to stay straight. [sidebar aha – i think that can also explain what happens when i swing over the top and strike the ball thin or fat]. Most of it has to do with your spine but the north end of said spine/axis is all about your skull which, it turns out, is best set in place by thinking about your chin.
All this time I’ve been staring down at the ball face-on with my chin tucked towards my collar bone. Come to find out that the proper posture is to stick my chin out and look at the ball downwards from my eye lids. It feels like I’m looking down my nose at the ball. It makes sense. Every beginning position-instruction starts by telling you to stand straight and at attention (almost like an infantryman/woman in the military standing at attention – chin up, chest out, stomach in, eyes forward, shoulders back …. and so on) and then to bend at the hip joint not the waist. If you maintain your head position this would mean that when your club hits the ground your sight line has you looking some 10 yards away from you at which point you need to not tilt your head down but let your eyes roll down until you see the ball. Doing so not only promotes good balance throughout the swing – keeping you on-axis – but also allows your shoulders to rotate unimpeded from back to front.
I’m gonna start putting this into practice but just playing air golf around the house I can feel the difference in my ability to find the low point in my swing more consistently.
Who’d a thunk? Makes sense though. My head is like a bowling ball. It is quite heavy when I think about it. If I have it leaning towards my front more so than my back side – it will no doubt impact the truth in my swing. Yep – I said it – truth. Golf is not about sport – its about purity and balance and esoteric stuff like finding your truth. It’s journey and, frustrating as it is, the perfect journey for this argonaut.
Beam me up Scotty.
**Golf – self discovery via proper anatomical mastery**