How The Head Moves Down and Past Impact

By | on June 17, 2011 | 20 Comments | Array


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Paul Wilson is the creator of Swing Machine Golf and founder of Ignition Golf. Paul's golf swing technique is based on the Iron Byron swing machine. YouTube Channels: Paul Wilson Golf and Ignition Golf Tips. Please Join me on Google+

20 Responses to “How The Head Moves Down and Past Impact”

  1. August 25, 2013


    Paul –

    This is a great eye awakening lesson (impact head) that is really putting it together for me. I’ve been working for the past few rounds on coiling and uncoiling and through the process I hit a lot of pulls and some pull-hooks. I was also working with lag and not hitting with my arms. I really think that because I was pulling and pull-hooking the ball, that through my uncoiling, my head was moving with my body in unison while turning which would put my arms over the line.I’m now going to start working on the coil/uncoil with keeping my head behind the ball and not moving it until the arms are parallel. Is this what you meant in your book that your head looks down the entire time until you right shoulder hits your chin to look up? Apparently I keep looking down but was turning my head through the entire downswing.

    On another note, do you think that the downswing trigger you teach (turning of the hips) automatically happens if I follow your lesson on “uncoiling” For example, should I think (1) coil to the backswing, (2) turn hips, and (3) uncoil? Or do you think it automatically happens in unison?

    Thanks for your help!


    • August 26, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      When you uncoil the head would still be behind the ball causing the body tilt in the downswing. I am releasing a few tips on this later this week. Yes, you are watching the ball then where the ball was. You do this until the back arm is parallel to the ground in the through swing. I think you get it. Plus, the head is behind the ball from the front view as you hit the ball. This keeps you behind it as you hit it.

      You have to think about uncoiling. If you can do it without thinking about it that’s great but most cannot. I like people to pick a trigger and stick with it.

  2. January 8, 2015


    In the downswing keeping your head behind the ball,for both the driver and iron clubs, you are definitely dropping your head below the address position. So the tendency to hit fat is definitely there as you have mentioned. The question how does one move the head back up to the address position at impact preventing the fat shot? You talk about shifting/uncoiling a bit faster to correct. Is this because it allows that flexed left leg at address and at the top of the swing to straighten with the uncoiling of the lower body thereby raising your head back to address position at impact? If so, this is a delicate bit of sequencing that will take some work.

    Later, Ken

    • January 9, 2015

      Paul Wilson


      The fat shot is not caused by the head dropping. Your head will drop when you fire the legs because doing so is like hitting the accelerator on a car. Fire the lower body and upper will hang back. This creates the descending blow and allows a divot to be taken. Now if you do this will too much weight on your back foot at impact you will tilt too much and the arc won’t clear resulting in fat shots. If you try to keep your head up you will never take a divot.


      Impact Tilt With Different Clubs:


      Impact Head Behind Ball:
      Stop Fat Shots When Working On Moving Your Head:

      • March 31, 2018


        “Your head will drop when you fire the legs because doing so is like hitting the accelerator on a car. Fire the lower body and upper will hang back. This creates the descending blow and allows a divot to be taken.”

        I’ve noticed in close-ups of your downswing, Paul, that your head seems to moves down as you fire the lower body and it stays down until you reach the 3/4 position in the follow-through. If I now understand what’s happening, that “downward” movement is only an illusion. It only appears to move down because of the tilt of the spine. Your head and spine tilt from the base of the spine along a radius of the circular arc the club head makes as it moves toward impact. You don’t bend your knees or “dig down” in any way with your shoulders and arms. I hope that I’ve interpreted the movement correctly.

  3. January 12, 2015


    Thanks Paul…really helped…just a clarification: The tilt at impact is the same as that at address but with the head behind the ball?

    Later, Ken

  4. Hi Paul,

    I’m coming from a history of slicing. I watched your video on learning to hook and from that I’ve been experimenting recently with setting up with my back tilted. I set up with the club loose in my left (forward) hand, then tilt my spine until my right hand can reach across and grip naturally. This is a very ‘strong’ grip, of course, and has virtually eradicated my slice. Another benefit (I thought) was that it permits swinging back and through to contact with a very still head. It feels very natural and I sometimes manage a high degree of effortlessness and dead straight shots (before I slip back into winding up ‘the power’ and it all slips away… 😉

    The same approach for my pitching has seen the closest spread of balls I’ve yet managed. It feels superbly repeatable.

    My problem is when I tire or start to go for distance, then my problems of too much lateral movement, failure to release or failure to complete the follow-through creep back in.

    Just wondered if you had any comments on this set-up? Is there any difference between tilting back during the backswing or setting up that way? I’m guessing yes, so I’d like to hear your views.


    • Leigh,

      Not sure what you mean “setting up with back tilted.” Are you tilted right or away from the target at setup. If so you are pre-tilting. This pre-tilt gets you swinging inside out instead of over the top. The problem – you will start hitting pushes and push fades. Also, the only reason the ball is not going right (push/push fade) is the strong grip. How can you have loose wrists with a strong grip. If your wrists are loose you will hook it off the planet. If you tighten too much you will hit pushes and push fades. So although you are seeing a few better shots now you will see shots just as bad in the near future.

      Keep in mind if you are having to tighten the wrists to stop the hook how do you ever do this consistently? This means you will have to practice a lot (every day).

      Strong Grip Stops The Release:

      Remembering How to Cure Pushed Shots:

      How To Cure Pushes and Push Fades:

      You get the backwards tilt not by pre-tilting. You get the backwards tilt by firing your lower body first in the downswing:

      2 Things Flatten the Plane:

      When people are having trouble getting rid of an over the top swing I often have them manually tilt but this is only for a short period of time. Once they stop the over the top then they need to turn to stop the over-tilt.

      Anyway, curing slices is my specialty. I can do this in minutes. All you had to do is roll it over and get it hooking. Once you do that you add body rotation to straighten it out. Now you have a strong grip and pre-tilted. So you now have to make the choice what you want to do. Like I said, you will hit bad shots and you will have to practice this twice as hard to keep it. See how it goes or just follow my tips and work on it how I suggest.

      DRILL: 3 Ways To Roll It Over:
      Roll Around The Stick:
      Roll Over Drill Span:
      Clarifying the Roll Over Drill:
      After The Roll Over Drill:

  5. Hi Paul,

    Thanks for your comprehensive reply. I’ve stopped the pre-tilting and have been working on your advice to good effect. My slice is a much rarer beast these days and I’m generally drawing more frequently.

    However, I do have the occasional huge slice and it’s a scary one because it can be a real screamer off into the bushes on the right. Now that I’m drawing more, the fact that this shot ends up almost 90 degrees off the ‘expected’ result really shakes my confidence.

    I’m trying to work out what’s different, but it’s not clear to me. It often comes after a run of hitting the ball really well, so I guess I’m trying to get ‘more’ and some fault creeps in. Obviously, the face is wide open at impact. I don’t think I’m locking my wrists, although it could be late roll. Or I could be over-winding on the backswing into a reverse pivot. I’ve checked but I don’t see any videos on this subject in the archive. It would be great if you could elaborate on the common outcomes of the reverse pivot.

    Keep up the great work. If I might make a suggestion for your website, it would be to add a ‘troubleshooting’ section to the golf tips tab, a sort of “If you’re doing ‘this’ or if ‘that’ is happening, try ‘this’..”


    • Leigh,

      That big slice is you hitting way way way way way too hard and probably looking up trying to see this amazing shot you think you’re going to hit.

      Maybe you do 3-5 roll over drills before every tee shot to remind you about the wrist release.

      Thanks for the suggestion but there is already a CURES section in there. Are you not suing the Dashboard. There is a whole section on Cures there too. Might want to check it out.

  6. December 17, 2017


    Am very glad I found this particular tip, Paul…..Couldn’t figure out why I didn’t feel as though I was coming around the ball in a spinning motion….It was because I was moving my head with my body through the actual swing; my head was moving right along with my body until the finish instead of staying stationary until the very end of my stroke…..thx again for this tip and the others as well that address this problem!!!!!!

    • Avatar photo

      December 18, 2017

      Paul Wilson


      Glad you found that one too. Head coming around with your body is definitely not good.

  7. December 18, 2017


    One last question on this tip———-I seem to remember in one of your tips in particular, you said that when you uncoil, the bottom part of your body is just SLIGHTLY ahead of your turning arms and hands. And that distance (just being slightly ahead) stays the same throughout the swing because your arms are connected to your turning body and can’t turn unless the body turns first. So obviously we don’t want the arms/hands to get separated from the turning body (possibly getting too far behind the body)….Is this correct??

    • Avatar photo

      December 20, 2017

      Paul Wilson


      Yes, your body is leading … your arms are following. If you only drive you legs too hard you would get ahead of it and hit pushes and push fades. Before you should drive the lower body hard you need to follow the tip below.

      DRILL: Golf Swing Timing For More Distance:

  8. August 24, 2018



  9. February 1, 2019


    Hey Paul,
    Can you discuss the ramifications when I make a good shift, head moves back to right side, make
    a good lower body shift touching the legs but never move the head back past impact to left side.
    Still finishing with club parallel with ears by coming back to the head still over right side. I tend to
    do this the more I work on the tilt. I get enough lower body shift because I don’t hit it fat but I miss left
    still and kind of strains the back and feeling a reverse C. In other words , I use to lean left too much
    on the down swing but I think I hang back too much with the upper body when trying to fix it still
    resulting in hooks and pulls. What do you think? Thanks Brad I can only swing in the house right now
    because it is -12

    • Avatar photo

      February 2, 2019

      Paul Wilson


      This would be hanging back and it’s not good because this will put severe pressure on your lower back. Jack and Johnny Miller are in this situation because at times they both did the reverse C. So you need to get out of it. So you need to feel the lower vertical overtop of the left leg. I would be doing this in practice swings because it is a balance thing. You do this with balls and you wil be out of balance as you hit your shots so you won’t be too excited about fixing it.

      If you are behind the ball and pulling or hooking you are flipping it through impact severely closing the face so much that the ball deflects off the face left. Sounds like you now have the tilt behind it so you need to start getting off this foot through impact.

      Impact Back Heel Off Ground (impact hip drill):

      As you swing through try to look at the outside of the back left foot. To do this you need to stand more vertically and get the weight off this back foot.

      You can also add a recoil to hep with balance.

      Learn How To Recoil:

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