It makes me incredulous that this topic is never talked about. I say never in the context that I have never seen anyone as good looking or smooth with the ladies as myself, but I know this mythical figure probably exists.
Apple fights in the monkey cage at the zoo are conducted with more civility than debates over inconsequential topics like how much forearm rotation Hogan had between P6 and P8, yet an extremely important and fundamental topic like eye line gets no play at all.
I will start with a question. What would you think about basketball players shooting free throws with their eyes tilted 45 degrees from the rim? Now, this might have been the cure for Shaquille O’Neal’s woes, but for most, it would be a complete disaster.
How many bad guys would a CIA sniper take out if his scope was not mounted parallel to the gun barrel?
One could say both of these questions seem rhetorical to the point of being ridiculous. I agree, so why then do hoards of golfers tilt their eye line as much as 45 degrees off the target line with barely a mention anywhere, or by anyone?
It boggles the mind in the same sense as why you park on a driveway and drive on a parkway.
- Bobby Jones, who “over rotated.”
- Jack Nicklaus who tilted his head away from the target to trigger his back swing.
- John Daly whose back swing scoffs at convention.
- The mighty Monte Scheinblum, who won a world long drive title without enough muscle to bench press a sleeve of golf balls.
All of them kept their eye line parallel to the target line.
Even Kenny Perry, who lifts and basically turns his his entire back perpendicular to the target line, barely shifts his eye line a few degrees right and he is the extreme.
I see eye lines all day long that start as much as 45 degrees to the right. I can hear the minions of the morass saying, “So what?”
To put it simply, the arms and the turn of the body will follow where the eyes are looking and swing the club there. Without getting into a dissertation about all of the swing faults a poor eye line causes, let’s just look at two simple, common and easy to understand ones.
- The head starts tilted, so the right ear (right-handed golfer) is tilted too far toward the right shoulder. Guess what? The arms follow that line too far to the inside on the back swing. That tilt of the head makes it awkward to properly shift into left side, so the arms reroute over the top. Well folks, your two choices in that pattern are a slice, or your friends are going to make you feel like you are skeet shooting. “PUUUUUUULL!!!!!!!”
- The head and eye line start OK, but the head tilts to the right at the top of the swing because the golfer is trying to make a “full turn.” Assuming the body shifts and turns in the transition properly, the arms get trapped inside trying to follow the eye line. They fly out away from the body, the body stalls and the hands flip. Captain Hook.
This issue is extremely easy to fix and always pays immediate dividends. Put an alignment stick just outside the ball as a frame of reference. Get setup and put the club shaft you are holding on the bridge of your nose across your eyes and see where you are. If need be, change your head position until your eyes are parallel to that alignment stick. When you swing, make sure your eyes stay parallel to that stick. Have a friend help you out if need be.
I have yet to see one person who didn’t improve the path of their arm swing (on both the back swing and downswing) the very first time they fixed their head and eye line position.
For all those wanting to tell me sob stories about being old or inflexible: your back swing is too long. Shorten it and fix you eye line.