Head position in the golf stance directly influences the shape of the swing. The position of the head at address determines the angle of the spine – the angle of the spine determines the shoulder plane.
The head must be slightly tilted to the right to encourage the spine to be inclined away from the target because the right hand is lower than the left when the golfer grips the club.
If the head angle tilts towards the target, the shoulder turn will become too steep which will result in an outside to in swing path.
If the head is set too far back the shoulder turn will be too inside and flat leading to a hooking action.
To change the shape of your shots alter the angle and position of the head at address.
Head Angle in the Golf Swing Takeaway
The most important part of the swing is the takeaway. A good one-piece takeaway helps set up the correct width of arc, plane, and line of the swing.
The position of the head directly affects the quality of a one-piece takeaway. If the angle of the head impedes the shoulder turn, the one-piece takeaway will break down too early.
Some famous golfers including Jack Nicklaus have allowed their head to swivel to the right to allow a free turning of the shoulders.
Do not allow the top of your head to start tilting to the left (towards the target) after you have looked at the target before hitting a shot. This will lead to a reverse pivot and a probable slice.
Top of Backswing Head Position
At the top of the backswing, the head must be set back to the right slightly as the body has shifted to the right.
From in front, the left ear of a golfer should be more visible than the right. Keeping the head too still is a very common mistake. Allow it to swivel to the right to complete a good shoulder turn.
It is also very important to have the chin up so that the left shoulder has space to turn underneath. Many golfers look at the ball so intently that the head and chin drop down and impede a full turn.
Head Position on Downswing and Impact
It is crucial for the head to anchor the top half of the body during the downswing or a golfer will not be able to hit against a firm left side and release the club past the body.
The head must be set back as the golfer reaches half way down to ensure the golfer uses the correct inside swing path.
A good way to find out if your head is angled correctly is to have a practice swing and close the left eye. With the left eye closed a golfer should not be able to see the ball, as the end of their nose should be in the way.
The head should be kept anchoring the swing until well after impact.