People say it different ways: "Keep your head down." "You picked your head up." "Keep your eye on the ball." "Just hit the ball, we'll watch it." The phrases are familiar and have been with us since the beginning of golf. Undoubtedly, they will continue to be trotted out as long as the game is played. For looking up to see where the ball is going, even before it is hit, is the most common fault in golf.
The best cure for the bad habit is to develop a superior swing. If you are on balance and in position, it is natural to look at the ball. However, for the average player who has his limitations, I recommend a practice I call "stepping on the spot." At address, and while he is launching his swing, the golfer should focus on the ball. As he hits through it, he should keep his eye on the spot where the ball was. Then, while he is still over the ball at the completion of his swing, his next move should be to step on the spot where the ball was, with his right foot, before lifting his head to see where the ball went. The move may seem awkward, but it will pay off.
You can't do anything else but keep your head down if you are concentrating on stepping on the spot. You can view this as a cure for shanking too. During the 50 years I have been teaching the game, I have found stepping on the spot an excellent remedy for both faults.
PHIL TAYLOR, Victoria Golf Club, Victoria, B. C.