Chris DeVincentis has seen it far too often. The players who think they must keep their head down and their eye on the ball.

What often happens next is why the Big Oak Golf teaching professional says he “hates” hearing that advice.

“Their chin is tucked in at their chest (with eyes locked on the ball). The club swings up (on the backswing) with no weight shift because they can’t,” DeVincentis says while imitating someone trying to swing with their tucked chin blocking the shoulder turn. “Then, they stick the club in the ground behind the ball.”

And the divot flies farther than the ball.

DeVincentis says when a player addresses the ball, the chin should be up and out of the way for the backswing. A player should still look at the ball, but shouldn’t get stuck looking at the ball.

Creating the proper weight shift is another key part of executing one of the favorite adages among teaching professionals: hit the little ball before the big ball. Translated, it means to hit the golf ball before the Earth.

DeVincentis teaches the weight shift by using an alignment stick planted in the ground a couple inches away from his front hip.

“When I make my backswing, hopefully there’s a little movement where my hip moves away from (the stick) and my weight moves into my back foot,” DeVincentis says. “When I do that, my first move on my downswing should be to bump into that stick and then rotate my body through so that I get a weight shift and rotation.”

Players who lock their head on the ground will sometimes hold their weight forward on the backswing. The result is a club that can’t get back to the ball and takes the chunk first.

Another way to think about it is as a tennis player or someone skipping a stone. You wouldn’t do either with your head locked on the ground. The same goes for a golf swing.

DeVincentis also uses an easy drill to check if a players is making contact properly. Use white baby powder or paint and draw a short line on the ground. Place the ball so the back edge or the spot where the club will make contact is even with the back of the line and then hit the ball. If you’re doing it right, there will be no grass touched behind the line and any divot will be in front of the line.

Holding the spine angle is also important and DeVincentis uses the infamous Charles Barkley swing as an example of what very much not to do.

“When I turn my body either way–going back or coming through–my whole spine has to stay tilted,” DeVincentis says. “If my body is moving up or down off of that, the odds of coming back to the ball squarely are poor.” As the cringeworthy version of Barkley’s swing displayed on a regular basis.

Simply executing this swing properly can give the amateur a bit of the professional level spin on an iron shot. DeVincentis says spin, or lack thereof, is often created by making clean contact with the ball. The more grass that gets in the way, the less spin a shot will have. That’s why it’s much harder to create spin out of the rough.

At the very least, it’ll keep the big ball out of the way for your swing at the little ball.