Why Henrik Stenson Does NOT Look At The Ball At Impact

When watching the great Swede in action you'll notice there is a unique move in his golf game...

Why Henrik Stenson Does NOT Look At The Ball At Impact

When watching the great Swede in action you'll notice there is a unique move in his golf game that leads us to ask why Henrik Stenson does NOT look at the ball at impact - the answer might just be the reason his ball striking is so good!

Why Henrik Stenson Does NOT Look At The Ball At Impact

Henrik Stenson is without question one of the finest ball strikers in world golf.

His imperious display at Royal Troon last year proves just how well struck his shots are.

Related: Ball striking drills

But if you have seen the Swede in action you have probably asked yourself why Henrik Stenson does not look at the ball at impact.

This head movement might seem unusual but it is more common than you might think and can actually help the quality of your shots.

Related: 4 things you can learn from watching Henrik Stenson

One of the biggest myths in golf is that you have to keep your head down.

This is often a piece of instruction that gets handed down from one amateur to another.

You can watch Rory McIlroy’s coach Michael Bannon talk about this exact point in this video interview.

The issue with keeping your head down is that you can restrict the way your body rotates through impact.

As we all know, the golf swing put simply is – two turns and a hit.

To generate real power you need to be able to be able to shift your weight through the downswing (from right to left for the right hander) while turning your hips and upper body.

Henrik Stenson Golf Swing Analysis

Anything that restricts this move will cause problems both with the quality and accuracy of the strike.

In Henrik Stenson’s case, he starts to rotate his head with his upper body rotation before he has actually struck the ball.

Indeed, Stenson is not the only top player to adopt this move.

Ian Poulter and, far more obviously, Annika Sorenstam both turn their heads towards the target before they strike the ball. Gary Alliss offers some video advice on how to master the right body rotation.

annika sorenstam

Henrik Stenson Power Tips

So when answering the question, why Henrik Stenson does not look at the ball at impact, the answer is simple, because you don’t have to.

In his case, it is far more important that he clears his body.

Importantly however, you should notice how he maintain his spine angle from address, through impact and towards the finish. This is essential.

He might turn his head but he doesn’t lift or dip it.

How to set your spine angle

Great golfers all have certain technical keys in common, maintaining their posture is one of them.

So whilst Henrik’s head movement might seem strange, it is part of a very orthodox, very powerful golf swing.

What does all this means – well, don’t let anyone tell you to keep your head down!

Neil Tappin
Digital Editor

In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."


Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points. 

Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSR2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X