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Now to my mind the foregoing are the three basic feels of the golf swing—the pivot, the shoulders moving in response to the pivot, and the arms moving in response to the shoulders. These are the basic movements of a connected and therefore controlled swing, and they must all be built into the framework of your feel of the swing. Of course there are many additional nuances and supplementary feels which you will build up and recognize as your game develops, but though you will add to these three fundamentals you will never alter them. Therein lies much of their value. You will get used to taking a sly look at them occasionally as you go round the course, and so long as you keep these three primary feels right, nothing much will go wrong with your game. Also because we are working from a secure basis we can now begin to notice the nuances and subtleties. We find that we produce purer shots from one sensation than from another only slightly different. We are enticed to arrange our back swing according to the type of shot we wish to produce: an extra pivot if we wish to pull or a restricted pivot if we wish to slice. But please notice that this will not be a conscious, mechanical control—you will not say to yourself, "I wish to slice slightly so I will restrict my swing to an arc of so many degrees," you will simply alter your swing unconsciously in response to your feeling of what will produce the shot you want. Now we might break off at this point. I realize that I have already given you plenty to think of and to work at. But there is a development in your game or in your way of playing it that I want to prepare you for; so, for that reason and for the sake of analyzing the matter out to its logical conclusion I add the following. After a while by dint of pivoting correctly, not dipping our shoulders (i.e. not lifting with the arms), we begin to play some good shots, nice and straight and reasonably long. We have arrived at this stage by building on the basic trinity—pivot, shoulders up, and width—and by occasionally taking a sly peep at how they are going. So far we have never consciously produced a good shot; we have merely made certain mechanical movements which we have been taught will result in good shots. But now we begin to realize how we should feel in order to produce a good shot. We are on the other side of the fence. We know now what it feels like to produce a good shot, and now, instead of preparing for a shot by sly looks at our pivot etc., we instinctively get into the position which we feel will produce a good shot. And as we go on, the feeling of this preparatory state comes more and more into the foreground. If your game does go wrong, if the shots which you thought you had mastered desert you, all you need to do is to go back to the feel of these three basic points. You just take a peep back at them, and then with one or two shots your mechanism will feel familiar again— and all the other supplementary feels which you have built up by practice will be enticed back.
How To Develop A Brilliant Golf Swing
For a good golf swing we have not only to bring the club head down through the same line time after time; we must bring it down so that the club face is square with the ball at the instant of impact—and because the path of the club head is a curve, this means that impact must be timed correctly to an infinitesimal fraction of a second in the sweep of the swing. Also the club head must be accelerating at the moment of impact. So we have not only to set up the mechanism to make a good swing, which we can all soon do if we only swing at the daisies, but we have to time this swing to the fraction of a second. Now I think that most of us overrate the value of good mechanics in golf and underrate the value of accurate timing. I was once watching, with a pupil of mine who had a most perfect swing, a fellow whose action was not pretty—to put it kindly. But he kept hitting nice long shots down the middle. "Not much to look at," I remarked to my pupil. "I would not care a damn what I looked like if I could repeat like that chap!" he replied. The awkward one could repeat his best shots time after time. His mechanics were ungainly but his timing was near perfect. Well, you may say, if that is so, why should you go to so much trouble to give us a good mechanical swing? The answer is that good timing plus a good swing is better than good timing plus an awkward swing. The best swing, mechanically, is the one that pulls the ball a little and then makes it turn a bit to the left at the end of its flight, but if you get your maximum golf happiness out of a swing which slices the ball all around the course, there is no reason to alter your mechanics! If you do want to make an alteration, it may not be an extensive one. I remember one day at St. Cloud an someone came and begged me to give him even fifteen minutes—which I did out of my lunch time as he seemed so insistent. His trouble was that every now and then his iron shots to the green would finish in the bunker to the left of the green. For three years he had failed to find a permanent cure. So on the advice of a friend he came to me. It did not take me long to see what was wrong and to explain to him that now and again his foot-and-leg work was sluggish, and in consequence the club head came in too soon—to put his ball a little to the left. After that brief lesson I never saw him again, as he was on his way back to the States from Paris. But he left me a note of thanks and a handsome present, and when I inquired of the caddy who had been out with him in the afternoon learned he had broken 70. Some time later I saw his photograph in the American Golfer with the news that he had won the West Coast championship. Too much thought about the mechanics is a bad thing for anyone's game. Now the reason why golf is so difficult is that you have to learn it and play it through your senses. You must be mindful but not thoughtful as you swing. You must not think or reflect; you must feel what you have to do. Part of the
difficulty arises because, apart from simple things like riding a bicycle, we have never learned to do things in this way. The beginning of the swing movement is in the feet; the movement passes progressively up through the body, through the arms, and out at the club head.
6 Tips To Give You A Great Golf Swing
In my game I have adopted the simplest possible swing and have insisted that as many shots as possible should be played with fundamentally the same movements. Now that I have outlined the idea of teaching by feel you will better understand why I attach such importance to this point. Now these four points together make up the top of the swing, and I was talking about the waggle— which is the bottom of an imaginary swing! But do not think I was digressing. I was not, the two are linked together. And why? Because unless you feel the whole of the swing in your waggle, your waggle is failing in its purpose. This controlling feel is built up through the constant repetition of the correct movements. We do not know just where in the system it resides, but whether it is muscular memory, or the wearing of certain grooves or channels in the mind, or—as is probable—a combination of the two, it is obvious that the more often the same succession of movements can be repeated the clearer the memory will be. Also, and this is most important, it is highly desirable that the memory should not be confused by the frequent or even occasional introduction of other and different movements—as happens when the swing is fundamentally changed for certain shots. It is mainly for this reason that I teach and preach and practice that every shot from the full drive to the putt should be played with the same movement. Of course in the drive the movement is both more extensive and bolder than for the shorter shots, but fundamentally it is the same. The result must be a feeling of "in-to-out" stroking across the face of the ball—played not at the ball, but through it. The "into-out" refers to the relation of the feel of the path of the club head to the desired line of flight of the ball. The only shots in golf which I have been unable to play or to teach as sections of the fundamental "in-toout" swing are certain shots which call for cut pulled under and across the ball. But for ninety-nine out of every hundred shots a golfer must play, the swing is the movement necessary. So to clear the ground I will list what I consider to be the essentials of the swing: 1. It is essential to turn the body round to the right and then back and round to the left, without moving either way. In other words this turning movement must be from a fixed pivot. 2. It is essential to keep the arms at full stretch throughout the swing—through the back swing, the down swing, and the follow through. 3. It is essential to allow the wrists to break fully back at the top of the swing.
4. It is essential to delay the actual hitting of the ball until as late in the swing as possible. 5. It is essential not to tighten any muscle concerned in the reactive part of the swing (movement above the waist). 6. It is essential to feel and control the swing as a whole and not to concentrate upon any part of it. In a sense this last point is the most vital. The swing must be considered and felt as a single unity, not as a succession of positions or even a succession of movements. The swing is one and indivisible. Now I consider that our golf is liable to go wrong if we lose sight of any of these essentials. There are of course innumerable incidentals that could be added that are important enough to have a considerable influence on one's game, but I will go so far as to say that if you have these six essentials well embedded in your system and if you have developed some conscious control of your swing by getting the feel of the right movements—your game will rarely or never desert you. Of course the comfortable, reliable, right feel is not a thing that comes all at once. For instance, it takes years—though not if your teacher teaches by feel—to feel nicely set and comfortable before the ball; weight between the feet, perfectly free and active and yet firmly planted. Then the waggle. About the waggle a whole book could be written. Every movement we make when we waggle is a miniature of the swing we intend to make. The club head moves in response to the body and the body opposes the club head. It is a flow and counter flow of forces with no static period, no check. There is no check anywhere in a good swing. There is no such thing as the "dead top" of a swing—there are four points each one of which might be so considered if it were not for the other three! They are: (1) When the pivot (feet to shoulders) has reached its top, the arms are still going up. (2) When the arms have reached their top, the body is on its day down. (3) When the arms begin to come down, the wrists have still to break back, and (4) When the wrists break To put the lesson of the concept of control by feel as briefly as possible, we must give up thinking about our shots. In place of thinking there must be conscious control, obtained by building up (by constant repetition of the correct action) a comfortable and reliable feel, a feel that will tell you infallibly through appeal to your muscular memory, what is the right movement —and which will remain with you and control your shots whatever your mental state may be. Not being a matter of thought, this control stands outside the mental state. Cut Your Golf Game Down By 7 Strokes Or Less With Help From This #1 Product Today!
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