How To Stop A Slice, By Tom Watson

"The most commonly asked question to me is how do you stop a slice?

Everybody seems that they slice the ball and they want a solution.

Well, there are several things I tell.

The first thing I look at is the grip.

A lot of the time, that's the only solution that's necessary for people who slice the ball."

Reference : 'Lessons of A Lifetime' Instruction from one of Golf's Greats Your Step by Step Guide to a Better Game in 44 Lessons' DVD. Copyright © 2010 Tom Watson Productions

Tom Watson - The Grip

Tom Watson - The Grip

Disc One Lesson 18 The Slice Disc 2 Lesson 43 How Can I Stop Slicing the Ball? Lesson 2 of DVD Disc One 1 The Grip With accompanying Two Disc Set & Instructional Booklet.

Available on Amazon :
Tom Watson: Golf Lessons of a Lifetime (2010) [DVD]


"The left hand and arm must be taught their roles, then they can help the powerful right to make the timed blow, so sought after and yet rarely found." Henry Cotton

How Do You Correct The Out To In Swing By Vivien Saunders

"For very advanced players this is the bit of the swing they probably work at"
Filmed at Abbotsley Golf Hotel St Neots Cambridgeshire U. K.

Advice To Incurables (1907) By Alex Smith

"There are golfers - plenty of them - who the more they play, the worse they play.

They have read all the books, they have taken lessons from all the teachers within reach, and still they cannot achieve a respectable game; and by this I mean long game, which is the same thing in the mind of most our middle-aged amateurs.

Alex Smith 1907

Alex Smith Open Champion, United States and Western Open Champion The Drive Top of Swing

The Drive Top of Swing

If they could only drive decently, they would be pretty well satisfied, even though no single piece of price pewter ever graced their sideboards.

For these unfortunate gentlemen I have a word, and I trust, an enlightening one.

In my experience as a teacher I have had to deal with some desperate cases, considered from a medical golfer's standpoint, and I have learned to recognize the more common and deadly forms of the disease.

All I can say is to warn them that the first business of a golfer is to hit the ball, and no system, no theory, no great and inner secret can do that for you.

Clean hitting is the foundation upon which everything else is builded.

Coming now to our subject proper, there are three mistakes in particular against which I desire to warn you.

So long as you persist in these vital errors you will never be a player, and you must first learn to recognize the symptoms before proceeding to cure the disease.

Rising On The Left Toe

Rising, on the left toe, at the same time keeping the left knee stiff, is a virulent and common disorder of the golfing system.

The inevitable result is that the player is unable to see the ball, unless he sways his body over to the right and out of the correct vertical position.

The cure is simple. Let the left knee relax and turn in towards his fellow. You will then be able to swing the body around in the correct vertical plane and the ball will remain comfortably in sight. The left heel leaves the ground when it gets ready to do so and not before.

Let it be clearly understood that swaying the body to the right is absolutely destructive of good golf, and that if you stiffen up your left knee this same swaying is the inevitable consequence.

Player Falls Back

Another chronic disease shows itself at the end of the swing, where the player falls back, thereby depriving his stroke of a large percentage of its power. The difficulty here is that the body has not entered properly into the swing.

As the club head goes through the weight is kept on the right foot instead of being transferred to the left heel, and the player is obliged to fall back in order to keep his balance at all.

As I figure it out, the difficulty arises from the fact that the player tries to pull the club through with his left hand.

That allows the right shoulder to drop and so the weight is kept back on the right foot and the body cannot come through. The player who adopts my theory about the right hand and forearm being always in command, will not be troubled by this tendency to fall back.

The right shoulder will be kept up, the weight will be transferred to the left foot, at the proper moment, and the full power of the player's body will be thrown into the stroke.

It follows that golfers who hold the generally accepted theory that the golfing stroke is principally made with the left are in special danger of getting into the falling back habit.

Wrong Bending of The Left Wrist

The last, and perhaps the worst of the ills to which golfing is flesh is subject, is the wrong bending of the left wrist.

Study the illustration which shows the incorrect position and then compare it with the true wrist action, as depicted in several photographs of the earlier lesson chapters.

Then take your natural swing and, holding the club in its horizontal position behind your neck, step up to a mirror and look at your left wrist. Never mind about the right one; that will take care of itself; it is the left one whose position is important.

Now, if it is bent, as shown in illustration for this lesson, you will have to get it put right, or give up all hope of ever becoming a passable golfer.

Neither power nor accuracy is possible unless the wrists work freely and naturally, and in the common error illustrated above they could not be less free, or more unnatural.

There is a cause, of course, and in the great majority of cases I diagnose it as due to the pushing out of the left elbow as the club goes back. If I am right, the remedy is equally obvious - keep the left elbow in and let the wrist turn toward the body so that you can see the full back of the left hand.

Lessons in Golf By Alex Smith 1907This ensure the proper wrist action and adds immensely to the power, speed and accuracy of the stroke.

There is little more that can be said, in a general way, for the benefit of golfing invalids... As a rule, shorten up your swing when you fall into a streak of bad play.

It is a common fallacy that the longer the swing, the longer the ball driven by it; and yet experience is constantly teaching us that that is by no means the case."

Reference : 'Lessons in Golf' by Alex Smith Open Champion, United States and Western Open Champion. Lesson VII Advice to Incurables. New York, Arthur Pottow, 48 West 27th Street 1907. Copyright 1907 by Arthur Pottow Grannis Press New York.

Download : 'Lessons in Golf' By Alex Smith Lesson VII Advice to Incurables Open Champion, United States and Western Open Champion.

"As I figure it out, the difficulty arises from the fact that the player tries to pull the club through with his left hand. That allows the right shoulder to drop and so the weight is kept back on the right foot and the body cannot come through. The player who adopts my theory about the right hand and forearm being always in command, will not be troubled by this tendency to fall back." Alex Smith

Geoff Paine Playing off one leg and a Five Handicap By Bill Cox Improve Your Golf a Penguin Handbook Plate 67 and 68 page 130 First Published 1963 Copyright Bill Cox

"Geoffrey Paine playing off one leg and a five handicap. So (having established the fact that it is the hands which must control the shot) the next step is to strengthen and develop good hand-action." By Bill Cox Fulwell Golf Club Assistant to Henry Cotton
Reference : 'Improve Your Golf' Bill Cox 1963 Penguin Books Ltd. Copyright © Bill Cox

"The accent must always be on the fact that golf is 85 per cent. arms and wrists and 15 per cent. body (1952)". "I have long seen the way the speed is built up - 85 per cent wrists, 10 per cent arms and 5 per cent shoulder (i.e., the body) (1964)." Henry Cotton

Which Part Must Be The Most Active By Donald Ross

Donald Ross FEELGOLF SCHOOL Former Tour Professional teaches his unique and highly successful FeelGolf method. DVD Filmed on location at Montecastillo Hotel & Golf Resort, Spain

The Art To His Sorrow (1909) By Harold H. Hilton

"To be able to play the slice shot in golf is admittedly useful to any player, but there are not so many occasions when it is of service as it is undoubtedly the case with the pull stroke.

H. H. HiltonIt is possible to use the wind which blows from the left to the right by playing well into the wind with the slightest bit of curl on the ball, but it is a difficult, and moreover, a dangerous shot, as if it is not played correctly, the spin imparted to the ball simply leaves it to the mercies of the breeze.

A ball with any degree of slice upon it is more affected by the wind than any other class of shot in the game.

A very high shot without any marked side-spin upon it will bore its way into quite a respectably strong wind without coming to any great harm, but hit that ball high with a slice on it and then view the result.

It will career off to the right like one possessed.

The strength of the head wind seems to accentuate the spin of the ball, and it is for this reason that I consider any form of sliced shot in golf is a dangerous development in one's game.

That it is an extremely serviceable shot on occasions must be admitted, as occasionally one finds an obstruction in the way too high or too near to be cleared, and perforce one has to find a way round it, and the only way is by putting a slice on the ball.

Front View Hilton Finish 1916

But perhaps the time when it is more useful than any other to have at command the ability to slice a ball at will is when the green is so situated that it is absolutely necessary that the shot should stop comparatively dead upon landing ; say, for instance, the first hole at St. Andrews when the ground is hard, and the seventeenth hole at Prestwick.

At the latter hole in particular it is extremely useful to be able to impart a certain amount of "cut" to the ball, but in a year's golf one does not come across many of this class of hole.

So many players find it easy to slice a ball without even trying to do so, and if you told a natural slicer he must learn how to slice, he would probably look at you aghast, and suggest, that he had already developed the art to his sorrow, but the truth is his unintentional slice is entirely due to some defect in style, a defect invariably to be found in faulty foot work or body action which throws him off his balance at the moment of impact.

Mr John Ball British Amateur Champion 1912I have often seen ludicrous cases of habitual slicers making up their minds to play to the left and allow for the probable slice on the ball, and when they do so promptly hit the ball directly where they are aiming, without any slice on at all. No doubt the very fact of attempting to aim off the line, in some way produces an alteration in their style.

The scientific slice is a very different thing from the slice of incompetence, as it is accomplished by bringing the club across the ball from right to left with the aid of the wrists on the downward swing.

In this shot do not hold too tight with the left hand, as the slice is imparted to the ball with the right hand alone, and this hand must have as much play as possible right through the piece ; in fact, after the ball is once hit, you can almost leave go with the left hand altogether.

Just grip sufficiently firm to control the club on the upward swing, as almost directly after the downward swing is commenced the right hand takes complete command. You must stand "open" when playing this shot, that is with the right foot considerably more forward than the left, and keep the balance on the right leg, and it will be found a help to many to squat slightly when playing this shot, with the knees slightly bent. The scientific slice is the shot above any other with a wooden club in which it is essential that the body action should be restricted, as it is a stroke which should be played with the arms and wrists alone.

sixhandicapharoldhiltongolferOf course, there must be a little body play, but make it as little as possible.

In the upward swing try to swing the club so that at the finish of the upward swing the club head is out and away from you.

This enables you to cut across the ball on the downward swing.

Naturally, the wrist action is almost entirely opposite to that employed in connection with the pull ; the wrist is turned what might be termed under as much as possible."

Reference : 'THE SIX HANDICAP GOLFER'S COMPANION' by "Two Of His Kind" With Chapters By HAROLD H. HILTON And H. S. COLT Illustrated From Photographs of JACK WHITE Mills & Boon, Limited 49 Whitcomb Street London, W.C. Published October 1909. Chapter III Scientific Wooden Club Play, By Harold H. Hilton Page 38. Winner Amateur Championship 1900, 1901, 1911, 1913 (Runner-Up 1891, 1892, 1896), Open Champion 1892, 1897, U.S. Amateur Champion 1911.

Available on Amazon: The Six Handicap Golfer's... By "Two Of His Kind"

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"The scientific slice is a very different thing from the slice of incompetence, as it is accomplished by bringing the club across the ball from right to left with the aid of the wrists on the downward swing. In this shot do not hold too tight with the left hand, as the slice is imparted to the ball with the right hand alone, and this hand must have as much play as possible right through the piece." Harold H. Hilton

A Slice Cure by Johnny Miller

1973 U.S. Open Champion 1976 British Open Champion. Johnny Miller's Golf Clinic Fixing Your Swing. VHS Available on Amazon. PRONATION: The Fundamental Principle of Golf By David HUNTER

The Art Of Driving (1914) By Harry Vardon

Harry Vardon Winner of a record six British Open Championships

Harry Vardon 1914

Stance. -

"Toes pointing outwards; right foot preferably a few inches in front of the left - not, in any case, behind the left.

Ball a little nearer to left heel than right.

Up-Swing. -

Begin by turning the left wrist slightly inwards towards the body.

As the club goes up, let the body screw at the hips and keep the head still. The body should be wound up as though it turned on wheels at the waist and the neck.

The right leg stiffens as club ascends and the pivoting is done on the inside of the left foot from the big toe to the big joint.

Downswing. -

Beware of throwing the arms forward at the beginning of the down-swing. At the outset, just give the club a start so as to recover it from the back of the head and, at the same time, let the left hip go a trifle forward.

Then bring the club round, and go right through with the shot so as to finish with the chest facing the line of play. Keep the head as steady as possible all the while."

Reference : 'Success At Golf' By Harry Vardon, Alexander Herd George Duncan, Wilfrid Reid Lawrence Ayton And Francis Ouimet U.S. Open Champion, 1913 With an Introduction by John G. Anderson Runner-up National Championship, 1913 Illustrated Boston Little, Brown, And Company 1914 Copyright, 1914, By Little, Brown, And Company. All rights reserved Published, February, 1914 Reprinted, April, 1914 Printers S.J. Parkhill & Co., Boston, U.S.A.

Download : 'Success At Golf' The Art Of Driving Hints In Brief The Drive page 17, 1914, By Harry Vardon Open Champion.

"The only road to a straight shot is to send the club well out to the right and a little behind the body at the beginning of the downward swing. Then it will come round with a "Swish," gathering pace all the while, and the ball will go as straight as an arrow - well, as far as you can send it." Harry Vardon

A Spell Of Topping (1915) By Jerome D. Travers

In Place of The Body

"But suppose I am slicing, or hooking?" queries the duffer. "How am I to stop that? Just looking at the ball won't do it."

Well, looking at the ball will help. But the main fault here is bad timing, which results mostly from letting the body get away from control. And in this connection I would like to add a tip - most golfers are too ambitious. They want to do all the work themselves, with their arms and body and feet and head, leaving nothing for the club. Now the club has its part in the game. It has its work to do just as well as the hands. So why not let it do its share of the labour?

Too many golfers bring into play entirely too many muscles.

On short shots make the stroke as simple as possible, using only the hands and arms, keeping the body out of it. On longer shots let the arms and club do more work, and the body less.

In other words, practise playing the shot in easier, simpler fashion, without all that unnecessary lunge and twist. Let the arms pull the body through, in place of the body pushing the arms through - which latter is the worst thing for timing.


There is still another mistake which I have noted frequently while watching others play over various courses. And this fault is especially common among the so-called duffers.

You see them playing up and down the course, missing their iron shots, topping most of them, and wondering what on earth has happened. It's quite easy to detect the cause. When they want to get the ball up in the air, in place of letting the club, which is built for that purpose, do the work, they attempt to get the ball up by jerking their hands up as if they were doing the lifting.

The Winning Shot By Jerome D. TraversThe iron face of a mashie, mashie-niblick, jigger, and mid-iron is constructed for the purpose of getting the ball in the air. If the club head comes through properly, the ball will rise in the proper way. But a big section of the golfing clan doesn't seem to appreciate this.

They feel that they must snap their wrists up as the club head meets the ball, to get the ball up. This is almost sure to result in a topped shot - certainly a bad one. So, when you have a spell of topping with your irons, recall this, and begin to let the club head do the lifting.

Let the club head go on through, and by no means make any attempt to jerk the ball up from its lie. This is a notorious fault and one that will bear watching, for it spoils many a shot in the course of a season, almost as many as looking up or shifting the body into poor timing."

Reference : 'THE WINNING SHOT' By Jerome D. Travers And Grantland Rice Illustrated London T. Werner Laurie Ltd. 8 Essex Street, Strand. Chapter II. Getting Back On Your Game, Two Other Faults, Page 43. Open Champion and Four Times Amateur Golf Champion of the United States.

Download : 'Getting Back On your Game' By Jerome D. Travers including 'Two Other Faults', 'Another Common Fault', 'A Useful Hint', 'A Slice That Won A Championship Hilton's ball.'

Swing Through The Gate (1920) By J. Douglas Edgar


"The reader will see from the various photographs and sketches, how The Gate is set up.

Now we come to the method of swinging through it, taking the wooden clubs first.

Fig. 17 shows the direction the clubhead takes on passing through The Gate :

The Swing through The Gate Wood - J. Douglas Edgar

J. Douglas Edgar

J. Douglas Edgar

The important point to note is that the line taken by the club-head is curved ; that it crosses the line of direction from left to right and continues on the outward arc for a foot or so after impact, and then turns over to complete a natural finish. This gives the swing through The Gate without touching either side.

Should the sides be touched or knocked over the swing is incorrect.

Take up the position most suitable, easy and comfortable, to swing through on the correct line.

Some players prefer the open, others the square stance.

The latter will no doubt be the easier for the majority, because when using the open stance it is much more difficult to bring the club-head down behind to get the movement.

Reference : 'The Gate To Golf' by J. Douglas Edgar, The Grip. French Open Champion, 1914. Canadian Open Champion, 1919. Edgar & Co. St. Albans England. Copyright 1920.

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"It is no good having a 6 handicap swing with a 26, or even 36, handicap hand action." Bill Cox

Known As Supination (1925) By J.S.K Smith

"And here we may clear up, according to our ideas, the whole question of wrist action.

Examine the possible movements of your own wrist joint, first of all grasping the lower part of the forearm so that its two bones - the Radius on the thumb side, and the Ulna on the little finger side - shall not move.

The wrist joint allows the hand to be bent

  • forwards (flexion),
  • backwards (extension or dorsiflexion),
  • laterally to the thumb side (abduction),
  • and laterally to the little finger (adduction).

These are the primary movements, and by an ordered sequence of them - e.g. adduction, extension, abduction, flexion - the hand can be moved round in a circle (circumduction). So much for the limits of pure wrist joint movements.

Now release your tight grasp of the bones of the forearm, and hold the hand with the palm in full view. This position of the forearm is known as supination. Then turn the hand over so that its back is presented. This position is known as pronation.

By lightly fingering the lower ends of the forearm bones whilst this movement is taking place, you will make out that the turning over of the hand is produced by the large end of the radius (thumb side) revolving round the small end of the ulna (little finger side) and carrying the whole hand and wrist joint with it.

The Foundations of Golf Dedicated To The Late Beginner J. S. K. Smith And B. S. WeastellIt is a forearm movement and not a wrist joint movement at all, and it is through mistaking the two that so many discrepancies, and so much directional confusion, have crept into this part of golfing literature.

The above is a simple anatomical lesson with a very wide application. It may be put briefly in this way : all angular movements of the hand on the forearm are purely wrist joint movements; all "turning over" movements of the hand and wrist are forearm movements of supination and pronation, as the case may be, and do not involve action of the wrist itself.

It is necessary to get a thorough hold of this distinction."

Reference : 'The Foundations of Golf' Dedicated To The Late Beginner BY J. S. K. Smith F.R.C.S., D.M.R.E. And B. S. Weastell Welsh Open Champion 1924 With Twenty-Nine Illustrations Methuen & Co. Ltd. 36 Essex Street W.C. London. Printed in Great Britain.

Download : 'The Tee Shot' Chapter V (Continued) "The whole question of wrist action", page 39, by J. S. K. Smith F.R.C.S., D.M.R.E. And B. S. Weastell. First Published in 1925. Learning Anatomy

"It is necessary to draw especial attention to the fact that the movement of pronation of the forearm is distributed evenly over the whole of this portion of the backswing." J.S.K. Smith & B. S. Weastell

Everyone Has To Be Taught (1946) By Percy Boomer

"To return to the subject of slice.

The man who gave me my first job as a professional thirty-five years ago was the late H. L. Curtis - father of the present Pro at Queen's Park Bournemouth.

He told me many years later that he was doubtful about giving me the job, but having done so started me off with a very sound piece of advice.

"Now laddie," he said, "if you ever want to make good in this business, you had better find out how to teach people not to slice."

Those were the days before in-to-out! Consequently few players could get any draw on the ball, and mainly we just sliced our way a round the course.

Well, it took me a good twenty years to learn to correct that natural tendency in my game, and then I had to learn to pass it on to my pupils.

For make no mistake, everyone has to be taught; it does not come naturally.


From the first time we see golf played to the first time we take a club in our hands, we have instinctively formed a false conception of the movement.

We visualize the club head going up and over our shoulder and down onto the ball. You need only take any neophyte see how he immediately takes the club up and down. His conviction that this is the correct movement is strengthened by the fact he sees the ball soaring into the air and concludes that it must have been hit with an upward motion.

So to make matters worse, he brings his hands into play also to assist the up-down-up movement - and is fully equipped for a career of scooping.

Now here are two devastatingly false impressions, and it is astonishing how long in many golfers' lives they remain.

Drive A Wedge or Drive A Nail?

We must not try to lift either the club head or the ball, and we shall never be good golfers until we can feel that we pull the club head along as we swing, along and not up and down.

Let us put this another way. If I were to ask you to:

  1. Drive a wedge under a door, and,
  2. Drive a nail into the floor - you would visualize two entirely different directions of the hammer-head travel.

Driving the wedge under the door is the direction we must feel at golf.

The force must go along through the length of the wedge, along through the length of the ball.

With this in mind, it becomes clear that in swinging the weight of the club head should be brought along from behind the ball, not from above it.

This is what we call the wide swing, wide not high: a wide sweep that brings the club head in from behind the back of the ball.

Reference : 'On Learning Golf' by Percy Boomer. Chapter VIII Preparatory to the Swing and Chapter XIV The Force Center, Copyright © 1946 by Percy Boomer. First published in the USA by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

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The Grip To Counter the Slice Or Hook By Mike Souchak

Mike Souchak Winner of 15 PGA Tour Wins in 120 Minutes to Better Golf. Hosted by Bob Goalby 1968 Masters Tournament winner. Available on Amazon : 120 Minutes to Better Golf [VHS]

"It is often said that the club-head should be taken back along an imaginary straight line at the back of the ball. This imaginary line which the club-head should follow is really a slightly convex curve on the ground." Cecil Leitch

Develop Your Own Game (1949) By Johnny Revolta

"Back in 1936 a young professional was about to give up the game.

He had gone through set after set of clubs, discarding them, chopping and filing at them, always seeking the right clubs. Each time it cost money, something he didn't have in great amounts.

Finally his wife spoke up. "Why don't you quit kidding yourself," she said. "It can't be entirely the clubs. The trouble must be with you."

That, the young pro finally admitted to himself, was it. He had been looking for the perfect set of clubs instead of perfecting his game.

He began studying his own swing and that of others.

Johnny Revolta Short Cuts to Better Golf Develop your own game as well Gradually, he developed the swing and sound game which today has made him famous. His name - Byron Nelson

You must develop your own game as well.

No instructor can blueprint your game. You must know and understand, not only the game of golf, but your own particular game.

You must become your own golf instructor and critic. You must learn to pick out your own golf game, your faults and their correction."

Reference : 'Johnny Revolta's 'Short Cuts To Better Golf', Revised Edition, by Johnny Revolta and Charles B. Cleveland. Illustrated by Jerry Gibbons. Copyright © 1949, 1956 by Johnny Revolta and Charles B. Cleveland. Designed by Maurice Serle Kaplan.

Available on Amazon : Johnny Revolta's short cuts to better golf

"You must know and understand, not only the game of golf, but your own particular game. You must become your own golf instructor and critic. You must learn to pick out your own golf game, your faults and their correction." Johnny Revolta

The Hitting Area (1954) By Louise Suggs

Start of the Down-swing

"At the start of the downswing my sensation is that of pulling the club-head with my left hand back to the ball in the same arc as that described by the club-head during the backswing. The position of my hands and wrists in relation to my arms is practically the same as it was at the top of my back-swing.

The Down-swing

The transfer of weight from my right to left side starts at the same moment my arms and hands begin their downward course. It is well under way at the point seen in Illustration 13.

However, let me caution you against making a conscious effort to rush the turning of the hips.

Start of the Down-swing By Louise Suggs Par Golf for Women 1953

Illustration 13 - Start of the Down-swing, Louise Suggs, 1953

This should be part of a co-ordinated motion in which the hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, hips, legs, and feet work together to get the club-head back to the ball with the face square to the intended line of flight, and with a maximum of controlled velocity. In this position my hands lead the club-head. My wrists have not yet begun to start their 'lash' at the ball, and my weight is almost evenly distributed between my right and left foot at this point. My left arm remains an accurate guide to the club-head in describing its intended arc, because it is still straight.

The most important point to note in Illustration 14 is that my hands are in position to throw their full power behind the club-head as it nears the 'hitting area,' which for me is approximately the final foot and a half before the impact of the club-head with the ball.

Impact with Ball

I have the feeling that I have 'slapped' the ball off the tee with the back of my left hand.

Note that the palm of my right hand is facing my objective. This is evidence that the club-head has met the ball squarely - that is, if you have taken the proper grip and stance at the outset."

Reference : 'Par Golf For Women' By Louise Suggs, British Ladies' Champion 1948 U.S. Women's Open Champion 1952 With A Foreword by Ben Hogan British Open Champion 1953 Original American edition published by Prentice-Hall, Inc., 70 Fifth Avenue, New York City N.Y. Copyright 1953 in the United States of America by Prentice-Hall, Inc. First published in Great Britain 1954 by George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd 182 High Holborn, London, W.C.I, Chapter 4. Playing The Drive, Start of the Down-swing, The Down-swing, Impact with Ball, page 39, 43.

Download : Chapter 4. Playing The Drive, Start of the Down-swing The Down-swing, Impact with Ball, page 39, "at the same moment" By Louise Suggs.

Download : "HANDS...left hand is pushing...My right hand is just 'riding'...the right hand has followed the left hand down to this point...", By Louise Suggs, British Ladies' Champion 1948 U.S. Women's Open Champion 1952. With a Foreword by Ben Hogan British Open Champion 1953.

Available on Amazon : Par Golf For Women

"The club-head is about to enter the hitting area, and at this point the right hand throws its full power behind the momentum of the club-head. It is the precision and co-ordination with which this stored-up energy is applied that will in a large measure determine the accuracy and distance attained in the shot." Louise Suggs

Not An Easy Antidote (1964) By Doug Ford

"I am still not sure whether it is a permanent cure for a slice or a hook, but early in my career as a professional golfer I pursued a regimen which helped me to overcome my tendency to hit sharp, ducking and score-ruining hooks.

I pass it along as a possible stroke-saver in an extremity. Do not expect this to be an easy antidote, or a quick one.

An Intentional Slice To Cure A Hook

You will find in golf that there is no short cut to better scoring.

Better golf is attained by devoting infinite attention to many details, as this entire compendium of advice attests.

If you are addicted to a hook which sometimes gets out of control, as mine once did, take time out to practice nothing but an intentional slice. Think of nothing else for the time being.

Start this remedial measure by taking a slightly exaggerated open stance for the slice, the left to right bend which is a plague to the duffer but a boon to most experts.

Place the left foot back of the line of stance, facing the hole a bit with your body. Let the clubhead drag on the downswing but don't overdo it. Keep at it, hours on end if necessary, until the open-faced action becomes almost automatic on your part.

Now you are ready for the next step.

Go back to your regular swing. You will find that your hook has lost much of its hard bite. In doing this you are taking automatic advantage of the amazing unconscious ability of your hands to seek proper position at impact.

You actually can take a faulty foot and body position and still get a pretty good swipe at the ball.

Doug Ford Antidote For Slice Or Hook - Hook

"If you're bothered by a hook, practice an exaggerated slice and vice-versa."

Opposing Routine

My "opposing" routine, which works equally as well in reverse, (i.e., curing a slice), takes advantage of this automatic adjustment.

Doug Ford Antidote For Slice Or Hook - Slice

"If you're bothered by a slice, practice an exaggerated hook and vice-versa."

As I mentioned in the preface, this is the formula I followed when I first became a professional.

The hook which I carried into the play-for-pay world of golf threatened to nip my career in the bud at the outset.

I had to do something and do it quick.

Doug Ford Getting Started in GolfI spent at least three months on this tedious routine before i felt I was getting any firm result.

I might mention that at the end of that period I had become a pretty good slicer and had learned how to control it to a considerable degree.

Naturally all of the things I have said are based on the supposition that you are hooking or slicing despite an orthodox grip.

If you don't have that, there's isn't much you can do about correcting any other faults in your game until you have overcome the prime error ."

Reference : 'Getting Started in Golf' By Doug Ford, Copyright © 1964 by Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. New York, Chapter V Length with Your Woods, How To Correct Faults.

Available on Amazon : Getting Started in Golf

"The art of gripping it has to be learnt. This is one of the most important matters to be considered in the pursuit of the game. A good grip spells success, a bad grip naught but disaster. The good grip does not usually come naturally. Constant and careful practice is what is required." J. H. Taylor

The Most Important Thing In The Golf Swing Is The Grip By Gary Player

Gary Player Winner of over 120 Tournaments. Gary Player on Golf Volume 1 and Volume 2 (1972 PGA). VHS Available on Amazon : Gary Player On Golf, Video Instructions and Secrets from Golf Legend

"The majority of players who fail in transmission of power, do so because their left hand fails to act as a fulcrum for the right hand to strike against. Use your hands, i.e. Prevent Leverage Collapse." Seymour Dunn

How Do You Stop A Slice? (2010) By Tom Watson

"The most commonly asked question to me is how do you stop a slice?

Everybody seems that they slice the ball and they want a solution.

Well, there are several things I tell. The first thing I look at is the grip.

A lot of the time, that's the only solution that's necessary for people who slice the ball."

Reference : Tom Watson's Lessons of A Lifetime DVD, Instruction from one of Golf's Greats, Your Step by Step guide to a better game in 44 lessons. Two Disc Set & Instructional Booklet © Copyright 2010 Tom Watson Productions, See Disc One : Lesson 18 - The Slice, and Lesson 43 - How Can I Stop Slicing the Ball?

Available on Amazon : Tom Watson: Golf Lessons of a Lifetime (2010) [DVD]

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"What I learned early, and this is something I commend to all handicap golfers, was that a drag with the left hand at the beginning of the downswing is vital. As I said earlier, it keeps the club-head 'inside' as it goes down, prevents looping and, if the follow-through is correct, it also prevents slicing." Bobby Locke


by Max Hastings - What matters

"Most of mankind is capable of making itself only marginally interested in the fate of an organization.

What matters is his or her own personal livelihood, mortgage, family."

Reference : 'Max Hastings Editor' An Inside Story of Newspapers Macmillan 2 Baptism of Fire Page 55 First published 2002 by Macmillan Copyright © Max Hastings 2002

by Peter Marsh - There's an 'X' factor

"MARSH: It depends what you mean by owe. The innate capabilities I have would have emerged anyway.

'X' Factor?CLARE: Why do you say that?

MARSH: Because it's programmed into you.

CLARE: But that's as hypothetical as the objection you made earlier.

MARSH: No, no, no. It isn't hypothetical. I have observed, and I am absolutely fascinated by, succesful people.

CLARE: Yes, but I'm talking about you.

MARSH: If I could relate it back to me - because you're saying it is hypothetical - I'm trying to defeat your hypothetical statement.

CLARE: You won't be able to prove that your talents are innate: that has defied the scientists, and continues to do so. What you might be able to do is point to an ancestor who had similar abilities.

MARSH: No: I want to point to people I have met. You say 'Where does their success come from?' and you realise there's an 'X' factor in successful people that will make them succeed in spite of their environment because there's this energy - and all successful people have an energy quotient higher than the norm.

CLARE: When we are talking about where these talents originated or how they were encouraged, perhaps we should have specified what talents we were talking about."

Reference : 'In The Psychiatrist's Chair' Anthony Clare Advance Proof Publication: April Probable Price: GBP 9.95 Size: Met Lge Crn 8vo No of pp: 224 Also available in paperback Probable Price: GBP 4.50 CHATTO & WINDUS THE HOGARTH PRESS LONDON Published in 1984 by Chatto & Windus - The Hogarth Press 40 William IV Street London WC2N 4DF Copyright © Anthony Clare 1984 Page 172.

by Anna Massey - The Alexander technique

"Over the years, I have almost succeeded in freeing myself from this torment, which prevents any real enjoyment of being on stage. Sheila Hancock, who also suffered from stage fright, put me on to hypnotherapy, and I found this helped a great deal.

Also, I started to study the Alexander technique, which was a revelation. It gave me an incredible physical freedom, and increased my vocal range considerably. This may not seem a very direct way of dealing with the problem, but the more supple you are, the more power and control you have over your voice, and the more it frees the mind and enables you to focus and to feel less inhibited. Your imagination is unleashed.

Pilates classes have been an enormous help in freeing up the body, and greatly reducing tension. If your muscles are expertly stretched, you are given strength, and this sense of well-being sharpens concentration.

Anne Battye is a formidable teacher of the Alexander technique. Initially I had only fourteen lessons, and then the technique was in my hands. But I would go back to Anne at times of stress, or before a First Night. But on the whole, after I had acquired the technique, it became part of my daily life.

Telling Some Tales Anna Massey The Alexander Technique 2006To be self-assured and not self-satisfied is a major goal in life, but not always easy to achieve. The good teachers who have guided me, like Iris Warren (the voice coach who was of fantastic help early on in my career), Anne Battye and a few others, have shown me the importance of remaining open to criticism, but not to be thrown by it, to keep on with the learning process, and to remain individual and not to conform automatically.

This means you can never become self-satisfied, and, hopefully, in the end you will develop a little self-assurance. I am still working at this."

Reference : 'Telling Some Tales' Anna Massey arrow books Copyright © Anna Massey 2006 First published in Great Britain in 2006 by Hutchinson Random House, 20 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 2SA Printed and bound in Great Britain by CPI Cox & Wyman, Reading RG1 8EX Chapter 14 Page 126.

by F. M. Alexander - The golfer who cannot keep his eyes on the ball

Incorrect 'use of self might be the cause' By F. M. Alexander"The instruction to the pupil to 'keep his eyes on the ball' shews that the teacher recognizes that the mechanisms concerned with the control of the pupil's eyes do not function as they should, but when, in order to meet this difficulty, he simply tells his pupil to 'keep his eyes on the ball', he also shews that he does not connect the faulty functioning of the eyes with misdirection of the use of the mechanisms throughout the organism.

This means that in his diagnosis and treatment he is not considering his pupil's organism as a working unity in which the working of any of the parts is affected by the working of the whole.

To this extent, therefore, his diagnosis may be said to be incomplete and his scope of usefulness as adviser to his pupil limited."

Reference : 'The Use Of The Self' Its Conscious Direction in Relation to Diagnosis Functioning and the Control of Reaction by Frederick Matthias Alexander The world famous classic by the originator of the Alexander technique With an Introduction by Wilfred Barlow, p-60. This paperback edition published in 1985 by Victor Gollancz.

Download : 'Chapter III The Golfer Who Cannot Keep his Eyes on the Ball' First published in Great Britain in 1932 by Methuen & Co. Ltd.

by Jimmy Hitchcock - We need the good thoughts

"The way I understand it, we have objective, subjective and subconscious parts in our mind.

We need the good thoughts in the subconscious. But the brain works rather like a sorting machine. The thoughts have to go through a series of compartments.

If you make them too long they won't get through. Too short ones are likely to get lost in the sorting machinery as well. The easiest ones to get through to the subconscious are bad thoughts, the ones you don't want, because you and every body else practice them all day, every day. Until somebody tells you to stop. When I have a shot that looks hard I don't dare give myself this 'What a difficult shot!' line.

I say: 'Maybe that looks a little tough - but it's a test of skill. I don't minimise the difficulty, because this is a silly thought which won't get through to the subconscious.

Perhaps I go on and develop my good thought a little. 'Let's see what we can do with this one. I'm sure we can do something with it.' There is no self-deception about this. I'm not saying: 'This is easy - I'll get away with it'. I accept the situation as difficult, but challenging, and I accept the challenge and promise to do my best to meet it."

Reference : Jimmy Hitchcock 'Master Golfer' Stanley Paul & Co. Ltd. 178-202 Great Portland Street, London W1. First published 1967. 14 How to think like a golfer Page 152. © J. Hitchcock 1967.

Download : 'NEURO Web Design What makes them click? Susan M. Weinschenk, Ph.D. Chapter 1: You'Re So Smart You Have Three Brains The old brain The mid brain The new brain Page 2. Copyright © 2009 by Susan Weinschenk, Ph.D.

by Dr. Ron Cruickshank - Don't Become What You Resist!

"Practically then, if you have your brain access a mental image by saying to yourself 'don't hit it right' or 'what ever you do, don't three putt', you absolutely increase the potential for these things to happen. In order for your brain to comprehend the meaning of what you are saying, it must access the mental file that represents you hitting it out of bounds or three putting. It does seem ironic doesn't it?

There doesn't appear to be an easy antidote for this phenomenon although the mind is conversely drawn to the other end of the spectrum. The undemanding answer would be to focus on what you DO want. Popular culture would then have us develop positive affirmations in the belief that we will be more inclined to move in that direction. However, like most things if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. For years we've all been told that positive affirmations will somehow help arrange the universe to conform to whatever we fervently declare.

The famous affirmation 'every day, in every way, I am getting better and better', was first introduced by the celebrated French psychologist Emile Coue (a typical under achiever, he also discovered the placebo effect early in his career when working as a pharmacist) as what he called an autosuggestion.

The belief is that by constantly repeating words or images (autosuggestion) that the subconscious mind will eventually absorb them and thus we will act in a manner consistent with these beliefs."

Reference : 'Moe Norman Golf - Don't Become What You Resist!' Don't Become What You Resist! Dr. Ron Cruickshank 6th January 2013. About the Author: Ron Cruickshank, Ph.D., is a GGA Master Instructor and the author of the soon to be available book entitled Swing Like Moe Norman- Use Your Brain for a Change and Learn the Swing of the World's Greatest Ball Striker featuring Todd Graves. This book is written to utilize the latest in neuroscience to help turn you into a reliable and consistent ball striker.

by Harry Vardon - This plan of existing on antidotes

"The player who aspires to real success should never capitulate to the idea of trying to cure a slice that is habitual by playing for a pull, or vice versa.

I know many golfers who have practised this plan of existing on antidotes, but I have never met one who has made a success of the conspiracy."

Reference : 'How To Play Golf' By Harry Vardon With Forty-Eight Illustrations Methuen & Co. Ltd. 36 Essex Street W.C. London. This Book was First Published September 26th, 1912 Fifth Edition March 1913. Chapter XI Golf In A Wind Page 152.

by Leslie King - What is the point of curing a slice by planting the germ of a hook?

"What is the point of curing a slice by planting the germ of a hook which erupts within the next few days?

The wretched golfer, overjoyed at losing his slice, is soon in despair again as he struggles on the left hand side of the course instead of the right. Solving one problem by creating another simply adds to the confusion and depresses his moral. It is negative teaching which can never lead to lasting progress.

My method of instruction is not built upon a vague series of hit and miss experiences, one or other of which may give temporary tidiness to a pupil's game. My aim is a positive one – to build a sound and lasting technique in which all the fundamentals are fitted together into one cohesive swing unit.

I am not prepared to waste time on gimmicks or smart tricks and I will admit at once that I know of no short cuts to success at this fascinating game. It demands hard work and practise before one even begins to master the precise art of delivering the centre of the club face firmly and squarely into the back of the ball and on through into the finish.

There is positively no secret tip which can turn a mediocre player into a good one overnight.

Yet there are players struggling vaguely along, pathetically searching for the elixir of a new golfing life in the upper strata of the game."

Reference : 'THE GOLF DELUSION' By Leslie King 1961 page 7, by Steve Gould and D.J. Wilkinson. Introduced by Hugh Grant. First published 2009 by Elliott and Thompson Limited, London. Copyright © Steve Gould and D.J. Wilkinson.

Download : The Golf Delusion 1961, from the Knightsbridge Golf School founded by Leslie King in 1951.

by Henry Cotton - One of The Proudest Moments of My Life

"One of the greatest thrills I have had in my short but rather varied experience of tournament play occurred at Moortown, in Yorkshire, during the Ryder Cup match of 1929.

I was playing against Al. Watrous in the singles, and I arrived at the eighteenth tee one down.

Every other British player was either leading or all square excepting Abe Mitchell, who had caught Leo Diegel in one of his "crazy" moods and was well down to him.

I heard the scores of the other matches as I was playing the eighteenth hole, and I made up my mind to finish all even. I tried very hard to put my second shot near the hole for a "birdie" three; it was a full number two iron shot. I sliced it badly, and the ball went sailing away to the right into a clump of bushes.

Watrous, playing after me, went for a safe four and put his ball on the green rather short of the hole. It looked hopeless for me, and I felt annoyed to think I should be one of the British players down.

Henry CottonAnyhow I determined to keep on trying.

I went after my ball and found it near a seat in the bushes about twenty yards from the hole and lying clear. I could just swing my club. I had to play wide of the hole, and allowing for the slope of the green had to play the shot so that the ball would roll in almost a circle and enter the hole from the back.

All the galleries from the other matches were around the green, for ours was the last game to finish. I looked at the shot for some time and then kept my head down and hit the ball well into the air. It followed the mind picture I had of the shot exactly, and I saw the ball drop into the hole.

The cheering lasted so long that my opponent had to wait some minutes before he could attempt to hole his putt for a half. It was not at all surprising that he missed it.

As I went in to lunch all square I thought, as I think now, that it was one of the proudest moments of my life."

Reference : 'Golf Being a short treatise for the use of young people who aspire to proficiency in the Royal and Ancient Game' by T. Henry Cotton. The Aldin Series, Eyre & Spottiswoode (Publishers) Ltd., 6 Great New Street, E.C.4. 1931. First published 1931.

Sir Henry Cotton, Founder Member of the Golf Foundation, a charity committed to the sporting and social development of young people through golf, U.K. British Open Champion, 1934, 1937 and 1948.

by Hyde Park Golf Club - The rest, as they say, is history

"Wouldn't you have loved to have been at Hyde Park for the 1947 Jacksonville Open, when Gentle Ben's ball went slightly sideways on No. 6, a short par-3 of 151-yards?

The result was his normally other-wordly game came crashing to earth -- while leading the tournament, no less -- when he posted an 11 (That's not a typo!) on the scorecard.

True, a head-high bunker guards the entire side of the green, directing tee shots toward a small pond on the left.

Hogan unfortunately missed to that side, the ball dribbled down the slope into the hazard -- repeatedly -- and the rest, as they say, is history."

Source : 'Hyde Park Golf Club, North Florida, Central Jacksonville, North Florida, or download text About Ben Hogan here.

by Hans Joachim Stein - Kyudo The Art of Zen Archery Hassetsu "Eight Stages"

"During the first stage of training, when the archer still has to concentrate on individual movements and manipulations, he does not shoot at the actual target but at a bundle of straw (makiwara) placed about two metres away. The distance of two metres roughly corresponds to the length of a Japanese bow.

The archer practises technique on this bundle of straw 'on dry land' as it were. The intention is that he should become fully aware that shooting is not merely a matter of hitting or missing since even a beginner will have hardly any difficulty in hitting the bundle of straw.

The development of any ambition is thus counteracted from the very start, simply by not giving the archer any object which could foster it.

From the first training session, the master guides him on the way towards understanding that the greatest obstacle usually lies in the egotistical desire to score a hit, ultimately preventing him from really hitting the mark and advancing on the Way.

The practice of Kyudo: Hassetsu - The Eight Stages leading Release of the Arrow and Stepping Back from the Shooting Line:

  • Ashibumi - The Stance
  • Dozukuri - Balance
  • Yugamae - Being Prepared. Focusing on the tanden. Torikake, Tenouchi, Monomi
  • Uchiokoshi - Raising The Bow
  • Hikiwake - The Draw
  • Kai (Nobiai, Jiman)
  • Hanare
  • Zanshin

Kyudo The Art of Zen Archery By Hans Joachim SteinWhile implementing these eight stages the archer must be inwardly aware of the fact that each phase contains the one that follows, and that each consecutive stage continues to incorporate all the preceding ones, so that individual movements, manipulations, and phases of concentration imply one another and could not possibly exist in isolation from one another.

If the archer has fulfilled that primary condition, the action involved in shooting his bow will resemble the continuous, uninterrupted flow of a wide river which is steadily heading towards its destination and cannot be diverted by anything."

Reference : 'KYUDO The Art Of Zen Archery', Part III. The Practice of Kyudo, by Hans Joachim Stein © 1988 Translated by Frauke and Tim Nevill Element Books.

by DT - Colin MacNicol In 1952 he beat the then Open Champion Bobby Locke

"MacNicol continued playing cricket, but also took up golf, winning many prizes.

In 1952 he beat the then Open Champion Bobby Locke by six strokes, and in 1969 he won the Highwoods Open, a competition open to players from all over the country, playing off scratch."

Source : The Daily Telegraph, August 2013. Or view online © The Daily Telegraph.

by Harry Vardon - Golf shots meet with strange fates

"Golf shots sometimes meet with strange fates, and I think that the queerest I ever played was at St. Andrews.

I was doing a good round until I came to the last hole. On the right of the course at this hole there is a row of houses, but they are so far away as usually to be safe.

On this occasion, however, I imparted so terrific a slice to my ball that it landed on top of one of the buildings, bounced down, and finished its career in a drain- pipe."

Reference : 'The Gist of Golf' by Harry Vardon. Illustrated From Photographs Posed By The Author. New York George H. Doran Company, 1922.

by Laddie Lucas - On two tin legs has played to a 4 handicap

"Contrasts in golfing concepts provide eternal argument. There is a much opposing fashion in theory and teaching as there is in the extremes of political thought...

There is one party, led, we must concede, by Cotton, which takes up station to the Right of the fairway and marches to the determined cry of 'Hands....Trained hands'.

Opposing it on the Left, a militant and noticeably progressive group is emerging. It is headed, in Europe, by the trim, neatly-dressed figure of Jacklin, whose record over the past decade or so remains, no matter what the knockers may now say, unequalled in sixty years of British golf - Tony Jacklin who I still, to my humble eye, probably as good a striker - striker - as Britain has got. With bodies erect, heads held high, arms swinging smartly up to the shoulder, the column, with the former British and US Champion at its head, moves off at a brisk, 140 paces to the minute. 'Legs, legs, legs legs legalizes, legs, legs legs legs....Legs, legs....'

The voice of the company commander, calling out the step, echoes, clear and strong, across the fairway. This is the small British detachment of the powerful, Texas-based International Brigade, formed at Fort Worth some years ago and still commanded by its founder, John Byron Nelson.... The same Byron Nelson, incidentally, who, in 1945, as the world began to turn away from war, took nineteen of the thirty tournaments he competed in, eleven of them in succession. Of the balancing eleven he didn't win, he was runner-up in seven. To do it, he averaged 68.33 strokes a round to set a composite record which is virtually without parallel in the latter-day history of the game.

Small wonder, therefore, that, with such a lead, the Brigade has been attracting to its colours of late some of the younger, and most successful officers, currently serving with the forces on the US Tour, among them none less than Tom Watson and Larry Nelson. But, here, between the extremes of Legs and Hands, let me interpose a family tale.

Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader

Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader on two tin legs has played to a 4 handicap By Laddie Lucas

on two tin legs has played to a 4 handicap

Our two sons have a famous uncle whose exploits both in the air and on the ground are known the world over. ... A devastating crash as a young, Cranwell-trained officer in the Royal Air Force, at a moment when an exceptional games-playing ability seemed to have taken him to the brink of international honours, would have finished most of us for good.

Two tin legs do not provide the happiest base upon which to build a game. Yet, for years after the war, with his flying honours thick upon him, Douglas contrived to play golf, with infectious enthusiasm, to a single-figure handicap, displaying, in the process, rare strength in hands, wrists and forearms. ...And the balls, hit with a lovely, persimmon-headed, Hogan driver ('blessed', on one solemn occasion in Fort Worth, by the Great Man himself), would fly off with a velocity more compatible with the lethal ammunition the striker had become accustomed to fire in sterner days.

The children, as children wont to do, would make no concession whatever to disability. They would see these bullets being discharged through the Brancaster winds and regard the whole thing as a great 'swiz'. The fact that their uncle was inclined, now and then, to knock his pipe out with two or three sharp, and curiously metallic, taps on what would normally be expected to be the soft surface of a leg, only served to increase their disbelief. Confusion was worse confounded when they had to stomach the sight of uncle's drives passing theirs, and usually on a much straighter course. It was a useful early exercise in the practice of humility - tinged, here and there, with the unmistakable colouring of envy. One day, when we were playing a round, I suggested to one of the boys that he might, with advantage, try to get a bit softer from the hips down and introduce a shade more life into the legs.

'Let your legs drive through the ball,' I said. 'Use your legs to let you clear as you go through the ball.' The reaction was immediate. 'That can't possibly be right. Uncle Douglas can't use his legs and look at his shots...'

I was never going to win that one."

Reference : 'The Sport of Prince's' By Laddie Lucas Reflections of a Golfer Stanley Paul. Chapter II He Aimed Right and Hit Left, pages 97, 126 - 129. First published 1980 © P. B. (Laddie) Lucas 1980.

by Gary Marcus - Much the same happens for any skill

"Ultimately, every aspect of an aspiring musician's performance must become automatic, achieved with as little effort as possible, like the process of an experienced driver coordinating the steering wheel and the brakes in turning a corner.

The same happens with music; initially, each element takes immense concentration. My teeth would clench as I struggled with the dreaded F chord, and more than once I would forget to keep the beat altogether when I tried to make a complicated chord change.

Yet another challenge stems from the fact that the brain is ordinarily bound by what is known as the speed-accuracy trade-off: for virtually anything we do, the faster we go, the more likely we are to make errors.

Haste really does tend to make waste. In order to be effective, musicians circumvent this law, playing both quickly and accurately...

Alas, the only known way to defy the speed-accuracy trade-off is through practice, using the only technique that the brain can bring to bear, a process known as automatization or proceduralization, in which the brain makes a transition from explicit or 'declarative' knowledge, which can in principle be verbally articulated (albeit slowly), to implicit or 'procedural' knowledge, which can be executed rapidly.

As knowledge becomes proceduralized, we sometimes feel as if we know something in our fingers or muscles but lose the capacity to explicitly explain what is going on.

During this process, simple steps get combined or 'chunked' into more efficient, larger units.

For instance, when I first learned to drive, I knew that taking a left turn consisted of several different individually articulated elements ('apply break pressure', 'use turn signal', 'turn steering wheel', 'look both ways', 'resume gas', 'monitor car to stay in lane'), but it was hard to coordinate them all. In the rush to simultaneously control the steering and the brakes, I'd sometimes forget to flip on the turn signal or, worse, forget to look both ways.

Fortunately, my brain eventually managed to re-encode the whole complex set of actions into a single ensemble or 'procedure' ('make a left') that could be executed effortlessly.

Much the same happens for any skill; eventually, some of the skills that initially required a great deal of effort become so automatic they take up less conscious focus and leave room for other tasks.

Deliberate practice can presumably makes this happen faster, by ensuring that what gets proceduralized is the right set of habits.

When practice regimes aren't selected with care, the learner may wind up automatizing bad habits and thus enshrine sloppy or inadequate procedures, in a way that impedes future progress.

At the neural level, proceduralization consists of a wide array of carefully coordinated processes, including changes to both grey matter (neural cell bodies) and white matter (axons and dendrites that connect between neurons).

Existing neural connections (synapses) must be made more efficient, new dendritic spines may be formed, and protein must be synthesized.

Guitar Zero The Science of Learning To Be Musical By Gary MarcusOften, mental representations that are initially stored in the prefrontal cortex (which we associate with conscious cognition) shift to new parts of the brain such as the hippocampus, associated with memory, and the motor cortex and the basal ganglia, which are in charge of the more immediate control of our muscles.

Until all the practice-spurred brain growth starts to happen, you might be able to enjoy music, but you certainly won't be able to play it. As I struggled to form my chords and change smoothly between them, I was reminded of this, every time I sat down to play."

Reference : 'GUITAR ZERO The Science of Learning To Be Musical' by Gary Marcus. Oneworld. This edition published by Oneworld Publications in 2013 Copyright © Gary Marcus 2012. It Don't Come Easy page 51.

by Ernest Jones - The difference between "Swingers" and "Hitters"

"Since there seems to be such a lot of controversy as to the difference between a "swinger" and a "hitter" in golf I think it a very good idea to try to get a perfectly clear conception of the best way to hit a ball.

It must be very misleading to the struggling beginner, when he hears some well known golfer make the statement: "I am not a swinger, I am a hitter."

Of course, he is a hitter, and so is every good player, but the players who say they hit, without swinging, and know that they hit without swinging the clubhead, are by any means as good as they could be. Not only that, they miss the real thrill of hitting a golf ball properly.

They are what I class as "dead hand" players.

I often hear the remark: "You have to do a lot more than let the club swing."

This is, to me, the most ridiculous part of the whole thing. Of course you have to do more than let the club swing.

You don't let it swing, you swing it, and you must learn to develop as much force as ever you can, by swinging it, and not by letting it swing.

The slogan "Let the clubhead do the work" has, like so many other things about the game, become very much misunderstood.

I am all the time telling pupils that they mustn't expect the club to do anything itself, but they must develop the control to do something with the club.

To come back to the idea of hitting.

As I said, everyone to play golf well, must hit the ball with the clubhead, so the whole point to consider, is how to transmit the greatest force to the clubhead when it comes in contact with the ball..."

Reference : Good Golf Is Easy - No.6 By Ernest Jones with Miss Virginia Van Wie, January 1935. The American Golfer. Courtesy of LA84 Foundation

by Arnaud Massy - What is the prettiest stroke in golf?

"Then what is the prettiest stroke in golf?

Well, I maintain it is when the ball is purposely sliced or pulled with the object of bringing off a shot utterly impracticable otherwise.

Curious too that this shot, which, in the early days, is the novice's despair and constitutes a fault he is certainly to fall into, should later on become the object of his most ardent ambition, for it is one he will only rarely succeed in even the most persevering care.

Pulled and Sliced Shots by Arnaud Massy

"FIG. 4. Pulled and sliced shots 1. Straight ball (correct stroke). 2. Shot slightly pulled in which the ball, after describing a slight curve, returns to its original direction. 3. Pulled shot. 4. Badly pulled shot. 5. Sliced shot. 6. Sliced shot: the ball on touching the ground bounces back. 7. Very badly sliced shot."

Golf By Arnaud MassyI therefore hold that this is the prettiest stroke in golf, because to bring it off successfully demands in the player the absolute control of his club, the faultless muscular and nervous mastery of his equilibrium, together with that fine audacity of the true sportsman which no difficulty discourages and which is ready to face all dangers.

I will offer sundry pieces of advice then to golfers who may desire to attempt these master strokes.

But, unless they are already able to execute faultlessly the usual series of shots, if it is still their fate occasionally to slice or pull their balls through want of skill, them let them not read this chapter; it is not for them and could only do them harm."

Reference : 'GOLF' by Arnaud Massy. Champion of The World, 1907. Chapter VI. The Drive - Analysis of Movements - The Swing, Page 45. Translated By A. R. Allinson With Thirteen Diagrams And Twelve Plates. Methuen & Co. Ltd. 36 Essex Street W.C. London. First Published in 1911, by Pierre Lafitte et Cie of Paris. This translation First Published in 1914.

by Laddie Lucas - No one piece of golfing philosophy ever helped me more

"Par for the first three holes of the Berkshire's composite course was, strictly, 5, 3, 4.

I opened 7, 5, 5.

Then a surprising thing happened. As I walked back from the 3rd green to the 4th tee, thinking that at this rate I was all set for an 85, I recalled again something which Harry Vardon had once said to me years before, while I was still at school, as we played a round together at his club, South Herts.

It was August, my cricket season was over and I was trying to get my golf together after a three-months' lay off before going north to Scotland for the Boys' championship. I was then a fairly impetuous teenager who was only satisfied with good shots and low scores. There was no middle way.

Harry, outwardly, one of the most placid of men, with a headful of golfing wisdom to support him, took me to one side. I knew he didn't like my restlessness; he had mentioned it before.

"You're too impatient with your golf", he said, and I can remember the diffidence with which he spoke.

"You're not giving things a chance. If something goes wrong you expect to put it right in the next two holes. You won't help yourself that way. Try to play more quietly and make up your mind to go on hitting the ball no matter what happens or what anyone does to you.

Wait for the 4s and 3s to come to you. They will if you go on hitting the ball."

Because Harry was gentle and seldom admonished anyone, when he spoke like that the words went home. I felt humble and contrite.

No one piece of golfing philosophy ever helped me more.

Three pars followed; balance returned. Irrational, unjustified and unlikely though it may now seem, I was suddenly swamped with a feeling that I could still win.

The Sport of Prince's Reflections of a golfer Laddie LucasThat deplorable start had been sent by some foul hobgoblin to try me out.

It was behind me. I was, at least, still on my feet and going forward. Vardon's doctrine had taken possession. Sixty-odd holes remained in which to retrieve my losses.

'Wait for the 4s and 3s to come...'

Turmoil had given way to tranquility. Astonishingly, my cares seemed to have fallen away.

By the half-way cut I had wriggled out of the mess sufficiently to find myself still within striking distance of the leaders. A good third round (normally the vital one, the one which makes or breaks) would leave all to play for."

Reference : 'The Sport of Prince's' By Laddie Lucas Reflections of a Golfer Stanley Paul. Chapter 8 The Angels Have Their Way, page 88. First published 1980 © P. B. (Laddie) Lucas 1980.

by Gary Wiren - What is a good grip?

"What is a good grip?

Which style should be selected?

Being bombarded by tips, hints, secret from books, newspapers, magazines and TV must raise some basic questions for the player seeking golfing truth about grip.

The PGA Manual Of Golf by Gary WirenWhat should the player do?

Interlock or overlap? Grip tightly or lightly? Use a long thumb or a short thumb? Show three or two knuckles?

Lay the grip in the roots of the fingers or diagonally across the hand? Try to keep the hands quiet or active? Apply constant or changing pressure?

"Back to the question:

What is a good grip?

It is the one which lets the player hit the most good shots!

More specifically, it maximizes the number of shots that meet the criteria for distance and direction.

Since solving the problem of distance and direction is golf's ultimate and absolute challenge, then whatever combination of PREFERENCES a player utilizes to accomplish that objective becomes a "good grip".

There are four basic points within the PRINCIPLES of grip where one can make choices and demonstrate PREFERENCES.

They are: (1) Placement, (2) Positioning, (3) Pressure, and (4) Precision.

  1. Placement

"Placement" is the location of the hands on the grip in a vertical axis. How far up or down the shaft is each placed? Should a player choke down on the grip or go up slightly over the butt end? Are the hands spread apart? Are they flush with each other, overlapped, or cross-handed? These are examples of placement choices.

The choice of of grip placement will be affected by the size of the player's hands, their strength and suppleness...

  1. Positioning

"Positioning" in the grip is the amount of rotation of the hands clockwise or counterclockwise, generally referred to a "strong" or "weak".

Positioning is dependent upon the size and strength of the player's hands plus the shape of the shot he/she is trying to hit. The terms "strong" and "weak", when used in a golf grip context, are both imprecise and misleading.

Illus 6-8. Another element of grip is positioning, or the amount of rotation of the hands, clockwise or counterclockwise. Here is a natural arm hanging position grip with 2 knuckles of the left hand showing and the "V" of the right hand pointing to the right ear.

Left-hand positioning would encourage an open clubface by Gary Wiren

Traditionally, a strong grip is one in which the hands are rotated clockwise on the shaft so the left hand shows more knuckles (three or four) and the right hand will have the V pointing to the right shoulder, or even further to the right. In this text this grip positioning will be called a "closed-face grip", a grip position that encourages a hook.

One redeeming value of a hook is that it does produce less backspin on the ball and therefore frequently results in more distance...

To curb the tendency to hook excessively, the physically gifted player may move his grip counterclockwise into a "weaker" position.

He shows fewer knuckles of the left hand, so the back of the left hand faces the target more squarely. If a golfer sees fewer than two knuckles we'll refer to that position as an "open-face grip" (Illus 6-12).

Left-hand positioning would encourage an open clubface by Gary Wiren

Illus 6-12. The left-hand positioning where only one knuckle was visible to the player with the right hand matching would encourage an open clubface.

With a "neutral grip" the player's arms and hands hang naturally, with the hands rotated so the thumbs point slightly inward toward the body's centerline.

Gripping the club from this position would find each thumb resting slightly on the opposite side of the grip's centerline. Generally two knuckles would be visible on the back of the left hand, one knuckle on the back of the right.

What about you?

Are you a strong player... do you fight the hook?

Ask a teaching professional that question and probably 75% of the answers would be: "No, more of my pupils slice the ball rather than hook it."

You have some choices.

One is to stay with what you have. "If it works, don't fix it."

But if the slice causes a distance loss which is critical, then a change may be necessary.

Tom Watson's one-knuckle grip position is generally for a physically talented, strong, highly supple striker of the ball. If you can match Watson's physical ability, then you can copy his grip.

Lacking this ability, chances are you'll need to employ a grip with more clockwise rotation - showing two knuckles, three, or in extreme cases, even more in the left hand.

Whatever the choice, the right palm must be positioned behind the shaft because the player will always exert pressure on the shaft in the direction the palm is facing.

Try to avoid extremes because any extreme rotation of the hands to either a closed-face or open-face position will limit the degree of wrist cock available.

  1. Pressure

"Pressure" is not difficult to describe; it's simply how hard one is squeezing the club.

It is extremely difficult, however, to explain the proper amount of grip pressure and to communicate that feel.

We hear words such as "light" and "firm" which, of course, are only relative...

A club which is traveling at a higher rate of speed (the driver) will exert more pulling force away from the player and require a stronger grip pressure to hold than one moving more slowly (the putter). The player, however, does not need to consciously grip tighter as speed increases, it happens instinctively...

Because of the importance of achieving the correct feel, it's good practice when working on a grip change to do so in the presence of a professional instructor who can see and hear the swing to determine whether the correct pressure is being applied...

Some leading players of a half-century ago felt that the primary pressure should be the pincers of the thumb and forefinger of each hand.

Left-hand positioning would encourage an open clubface by Gary Wiren

Illus 1-24. The strongly rotated "closed-face position" of the left-hand grip which was popular during the first half of the 20th century, may have some rare application to the "rigid-hands" player.

Today's imperative, "Hold on with the last three fingers of the left hand", was not as critical a factor in their day because of the swing style which employed a great deal of hand action.

That former style is seldom seen or talked about today, yet it may have some rare application to the "rigid-hands" player who needs more freedom in his swing.

  1. Precision

The last of the four points under discussion is simple, yet critically important. It deals with "precision"; it's an either/or situation. That is, either one grips the club in a precise fashion (the same way each time) or is careless about the grip so it is seldom the same."

Reference : Gary Wiren's book 'The PGA Manual Of Golf', The Professional's Way to Play Better Golf, Gary Wiren PGA Master Professional, Ph.D. Macmillan USA. A Simon & Schuster Macmillan Company Copyright © 1991 by The Professional Golfer's Association of America.

Available on Amazon : The PGA Manual of Golf: The Professional's Way to Play Better Golf

by Tommy Armour - If your hands are in front

"Now, here's something else that is vital in good handwork:

The more you can get your hands ahead of the clubface in the downswing, the more power you can apply with the right hand.

The late uncocking of the wrists, or the delayed hit, as you may hear the effect called, instinctively causes a decided acceleration of right hand action at the most effective period.

You don't have to think about the right hand not coming along in time to whip the ball terrifically; it will get there spontaneously.

If you'll pause to consider, you will realize that if your hands are behind the ball at impact, you can only scoop the ball up. But if your hands are in front, you've got to smash the ball with lightning speed.

You don't need to accept the preceding statement as theory.

Test it in practice, either indoors or on the practice tee, and you will see how positively true it is.

As you improve in the art of hitting, you will see more plainly every day that the delayed hand action is essential to getting most out of the right-hand, swift-hitting power.

The application of the principle is exactly the same on wood and iron shots.

With the drives, the application is when the clubhead is slightly on the upswing, due to the ball being teed up and the weight being a little more on the right leg.

Hitting the brassie, spoon or 4-wood is done in the same way that irons are hit.

The weight is placed somewhat more firmly on the left foot.

Get your hands ahead of the ball when you hit and hit the wood clubs down as you would the iron shots.

The experts take turf when they're hitting fairway wood shots, unless they're finessing some shot with a method that is beyond the province of this book.

What I want to teach you here are the simplest and surest ways of utilizing your capabilities to the fullest extent."

Reference : Tommy Armour's book 'How To play Your Best Golf ALL THE TIME', Illustrated by Lealand Gustavson, Copyright © 1953, by Thomas D. Armour. Published by Simon and Schuster, Inc. New York, 1953.

Note: Brassie = 'Now known as the No. 2 wood.' Spoon = 'In the old days there were long spoons and short spoons, represented today by the No. 3 wood and No. 4 wood respectively.' Source: 'The Key To Golf', Glossary of Golf Terms, by Dai Rees.

by J. H. Taylor - If one man is able to do this, why not another?

"When a man has reached, I will say, thirty-five or forty years of age, his inclination is in the direction of the steady game, a style of game at which I feel confident he may do well.

He will not be inclined to strive after effect or to "play to the gallery," as not infrequently happens with the younger generation of golfers.

J. H. Taylor the reigning open champion driving 1911The tortoise, it will be recollected, succeeded in defeating the hare.

"Slow and sure" is another crusted, but apposite saying, and personally I am by no means certain that the steady, careful game is not after all the most sensible one. There can be no denying the fact that the one thing necessary in the game is steadiness and stamina combined.

There is, of course, an advantage in learning the game when young, but yet there is no reason to despair of getting well up in the lists even if a man has found it impossible to handle the clubs until he has reached the late thirties.

In proof of my statement in this respect I may instance Mr. C. Hutchings, of Hoylake, as an example.

Mr. Hutchings did not commence playing golf until, comparatively speaking, late in his life, but after this brilliant example who will be found bold enough to say that to learn late in life is an impossibility?

Mr. Hutchings at the age of fifty-three is not only capable of holding his own in excellent company, but has actually become the winner of the amateur championship, and if one man is able to do this, why not another?"

Reference : 'Taylor on Golf' Impressions, Comments and Hints by J. H. Taylor Chapter XV. The Most Common Fault. Open Champion 1894, 1895, 1900 and 1909 With Forty-Eight Illustrations Fifth Edition London Hutchinson & Co. Paternoster Row 1911.

by Paul Runyan - All the way to the power shots the process is the same

"As I have said, your body does turn as you go back on these shots, and so the clubface does not remain in a fixed position with relation to the ball, as in a putt or a chip.

Yet the clubface does stay in a fixed position with relation to the body.

If on a pitch your shoulders, say, turn ten degrees to hit the shot, the face of the club has also opened ten degrees with relation to the ball.

In relation to the shoulders or body, however, it is still square.

In other words, there has been no pronation or supination of the wrists, independent of the body turn.

All the way up to the power shots the process is the same.

If the shoulder turn or pivot is a full ninety degrees, or even more, the clubface opens by that full amount, and that amount only. Its position with relation to the shoulders is still the same as it was at address.

Let me repeat that the wrists never open the clubface by themselves. Body turns does it (or more particularly shoulder turn, since on fuller shots they turn farther than the hips). Yes, it is body turn alone which opens the face, and then only with relation to the ball.

On the downswing the body, arms and wrists return to their original position, not stopping there, of course, but going on through.

On these pitch shots you must avoid all feeling of trying to help the ball up into the air. The loft on the face of the club automatically takes care of this for you.

The grip should be kept crisp enough to make for precision.

Shots of average height and average spin call for firmness, with the wrists uncocking only to their original position, and not past it in any sort of scoop.

As the arms swing on by the only subsequent wrist motion would be caused by the club's momentum, and not by any conscious effort of the hands."

Reference : Paul Runyan's book 'Paul Runyan's Book For Senior Golfers', The Pitch Shots, Chapter 8. Dodd, Mead & Company, Copyright © 1962 by Paul Runyan.

by Harvey Penick - After a small change to his grip

"AT A PGA school in California, I was trying to help a good player who had developed a slice. About forty pros were watching.

After making a small change to his grip, I said, "This man has such a good swing, he can hit the ball with his eyes closed."

I told him to make a couple of practice swings without a ball, just concentrating on clipping the tee. Then I put a ball on the tee. "Now shut your eyes and make that same good swing," I said.

He hit the prettiest shot you ever saw, with a little hook on the end."

Reference : 'Harvey Penick's Little Red Book: Lessons and Teachings from a Lifetime in Golf' Harvey Penick with Bud Shrake. Introductions By Tom Kite, Ben Crenshaw, Mickey Wright, Kathy Whitworth, Betty Rawls, Mary Lena Faulk, Dave Marr, And Byron Nelson. Simon & Schuster Copyright © 1992 by Harvey Penick and Bud Shrake, and Helen Penick. Hypnotism page 80.

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