The Golfing Swing As I Understand It By J. H. Taylor

"That there are many ways of hitting any ball - let alone a golf ball - even the most casual observer must admit.

Yet there are numbers who have never even thought there could be any principles governing the forces which are applied in the golfing blow.

How often one sees these forces scattered, disjointed, working one against the other instead of in harmony. Where there is such discord, effort to overcome must be apparent. Now let it be clearly understood that I do not wish to be dogmatic, nor do I wish to state that there is only one true and correct way to swing ; I can only analyse the golfing swing as I understand it after years of experience and close observation.

In two ways have I especially trained my powers of observation in regard to the swing,

viz.:

(1) Observing the swing of others and their consequent effects ;

(2) observing the different effects of the variation of swings in my own game.

I may be by myself in stating that there is, in my humble opinion, a good deal of nonsense talked about the anatomy of one's body not being able to conform to such and such a swing.

Certainly, given two players of different build, even supposing they agree entirely as to methods, I will not say that their members will not interpret in different ways, but the essential principle will be the same in each.

If they see eye to eye that the swing should be flat with an open stance, one may swing rather flatter than the other, but the principle of the flat swing will be there governing each.

The truth is, many golfers do not take the trouble to grasp the principles of the swing ; some even argue that results justify the means, whether they violate true golfing principles or not.

For such as these I should not trouble to write these articles.

But I know there are many who will appreciate my earnest endeavours to put before them the "golfing swing," as I understand it, in some novel way.

The idea was suggested to me by Mr. Beldam, and when I saw his scheme and device I immediately perceived its value and use for the better explanation of the "golfing swing."

Often - how often I should not like to say - have I been asked by all classes of golfers:

"From whence did I get my power?"

With my comparatively short swing, where did I get the power to drive the ball as far as most who had a longer swing, with less apparent effort."

Reference :'Golf Faults Illustrated' By G.W. Beldam J.H. Taylor New Enlarged Edition Third Impression. London: George Newnes, Limited Southampton Street, Strand, W.C. British Open Champion 1894, 1895, 1900, 1909, and 1913.

Golf Faults Illustrated

Golf Swing Flat Upright Swing

"Hands are the key to good golf. It is true - and always has been - that a golfer is as good as his hands. I remember how, by just building up the wrists and hands of a pupil, I reduced his handicap, in just a few weeks, from 15 to 6. Sixty years ago I remember that outstanding instructor Seymour Dunn. Nothing in a lifetime's experience in golf has happened to make me think otherwise. How right he has been!" Henry Cotton


DECODED This Is The Secret By Henry Cotton Open Champion

"Hit as hard as you like" "You should hit that thing without hitting my" "A Sort Of Shot Backwards"
The Henry Cotton Celebrity Golf Lesson 1986 Presented by Sandy Gall VHS Available on Amazon

The Golfing Swing Explanatory (1905) By J. H. Taylor

Swinging In Two Different Styles

Comparisons (A,B,C,D,E) Swing And (a,b,c,d,e) Swing

"The first series of ten photographs shows these comparisons - five (A, B, C, D, E) make plain the open stance and the flat swing it necessitates, and the other five (a, b, c, d, e) show the square stance and the upright swing which must naturally come from therefrom.

Whilst this series was taken the camera remained in exactly the same position.

What the casual observer has to note is the way the club-head cuts the squares at different points during the operation of swinging in the two different styles - also the position of the wrists and right elbow in each pair of photographs.

Open Stance And Flat Swing

Open Stance And Flat Swing (At The Top) J.H. Taylor

If he does this he cannot help but notice, by comparing the top and bottom photographs (the open stance and square stance respectively), the arcs which come from the two different swings, and how much more upright the swing is which fits in with the square stance.

Square Stance And Upright Swing

Square Stance And Upright Swing (At The Top) J.H. Taylor

After all, the grid-iron screen, or birdcage, or whatever the reader may please to term it, may serve a most useful purpose in helping him to grasp quickly the principle that the swing must adjust itself to the stance."

Golf Faults Illustrated By G.W. Beldam & J. H. TaylorReference : 'Golf Faults Illustrated' By G.W. Beldam & J.H. Taylor New & Enlarged Edition Fourth Impression, Third Chapter The Golfing Swing Explanatory page 43. London: George Newnes, Limited Southampton Street, Strand, W.C. 1908.

Reference : 'Wisdom For Golfers' Golf Faults Illustrated. By G. W. Beldam and J. H. Taylor. Cloth, 8vo. Pp. 140. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. $1.25. The New York Times Published: December 1, 1905. TheTimesMachine Copyright © The New York Times including "This little book on golf faults is a strong plea for orthodox methods."

Download : 'Third Chapter' The Golfing Swing Explanatory By J.H. Taylor Open Champion 1894, 1895, 1900, 1909, and 1913.

Download : 'Fourth' The Mashie 90 yards, 70 yards, 50 yards, Mashie Play, including "the club face is turned outwards ; the player must feel that the wrists are controlling the club in taking it back", page 73 and 90. By J.H. Taylor Open Champion, 1908.

Download : 'Chapter III' Approaching By J. H. Taylor The Book Of Golf And Golfers By Horace G. Hutchinson With 72 Portraits New Impression, 1900, including "In order to become a good approach player, one must learn, first, to get the ball well into the air; second, to keep the ball straight; third, to judge the necessary strength; fourth, to put cut on the ball." Page 58.

Download : 'Bobby Locke British Open Champion 1949' The Basis of My Game By Bobby Locke in association with Slazengers Golf Clubs including "It is my Nos. 7 and 8 irons, Pitching Wedge and Sand Iron - backed, of course, by the Putter, which give me my figures."

From Whence Did I Get My Power?

I know there are many who will appreciate my earnest endeavours to put before them the "golfing swing", as I understand it, in some novel way.

read more


"Often - how often I should not like to say - have I been asked by all classes of golfers: From whence did I get my power? Many ways of answering this question come into my mind, but I think the following method the plainest: - Suppose I stood square, then I feel I should lose direction. Suppose my swing to be upright, then I feel I should lose distance. Lastly, but of most importance, suppose my right elbow were to leave the side, then I feel I should lose power." J. H. Taylor

Harry Vardon J. H. Tayolr Golfing Swings Golf Illustrated

"If the square stance is adopted the golfer's swing must fit in with such a stance. To keep the ball in the direction it ought to go, owing to the feet being level or square, the swing must of necessity be more upright, being more overhead than round the body. And this upright swing necessitates the right elbow leaving the side - try it for yourself." J. H. Taylor



"Let us analyse the utility of these two different types of swing. Which will stand the weather-test best, or weather the test? The former leaves the club more like an arrow from a bow, the latter more like a shot from a gun, and every golfer knows the value of such trajectory in a wind. Another great point with the open stance is that the wrists become more easily the motive power than they do with the square stance." J. H. Taylor


Two Schools Of Swinging (1907) By Alex Smith

Lessons In Golf Alex Smith 1907"To avoid possible misunderstanding, let me say again my method is not the only one in which golf may be played.

Perpendicular And Horizontal

A firm distinction must be made between the two schools of swinging - perpendicular and horizontal.

If a man plays with an upright swing, then of necessity his stance will be with the right foot drawn back ; the club head will be carried back in a long sweep close to the ground ; the right elbow will swing up and away from the body ; the club will be pulled down by the left arm and both arms will be stretched out in the direction of the ball's flight - the follow-through.

But if you adopt the horizontal swing, which is the modern practice, and best exemplified in the play of J. H. Taylor, you must do none of these things.

Left One Held Back Until After Impact

The club goes back around the right leg ; it is thrown down by the power of the wrists, particularly the right one, and the right elbow is kept close to the body on the up-swing, with the left one held back until after impact.

The perpendicular style is more of a sweep ; the horizontal rather in the nature of a hit.

Concentration Of Force

Concentration of force is the characteristic of the horizontal swing, and if you have seen J. H. Taylor play you will understand what I mean.

There is no wandering away of club head, arms or elbows. Everything is kept under severe control, but not an ounce of power is wasted or misapplied. The old-fashioned loose-jointed style of swiping at the ball is very pretty to watch, but it is an art that can only be learned imitatively and in youth."

Reference : 'Lessons In Golf' By Alex Smith, Open Champion, United States and Western Open Champion New York, Arthur Pottow, 48 West 27th Street 1907, Copyright 1907 by Arthur Pottow Grannis Press New York. Lesson II Stance, Grip And Swing, page 53.

Download : 'Lessons In Golf' Lesson II Stance, Grip, and Swing, By Alex Smith, 1907, "In my theory of the swing the power of the stroke depends on..., provided" page 51.

Download : 'How I Play the Chip Shot' By Alex Smith, The American Golfer, May 1, 1920.

read more


"With the right elbow moving out from the body the club is taken up very much straighter than when the elbow moves back, keeping close to the side. This is one reason, then, for Taylor's insistence upon the importance of this point. Its second office is to create driving power, and this is secured by what I have called the "throw of the club"." Alex Smith


The Upward Swing In Driving (1912) By James Braid

"If either the head or the body are guilty of any perceptible movement, there can be no rhythm or accuracy of the stroke. Of course the body has to turn while the up-swing is being made, but it should do this from the hips alone, so that the whole of the human machinery seems to work upon an axis at this point.

The First Movement Must Come From The Wrists

Bearing these things in mind, you begin the swing.

The first movement must come from the wrists, and it is the left one which makes the initiative.

They, and they alone, start the head of the club moving back from the ball, the left one giving the first gentle pressure to the club, while, as soon as the latter begins to move, the left elbow begins to bend slightly so as to accommodate itself to the movement.

The first movement must come from the wrists and it is the left one which makes the initiative by James Braid c1912

One Of The Commonest Mistakes Seen On The Links

One of the commonest mistakes seen on the links is the breaking of this rule by players who at the commencement of their swing instead of letting their wrists begin the work in the manner indicated, swing away both arms to the right from the shoulder.

This completely disturbs the whole arrangement, for the wrists, which will still have their work to do, will begin it at a wrong and inconvenient position, and a great deal of power and sureness will have been wasted.

In The Belief That A Very Wide Outward And Backward Sweep

This fault is sometimes committed in the belief that a very wide outward and backward sweep of the club is necessary to the making of a long drive, but such is not the case.

I Don't Believe In Those Long Sweeps

I don't believe at all in those long sweeps."

Download : 'Vol. 1 No. 10 SPALDING S Athletic Library Golf Guide And How To Play Golf By James Braid' British Sports Publishing Company Ltd. 15, Deodar Road, Putney, London. S. W. 15. VI. The Upward Swing In Driving, Copyright by The British Sports Publishing Co., Ltd., London. c1912, including: "The First Movement must come the wrists" Page 45.

Download : "This initial turn of the wrists is the commencement, and is most important (see Fig. J). The movement is then taken up by the swing round the hips, the body being allowed to pivot at this moment" 'GOLF FAULTS ILLUSTRATED' BY G. W. BELDAM & J. H. TAYLOR, 1911 Page 54.

Download :'Bobby Locke On Golf' By Bobby Locke. Country Life Limited 2-10 Tavistock Street London W.C.2. First published in 1953. Part Two: How I Play Golf, 1. Five Fundamentals, 2. The Grip, 3. The Stance, 4. The Backswing, 5. Downswing To Impact, 6. The Full Follow-Through, page 75-91 including "The backswing is beginning. The club, left hand, left arm and left shoulder all start back in one piece. This is the point at which the club-head is at the widest point of the arc." Page 86.

Reference : James Braid & Elie The Golf House Club, Elie, Fife Historic golf links on the Fife coast.


"The first movement must come from the wrists, and it is the left one which makes the initiative. They, and they alone, start the head of the club moving back from the ball, the left one giving the first gentle pressure to the club." James Braid


In Playing For The Slice (1913) By Harry Vardon

Harry Vardon The Finish

For Sliced Ball

"In playing for the slice, the stance should be open - the ball about opposite to the toes of the left foot, which should be pointing outwards, and the right foot advanced so that the executant finds himself well behind the ball.

The feet ought to be about the same distance apart as for the ordinary stroke; the first important matter is to dispose them so that they produce an open stance. Every golfer must discover for himself just what degree of openness he needs, but it will always be something more than the ordinary, because he is going to aim in some measure to the left of the line (that measure depending upon the strength of the wind) and make the ball curl back into the proper path.

Now as to the manner of producing this latter effect.

I suppose that there is more than one way of doing it.

Some people say, "Keep the right shoulder down and trust to the swing to bring the face of the club across the ball." This is not necessarily sufficient.

How I Secure The Slice

Personally, I have a method which may - or may not - be different from that employed by the majority of players. I have not so very long satisfied myself thoroughly as to how I secure the slice. Now I am convinced about it.

Harry Vardon Six times British and once U. S. Open champion 1917

With the weight mostly on the right foot, I take the club up in an outward direction in just the same way as for the cut mashie shot. There is the same slight sway up to the point where the elbows bend, and then as the club comes back behind the head, the latter returns to the proper position.

A Sharp Turn Of The Hips

At the top of the swing, in that immeasurably small period when one braces oneself for the effort, I give my body a sharp turn at the hips - a turn a few inches towards the hole. That action makes my downward swing the corollary of my upward swing where the intentional slice is concerned.

That small but emphatic turn of the body the instant before the club starts to descend causes the implement to come down on the same track as that which it occupied when going up. It is sent out into much the same position as that which it occupied at the top of the swing for the cut mashie shot. Round it comes with quickening speed until it cuts right across the ball.

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 including "My advice to the golfer who desires to consistently conquer a turbulent air (and, incidentally, his opponent) is to pin his faith to the cut stroke." Page 135

read more


"Very many golfers do everything correctly when taking the club to the top of the swing, and cut off a segment, so to speak, in coming down. They throw their arms forward immediately; they miss that section just behind them - the section which they had to form in order to get the club up after having turned the left wrist inwards. Instead of following the same track for the return journey, they take a short cut across the corner. Out goes the club, and then anything may happen." Harry Vardon


Inventor of The So Called Modern Swing A New Action

Byron Nelson's Timeless Golf Lessons This Is The Swing That Won 11 Tournaments in A Row Learn The Secrets of Great Golf Produced & Directed by Mickey Holden © 1995 HPG Home Video Inc. Available on Amazon

"Strong hands and arms are not everything, and many really strong men are comparatively short because they do not use their hands correctly. Their swings are stiff and they have little cock of the wrists. Flexibility is essential to long hitting and without it good timing is impossible. It is that last snap of the wrists at impact which gives those extra yards." Harry Weetman


This Line Of Tuition (1915) By P. A. Vaile

"Let him make up his mind to hit his ball, which is what he would try to do quite naturally unless his mind had been obsessed by the unnatural idea of a sweep by the iteration and reiteration of the wonderful army of golf parrots, who repeat the things they hear others say without in any way analyzing them or trying to use their own reason.

We are frequently told about the wonderful things that can be done by "getting one's wrists into it" at the moment of impact.

The greatest of golfers publish this nonsense.

PLATE 32. Club nearing ball. Note turn of forearms, commonly miscalled wrist-work by P. A. Vaile 1915

Vardon calls it a kind of superstition and says he does not believe in it. It is assuredly unsound and calculated to spoil the drive of anyone trying to use it. The wrists do their chief work in the earliest stages of the swing, when the weight of the club falls across them in the way in which they bend least.

The thing which writers and teachers mistake for wrist action, immediately before, at, and directly after the moment of impact is merely the natural roll or turn-over of the forearm bringing the club back to the position it occupied at the address. The wrists finished their work long ago.

This delusion about the wrists is another thing which is most important to forget.

I showed clearly in "The Soul of Golf" that the game has suffered terribly in the past from the multiplicity of false instructions and that it is mainly by recognizing these for what they are, putting them out of mind and letting Nature have a chance, that the golfer will arrive at the true spirit of the game and the ability to play and understand it so as to get the best out of it.

I am glad, indeed, to see that this line of tuition is being followed, particularly in America."

Reference : Spalding's Primer Series No. 2P 'How To Learn Golf' by P. A. Vaile Author Of The Soul of Golf, Modern Golf, Modern Lawn Tennis, Great Lawn Tennis Players, The Strokes and Science of Lawn Tennis, How To Play Tennis, Etc. Published By American Sports Publishing Company 21 Warren Street, New York. Copyright, 1915. Spalding's Athletic Library Prevalent Misconceptions About Golf, Page 19. Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2008 with funding from Microsoft Corporation.

Download : 'How To Learn Golf' Prevalent Misconceptions About Golf by P. A. Vaile, 1915, Golf Writer.

read more


"There can be no doubt whatever that any attempt to introduce into the drive for eighteen inches before and after impact, anything whatever in the nature of a "whip-like snap" would absolutely ruin the rhythm of the swing, for it is evident that the introduction of a "whip-like snap" into something which we have been told is "a sweep," would absolutely upset the general character of that "sweep." It is impossible to have a sweep, and in that sweep to sweep the ball away and at the same time to get the ball away by a "whip-like snap."" P. A. Vaile


At The Crucial Moment (1920) By Walter J. Travis

Walter J. Travis

Walter J. Travis

The Most Analytical Player in America 1913

Hands Work In Opposition To Each Other

"In a golfing sense the hands in a way really work in opposition to each other at the crucial moment, the moment that counts, that of impact between the club-head and the ball, the left arm stopping at the wrist for an infinitesimal fraction of a second as the ball is struck, accelerating the speed of the club-head.

Momentary Stoppage Not Discernible

This momentary stoppage is not discernible to the eye, but it exists just the same.

Getting The Wrists Into The Stroke

It is commonly known as getting the wrists into the stroke. It is a combination of swing and hit, the swing coming almost wholly from the left arm and the hit from the right.

A point is made in favor of the Vardon grip that it robs the right hand of a certain measure of power, thereby preventing it from becoming the dominant hand and offsetting a tendency to pull.

This is a misconception. Pulling is caused, largely, by the right hand turning over too much, or too soon, at the moment of impact.

Building Up A Game By Walter J. Travis Then The Right Comes InGiven that the grip with the left hand is as tight as possible at this stage, I hold that it is impossible to have too much strength in the right.

The left hand, the left side of the body, does practically all the work in a properly executed swing up to within a foot or two of the ball on the downswing.

Then the right comes in, for the first time, and supplements the work of the left with all the power it is capable of."

Reference : 'Building Up A Game' By Walter J. Travis, September 4, 1920. Fifth of a Series of Articles Taking Up in Complete Detail a course in Golf Instruction. National Amateur Champion, 1900, 1902, 1903. British Amateur Champion, 1904. Courtesy LA84 Foundation.

Download : 'Practical Golf' by Walter J. Travis Illustrated From Photographs New & Revised Edition New York And London Harper & Brothers Publishers 1903 III The Long Game "They impart that delightful snap which contributes so materially to length without apparent effort. This wrist movement in itself is not discernible to the eyes of the onlooker... It cannot be illustrated in the ordinary photograph, and, indeed, is very difficult to accurately describe" Page 39 From photographs by T. C. Turner Copyright, 1901, by Harper & Brothers All rights reserved May, 1901.


"In a golfing sense the hands in a way really work in opposition to each other at the crucial moment, the moment that counts, that of impact between the club-head and the ball, the left arm stopping at the wrist for an infinitesimal fraction of a second as the ball is struck, accelerating the speed of the club-head." Walter J. Travis


This Is Crucial Slightly On The Inside By Gary Player

"lateral movement" by Grant Hepburn in The Long Game with Ernie Els DVD2 The Short Game featuring Seve Ballesteros by Robert Baker. Available on Amazon : Logical Golf With Robert Baker [DVD]

Levering Of The Bodily Weight (1921) By George Duncan

"In first-class golf there are three different methods of transferring the weight of the body during the swing.

I much prefer to see a player 'standing up' to hit the ball. By that I mean I like to see a player make his upswing without using any more space than he takes up during the address.

Taylor and Mitchell have this merit ; as I call it, they 'stay there.'

Remember, that the great thing is this : in whatever way these various players arrive at the top of the swing, they always maintain their balance. Some men have the gift of balance, and poise at the top of the swing comes fairly easy to them. Whether it comes easily or with difficulty it is enormously important.

A Drive By Duncan

Every good golfer unless he is a swayer addresses the ball with most of the weight on the right leg, and it is a perfectly natural procedure on account of the right hand being below the left.

This pulls the right shoulder down and the extra weight on the right leg follows, unless it is fought against by an unnatural squaring of the shoulders.

Levering

A good swing is made as much with the body as it is with arms and wrists, and here the great difficulty arises. First of all, most of the weight being on the right leg is already ahead of the club, and this has to be got 'inside' as soon as possible, so that the levering of the bodily weight can work against the club and help it to the top.

It is essential that the club-head should lead : I mean by this that the club-head should pass and get ahead of the hands at once.

Simultaneously with the movement of the club-head the left shoulder and right hip should begin to turn and the left heel leave the ground. I have said before, and say emphatically again, that at the start of the swing the right hand must not be allowed to over-power the left. If it does so the left shoulder, which is the main factor in making the up-swing, is left behind, the club-head does not pass the hands easily enough, and long before the club-head reaches the ball the swing is ruined."

Reference : 'Present-Day Golf' By George Duncan And Bernard Darwin, Illustrated By Photographs By G. W. Beldam, London Hodder And Stoughton Limited 20 Warwick Square, E.C.4 PART I By George Duncan, Chapter V. The Transference of Weight.

Download : 'Present-Day Golf' By George Duncan And Bernard Darwin, PART I, By George Duncan Chapter I The Transference of Weight - Chapter X. How I Teach.

Download : 'Present-Day Golf' By George Duncan And Bernard Darwin, PART I, By George Duncan Chapter I The Methods of Champions Power In The Long Game And How They Get It, page 3.

Download : 'How Is Your Balance Fixed?' what George Duncan has to say about "transference of weight", and Willie Hunter Golf Illustrated July 1921.


"I would strongly advise any golfer who is not satisfied with his driving to examine his method of using his wrist in the back-swing of the club. It is quite as natural a movement as the swinging of the hammer by a navvy helping to break up the streets. He brings his hammer down with the full force of it on the chisel-head. If he had not this wrist action the body work would be more forced. As it is, he is able to apply his power easily at the impact of the hammer with the chisel-head. So it is in golf." J. H. Taylor


Scythe And Sledge Hammer (1922) By Seymour Dunn

You now have the whole sum and substance of the golf swing by Seymour Dunn 1922"Golf is not an expensive or difficult game if gone about in the right way.

To excel at the game, one should go about it correctly.

The manner of gripping and swinging the club is important. There are many ways of setting the feet, any of which like the grip, may be good, because in all matters individuality must be considered.

There are also many styles of the golf swing : long, short, and medium, also upright, flat, and orthodox.

Then again there are swings that are all shoulder action or all arm action or all wrist action.

Some swings are a combination of shoulders and arms while others are hips and wrists, any of which may be good, but a combination of hips, shoulders, arms and wrists is more likely to give greatest distance.

What Is Our Working Theory Of The Golf Swing To Be?

We will now briefly analyze the physical movements involved.

We find the golf swing is one united effort, the result of four properly blended movements (a) shoulder movement, (b) hip movement, (c) arm movement, (d) wrist movement.

Two Principal Combined Movements

For preliminary analyzing purposes the swing should be divided into two principal combined movements: (1) The lateral movement created by (a) the round about movement of the shoulders and (b) the sidewise action of the hips. (2) The vertical movement created by the upward and downward action of (c) the arms and (d) the wrists.

From geometric analysis we find that the arc of the golf club head was an oblique ellipse, and we know from geometry that this is to be had by blending lateral and vertical curves.

Like A Scythe In The Hands Of A Man Mowing

The combined movements of the hips and shoulders cause the club head to describe a lateral curve, like the curve described by a scythe in the hands of a man mowing.

Like A Sledge Hammer In The Hands Of A Blacksmith

The combined movements of the arms and wrists cause the club head to describe a vertical curve like the curve described by a sledge hammer in the hands of a blacksmith striking downward upon an anvil.

Overhead View of Golf Swing by Seymour Dunn 1922

In the golf stroke we find the scythe and sledge hammer strokes blended into one stroke. It is the proper blending of these two principal movements the round about; and the up and down that make the golf swing.

The Whole Sum And Substance Of The Golf Swing

You now have the whole sum and substance of the golf swing. Since the golf swing is a thing which requires great exactness, we must go very deeply into the matter in order to understand it completely."

Sledge hammer in the hands of a blacksmith striking downward upon an anvil by Seymour Dunn 1922

Download : 'Golf Fundamentals Seymour Dunn www.seymourdunn.com Golf Fundamentals Orthodoxy Of Style Seymour Dunn Copyright 1922 by Seymour Dunn All rights reserved BOOK 1 Published In Great Britain & The Colonies By "The Golf Monthly", St James Place, Edinburgh Preliminary Analysis of the Golf Swing "You now have the whole sum and substance of the golf swing" Page 36.


"In the golf stroke we find the scythe and sledge hammer strokes blended into one stroke. It is the proper blending of these two principal movements the round about; and the up and down that make the golf swing. You now have the whole sum and substance of the golf swing." Seymour Dunn


A Hit Or A Sweep (1924) By Bert Seymour

"One of the questions much debated in golf is whether the drive is a hit or a sweep.

It is a bit of both, but give the bigger bit to the sweep, if you are wise. Hitting is dangerous. You know this by experience.

Those who favour the hitting idea point to such players as Abe Mitchell and Ted Ray, both of whom are exceedingly long drivers. Ray hits the ball with all the might he can command.

His hit, however, is only after all a very swift sweep. You might be standing a quarter of a mile away and hear the crack of the club-head on the ball, and the natural remark to make would be something relating to a mighty hit.

Mitchell, too, hits the ball, but in his case the sweep of the club is even more easily observed. So fast does the head fly through from two feet behind the ball that, even with the most rapid shutters and the most recent lenses, efforts to photograph this follow-through have been unsuccessful.

Showing the position of the driver and rightheel after the ball has been hit. Bert Seymour, 1924.

I have mentioned Ray and Mitchell, because these great players are generally spoken of whenever a discussion arises about hitting and sweeping. Yet is either of these as great a golfer as Harry Vardon was when for ten years none could be compared with him?

Or with J. H. Taylor in his prime?

Could there be any doubt as to the manner in which Vardon and Taylor dispatched the ball from the tee? Did they not both sweep it away? Unquestionably, yes.

In my opinion these discussions serve no great purpose, because outstanding golfers like Ray, Mitchell, Vardon and Taylor bring to the game such an unusually large proportion of natural aptitude - amounting to a gift for golf - that ordinary players may look on and admire, but ought not to depress themselves with comparisons.

read more

'All About Golf' Bert Seymour All-About Golf How To Improve Your Game By Bert Seymour Winner of "The News of the World Tournament", 1921 and the Essex Championship Cup, 1922 Illustrated By 33 Action-Photographs And Many Diagrams Ward, Lock & Co., Limited London And Melbourne 1924 Printed in Great Britain by Butler & Tanner Ltd., Frome and London. Part I Preparation CHAP. A Preliminary Chat Page 13. Part II VI The Secret Of Driving Sweeping The Ball Away Part IV CHAP. XIX Golf For Ladies Lack Of Speed In The Swing Page 239.


"It is not too much to say that the generality of ladies golfers, who play from double-figure handicaps and play very nicely, would achieve much better results if only they could be persuaded to bring the wrists through with more snap." Bert Seymour


Half Swing Half Punch (1931) By J. & R. Wethered

Harry Vardon

Harry Vardon Fine position after impact

Fine Position After Impact

"The basic idea, particularly with wooden clubs (one hesitates to utter the familiar truism), must be the swing.

A Hybrid Method Half Swing Half Punch

There was a time soon after the introduction of the modern ball when a hybrid method - half swing, half punch - was believed to have peculiar merits and was freely advocated, especially in the matter of gaining distance.

It was said that the new ball responded better to more forcible and direct methods.

American Golf American Players

But the success that has attended American golf during the last decade has gone far to disprove this theory, and to re-establish true (but not necessarily natural) swinging in a position of supremacy, chiefly, perhaps, because American players have made it the basis of shots with all clubs, including irons.

At the same time certain features have been emphasised as being typically American that have proved as valuable as they have become characteristic. Smoothness, slowness, the economical application of power, and the utmost attainable reliability of method have been the chief objects kept steadily in view.

Swing, in short, is style

Three factors might be mentioned as being necessary for the cultivation of a good style - a knowledge of the principles governing the golfing stroke ; observation of the best exponents of the game and an intelligent imitation of their methods ; and, thirdly, what has been described in relation to another art as "much exercise of one's own style."

This last point is sometimes overlooked."

Reference : 'The Lonsdale Library Volume IX The Game of Golf' Stroke Play, by Joyce & Roger Wethered ; Match & Medal Play, Practice, Middle-aged golf, Watching for Profit & Courses, by Bernard Darwin ; History & Literature, by Horace Hutchinson ; Golf Architecture & Green-keeping, by T. C. Simpson With one hundred illustrations London Seeley, Service & Co. Ltd. 196 Shaftesbury Avenue 1931 Printed in Great-Britain. Chapter Three Wooden Club Play By Joyce & Roger Wethered Page 42.

Download : Chapter Three Wooden Club Play including "Half swing half punch." By Joyce & Roger Wethered


"There was a time soon after the introduction of the modern ball when a hybrid method - half swing, half punch - was believed to have peculiar merits and was freely advocated, especially in the matter of distance. It was said that the new ball responded better to more forcible and direct methods. But the success that has attended American golf during the last decade has gone far to disprove this theory." Joyce & Roger Wethered


Google Books Ngram Viewer 1800 to 2008 snap of the wrists Google Books Ngram Viewer What We Learned From 5 Million Books TEDx


Inside To Out (1931) By T. Henry Cotton

This Angle gives slice or cut, and must be avoided

Correct Angle of Swing A to B = In to Out

"I first learned through Armour that the only way to hit a golf ball at all - I say hit, meaning 100 per cent hit - is from inside to out.

For those who do not know what I mean by hitting the ball from inside to out, there is a diagram with an elementary explanation:

The direction of the swing of the club-head is from A to B.

This method will give a spin to the ball which is contrary to the slice spin, and therefore is used as the means to cultivate a controlled hook shot.

It certainly will give you the best results and should increase your length.

If you are successful in this, you are well on the way to a perfect swing and the accomplishment of a style which will give accuracy and direction."

Hitting the ball from inside to out by Henry Cotton 1939Reference : '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. Part I. Chapter V Early instructions and practice, pages 40 and 41. The Aldin Series, Eyre & Spottiswoode (Publishers) Ltd., 6 Great New Street, E.C.4. London. 1931. First published 1931.

Download : 'GOLF' By T. Henry Cotton British Open Champion, 1934 and 1937 Chapter V. Early Instruction And Practice Page 34, 41. Sixth Edition 1939 Eyre & Spottiswoode London.

Available on Amazon : Golf : Being a Short Treatise for the use of Young People who Aspire to Proficiency in the Royal and Ancient Game


"It must be stressed that, with few exceptions, the correct swing is always from 'inside' to 'out'." Arthur d'Arcy Locke



"With the strong left arm I have, I am able to hit past my left wrist and can actually control the flight of my ball by regulating the point at which I brake (not break, note) my left arm and allow my wrists to throw." Henry Cotton


Learn How To Swing The Club Freely (GASP) by Ernie Els

How To Build A Classic Swing With Ernie Els VHS Video © 1995 Master The Fundamentals of Grip Alignment Stance and Posture (GASP). Filmed on location at The Fancourt Hotel & Country Club South Africa

"I HAVE often heard the drive in golf described as a sweep, but I have no doubt in my mind that the tee shot is a hit ; and the harder you hit the ball, the further it will go." George Duncan


The Arc Of The Swing (1932) By Alex J. Morrison

"Although every club is designed with a particular width and loft of face, size and weight of head and a particular length of shaft, to aid in sending the ball in a certain trajectory, in actual use these features are of secondary importance.

The deciding factor in determining the flight of the ball is the angle at which the force of the swing is transmitted at the moment of impact. Any experienced player knows that it is quite possible, for example, to hit a high shot with a driver and a low one with a niblick. Such results, though, have no practical value beyond showing that clubs can be used for purposes other than those for which they are designed and that the loft of the clubface will not automatically send the ball in the desired flight.

This means that the angle at which the clubhead descends upon the ball really is the deciding factor in determining the flight.

And since the striking angle of the clubhead, that is, the angle at which the force of the swing is transmitted at the moment of impact, depends upon the arc in which the clubhead swings, it follows that the arc of the swing must be regulated to conform with the desired flight of the ball.

Now the only way the arc of the swing, or path in which the clubhead travels, can be regulated is by varying the relative amount of action performed by the various parts of the body in making the swing. Consequently, the proper distribution of action becomes just as essential in the execution of different shots as the right starting position and right order of movement.

Lateral Motion Of The Hips

In The Full Swing

In the full swing the movements of the body, particularly the lateral motion of the hips, are designed to flatten the arc in which the clubhead travels in the bottom of the swing. Moving the centre of the body from side to side in harmony with the arms and hands permits the clubhead to travel in a curve that is more nearly elliptical than circular, and the consequent flatter arc tends to produce a long, low ball.

read more


"Just as a chain is no stronger than its weakest link, a golfer is rarely any better than his hands. Although a great part of the power of his stroke originates in the center of his body, this power is of no use unless it is transmitted, and a critical point in this transmission is in the hands and wrists. Dead hands or wooden wrists directly produce as many golfing mistakes as any other one single detail." Robert T. Jones


Active Hands Are Needed (1934) By Robert T. Jones

"Just as a chain is no stronger than its weakest link, a golfer is rarely any better than his hands.

Although a great part of the power of his stroke originates in the center of his body, this power is of no use unless it is transmitted, and a critical point in this transmission is in the hands and wrists.

A Golfer Is Rarely Any Better Than His Hands

Dead hands or wooden wrists directly produce as many golfing mistakes as any other one single detail. Besides the important businesses of timing the stroke and of supplying a considerable club head acceleration in the climatic stages, active hands are needed so that the head can stay down, so that the right shoulder may not come up, so that the left arm may remain straight, and so that the iron shots may be struck downward. Disregarding whatever contribution they may make in the way of power and length, it is enough to say that they are directly charged with the responsibility for a clean, solid contact.

One of the greatest difficulties besetting the average golfer is to maintain a positive grip upon the club without destroying the suppleness of his wrists and the usefulness of his hands.

Bobby JonesA tight grip means wooden wrists, and yet the club must not be allowed to turn in the hands. How is he going to do it? It is like the steak that must be thick, but not too thick, rare, but not too rare.

A great part of the answer is had when we say that the club is held mainly by the fingers, even though at certain points it may touch the palm. For it may be held quite firmly there without in any way hampering the movement of the hand or wrist, whereas when held like a baseball bat, the muscles of the forearm become taut.

It is never necessary to squeeze the club-handle with any part of the hand. When you ground the club behind the ball, you should merely be conscious that you are holding it, that you feel it. When you begin to move if, your grip will tighten up naturally. But when you begin to move, start the action with the left hand, and feel the pressure mainly in the three smaller fingers of that hand, and then keep the feeling all the way through that these three fingers have the club under control.

This grip is definitely helpful in securing a complete cocking of the wrists at the top of the swing.

At this point, when the motion is changing direction, the body begins to unwind before the club starts down, and the cocking is completed by the little tug of the clubhead on the hands as its movement is stopped and reversed.

If the club were held in the palm, this would be a dangerous point, for either the tug would have to be resisted by a tight grip and a solid wrist, or the hold upon the club would have to be relaxed. But with the positive finger control the entire action can be handled smoothly as a slight opening of the hands takes up the shock without for an instant relaxing the grip.

So far as the right hand is concerned it will be best to keep the grip throughout as light as possible. This is mainly to avoid a natural inclination to pick the club up from the ball or to hit from the top of the swing."

Reference : 'Using Your Hands' By ROBERT T. JONES. JR. December, 1934.

Reference : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Maiden including "He left Scotland in 1901 and emigrated to the United States, became a naturalized citizen, and took a job as assistant under head professional Alex Smith at Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove, New York. His brother, Stewart Maiden (1886-1948), was also a golf professional whose base was at East Lake Golf Club at the Atlanta Athletic Club. Both of the Maiden brothers are credited with helping teach the golf swing to Bobby Jones."


"Pressing is putting too much body effort into the stroke. The ideal golf swing is a sweep plus a hit. The sweep comes from the downward sweep of the left arm ; the hit comes from a last instant slap with the right forearm and wrist. It is not the rotary shoulder movement nor the downward arm sweeping movement that speeds up the club head. It is the right hand and forearm." Seymour Dunn


No Stronger Than His Hands (1934) By Seymour Dunn

"For all strokes of considerable distance the left wrist should be the hinge of the wrist action.

A Fulcrum For The Left Hand Action

The right hand must work around the left because the left is the fulcrum or hinge on which the wrist action pivots. That is why the grip with the left hand must be firmer than with the right.

The right hand and forearm furnish the power which swings the clubhead through the arc which pivots in the left wrist.

DRIVING; half way down by SEYMOUR DUNN
GOLF FUNDAMENTALS 1922

Left Thumb Is A Fulcrum by Seymour Dunn 1922
THE GRIP: A Fulcrum For The Left Hand Action
With the left thumb on the handle you have a fulcrum for the left hand action. The thumb is a fulcrum which the second, third and fourth fingers of the left hand pull down against during the downward stroke, and it is possible to develop no small amount of speed from this left hand action.

The wrist action should not take place until the lateral hip action which takes care of the of the shifting of the of the body weight, and the downward pull of the left arm which drags the club handle down to the hitting area have almost completed their part in the downswing.

The Wrists Now Whip The Club Head

The wrists now whip the club head down and through the ball.

The Left Hand Has To Seymour Dunn

Note this: it is not the rotary shoulder movement nor the downward arm sweeping movement that speeds up the club head.

Hitting Against The Back Of The Left Hand By Henry Cotton 1959 The left hand has to b--- b--- ag----t the r----. Seymour Dunn

It Is The Right Hand And Forearm

It is the right hand and forearm.

Powerful And Flexible Wrists Seymour Dunn

The left shoulder and arm movements merely drag the club handle down to the hitting area.

Hands To Do Their Work

You have arrived at the hitting area when your left wrist is about to come in line with your own head and the ball and while the club head is yet trailing far behind the hands.

So I would repeat that the shoulder and arm movements do not whip the club head through, but merely swing the handle end of the club.

It is the hands that whip the club head through.

Golf Fundamentals By Seymour Dunn Grip Must Be Suited To The Individual 1922

So do not use too much shoulder and arm power or that will make it impossible for the hands to do their work, which is to speed up the club head and get it through on time.

A Golfer Is No Stronger Than His Hands

A golfer is no stronger than his hands.

The Full Swing Stroke by Seymour Dunn 1922

An analysis of moving pictures of leading players reveals the fact that approximately 85 per cent of the speed of the club head is attained by the wrists, 10 per cent by the arms, and only 5 per cent by the shoulders.

Seymour Dunn Walter Hagen Jock Hutchison Joe Kirkwood Lake Placid

As we pointed out before, your shoulders, like a hippopotamus, are slow - what we want is speed, not brute force. So go easy with the shoulders and give the wrists a chance to do the work.

They are speedy, but remember that they will not be able to do their work if the shoulders have already done it for them.

Reference : 'Standardized Golf Instruction Whip The Clubhead' Third Edition, Published by Seymour Dunn Queens Plaza Outdoor Golf School 21st Street and 41st Avenue Long Island City, New York, U. S. A. Standardized Golf Instruction In Five Books Copyright 1934 - Seymour Dunn All rights reserved. Fundamental 9. Page 48.

For availability and price of the 1934 book 'Standardized Golf Instruction' Published by Seymour Dunn © 1934, which includes 'The Secret of Good Golf', page 57, contact The Dunns direct, the copyright owners, still in New York, USA (as of July 2016).

Download : 'Thanks For The Game' The Best of Golf with Henry Cotton, 1980, Preface, including "Sixty years ago I remember that outstanding instructor Seymour Dunn. Nothing in a lifetime's experience in golf has happened to make me think otherwise. How right he has been!" Preface;

"what happens to the head of the club at the start of the downswing. the club head, in the case of most top golfers, can be seen to drop backwards" Page 14;

"there is a point in the swing when you have to absorb the shock, to take it in your hands ; and this also applies to putting. This is worth remembering." Page 170.

Reference : 'Dunn, Seymour. Standardized Golf Instruction. New York: Seymour Dunn, 1934. 5th Edition. Previously belonged to Henry Cotton with his stamp on first page.'

read more


"It is as if we had three swinging doors all hinged to each other, the spinal column acting as a rotating main post. All generate speed, and when worked properly together, they produce an effect like cracking a whip. It is the hands that whip the club head through. At the moment of impact the hands work not together but against each other." Seymour Dunn


Golf Fundamentals Seymour Dunn 1922 Seymour Dunn Dunn-Gourlay Code of Golf Instruction Musselborough Scotland

Hitting With The Hands By Henry Cotton British Open Champion

"If This Is The Way To Hit A Ball" The Henry Cotton Celebrity Golf Lesson 1986 Presented by Sandy Gall
A Video Masterpiece Filmed at the Temple Golf Club Berkshire VHS Available on Amazon

"So I would repeat that the shoulder and arm movements do not whip the club head through, but merely swing the handle end of the club. It is the hands that whip the club head through. So do not use too much shoulder and arm power or that will make it impossible for the hands to do their work, which is to speed up the club head and get it through on time. A golfer is no stronger than his hands." Seymour Dunn


The "Scissor Movement" (1949) By Charles Whitcombe

"You cannot get crispness out of a pure arm swing.

The secret of crisp hitting lies in the "scissor movement," the crossing of the right wrist over the left as the club-head comes through the ball.

This "scissor movement," is a bit of a puzzle to many golfers, but there is nothing strained or unnatural about it.

If you doubt this, just try to swing a club without any roll of the wrists at all, and you will quickly realize which is the natural and which is the unnatural movement.

The scissor movement was considered one of the fundamental features of a good swing by the old school of golf instructors.

I am not going to say that all the theories of the of school with regard to the scissor movement were correct, but I am conscious that this roll of the forearms is still a fundamental part of my own swing, and, in fact, I do not see how it is possible to obtain a good swing without it.

Fig. 10 After Impact With The No. 7 The Value Of The Follow-Through By Charles Whticombe 1949 Fundamental 12 Transmit Power To Ball Seymour Dunn 1934

The real danger of the scissor movement is that players are constantly tempted to exaggerate it.

The man who tries to force the scissor movement in order to get extra power, is always likely to overdo it, or rather bring it in too soon, with the result that the club reaches the ball with the face more or less shut, and the shot is either smothered or hooked."

Reference : 'GOLF' By Charles Whitcombe With A Foreword And A Chapter On The Rules By Robert H. K. Browning Editor of "GOLFING" London Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, Ltd. First Published 1949. Lesson V The Scissor Movement Page 34, Lesson XI The Value Of The Follow-Through Page 67.


"When the club-head is about a foot from the ball the right hand comes into the stroke to sling the club through the ball. The right hand overtakes the left and passes over it in what has been called the "scissor movement" as the club reaches the ball. " Charles Whitcombe


Roundhouse Swing (1954) By Louise Suggs

Louise Suggs Hands Still Firmly On The Shaft 1954"As you can see, my hands are higher than the top of my head.

This is possible only when you start the club-head back in a low trajectory straight away from the ball, with the back of your left hand towards your objective.

If you will observe this rule you will avoid the error of rolling your hands over or under at the beginning of the back-swing.

In other words, try to swing arms, wrists, hands, and club-head straight back just as far as you can without moving your head out of position, and then upward in a natural, swinging motion, rather than in a circular motion revolving around the body. When that error is committed the club-head comes back sharply inside the line of flight, leading to what is known as a 'flat swing,' or 'roundhouse swing.'

Let me urge you to carry in your own mind a mental image of the position you want to attain at the top of your back-swing. If you will do this, and then try to match it, chances are that with a little practice you will execute your back-swing properly.

This is the simplest approach to developing a good golf swing."

Reference : 'Par Golf For Women' By Louise Suggs, British Ladies' Champion 1948 U.S. Women's Champion 1952 With A Foreword by Ben Hogan British Open Champion 1953 George G. Harrap Co. Ltd London Wellington Sydney, Chapter 6. Playing The Irons, page 53.

Download : 'Chapter 6 Playing The Irons Avoiding Flat Swing Chapter 10 The Common Faults of Golf' By Louise Suggs British Ladies' Champion 1948 U.S. Women's Open Champion 1952.


"On the downswing, a golfer swings on a slightly different plane than on the backswing. Its lateral axis is no longer in line with the line of flight. It points slightly to the right of target. When the golfer is on the correct downswing plane, he has to hit from inside out." Ben Hogan


Ball Trajectory And The Swing Plane by John Jacobs

Doctor Golf John Jacobs The Full Swing DVD. A detailed look at all aspects of the Golf Swing
Available on Amazon : John Jacobs - The Full Swing [DVD]

The Swing Plane (1962) By Paul Runyan

Be on plane to hit the ball squarely bu Paul Runyan

Paul Runyan

"Doing exactly the same thing over and over is the object here, and to achieve it a player sets up his swing path, plane, or groove, so that each swing does not result in a renewed attempt to find the ball.

To visualize such a swing plane, picture a wheel.

The wheel's radius is an imaginary line running from the top end of the spine out to the ball. Thus the outer rim of the wheel is the clubhead.

The hands and arms are like wire spokes which turn this rim.

The Axle Is The Spine Itself

The axle is the spine itself. The head is the hub. The wheel is tipped to different angles for different clubs.

Its flattest plane of rotation is about 45° for the longest club, the driver. Its steepest plane is about 60° for the 9-iron or wedge. The wedge is, of course, the shortest club in your bag. So when you use it you have to bring the ball closest to your feet. But you do not stand in the same posture as for a drive and simply swing your hands higher. Instead, you tip the spine forward to set up the same sort of rotating action of the wheel. Since the hub of this wheel is the head, it must center all motion.

If the hub is moving up and down while the wheel turns, much of the freedom and acceleration produced by a good swing plane is wasted. For this reason the motion pictures of my own swing used to scare the daylights out of me as an instructor, until I gave up my intentional lateral sway and decided to get the necessary extra leverage by strengthening my muscles.

Some Sort of Loop

Of course, our wheel illustration obscures one major reality. Nobody, after all, can bring the clubhead down on exactly the same path it followed going up. Nor, for that matter, should he. A swing like Sam Snead's, or Gene Littler's, probably comes closest to retracing the same path.

But some sort of loop (either from the outside in, as in Hogan's case, or from well inside to slightly less inside, as that of Bobby Jones is even preferable if there is to be a continuous rhythmic motion. Furthermore, a particular swing plane is not something a player just happens upon, or even chooses.

It is first of all conditioned by his build. If he is tall and thin he can swing on a more upright plane and still have his arms and hands clear his body. The shorter, thick-chested or heavy-armed person, swinging on such a plane, would collide with himself. Thus, such a player must flatten out his plane to give himself more freedom.

A Bad Grip

A bad grip makes the proper swing plane harder to set up. If your hands go on the club in too strong a position, for example, with the "V's" pointing too far to the right, you will swing the club too flat. Or, if you take too weak a grip, with the "V's" pointing too far to the left, you will swing too upright."

Reference : 'Paul Runyan's Book For Senior Golfers', The Swing Plane, Chapter 5. Dodd, Mead & Company, Copyright © 1962 by Paul Runyan.

Download : 'The Swing Plane, The Grip' Chapter 5, Chapter 3, by Paul Runyan. 1961-1962 Senior P.G.A. Champion And World's Senior Champion, 1962.

Available on Amazon : Paul Runyan's Book for Senior Golfers

"Runyan's teaching prowess led many top pros to him over his 75 years of teaching, including Gene Littler, Phil Rodgers, Frank Beard, Jim Ferree and Mickey Wright."

Source : Paul Runyan on Wikipedia


"With the swing plane we come to what Hogan calls the "muscle-memory" part of golf. This involves a person's ability to bring the clubhead back against the ball consistently and squarely, to hit it "on the screws" every time, without any great conscious deliberation. To visualize such a swing plane, picture a wheel." Paul Runyan


Oblique Plane By Seymour Dunn


Mathematically Derived Swing (1969) By D. Williams D.Sc.

"In the light of previous chapters we now have, for the first time in the history of the game, full knowledge of what a top-class player does to the club at every instant throughout the downswing.

The Mathematically Derived Swing By David Williams D.Sc.

And since whatever he does to it is done with his hands, this is as much as to say that we know exactly what his hands do throughout the swing.

In The Initial Stage of The Downswing

We know that, except in the initial stage of the downswing, his hands apply no leverage to the club but only a plain pull directed along the shaft. In other words, that in the second stage, where nine-tenths of the real work is done, the clubhead might just as well be connected to the hands by a piece of string. Thus it is the business of the shoulders - themselves actuated by the hips - to transmit the requisite pull via the arms and hands to that 'string'.

What I propose to do here is to examine, in the light of action photographs of top-class players and of the newly gained knowledge of what the hands have to do, the way the main source of muscular power finds its outlet at the hands. A few exercises are also described which are designed to give you direct experience of the 'feel' associated with certain key movements of the swing.

As a first step in this direction I want to explain the kind of flail action that is used in the golf swing.

As a two-link flail action

The main purpose of the above disquisition on flail action is to emphasise the fact that the golf swing represents the simplest of all flail actions - the two-link flail of Fig. 6(b).

Two- three and four-link flail actions illustrated

That the golf swing is no more than a two·link flail action is proved by the fact that the mathematically derived swing of Fig. 2, which faithfully represents Bobby Jones's swing (as recorded in the photograph of Fig. 1) depends on there being only two links - one joining the hands to the centre of rotation and the other, i.e. the clubshaft, joining the hands to the club-head. It is, of course, the first link in the flail - the one-piece link of shoulders and arms - which the player can do something about, for the second link, i.e. the clubshaft, cannot be other than one piece.

It is therefore at first sight surprising that the golf swing, despite its basic simplicity, is so full of snags. At first sight it certainly is rather odd, but only at first sight.

The Two Components of Clubhead Speed at Impact

One of the interesting results derived via the mathematical analysis of the golf swing, and one of considerable practical importance, is that the speed of the clubhead at impact is made up of two distinct and equal components. What this signifies will be readily understood if you have a look again at Fig. 4.

Fig. 4. First and second stages of downswing. David Williams

There you see the path ABWFC of the hands as they move from their top position A to their bottom or impact position C. They are carried by a radius arm (representing shoulders and arms) which rotates about the centre O.

So As To Get Into Line

At the start the clubshaft AD is fully cocked back relative to the rotating arm OA. That cocking angle is still intact when the hands reach B. Thereafter, however, the angle opens out gradually as the wrists uncock until by the time the impact point C is reached, clubshaft and arm are in one straight line OCL.

Thus, it is only after the hands reach B that the clubhead begins its chase of the hands so as to get into line with them by the time impact takes place.

The Science of the Golf Swing Dr David Williams 1969If therefore you visualise an imaginary clubhead that is always in line with the hands, what the real clubhead is doing is chasing that imaginary clubhead so as to catch up with it at impact point.

Obviously therefore it has to gain in speed on that imaginary head and this it does to such good effect that when it overtakes the imaginary head at L it is passing it at high speed. Now what the mathematics shows is that when the real head passes the imaginary in-line head it is travelling at twice the latter's speed. Thus, half the clubhead speed at impact is due to the rate at which it 'whips' past the hands, while the other half is the speed of the imaginary in-line head.

The important lesson to be learnt from this is that any interference with the free hinging action of the hands in the impact region must reduce the 'whip-past' speed and therefore reduce what contributes half of the resultant speed.

This shows how futile is the idea sometimes put forward that there should be some slowing down of the left hand to allow the right to 'hit against it'.

Reference : 'The Science of the Golf Swing' DAVID WILLIAMS. D.Sc., F.I.Mech.E., F.R.A.e.S., C.Eng. Formerly Deputy Chief Scientific Officer at the Royal Aircraft Establishment. Farnborough. Pelham Books First published in Great Britain by PELHAM BOOKS LTD 52 Bedford Square London, W.C.1 1969 Copyright 1969 by David Williams. To the memory of that prince of sportsmen, Lord Brabazon of Tara, PC, GBE, MC, whose views on the game of golf I found a never-failing source of stimulation. Dr David Williams, a graduate of the University of Wales, a Doctor of Science, a Fellow of he Institute of Mechanical Engineers, a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and a Chartered Engineer, made his career in the Scientific Civil Service and was a Deputy Chief Scientific Officer (Special Merit) at the Royal Aircraft Establishmzent, Farnborough, when he retired a few years ago - an appointment made only for outstanding individual research. Such is the background against which his scientific paper on the 'Dynamics of the Golf Swing' (May 1967) - the basis of the present book - was written.

read more


"1st point is to understand the way centrifugal force operates in accelerating the clubhead in the later stages of the downswing. Look at position OWR in Fig. 4. The centrifugal force at the clubhead R pulls it away from the centre of rotation O. It is like a giant's hand pulling the clubhead R and the centre O apart, so straightening out the angle OWR between arm and shaft until the two finally snap into line at impact." David Williams


Angle Of Attack (1975) By Jack Grout

"A third requirement for a good shot is that your clubhead be moving more or less at ball level on impact. Now, it may seem overly simple for me to point out that during the golf swing the clubhead swings up and down and up again, as well as around your body, and it may seem equally obvious that at the bottom of this arc the clubhead should be at ball level.

What may not be obvious, however, is that the clubhead's "angle of attack" toward the ball should not be too steep or too shallow.

If this angle of attack is too steep - too sharply downward - the force of your shot will be predominantly downward rather than forward, and the ball will not travel as far as it should.

Let Me Teach You Golf As I Taught Jack Nicklaus by Jack GroutConversely, if your angle of attack is too shallow, you run a big risk of either stubbing the club into the ground behind the ball or catching the ball on your upswing, after your clubhead has already passed the bottom of its arc. What may also be news to you - even if you are already an experienced golfer - is that your clubhead path directly affects your angle of attack.

It does so as follows. In returning the clubhead to the ball on the downswing, the more from inside the target line the club is moving, the shallower your angle of attack will be.

Conversely, the more your clubhead moves back to the ball from outside the line, the steeper will be its angle of approach to the ball.

It is important for you to understand this relationship of clubhead path to angle of attack in order to understand some of the swing fundamentals we shall examine later."

Reference : 'Let Me teach You Golf As I Taught Jack Nicklaus' Six Fundamentals Jack Grout with Dick Aultman Illustrated by Jim McQueen Atheneum / SMI New York 1975 Copyright © 1975 by Jack Grout and Dick Aultman Designed by Kathleen Carey. Chapter Three Concepts of the Swing.


Find Your SwingPlane by Chris Meadows With Paul Foston

Improve Your Golf Video Series Programme 2 and 3. Chris Meadows and Paul Foston. Pitching, Fairway Bunker Shots, Curing the Slice, Visualization, Developing Your Swing Plane 3. Using Woods 2

"Stand firm and endeavor to keep the body, shoulders, arms and hands in the proper plane throughout the stroke. By plane I here mean the sweep of the club to the ball which should be an exact duplication of the backward swing. The golfer must seek to keep his hands in exactly the same plane coming down as going up." Jerome D. Travers


Down And Under Inside To Out (1986) By Phil Rodgers

"The inside-to-out swing path is created to a large extent by the steady straightening of the left leg and turning of the left side.

Remember the sequence of movements to initiate the downswing begins with the lower body.

The uncoiling is "fired" by dropping the raised left foot onto its heel.

This starts the weight transfer, which is almost complete before the left leg straightens.

You want to feel a very distinct straightening of the left knee through impact. I hesitate to use the word lock, but the knee comes very close to that. The left hip turns away from the ball most effectively when the left leg straightens.

THE LEFT HIP NEVER SLIDES PAST THE BALL.

This straightening and turning action automatically drops the right side into the underhand-toss position. And when you go underhand, you must also go inside to out with the club; it is essentially an automatic response.

The club is already well inside because of the rotation of the body in the backswing. The underhand-toss motion helps to keep the inside-to-out angle."

Reference : 'Play Lower Handicap Golf', by Phil Rodgers with Al Barkow. Photographs by Steve Szurlej. Foreword by Jack Nicklaus. Copyright © 1986 Phil Rodgers. A Golf Digest Book.


"Provided, that the right elbow moves around and close to the body on the up-swing and the left elbow is kept close to the body until after the ball is struck, the stroke will be a powerful and accurate one, the arms finishing as shown in the illustration." Alex Smith


In An Older Method (1993) By Ernest Hargreaves

"I HAVE NOW BEEN WATCHING GOLF FOR SEVENTY YEARS. As a star-struck youngster, I watched Taylor and Braid avidly, but it was Vardon who left the indelible impression.

Caddie In The Golden Age My Years with WALTER HAGEN and HENRY COTTON Ernest Hargreaves with Jim Gregson The other two attacked the ball with a fierceness which reminded one that these players had all begun in the days of the gutty ball. Taylor lashed at the ball with a flat swing from a flat-footed stance, his effort echoed in the little grunt which accompanied every full shot.

Horace Hutchinson summarized Braid when he spoke of the 'divine fury' which was the hallmark of his striking. He settled over the ball with a portentous gravity; the sudden furious lash he then aimed at it came as a perpetual surprise after these deliberate preparations. Bernard Darwin, who had lived and played through the great age of the gutty, said that he never saw anyone hit so malignantly hard at the ball.

Vardon in contrast was all grace and ease. He had an upright swing, and he hit the ball very high, but what made me gasp when I first saw him was the astonishing ease with which he hit the ball great distances.

You may notice that he is the only one of the three whom I think of as swinging: the other two hit the ball in an older method.

Vardon was in many senses a pioneer. He established the idea that the golfer should swing at the ball, relying on perfect rhythm and timing for his distance and accuracy. These things are now accepted as truisms, but in Vardon's day they were almost revolutionary. He did not invent the grip which bears his name, but he popularized it and explained to millions how it worked.

Memory plays tricks, but I still think of Vardon as the most graceful and rhythmic swinger of a golf club I ever saw."

Reference : 'Caddie In The Golden Age' My Years with WALTER HAGEN and HENRY COTTON Ernest Hargreaves with Jim Gregson A Portrait Of A Vanished Age Partridge Press London New York Toronto Sydney Auckland Published 1993 by Partridge Press a division of Transworld Publishers Ltd Copyright © Jim Gregson Page 181.

Download :"Hunter is a small man and uses an abbreviated style much similar to J. H. Taylor and J. H. Kirkwood. He plays practically all his shots with his wrists and rarely lets his club get above his shoulders in any stroke" Willie Hunter British Amateur Champion, Golf Illustrated, July 1921.

read more


"You may notice that he is the only one of the three whom I think of as swinging: the other two hit at the ball in an older method." Ernest Hargreaves


Golden Greats of Golf 1859 to the PRESENT DAY

BENSON & HEDGES Golden Greats of Golf 1858 to the PRESENT DAY presented by Peter Alliss
VHS Available on Amazon

"You may bet your life that someone will discover a new mind presentation of propelling this golf ball, a new short cut to success, very soon. But it is an even money bet that it will be something we have all been doing for years, called by another name." Archie Compston


That Old Tenet (2002) By Jack Nicklaus

Jack Nicklaus Golf My Way"If you seek an upright swing plane, beware of that old tenet about tucking your right elbow into your side on the backswing.

To maintain an upright plane, the left arm must swing away from the body, the left shoulder must move down (not merely around), and the right shoulder must move up and around.

If the right arm hugs the body, the left arm will follow it, and so will the shoulders - the left shoulder will move around rather than down.

Result: Your clubhead will move quickly "inside" your target line, and you will swing "flat", even though you may have set to swing "upright"."

Reference : 'Golf My Way The Instructional Classic, Revised and Update' Jack Nicklaus with Ken Bowden. Illustrations by Jim McQueen. Simon & Schuster Paperbacks Copyright © 1974, 2005 Jack Nicklaus Copyright renewed © 2002 by Jack Nicklaus.


"Advice as George Duncan's "Make your body wait for the club"; Marshall Whitlatch's "Keep your chin pointing at the back of the ball"; Bob MacDonald's "The body should act against the blow, not with it"; and Bobby Jones: "Hit against the left side" are all to keep us from whirling our shoulders too fast so our arms and wrists may get a chance to do their work." Seymour Dunn


Seymour Dunn And this last instant snap, or whipping movement, is responsible for 85% of the velocity of the club head

Reference : 'Dunn, Seymour. Standardized Golf Instruction.' New York: Seymour Dunn, 1934. 5th Edition, by Fine Golf Books, rare & antique golf items, "previously belonged to Henry Cotton with his stamp on first page."

Download : 'Facts And Ideas' by Henry Cotton Sports & Country. 24.1.51 09.7.2017 The British NEWSPAPER Archive co.uk including "Seymour Dunn, one of America's foremost instructors", "Many of to-day's younger players have given themselves serious spinal troubles trying to step up the 15 per cent. proportion...", "Here is the greatest mistake of all in golfing theory.", "To allow the "levering" which exists in a swing to take place.", "It is not correct to sweep "the whole lot through", "buffer action" as expressing best the sort of minute recoil in the swing."


"Lateral hip action adds momentum to the blow, and backs up the speed generated by the shoulders, arms and wrists. The hips do rotate somewhat but their rotary action is done to assist the shoulder rotary action. The real work to be done by the hips is to move sidewise from one side to the other, thereby shifting the bulk of the player's weight from one foot to the other. The hip action is called the parallel hip action because it is an action of the hips that is parallel with the line of play, and to differentiate it clearly from all action of a rotary character." Seymour Dunn


Of Highly Proficient Golfers (2007) By Timothy C. Sell

"The goal of this project was to examine the strength, flexibility, and balance characteristics of golfers in 3 different proficiency groups based on golf handicap.

We hypothesized that golfers with a HCP < 0 would possess significantly greater strength, flexibility and balance ability than the less proficient golfers. In the current study, golfers with a HCP < 0 demonstrated significantly greater hip strength, torso strength, shoulder strength, shoulder flexibility, hip flexibility, torso flexibility (right), and balance (eyes open) than golfers with HCP 10-20.

Hips, Pelvis, And Lower Back (Core Strength)

Strength, especially around the hips, pelvis, and lower back (core strength), is essential to optimal performance in golf. An effective golf swing requires the golfer to maintain a table base (lower extremities and pelvis) while rotating the mass of the torso, upper extremities, and head. The higher the velocity of rotation of this mass, the greater the strength of the core required.

To Drive A Longer Distance

In the current study, the HCP < 0 group had significantly greater hip and torso strength than the HCP 10-20 group, demonstrating the need to improve torso strength to develop the power and torso velocity necessary to drive a longer distance.

Our research has demonstrated that there is a relationship between maximum torso velocity (during the downswing) and ball velocity (18), which should equate to a greater driving distance.

Another important result of the current study is that the lowest handicap group also had significantly greater shoulder strength than the highest handicap group. Shoulder strength, specifically of the rotator cuff, is important for injury prevention and joint stability during the golf swing because the shoulder is a frequent site of injury both in professional and in amateur golfers(2,11).

read more

Reference : 'Strength, Flexibility, And Balance Characteristics Of Highly Proficient Golfers' Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2007, 21(4), 1166-1171. Timothy C. Sell, Yung-Shen Tsai, James M. Smoliga, Joseph B. Myers, And Scott M. Lephart. Neuromuscular Research Laboratory, Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260 Download at : http://nmrl.pitt.edu select Publications, Manuscripts, Topic 'Golf'; Department of Physical Therapy, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan City, Taiwan.


"Momentum and speed producer. As the wrists swing the club the shoulders swing the arms. The shoulders by their rotary action maintain and add to the speed generated by the arms and wrists and they are capable of generating tremendous driving power. This shoulder power should be used to the extent of the player's ability to transmit it to the ball. Caution, however, must be exercised; the shoulders are many times stronger than the wrists, and therefore are likely to cause the wrists to collapse." Seymour Dunn


Freely Returning The Clubhead (2008) By THE PGA

Golf Swing

"The golf swing is just that, a swing.

In nearly all sports that involve swinging an implement, a bat, a hockey stick or racquet, the object to be struck is moving. In golf, the ball is always stationary.

The golf swing is similar to other swinging motions in sport. For golf, you need only learn one basic swing. As distance requirements change a different club is selected from the set for the needed yardage.

One Smooth Fluid Motion

The golf swing is a circular motion around the body similar to a baseball swing. The difference is that while a batted ball ideally is around waist high when it is struck, a golf ball is on the ground. In a golf swing the plane that the club travels on is tilted.

Two Distinct Phases

The golf swing has two distinct phases - pre-swing and in-swing.

The pre-swing phase, the preparation that occurs before playing, includes a pre-shot routine and addressing the ball. The in-swing phase is the actual swinging of the golf club. The swing should be completed in one smooth, fluid motion.

The entire swing is often broken down into smaller components that include the: address, takeaway, change of direction, down swing, impact and follow-through/finish.

The Term Release

A proper swing accelerates through the impact position.

The term release is often used to describe this experience. The act of freely returning the clubhead squarely to the ball at impact.

Natural Whipping Motion

Lag and release is the true power move in the golf swing.

If swung correctly, the handle end of the club moves towards the ball creating an 90° angle from our target arm up the golf shaft on your down swing. This position is called lag. The lag promotes the release, or the natural whipping motion through the ball that creates the effortless power that all good golfers create.

To perform the acceleration drills follow the directions provided below."

Download : 'First Swing Golfer's Guide' THE PGA OF AMERICA Professional Golfers Association Of America 1916' CHAPTER 4 The Skills of Golf - 21 CHAPTER 6 - Skills Practice, 2008.

Download : 'National Golf Academy Student Manual' including "National Golf Academy describes the golf swing as a circular motion creating torque and centrifugal force through the winding and unwinding motion of the body. More specifically the big muscles...the legs, back and shoulders, manipulate the little muscles...the hands and arms. This can also be thought of as the inside pulling the outside, or the dog wagging its tail. A common problem and misconception amongst many beginner golfers is that speed is created with the hands and arms. People that swing the club with the arms and hands are using the small muscles to pull the body through instead of having the body pull the arms through." CANADIAN PROFESSIONAL GOLFER'S ASSOCIATION Association Canadienne Des Golfeurs Professionels Ball Striking The Swing 25 2005 City of Calgary www.nationalgolfacademy.ca

Reference : 'Study of golf swings pinpoints biomechanical differences between pros and amateurs', including "Over-rotation is one of the leading causes of back injury" and "All golfers want to know how to hit the ball longer, and this study supports that speed is really a factor of relative body rotation" By John Sanford, Stanford University Medical Center, editor of Inside Stanford Medicine and the managing editor for the medical school's Office of Communications & Public Affairs Stanford University School of Medicine News Center JUL 29 2011


"Release The act of freely returning the clubhead squarely to the ball at impact, producing a powerful shot. (Tiger Woods has a textbook release of the club at impact.) Uncock The release of straightening of the wrists during the downswing. (She uncocked her wrists prematurely, causing her to lose power in her swing.) When a player prematurely releases the cocking of the wrists on the downswing, resulting in a loss of power at impact. This is also known as "casting from the top."" PGA


Bottom of The Arc (2010) By Tom Watson

Tom Watson The Bottom Of The Arc Striking The Ball By Bobby Jones

Reference : 'Lessons of A Lifetime' DVD Instruction from one of Golf's Greats Your Step by Step Guide to a Better Game in 44 Lessons. Lesson 12 of DVD Disc 1 - The Backswing a Closer Look.

Available on Amazon : Tom Watson "Lessons of a Lifetime" 2 - disc DVD Set


The A Swing (2015) By David Leadbetter

"Did you know that Jack Nicklaus used an alternative swing to win the 1986 Masters?

After going through a slump in his game, Jack at age 40, set about finding "an easier way to swing". The solution he found was to create a more efficient backswing that allowed his body and arms to work in synchronization.

With his new swing The Golden Bear went on to win the US Open, PGA Championship, and at age 46, his final Green Jacket. "Well, I'm no Jack Nicklaus," I can hear some of you saying, and while that's true I've found that golfers of all levels have had great success implementing my new alternative, simplified swing - The A Swing.

It's based on similar synch-based principles that Jack employed to such great effect. The A Swing is a revolutionary new approach that:

  • simplifies the swing
  • delivers immediate improvement
  • corrects many common swing faults

You may not go on to win The Masters but if the greatest golfer who ever lived felt that he needed a new and alternative approach to his swing in order to improve, I'm certain you will benefit from giving The A Swing a try!

The A Swing includes a 7-minute practice plan. 7 minutes, 3 times a week for guaranteed improvement. Minimal practice, maximum results! Be one of the first to experience The A Swing by buying the book now."

Reference : leadbetterAswing.com The Leadbetter Golf Academy 1410 Masters Boulevard Champions Gate, FL 33896 Order the book now. In stores on May 12, 2015. Copyright © 2015 The Leadbetter Golf Academy, All rights reserved. Wikipedia David Leadbetter (golf instructor).

Available on Amazon : A Swing, The


Introduction to The A Swing (Live Presentation) By David Leadbetter

"Do you know how many myths there are in the golf swing? Tuck your elbow in. You have no width in your swing. It's very difficult to sort of create any sort of power. So what does that do?" "Chicken-wing" [56:00]

"By upward and downward action of the arms, I mean that the arms, so far as they alone are concerned, simply raise the club up and bring it down in front of the body as if chopping wood. It is the pivotal action of the body which converts the vertical action of the arms and club into a golf swing." Seymour Dunn


Insights

by Henry Cotton - Whereas I teach "hitting with the right hand past the left"

"ERNEST JONES, an Englishman settled in New York, has earned for himself, despite the loss of a leg in the Great War, 1914-1918, the reputation of being one of the best golf teachers in the game. His slogan, "Swing the club-head," is now an international one, and I am sure he will forgive me for suggesting that his war injury brought home to him more forcibly than ever the fact that the club-head must be used to hit the ball, and that this can be best accomplished by not "leaning" on the ball. From one leg, leaning on the ball when striking it is impossible.

Ernest Jones, in his writing around the photograph (of himself showing some friends in the "400 Restaurant" in New York how he demonstrates with his handkerchief and penknife tied to it, the swinging of the club-head) comments on my own wording 'make the club-head do the work'.

Ernest Jones Swing the Club-Head

My wording, which he has seen and which I use frequently in teaching, implies the same thing as Ernest Jones' "Swing the club-head," but I somehow feel that the word "swing" refers only to part of the game and to me means no hit at all, whereas I teach "hitting with the right hand past the left, making the club-head do the work."

What I have not grasped is his interpretation of how to swing the club-head."

Reference : 'This Game Of Golf' Henry Cotton. With A Foreword By Bernard Darwin London Country Life New York: Charles Scribner's Sons First Published in 1948 Fourth Impression 1949. Part III Chapter 21 Swing the Club-Head page 133. Henry Cotton British Open Champion 1934, 1937, and 1948.

Reference : swing's the thing in GOLF By Ernest Jones, Professional, Women's National Golf and Tennis Club, Glenhead, New York Formerly Professional at Chislehurst Golf Club, Kent, England. Copyright, 1940, by Reader Mail, Inc. Printed in U.S.A. Not included pages 2-3 ('Why golf is so popular'),5 ('The Mental Picture'), 26-27 ('Balance In Motion, And Timing), 32 ('Home Service Booklets). Includes 'What Swinging Means' pages 16-18.

Download : 'Ernest Jones' "Swing the club-head" in 'This Game Of Golf' by Henry Cotton.

Reference : 'My Swing Henry Cotton' London Country Life Limited, 1952, page 10.

by Alain Goriely - The crack of a whip

"The crack of a whip is produced by a shock wave created by the supersonic motion of the tip of the whip in the air.

There are two principal methods to crack a whip that can be performed in different planes (laterally along the body, sideways, over the head, and so on).

The first one, the downward snap, consists in moving the handle vertically as to move the entire whip up and then suddenly move the handle down to invert the velocity of the whip and localize the moving part to the tip.

"In other words, the right forearm and hand slap which swings the club on the left wrist is responsible for more than five times as much spped as the pull of the left arm and shoulder put together" By Seymour Dunn 1934 It Is The Right Hand And Forearm Seymour Dunn

While this is the most intuitive way to crack a whip, it is not as efficient as the forward crack, where the handle is moved in the air as to form an initial loop that propagates along the whip to the end). In actual whip cracking, additional energy is provided throughout the entire maneuver by pulling the handle in the opposite direction from the loop."

Reference : 'Shape of a Cracking Whip' Alain Goriely and Tyler McMillen, Department of Mathematics, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona Program in Applied Mathematics, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona (Received 4 March 2002; published 3 June 2002).

by Jim Hardy - The Plane Truth for Golfers

"Editor Richard Simmons talks to Jim Hardy, the author of the ground-breaking book The Plane Truth for Golfers, which essentially classifies all of us as falling into one of two distinct styles or categories: one-plane or two-plane.

Understanding your own preference is the first step to improving your swing and each has its own guiding fundamentals.

The implication is clear: if you are naturally a one-plane swinger of the club (think rotary motion, Hogan, Olazabal) but have been working on two-plane principles you are compromising your natural instincts, effectively fighting a losing battle in your efforts to improve. If you are a natural two-planer (Jack Nicklaus, Colin Montgomerie) and have been influenced by examples of one-plane swings, chances are you are similarly trapped in confusion.

Well who's solid base or foundation should we choose? Jack Nicklaus' or Ben Hogan's? Tom Watson's or Gary Player's? Colin Montgomerie's sound foundation or Jimenez's?

The only sound foundation is a correct, repetitive impact.

In my experience 90% of all golfers will, with the next two or three balls, see a much-improved ball flight. Because they now understand what they were doing. The problem, of course is that most amateur players tend to over-analyse and start trotting out all the traditional cliches – 'Did I keep my head still?', 'Is my left arm too straight?', 'did I cock my wrists?', and so on.

GI: We could almost make the statement, then, that the most important fundamental that every golfer needs to be aware of is his own individuality and style? From there you can build and develop a golf game? JH: 100% correct."

Reference : 'Plane Talking' Feature The Big Interview Golfinternationalmag.com Editor Richard Simmons Jan/Feb 2012 106

by Milan Coh - Optimally accurate notion of movement

"Performing a certain movement is only possible if a suitable motor programme for it exists. The motor process starts with a definition of the desired result and consists of three interconnected phases: the phase of basic movement coordination, the phase of accurate movement coordination and the phase of movement coordination stabilisation under changeable and difficult circumstances.

A precondition for efficient motor learning is an optimally accurate notion of movement which is based on the visual followed by the kinesthetic processing of information.

Motor learning is a complex and continuous process consisting of several phases. The essence of efficient motor learning in sport is a correct notion of movement. In the case of beginners, the notion of movement is vague, incomplete, sometimes even wrong and not in harmony with the real dynamic and temporal parameters of movement technique. The use of motor learning methods depends on the athlete's biological and calendar age, foreknowledge, motor experience, and the information he has on movement.

The most common causes of irrational movement are incorrect notions, a lack of motor abilities and an unfavourable morphological constitution of the athlete."

Reference : 'MOTOR LEARNING IN SPORT' UDC 796.012: 591.513 Milan Čoh, Dragana Jovanović-Golubović, Milovan Bratić Faculty of Sport, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia Faculty of Physical Education, University of Niš, Niš, Serbia and Montenegro 2005 Golf page 49.

by Tony Lema - Your advice would be simple

"If you examine the swings that many of the successful players use you might well decide that not one of them is any good.

Palmer lunges at the ball and punches it. Nicklaus has the unorthodox habit of letting his right elbow fly far out from his body as he takes the club back. Jack Cupit has such a loop at the top of his backswing that it makes him look as if he were waving a flag. I myself loop noticeably at the top. Billy Maxwell leaps at the ball like a panhandler diving for a ten-spot.

Julius Boros is all hands and wrists like a man dusting the furniture. Jerry Barber has his wrists completely cocked practically before he has even started his swing. Doug Sanders braces himself with a wide stance that looks like a sailor leaning into a northeast gale and take the club back barely enough to get it off the ground.

If you lined these eight players up on the practice tee without knowing who in the world they were and asked them to hit a few shots your advice would be simple: "Go back home and sell insurance. You haven't got it."

Yet here they are the top players in the game."

Reference : 'Tony Lema's Inside Story of the Professional Golf Tour' By Tony Lema with Gwilym S. Brown London W. Foulsham & Co. Ltd. London - Toronto - Cape Town - Sydney Copyright © 1964 By Anthony David Lema And Gwilym Slater Brown Made and Printed in Great Britain By John Gardner (Printers) Ltd., Hawthorne Road, Litherland, Liverpool, 20. 6. Whatever happened to ...? Page 64

by Joshua Won - Hands move past the chest, freely

"The Release of Potential Energy – The Kinetic Chain.

The shoulders and back muscles are isometrically contracting to create resistance to allow the hands to move past the chest, freely, accelerating the club through the ball."

Reference : 'The Biomechanics of the Golf Swing', The Down Swing, The Release of Potential Energy – The Kinetic Chain' Joshua Won Biology 438 April 19th, 2011

by Louise Suggs - My game became mostly about hands

And That's That The Life Story of One of Golf's Greatest Champions Louise Suggs"I didn't have any formal swing instruction.

Most of what I learned came from watching and emulating the golf swings of players I admired - like Bobby Jones.

I inherited a great sense of feel from Dad and he really encouraged me to tap into it. He told me that golf was like baseball - nobody could tell a pitcher how to produce a fast curve or a slow one; they simply had to learn by doing it. We spent numerous hours together working by trial and error with tips he'd picked up in books, magazines, or just by talking to folks.

In the end, it came down to what felt right to me. Later on, I got some help from a family friend, Bob Morgan - a good golfer from Austell who lived about half a mile up the road from the golf course. He used to walk by the range every now and again and give me tips. Eventually, he went to Dad and said, "Do you mind if I work with her?" Dad replied, "Sure, I've taught her everything I know."

Bob gave me a great deal of insight into the game. He was a big advocate of me using my hands and he showed me how to hit hooks and slices, and how to get out of tight lies.

My game became mostly about hands."

Reference : 'And That's That!' The Life Story of One of Golf's Greatest Champions Louise Suggs With Elaine Scott Foreword by Barbara Bush AuthorHouse™ LLC 1663 Liberty Drive Bloomington, IN 47403 www.authorhouse.com © 2014 Louise Suggs. All rights reserved The Swing - Hands, Feel, and Imagination 148.

by Cecil Leitch - The word flat

"In the previous chapter the outline described by the club-head during a swing has been likened to a circle. As a matter of fact, an ellipse would be a more accurate description, but I dare not say such a thing to a novice, as an attempt to make her club-head describe an ellipse might prove disastrous.

However, as I am now addressing remarks to those who have passed the earliest stage, I use this example in order to bring home the importance of sweeping the ball away.

It is not for me to state whether the "flat" swing or the "upright" swing is the better, but I can say that my observations, when watching others, have convinced me that there are many players with upright swings who would lengthen their respective games if they could only flatten their swings a trifle.

Simplified Golf By Cecil Leitch 1924Does it not stand to reason that the club-head which is describing a half-circle as it comes to the ball, meets it and follows after it, cannot apply as much power as that which describes a flatter sweep?

Now by "flat" I do not mean the swing which brings the club-head round near the right leg.

The word "flat" is used to distinguish the action of taking the club-head along the ground, as far as the arms will permit, from the more common action which causes the club-head to rise from the ground almost immediately."

Reference : 'Golf Simplified' By Cecil Leitch. Chapter II How To Acquire Length And Direction, page 37. Winner Ladies' Open Championship, 1914, 1920, 1921; English Ladies' Close Championship, 1914, 1919; Ladies' Championship of France, 1912, 1914, 1920 and 1921; Canadian Ladies' Championship, 1921. Thornton Butterworth LTD. 15 Bedford Street, London, W.C.2. First Published 1924.

Download : Chapter II. How To Acquire Length And Direction 'Golf Simplified' By Cecil Leitch, 1924.

by B. Lowe - A co-planar clubhead displacement

"The finding of primarily co-planar clubhead displacements in a group of low handicap golfers support the view that centrifugal forces, generated by the pendulum action, were used by these players to ensure an effective ball-strike.

In particular, support was found for the idea that better players primarily utilise centrifugal forces, rather than supination of the left wrist, to square the clubface, near impact.

Successful wielding of the articulated golf club was consistent with the claim of Cochran and Stobbs, 1968 p.112 that 'One of the most interesting and important discoveries of the G.S.G.B. research programme is that, at impact, the clubhead behaves as though it were freely moving and not connected at all to the player.'

Contrary to Sanders and Owens (1992), the golf clubhead, at least for most of this group, was found to rotate about a central pivot.

This claim is made as the downswing and follow-through swing planes of the better players were co-planar. This finding does not preclude upper body movement during the swing; rather it suggests an internally consistent feature of an orthodox swing may be a co-planar clubhead displacement."

Reference : 'Science and Golf II Proceedings of the 1994 World Scientific Congress of Golf' Edited by A. J. Cochran and Mr R. Farrally. Spon Press Taylor & Group. Part One The Golfer 9 Centrifugal force and the planar swing p.64 Discussion B. Lowe FEI Expert Systems Research, Melbourne, Australia and I.H. Fairweather Department of Physical Education and Recreation, Victoria University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia.

by Ernest Jones - Always exerting an outward pull

"Always bear in mind that the wrists act as hinges which join the hands and arms. Thus, the natural outward pull of the clubhead will cause them to bend as the speed of the clubhead builds up to its maximum at impact. This is the truest of the real swinging action, and it is independent of any conscious effort to put "wrist snap" into the stroke.

The wrists are responsive to motion. They never initiate the swinging action.

When the clubhead is changing direction, the hand action brings about a position of the wrists, in relation to the forearms, quite different from their position in addressing the ball. When the clubhead returns to the position of impact, the same as that in the address, the hands must also return to their original position. Otherwise, the face of the club could not be brought squarely against the ball.

This return to original position is brought about by the swinging action, without any conscious effort to put so-called wrist snap into the stroke.

In short, a swing is a swing, whether it is long or short. It always has its own peculiar distinguishing characteristics. These are the power applied through the point of contact with the club at the center, with the object swung always exerting an outward pull.

Any one who has learned to identify the swing through the sense of feel can recognize this.

SO LONG AS YOU KNOW FROM THE SENSATION RELAYED THROUGH FEEL WITH THE HANDS THAT YOU ARE MAINTAINING A REAL SWINGING ACTION WITH THE CLUBHEAD, YOU ARE FREE TO SWING AS FAST AS YOU CAN.

No matter how the golfer looks, the vital thing in the stroke is that important business of SWINGING THE CLUBHEAD. Speed, in short, is everything. And to attain that speed your mind must carry a clear picture of setting the clubhead in motion with your hands and fingers, and KEEPING IT IN A SWINGING ACTION AT ALL TIMES.

If you swing easily, gracefully and in a manner free from appearance of undue effort, you are using good form. Good form is appealing to the eye. Thus, it will improve any style.

If you carry your swinging action THROUGH the ball, continue it after impact, you will also get greater speed at the MOMENT of impact. This ultimate in golf stroking will be achieved more easily than if you try to "slug" the ball. Do not do anything to interfere with the swinging action of the clubhead. Just swing.

It is enough to learn to swing simply by sensing the action through feeling what is being done with the clubhead. Do not complicate matters by trying to imitate the appearance of other golfers at the same time. The stroke with the putter differs in none of its essentials from the stroke with any other club. You just swing the clubhead."

Reference : 'Swing The Clubhead And Cut Your Golf Score' by Ernest Jones America's Foremost Golf Teacher. As Told To David Eisenberg. Illustrated with photographs and drawings. How Thousands Have Learned The Sure Way To Better Golf, Dodd, Mead and Company. New York. Copyright © 1952 By Ernest Jones and David Eisenberg. Designed by Stefan Salter. 9. Woods, Irons and the Putter 74.

Download : 'Frankel Golf Academy Presents Golf's One Motion' Arnie Frankel P.G.A. Veteran Ron Frankel Director Of Academy Golf's One Motion By Arnold Frankel Editing Assistance : Katherine Woodford Copyright © 1995 Arnold Frankel, including "When our mentor, Ernest Jones,..., this specific motion creates centrifugal force for maximum distance, 'There Is No Model'."

by Walter Hagen - Then my pivot became automatic

"I had never been much concerned with form. I had concentrated on getting the ball where I wanted it. Imitating Vardon's stance and swing at Brookline had made me aware of the value of correct posture and body rhythm such as he had developed.

Also I had something of a sway and a very noticeable movement of my hips and knees... first forward, then backward. One writer at the time said I started my drive with a sway and ended with a lunge. And I guess he was about right.

In modifying movement in my swing I tried first to eliminate the exaggerated swaying as much as possible.

I found that if I began the backswing by taking the club away from the ball my hip action and pivot would take care of themselves. In doing this I was getting a semi-sway but at all times keeping my left eye focused on the ball, thus keeping my head still.

Then my pivot became automatic."

Reference : 'The Walter Hagen Story' By Walter Hagen With Margaret Seaton Heck Heinemann Melbourne London Toronto First published 1957 Printed in Great Britain at The Windmill Press Kingswood, Surrey. Part One: The Tee 5 champion, 1914 Page 34.

by Eric T. Skov - An ability to bypass some biomechanical limitations

"Previous authors have stressed that a greater length of sling imparts a greater velocity to the projectile (Dohrenwend 2002; Finney 2005, 2006; Korfmann 1973; Skov 2011).

This implies that the primary mechanical advantage has been thought of in terms of extending the arm. If a throwing motion is thought of in terms of rotary motion, the sling and arm together form the radius of a circle.

For any given rotary velocity a larger radius results in a greater tangential velocity along the outer edge of the circle. A projectile released at a higher velocity will travel farther, reach the target more quickly and strike with more energy than a lower velocity projectile (The Physics Classroom 2013).

Practice with the sling has shown that explaining the sling's advantage in terms of simple leverage is inadequate.

Using most techniques, the arm does not inscribe as large a throwing motion as when objects are thrown by hand.

Motions which are most effective in casting projectiles with the sling do not seek to maximise the total of sling and arm length but to controllably accelerate and release the projectile. While extending the throwing lever does happen to some degree in slinging, the primary advantage seems to be an ability to bypass some biomechanical limitations of the human arm and body.

Small impulses sent from the wrist and forearm can easily rotate a loaded sling at relatively high speed."

Reference : 'Experimentation in Sling Weaponry: Effectiveness of and Archeological Implications for a World-Wide Primitive Technology' by Eric T. Skov A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts Major: Anthropology Under the Supervision of Professor LuAnn Wandsnider Lincoln, Nebraska May, 2013. How a Sling Works. Page 7-8. Follow this and additional works at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/anthrotheses/30

by Dai Rees - Concentrate instead, on the hands

"Any student of the golf swing as I have stressed in my Golf Monthly articles knows that each part of the body contributes to it in some way, actively or passively.

Thirty Years of Championship Golf Dai Rees An AutobiographyThe shoulders must come into the swing, of course, but what one must not try to do is to hit from, or with, the shoulders. This is a very common fault, particularly with older golfers who are less supple than they used to be.

Moreover, when a golfer tries to gain extra length with his shoulders he creates a chain reaction which prevents the hands from making their full contribution to the stroke. So I told my pupils then, and still do, to forget the shoulders and to concentrate instead, as far as the upper part of the body is concerned, on the hands.

The hands must be given the opportunity to take charge.

At Hinhead I told my pupils to practise hitting shots with their feet close together. From such a narrow stance it is impossible to lunge at the ball with the shoulders without going completely off balance, and possibly falling over."

Reference : 'Thirty Years of Championship Golf' DAI REES An Autobiography (with John Ballantine) Stanley Paul London Stanley Paul & Co Ltd 178-202 Great Portland Street, London W1 First published 1968 © Dai Rees 1968 3 Page 28. Dai Rees, C.B.E., winner of the P.G.A Championship (four times), the Dunlop Masters (twice), the Belgium Open Championship, the Irish Championship, the New South Wales Open Championship, and every British tournament of note.

by John Jacobs - The best instructor of all

"Lastly, let me remind you of the ballistics of impact.

You know, the ball, that's the best instructor of all. It can't lie. Whatever this does, it gives you an absolute, steadfast reflection as to what your club is doing when it hits it.

Wherever the ball starts its flight, is a direct reflection on your swing path. Let the ball be the greatest help to you."

Reference :'Doctor Golf John Jacobs, The Full Swing' DVD video. Introduced by Sean Connery. Written and presented by John Jacobs. Edited by David Hankin. Produced and Directed by Michael Seligman. Copyright © 2005 Green Umbrella Sport and Leisure.

by Walter J. Travis - About the value of putting

"Now I am asked to say something about the principles of golf as I view them, and in particular about the value of putting.

Now, in putting, everything depends upon the proper action of the wrists. The body does not enter into the question at all, for whilst a putt is being accomplished it should be absolutely motionless, and when it is not so there is a much greater likelihood than usual of the putt being missed. I believe that putting should be done always with one hand - with one hand actively at work, that is.

The left hand should be used only for the purpose of swinging the clubhead backwards preparatory to taking the stroke. When it has done that its work is done, and the right hand should then be the sole master of the situation, the left being merely kept in attachment to it for steadying purposes. When only one hand is thus employed the gain in accuracy is very great. Two hands at work on a short putt ora long one tend to distraction.

When the stroke is being made the grip of the right hand should be firm, but not tight, and after the impact the club-head should be allowed to pass clean through with a easy following stroke. The follow-through should, indeed, be as long as it is possible to make it comfortably, and, with this object in view, at the moment of touching the ball the grip of the fingers of the left hand should be considerably relaxed, so that the right hand may go on doing its work without interruption. Never hit or jerk the ball, as so many players do. There is nothing that pays so well as the easy follow-through stroke.

And remember, finally, that very best of maxims - "Never up, never in.""

Reference : 'Great Golfers In The Making By Thirty-Four Famous Players Edited By Henry Leach' Being Autobiographical Accounts Of The Early Progress Of The Most Celebrated Players, With Reflections On The Morals Of Their Experience, By John L. Low, Harold H. Hilton, Horace G. Hutchinson, J. E. Laidlay, Walter J. Travis, James Robb, Edward Blackwell, Harry Vardon, James Braid, J. H. Taylor, Alexander Herd, Willie Park, Tom Morris, Jack White, Etc. Etc. Edited, With An Introduction, By Henry Leach With Twenty-Four Illustrations Second Edition Methuen & Co. 36 Essex Street W.C. London First Published January 1907 Second Edition 1907. X. Walter J. Travis Leading To A Famous Victory Page 95.

by aSports Technology Institute - A top level golf swing

"Assessing a coach's technical knowledge of a sporting technique can reveal measureable biomechanical parameters associated with successful performance.

This assessment can provide new insights into technique, enhance a coach's technical knowledge or assist in optimising performance. Despite numerous golf instructional books, no scientific study has assessed a golf coach's technical knowledge of the golf swing.

Therefore, the purpose of this study was to identify the key technical parameters that professional golf coaches associate with a top level golf swing; with the intention of using the results to guide future golf biomechanics research and coaching technologies.

Initially, sixteen professional golf coaches were individually observed coaching a highly skilled golfer after which they participated in a semi-structured interview regarding their technical analysis of the golf swing.

QSR-NVivo analysis software was used to inductively analyse the data using the grounded theory approach. Line-by-line coding was followed by comparison of 'meaning units' to form a coding hierarchy with several key technical parameters identified.

A successful golf swing was defined through three elements, with "body motion" affecting "club motion" and resulting "ball flight".

Several terms described these parameters including "consistent", "powerful", "accurate", "simple" and "controlled" with the most prevalent being "repeatable". "Body motion" was influenced by five intrinsically linked key technical parameters:

  • "posture",
  • "body rotation",
  • "sequential movement",
  • "hand and arm action", and,
  • "club parameters" which were further sub categorised.

To conclude, the key technical parameters have been identified which will be used to support future biomechanical research in this area and to be used to direct new technologies to aid golf coaching."

Reference : 9th Conference of the International Sports Engineering Association (ISEA), Abstract 'Professional golf coaches' perceptions of the key technical parameters in the golf swing', Aimée Smith, Jonathan Robertsa, Eric Wallaceb, Stephanie Forrestera, aSports Technology Institute, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK, University of Ulster, Ulster, UK, 02 March 2012.

by Medicus Golf Institute - Is “Model Golf” by Ralph Mann “The” Model?

"At Medicus Golf Institute, we are frequently asked about the viability of the new age golf swings that are being hyped – as well as those which may be from the past.

One such e-mail was recently sent to us regarding Model Golf - by Ralph Mann. The following is our synopsis of Model Golf by Chuck Evans, Executive Director of Instruction for Medicus Golf.

Indeed, Model Golf was based on top pros – but their models were developed 15-20 years ago. Model Golf also has the "model" moving the club off plane and tilting backwards. When I asked Ralph Mann about this and the differences between Hitters and Swingers, he replied, "I don't believe in Hitting versus Swinging."

When I asked about the model being off plane, he replied, "That’s what our research showed the best do." I replied, “Would it not be better, for teaching purposes, to show them a model that IS on plane?

We spent two days together at the PGA Tour Academy where they installed the system. We tested it for two months and threw it out.  To give you an example, one of the models they used was Vance Heafner. He hasn't played the tour since the late 80's.

Although brilliant in concept, Model Golf should never be used as a “model” for a number of reasons:

  1. The model is based on an accumulation of other golfers and not the golfer that is learning.
  2. The model has numerous swing flaws, meaning a player that complies with the model will inherit these flaws.
  3. The model does not take into account what the student physically can and cannot do.

According to Model Golf, the pro model slides roughly two inches very early in the backswing. 

During the transition move, the pro will then use his hips to “bump” his weight forward (for those same two inches) and then stop sliding. The downswing then turns into a rotary motion. 

Model Golf states that the swing will be a weak, arm-dominated swing if there is no lateral move off of the ball. By sliding away from and then back towards the ball during the transition, the golfer loads (or “stretches”) the muscles that propel the rotary motion to the ball.

Hip Slide is a variation and several players certainly do use. However, for most players – and this applies to tour players as well – Hip Slide can be a dangerous thing.

First, timing issues arise since you cannot move in a straight line and a circle at the same time. Personally, I have never seen a player that moves off the ball (to their right) in the backstroke get back to where they started. This now affects the ball location relative to the Low Point. If the Low Point has moved back, the ball location has effectively moved forward. When the ball location moves forward like this, the player ends up hitting fat shots and tries to time impact via a flipping of the hands.

Secondly, most players that move off the ball (mainly middle to high handicappers) never get the correct rotational motion in the downstroke. They have plenty of Hip Slide – but no Hip Turn!

Additionally, the golfer need not slide laterally to create the aforementioned “stretch” in Model Golf. 

Rather, we at Medicus Golf Institute see this “stretch” as being created by simply leaving the hands at the top while moving the Right Shoulder down plane from the top. This move stretches the left arm against the chest and creates what we call "Pivot Lag."

One important key to remember is that even the world's best players make compensations in their golf strokes. Tour players are just better at compensating than the average player and are also experts at hand manipulation. If someone wants to create the perfect Golfing Machine, they need not look further than Iron Byron. Mechanical devices don't need to make last minute adjustments during the stroke. They do, however, require that the ball be placed precisely in the same place each time. If it is not, the ball goes everywhere – just like a human.

Model Golf by Dr Ralph Mann Our preference at Medicus Golf Institute is for golfers to move as few things as possible in the smallest amount of space possible – something that will eliminate a lot of “faults.”

Though we do not teach with straitjackets on our students, we prefer a set-up with 60% of weight on the target side. You then leave it there during the backstroke and downstroke. After pre-setting this weight, you then either simply rotate (Swinging) or take the right shoulder and right arm down plane to the inside aft quadrant of the ball (Hitting). By proceeding in this way, a golfer has successfully eliminated one more moving part.

If one does not set-up as prescribed above, there is a minimal “hip bump” to start the downstroke. But even then, this motion is no more than two inches. For a game-changing experience where you’ll learn more about how to build your golf swing your way, sign up today for a Medicus Institute Golf School near you."

Reference : Medicus web site

by George Arnold - Creating a methodology for teaching the golf swing

"The key is in recognizing the different aspects of increasing the power of the swing:

A. Gripping the club should be with the fingers not the hands. Hold the club in front of you with the clubhead skyward. Form the grip with your fingers - looking into a mirror you will notice that the first three knuckles are in-line with the last three knuckles of the other hand? By having them in alignment, it allows for the hands to respond to the swinging golf club throughout the swing and reduces any tension. Bring the clubhead down to the ground and your hands are set.

B. Allow the arms to hang freely from the shoulders and avoid creating any tension in this area. Tension will restrict the amount of turning in the upper body and of your body trunk, thus reducing clubhead speed, which limits the distance the ball will travel.

C. The upper body should rotate around an axis at the nape of the neck or top of the spine. To keep this axis centered, the lower spine moves laterally with an upward tilting of the hips - the right hip tilts upward on the backswing, and the left hip tilts upward on the downswing. Any lateral movement of the upper spine will result in inconsistent clubface-to-ball contact and can actually reduce the length of the swing.

These three simple steps should allow you to swing with greater comfort and generate better clubhead speed. The ball will be propelled further and straighter with seemingly less effort. The more relaxed you feel when hitting the ball the more confidence you will gain."

Reference : 'Creating A Methodology For Teaching The Golf Swing' by George Arnold, CPGA Professional, Thesis presented to the Canadian Professional Golfer's Association in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for Master Professional, page 9.

by Caroline Gammell and Prof Sharp - The wrists are not as important

"The key is knowing at exactly what stage of the swing you should exert the maximum force, according to research. Use too much strength too early or too late and the aspiring golfer will see their handicap stubbornly linger in double figures.

Tiger Woods, who has won 87 tournaments in his 12-year career, is viewed by many commentators as the golfer with the most perfect swing.

Using a complex mathematical equation, Professor Robin Sharp from the Department of Mechanical, Medical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Surrey, has calculated which parts of the upper body should be used at what stage.

Breaking with conventional thinking, his study suggests that the wrists are not as important as the way a golfer uses their arms. His research also concludes that height is not as advantageous as previously thought, with short people able to hit a ball almost as far as their taller competitors if they use the right technique.

Prof Sharp studied three professional golfers from the 1968 Ryder Cup - Bernard Hunt, Geoffrey Hunt and Guy Wolstenholme - whose swing action was photographed on a high speed camera. He focused on three points of rotation on the body - the shoulders relative to the spine, the arms relative to the shoulders and the wrists relative to the arms.

Previous studies have either suggested that maximum power should be used from the start of the backswing, or that a golfer builds up the power throughout the swing, using full force by the time they strike the ball.

This latest study, however, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, suggests increasing the power of rotation - known as the torque - to a maximum shortly after starting the swing and maintaining this force until hitting the ball.

Prof Sharp said: "Generating too much arm speed too soon causes an early release, with the club-head reaching its maximum speed before it arrives at the ball. "The optimal strategy consists of hitting first with the shoulders while holding back with arms and wrists and after some delay, hitting through with the arms. "At release, the timing of which depends on the combination of shoulder and arm actions employed, the wrists should hit through. "In the expert swings studied, control of the arms and not the wrists appears to be the priority. "Knowing exactly how long that "delay" should last is the crucial factor. Prof Sharp said under the model, being tall was not a huge advantage. "Dimensional reasoning shows that dramatic differences in performance between large and small players should not be expected on the basis of size alone," he said. "A 21 per cent bigger player can be expected to have just a 10 per cent advantage in clubhead speed.""

Source : 'Scientists claim to have found the secret to the perfect golf swing' By Caroline Gammell 05 Nov 2008 © Copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited 2014

by Harold Begbie - J. H. Taylor Unless the wrist at the last moment

""Well, we have reached this point: the left ankle, knee, hip, and wrist have turned to the right, and the club has gone back and round in consequence.

Let me stop it half-way to the top, and take a look at the left hand. In addressing the ball, the knuckle of the first finger was visible to our eyes ; but if we look at our left hand half-way back on the swing we shall see that all the knuckles have become visible.

Now, wait a minute. Bring that left hand back very slowly to the address and you will find that without a flick of the wrist at the last second of time your first knuckle will not assume its original prominence. The left hand moving back towards the ball would slice across it weakly and fumblingly, without any decisive snap, unless the wrist at the very last moment flicked that first knuckle into its rightful salience."

By means of the broken poker he illustrated this point.

Grasped in his left hand and pointing downwards at an imaginary ball, the first knuckle was visibly and strongly on top ; slowly he moved the poker back and round, and up came all the other knuckles ; then he moved it forward again, without a flick of the wrist, and all those knuckles remained in the same place, with the poker stubbornly refusing to come round to its original position. He struck a swift blow in this fashion, and one saw at once its feebleness and awkwardness. Then he showed, by slow movement, how a turn of the wrist at the last moment brought the knuckle back to its proper place ; and when he came to strike a swift blow in this fashion that broken poker set up such a whistle, and it was the merest stump of a poker, that I was astonished.

The sound seemed to please him, and there he stood in the centre of that cold gaunt room making the poker whistle like an errand-boy on his rounds, with bows contracted, with eyes fierce, snorting out at every whistle, "There!" and occasionally "Thus!" I tried it, and produced only a rustle ; but the point was clear in my mind"

Reference : 'J. H. Taylor Or The Inside Of A Week' By Harold Begbie Regia, crede mibi, res est succurrere lapsis. (Believe me it is a kingly act to help the afflicted.) VI. The Whistling Poker Page 49. Mills & Boon Limited 49 Rupert Street London W.1 Published 1925 Printed and Made in Great Britain by The London And Norwich Press, Limited, St. Giles Works, Norwich.

by Walter J. Travis - Putting, the right hand should be the sole master

"Putting, I consider, should always be done with one hand—with one hand actively at work I mean.

The left hand should be restricted to swinging the clubhead backwards preparatory to making the stroke. Its work is then really finished, and thenceforth the right hand should be the sole master of the situation, the left being merely kept in company with it for steadying purposes.

The gain in accuracy is very great when only one hand is employed in this manner.

When two hands are at work on either a short putt or a long one there is a tendency towards distraction. At the time the stroke is being made the grip of the right hand should be firm, but not tight; and after impact the head of the club should be allowed to pass clean through with an easy following stroke.

I think that the follow-through should be as long as it is possible to make it without straining it, and, with this object in view, I suggest that, at the moment of striking the ball, the grip of the fingers of the left hand should be considerably relaxed in order that the right hand may go on doing its work without the slightest interference from the other.

Many players hit or jerk the ball, and this is bad. There is nothing that pays so well on the green as the easy follow-through stroke. And the best of putting maxims is the oldest of them all, namely: 'Never up, never in.'"

Reference : THE TRAINING OF TRAVIS* Some Landmarks In The Story Of Twenty-One Years Of Golf The Manner, The Method, And Some Counsel By Henry Leach (Author of "The Happy Golfer," "The Spirit Of The Links," Etc.) * Copyright, 1917, in Great Britain and U. S. A. by Henry Leach.) The American Golfer May 1917 Volume 18 Number 1 Page 558.

by Jim Hopkins - The one that got away

"A RUSHED lunch break may have cost Taylor a record sixth Open victory. He had turned a two-stroke halfway deficit into a two-shot lead after round three of his 1914 shoot-out with Harry Vardon at Prestwick.

Taylor's Gold Life and times of a golfing superstar A Royal North Devon Golf Club Publication 2010"I had my digs at Troon and as a consequence of my lack of foresight was obliged to get my lunch as best I could close at hand, he wrote. On this critical occasion I found this makeshift policy a serious detriment and its hurried improvisation deprived me of the opportunity of rest and quiet reflection that was so necessary to the final effort. I do not put this forward as an excuse - it was my own fault - but I do own up being a bit flustered when we got on to the tee to begin the last round."

Unsettled by the rush, Taylor missed a 2ft birdie putt on the first green that would have put him four strokes ahead - Vardon had taken a bogey five - and he then imploded on the fourth with a disastrous seven.

Taylor wrote: " The playing of the Pow Burn hole will remain with me for ever as a horrible recollection...it proved to be the greatest tragedy of my golfing life.

"Just before the Championship the great clever James Braid had been called to tighten up the course, one result being that a couple of bunkers had been cunningly placed about where a reasonably good and straight drive would finish, leaving a horribly narrow passage between them and the edge of the burn.

"Vardon steered his drive splendidly between the hazards, which I tried to copy, but hitting the ball off the heel it meandered into a shallow bunker situated at the bend in the stream. When I reached the spot I found the ball lying clearly in the sand, presenting no great difficulty. I stepped into the bunker with no misgivings, but struck it heavily and spooned it out a few yards and into the burn. This meant a lift and a drop and the sorry tale must be told that I took three putts and an ugly seven went on the card."

Vardon, who had picked up a shot at the third hole, secured his four and was now one stroke ahead.

"What was even more lamentable," Taylor wrote, "was that my nerves had given way. A wave of nervous anxiety suddenly flooded my system, and the mischief was accomplished before I could conquer this feeling... suddenly I seemed to realise the importance of the occasion and all it meant to me, and for two or three holes I was absolutely helpless. After that I pulled myself together and was cool as ice, but I had then lost my chance."

Vardon had the momentum he needed to close out the tournament - and his place in history - by three strokes. Taylor lamented: "Had I succeeded with that first putt I think it would have made a vast difference to the final result."

Reference : 'A Royal North Devon Golf Club Publication : Taylor's Gold Life and times of a golfing superstar' Words: Jim Hopkins / Photography: Patrick Noonan. A Message From Peter Alliss. This book is dedicated to the memory of John Henry Taylor. First published 2010 Edward Gaskell Publishers © Royal North Devon Golf Club, 'The one that got away', page 127.

Download : 'How To Overcome Difficulties From Tee To Green, Bunkered By J. H. Taylor, Golf Faults Illustrated By G. W. Beldam J. H. Taylor New Enlarged Edition' Fourth Impression London: George Newnes, Limited Southampton Street, Strand, W.C., page 167, 1911.

by Paul Runyan - Willie Macfarlane best mastered the plane

"Historically speaking, it is not Jones or Sarazen, Snead or Hogan, Littler or Palmer who stand out in my mind as having best mastered the swing plane.

It is Willie (William) Macfarlane, a tall wisp of a man, who looked more like a professor than an athlete. Willie grooved his swing so well that his idea of a good rousing workout was to stand on the first tee before starting his round and just make four or five passes in the air with his driver to loosen himself up. The last pass might even be a bit vigorous. Then, he would hit the ball down the fairway straight as a string and go on like that throughout the entire round.

Macfarlane was also sound in all the important fundamentals of grip and stance, of course. But his pipeline, monotonous straightness was mostly a product of his unvarying, effortlessly repeated swing plane."

"I've played with other golfers deservedly famous for their straightness - men like Harry Cooper or Mac Smith, to name just two - without really being overawed. If anything, I felt I was even straighter myself. But Willie Macfarlane always made me feel like a wild man. By comparison, I seemed to be zigging and zagging all over the course.

And the reason for his amazing consistency was that he had grooved this rotating wheel, this swing plane, as well as any man I ever saw. He could always reproduce it and it never wobbled on him or left its track."

Reference :'Paul Runyan's Book For Senior Golfers', The Swing Plane, Chapter 5. Dodd, Mead & Company, Copyright © 1962 by Paul Runyan.

Reference : Pictures of Willie Macfarlane's Swing, the 1925 Open Champion, from the American Golfer, June, 1933, courtesy LA84 Foundation. The first seven pictures cover the action of the backswing, while the eighth shows the initial move in starting it down.

by Dr. Jim Suttie PGA Professional - The path of the clubhead is inside-outside

"Misconception 17: The path of the clubhead on a correct golf swing is inside-outside.

Reasons: Most of us have been taught to swing inside-outside.

Unfortunately, this is not correct. If the golfer swings excessively inside-outside, he will push-fade and hook most of his golf shots.

It might feel we are swinging inside-outside, but what really should happen is this: The golf club approaches the ball from inside the target line through impact, and then moves off to the left of the target line after impact.

This occurs because the hands and arms follow the body rotation both on the backswing and downswing.

It is this "inward-to straight-to inward" club movement that creates a natural release of the clubhead through impact and divots that point slightly left of the target line."

Reference : 'Appendix 3' Golf Swing Misconceptions by Dr. Jim Suttie, PGA Professional Cog Hill Golf Course Lemont, Illinois, The PGA Manual of Golf by Gary Wiren PGA Master Professional, Ph.D. MacMillan USA Copyright © 1991 by The Professional Golfer's Association of America.

by Ben Hogan - No such thing as an absolute and standard plane

"There is no such thing as an absolute and standard plane for all golfers. The correct angle for each person's plane depends on how he is built.

A fellow whose legs are proportionately shorter than his arms, for example, necessarily creates a shallow angle for his plane. At the other extreme, a man whose legs are proportionally longer than his arms sets up a very steep angle for himself. Neither plane, let me repeat, is incorrect.

Technically, it is wrong to term the man who properly swings on a shallow plane a "flat swinger," or the man who properly swings on a steep plane an "upright swinger," simply because their planes happen to be flatter or more upright than the plane of the man of more average proportions. However, if any golfer permits his arms and his club to drop well below his established plane, then, whether he normally possesses a shallow or steep or an average plane, he would be swinging too flat.

Ben Hogan The Plane

"The backswing plane runs from the ball through the shoulders."

Similarly, if he hoists his club above the line of his plane, he would be swinging too upright. Perhaps the best way to visualize what the plane is and how it influences the swing is to imagine that, as the player stands before the ball at address, his head sticks out through a hole in an immense pane of glass that rests on his shoulders as it inclines upward from the ball.

IF HE EXECUTES HIS BACKSWING PROPERLY, AS HIS ARMS ARE APPROACHING HIP LEVEL, THEY SHOULD BE PARALLEL WITH THE PLANE AND THEY SHOULD REMAIN PARALLEL WITH THE PLANE, JUST BENEATH THE GLASS, TILL THEY REACH THE TOP OF HIS BACKSWING, HIS LEFT ARM SHOULD BE EXTENDED AT THE EXACT SAME ANGLE (TO THE BALL) AS THE GLASS.

Actually, his left arm should brush against the glass. As for his shoulders, as they turn on the backswing, the top of the shoulders will continuously be brushing against the glass. As golf faults go, it it not too injurious if your club and arms travel on a plane a little flatter than the ideal one.

HOWEVER, YOU ARE HEADING FOR DISASTER IF YOU THRUST YOUR ARMS UP ABOVE THE PLANE SO THAT THEY WOULD SHATTER THE PANE OF GLASS"

Reference : 'Five Lessons, The Modern Fundamentals of Golf', Copyright © 1957 Ben Hogan. Lesson 3, The First Part of the Swing, page 77.

by Percy Boomer - The essentials of the swing

"So to clear the ground I will list what I consider to be the essentials of the swing:

  1. 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. To keep the arms at full stretch throughout the swing - through the back swing, the down swing, and the follow through,
  3. To allow the wrists to break fully back at the top of the swing,
  4. To delay the actual hitting of the ball until as late in the swing as possible,
  5. Not to tighten any muscle concerned in the reactive part of the swing (movement above the waist),
  6. To feel and control the swing as a whole and not to concentrate on any part of it.

Percy Boomer The Essentials of the SwingIn 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 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."

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

Download : The Passive and Reactive parts of the Swing by Percy Boomer "For all golfers the most important picture of the book to study."

by Paul Runyan - The more upright the player stands

"Surely any golfer, regardless of the soundness of his swing or the limit of his experience, knows that golf is not an exact science, and that players will from time to time encounter faults that will need specific treatment.

The Swing PLane by Paul RunyanI have been teaching golf for 35 years and have done much thinking on every phase of the game. The third basic fundamental, the swing's plane, is a much misunderstood, highly controversial aspect of the game.

This aspect of the golf stroke, is influenced most strongly by the degree that the player bends his trunk or torso. The more upright the player stands the more vertical the plane of the swing will generally be.

However, the height of the player also has a strong influence on the swing's plane with the shorter player having a flatter plane and the taller one the more upright plane.

The girth of the player is another factor influencing the swing's plane. Of necessity the stout person uses a flatter swing than his thinner fellow player.

The short stout golfer will need a flatter swing plane than the tall stout, and the tall stout will generally have a flatter plane than the tall thin.

The short stout golfer needs a flat swing, first to allow the arms to clear the body during the swing, and second, to produce an arc of sufficient circumference to produce adequate power. The short thin player could clear his body with his arms while swinging in a more upright plane, but in doing so he might dig under the ball.

The taller stout player should swing on a plane as upright as possible to allow body clearance and adequate power production. From what has been said about the swing plane one may deduce that I feel a flat swing produces more power than an upright one.

This is not true if the upright swing has as wide an arc as the flat one.

The Swing PLane by Paul Runyan How to solve your golf problemsIt is simply a fact that the flatter the plane the wider arc one can use without digging the clubhead into the ground behind the ball. And the flatter plane allows the arms to have greater body clearance, a major necessity for the stouter and shorter player.

Of course the length and lie of the various clubs within a given set, say from the driver to the 9-iron, have a bearing upon the angle of the swing plane.

The longer driver requires a relatively flat plane (Picture 10).

Each succeeding club throughout the matched set to the 9-iron requires a microscopically more upright swing plane because the shafts become shorter and the player stands closer to the ball (Picture 11).

In all cases care must be taken not to become so upright in swing plane as to cause arm friction with the body, clubhead collision with the ground, or power depletion through shortening of the swing's arc.

In summing up, a player will obtain maximum directional control and maximum power if his swing plane is as upright as possible but still not so upright as to produce arm-body friction during the swing."

Reference : 'How to solve your GOLF problems' by the professional panel of GOLF Digest Jack Burke, Jr. Byron Nelson Johnny Revolta Paul Runyan Horton Smith. Part One: Solving Problems "Off The Tee". Part Two: Solving Problems "On The Fairway". Part Three: Solving Problems "Here And There". Cornerstone Library New York. Copyright © 1963 by Golf Digest. Illustrations by James McQueen Designed by James Darby. Introduction The Basic Fundamentals by Paul Runyan The Grip, The Stance or Address, The Swing Plane.

by James Braid - Now let us see what this underspin is and what it does

"Now let us see what this underspin is and what it does.

This spin is at the root of all difficulties and all the delights of the game, and yet there are some players - one might even say many - who do not even know that their ball spins at all as they hit it from the tee.

Some fifteen or sixteen years ago scarcely anybody knew that a golf ball ever had any such spin imparted to it by the player; and it was Professor Tait, the father of Mr. F. G. Tait, both now dead, who first studied the matter, and, having done so, proceeded to make many most interesting and scientific calculations as to the flight of the ball in different circumstances.

The basis of the investigations made by the professor, as stated by himself, was an old scientific law, that when an object is poised in still air the atmospheric pressure upon it is equal at all points; and further, that, as had been known for a long time, since the days of Newton, or even before that, when a ball is made to rotate in a current of air, that side of it which is advancing to meet the current is subjected to greater atmospheric pressure than is that which is moving in the direction of the current.

Simplified and applied to golf , this means that when a ball is sliced it spins from left to right, and there is then greater atmospheric pressure from the left, which forces the ball over towards the right.

But when the ball has been pulled from the tee the spin is in the opposite direction, and therefore the extra pressure of the atmosphere is also from the opposite side, with the result that the ball is pressed to the left.

When the ball has been topped, the spin on its front side is in a downward direction, and so the extra air pressure is downwards also, and as in this case there is the force of gravity pulling in the same direction, the downward movement of the ball is very quick and sudden.

Lastly, when the spin given to the ball on the tee is that kind which makes the front side to move in an upward direction, that is to say underspin, the balance of the atmospherical pressure tends to lift it upwards and in the contrary direction to the force of gravity.

A very little thought will show that the result of this must be to keep the ball longer in the air than it would remain in it if there were no underspin, since it is the force of gravity that pulls everything down, and all the time that the ball is in the air it has some of the velocity that was imparted to it on the tee acting upon it until the other forces, chiefly air resistance, exhaust it.

It will be seen, therefore, that pulls, slices, and balls that fly well all arise from the same cause, the rotation of the ball, and that the difference is the direction of the rotation, which is settled by the kind of stroke that the golfer makes.

Therefore the great authority concluded that good driving lies not merely in powerful hitting, but "in the proper apportionment of quite good hitting with such a knack as gives the right amount of underspin to the ball," and one of his calculations was to the effect that, in certain circumstances, a man who imparted underspin to his ball when driving it, might get a carry of about thirty yards more than that obtained by another man who hit hard but made no underspin.

There would, of course, be a great difference in the comparative trajectories of the two balls."

Reference : 'Advanced Golf Or, Hints And Instruction For Progressive Players' By James Braid Chapter XV The Science of The Stroke The Rising Ball, page 227. OPEN CHAMPION, 1901, 1905, AND 1906. With Eighty-Eight Photographs And Diagrams Fifth Edition Methuen & Co. 36 Essex Street W. C. London. Fifth Edition August 1909.


Bookmark and Share

Back to top