Lessons In Golf, By Alex Smith

"Let me begin by assuming that the reader of these words has never yet taken club in hand.

He desires to become a golfer; how must he set about it?

The obvious answer is that he should take lessons from a good professional instructor.

That is undoubtedly the surest and best method for arriving at results really satisfactory.

A competent coach quickly sizes up his man; he discerns his natural capacity for the game, and by the aid of precept and example soon has him on the right road.

The novice has the inestimable advantage of actually seeing how the different strokes are played, and provided he is mentally and physically sound, there is no reason why he should not develop an effective game.

But if this statement is true, why am I writing a book; if the practical method is so much the preferable one, why am I putting these lessons down upon paper?

This is a fair question, and one that I am bound to answer in the same spirit.

I did advise professional instruction, but you will note that I qualified the words by the adjective, good.

Indeed, that makes all the difference between success and failure.

They are plenty of professionals who play a good game themselves, who are utterly incompetent to teach anyone else.

In the first place, a coach should thoroughly know the theory upon which his own game is based; otherwise it is obviously impossible to make the pupil understand what is required of him.

A professional golfer who has developed his game according to the instinctive or natural method, may play very well without taking any thought about it whatever. He has formed his style imitatively, as does a boy, and the less he thinks about it the better.

If he should go off his game in any particular he is necessarily at a loss, and his only remedy is to keep on playing until a kind Providence ordains that the lost magic shall return.

But this rule of thumb business is not going to help the pupil, because the latter has never had any game to start with.

In the second place, the instructor may be a fine player, with a definite idea of the theory of his art, and yet he may be quite unable to impart his knowledge to another.

He cannot pick out the faults into which his pupil is sure to fall, much less apply the necessary remedies.

In a word, he has not the gift of teaching (for it is a gift), and without it failure and disappointment are certain.

So I say that the professional instruction must be good to be of value."

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.

Lessons In Golf Alex Smith

Slicing In Golf

"Of all the faults that one can acquire at golf, there is not one which is so depressing as "slicing". It is caused by the face of the club cutting across the ball, and the faulty action which causes this must be sought." Cecil Leitch

How To Slice By Tom Watson Open Champion 1975 1977 1980 1982 1983

"Nicklaus Method" Disc One, Lesson 18. Lessons Of A Lifetime By Tom Watson at Pebble Beach California Double DVD Available on Amazon : Tom Watson: Golf Lessons of a Lifetime (2010) [DVD]

Badly Sliced (1899) By Willie Park, JUN

The Game of Golf By Willie Park Junr. Fig. 23 Badly Sliced

FIG. 23 - Badly Sliced, 'The Game of Golf', 1899

"Slicing the ball is caused in most cases by a fault of swing, the fault in this case lying in drawing the arms in towards the body, instead of following through (Fig. 23).

Slicing appears to impart two motions to the ball. The face of the club at the moment of impact is travelling forward; but it is also, owing to the drawing in of the arms, travelling across the ball from right to left, and the result of the two motions is that the ball is propelled forward with a spin upon it, and whenever the forward motion is to any extent exhausted, the spin takes effect and causes the ball to circle to the right.

Pulling or hooking may be caused by turning the body round at the end of the swing, after the fashion of a man using a scythe, or by pulling round the left arm, or by turning in the nose of the club as it hits the ball. Here, again, a spin is put upon the ball, making it circle to the left.

If the arms are thrown well out after the swing, neither slicing nor pulling can take place, and the ball is driven with a forward motion without side spin."

Download : 'The Game of Golf' By W. Park. Junr. Chapter III Style of Play, A good follow-through page 78, Slicing page 84. Champion Golfer, 1887-89.

"Slicing the ball is caused in most cases by a fault of swing, the fault in this case lying in drawing the arms in towards the body, instead of following through." Willie Park Junior

Principal Causes of Slicing (1903) By Walter J. Travis

Walter J. Travis in 50 Years of Golf by Horace G. Hutchinson

Walter J Travis

"Your pet weakness is slicing.

First look at yourself, as it were, and see just what you are doing which does not correspond with what you should do. Try this, that, and the other thing, until you see signs of improvement, and when you find you are on the right track keep working on those lines. The experimenting you have gone through will at least have been of some value in teaching you what to avoid.

So many things are responsible for slicing, either singly or collectively, that it may take even a first-class coach some little time to put his finger on the actual seat of the trouble, and the chances are that it will take you much longer, unassisted.

Don't be discouraged, however. "Genius," Carlyle, I think, says, "is simply the capacity of taking infinite pains."

It may not be amiss to here recapitulate a few of the principal causes of slicing:

  • Hitting off the heel,
  • Pulling the arms in,
  • Improper position of the hands in gripping,
  • Gripping loosely with the left hand and,
  • Gripping tightly with the right,
  • Standing too far back of the ball.
Practical Golf by Walter J. Travis

Walter J Travis

Each of these faults has already been treated fully in a previous chapter. Now it is not a bad idea in seeking a cure for any faulty methods into which the player may unconsciously have drifted to deliberately try the effect of the foregoing and carefully observe the results, making such changes as may be necessary in order to arrive at accuracy.

It may possibly happen that only one screw is loose, in which case a beneficial change will soon manifest itself. When you succeed in getting away several satisfactory balls consecutively, take particular note of everything entering into the stroke. In this way, and this way only, can steadiness or consistency be the more quickly attained - the doing of the same thing in the same way every time.

Never mind if your grip or stance or swing may be outside the pale of orthodoxy, so considered - if you can secure distance and reasonable accuracy by any particular style affected, that is the style you should cultivate, provided it is easy and natural."

Reference : 'Practical GOLF' by Walter Travis. Illustrated From Photographs. New & Revised Edition. New York and London Harper & Brothers Publishers 1903, Chapter VIII General Remarks, The Principal Causes of Slicing, page 99. Copyright, 1901, by Harper & Brothers May 1901.

Download : 'Practical GOLF' by WALTER J. TRAVIS I. STANCE AND GRIP II. THE SWING, including GENERAL REMARKS and The Principal Causes of Slicing, 1903.

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"I should say that nine out of ten people who take up the game develop a slice. There is no doubt about it: slicing is the most common fault in golf." Dai Rees

How The Slice Is Made (1905) By Harry Vardon

"There is no mystery as to how the slice is made. It comes simply as the result of the face of the club being drawn across the ball at the time of impact.

The Exact Source of The Trouble

When a golfer is slicing badly almost every time, it is frequently difficult for him to discover immediately the exact source of the trouble, for there are two or three ways in which it comes about.

The player may be standing too near to the ball; he may be pulling in his arms too suddenly as he is swinging on to it, thus drawing the club towards his left foot; or he may be falling on to the ball at the moment of impact.

Too Far Outwards

When the stance is taken too near to the ball there is a great inducement to the arms to take a course too far outwards in the upward swing. When the club head is brought on to the ball after a swing of this kind, the face is drawn right across it, and a slice is inevitable.

The Complete Golfer by Harry Vardon, Courtesy of Professor Michael S. Hart, the father of Project GutenbergIn diagnosing the malady, in cases where the too close stance is suspected, it is a good thing to apply the test of distance given at the beginning of the previous chapter, and see whether, when the club head is resting in position against the teed ball, the other end of the shaft just reaches to the left knee when it is in position, and has only just so much bend in it as it has when the ball is being addressed.

Reference : 'The Complete Golfer by Harry Vardon'. Open Champion, 1896, 1898, 1899, 1903. American Champion, 1900. With Sixty-Six Illustrations, Second Edition, Methuen & Co. London. First published June 1905 Second Edition June 1905. Preface.

Source: This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg. License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org

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"Avoid the tendency - which is to some extent natural - to let the arms go out or away from the body as soon as the downward swing begins. When they are permitted to do so the club head escapes from its proper line, and a fault is committed which cannot be remedied before the ball is struck. Knowing by instinct that you are outside the proper course, you make a great effort at correction, the face of the club is drawn across the ball, and there is one more slice." Harry Vardon

Spin Is At The Root (1909) By James Braid

"When Professor Tait first began to discuss these matters and suggested that underspin was given to the ball when it was driven, many golfers would have nothing to do with the idea, but they were soon obliged to admit that it was true.

Points About Bunkers

Points About Bunkers by James Braid 1909

Set There To Catch Sliced Balls

This spin is at the root of all the 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. It is in the long game that the principles of spin are most interesting and important, but it must be remembered also that they are very prominent in their action upon the flight of the ball in the case of many other shots, and the peculiarities of different trajectories can generally be traced to this cause after a little thought by one who has a knowledge of the scientific side of the matter as explained by Mr. Tait. This is particular the case with high lofted approach shots. Now let us see what this underspin is and what it does. 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 to the right.

Reference : 'Advanced Golf Or, Hints And Instruction For Progressive Players' By James Braid Open Champion, 1901, 1905, And 1906. Chapter XV The Science of The Stroke Underspin page 224. With Eighty-Eight Photographs And Diagrams, Fifth Edition, August 1909.

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"The fundamental features of the methods of accomplishing sliced or pulled shots are the same in all circumstances. If the golfer knows how to stand and how to use his right hand, a most important hand in this connexion for a particular degree of pull or slice, diligent practice ought to make him capable of attaining any other degree which he may require." Harry Vardon

The Quantity Of Cut Used (1913) By Joshua Taylor

The Art of Golf by Joshua Taylor

Joshua Taylor

For A Long Slice

For a long slice, that is a shot upon which the slice is not wanted to act until the ball has flown 150 yards or so, the best method is to push the hands a little in front of the ball just at the time of striking.

This, aided by a scarcely perceptible pull in of the hands as the club is passing through the ball, will result in the ball receiving just that amount of spin that will act as soon as the ball is losing its power. If the spin is slight, the force of the ball travelling through the air will prevent it acting until the ball is ready to fall, when it will be seen to incline, on a curve, in the direction required.

The amount of slice is regulated entirely by the quantity of cut used.

Sharply Across The Ball

If the ball is required to turn quickly to the right immediately after the ball is struck, the arms and wrists must be brought more sharply across the ball at the time of impact. The club is lifted straight up to the right shoulder without any sweep at all.

The club is then brought, with a cutting motion, across the ball, finishing with the hands on, or about, a level with the left hip. The swing is naturally restrained, with the wrists and arms finishing stiffly, while the whole feeling is one of cramped discomfort.

To Pull At Will

To pull at will is rather harder to attain, primarily through the fact that pulling is not such a natural fault as slicing. Golfers of any class are apt to slice without any apparent reason, whereas a pull, owing to its scarcity, is hailed with glee. To pull in moderation, and with any degree of certainty, is an acquisition that any golfer can be proud of.

The easiest way of pulling is to turn the right hand over just at the time of striking the ball.

This, combined with holding the left elbow closely to the side, will have the effect of putting the left-hand "side" on to the ball. I do not believe in altering the stance for either pulling or slicing, being firmly convinced that a better control is obtained over the direction of flight if the actual work is left entirely to the hands.

If a player cannot obtain a slice by the quick drawing across of the hands, or a pull by the equally quick turn of the right hand, then he had far better content himself with hitting down the middle."

Reference : 'The Art of Golf' By Joshua Taylor With a Chapter on the Evolution of the Bunker, by J. H. Taylor, Ex-Champion Illustrated London T. Werner Laurie Clifford's Inn Hints On Brassie Play Page 30 Photos by A. S. Hardy, Esq., member of the Acton Club.

Download : 'The Art of Golf' By Joshua Taylor Hints On Brassie Play Some Faults And Their Cure Slicing Pulling On The Top Off The Shank.

Download : 'The Power-Fade' Ben Hogan By Henry Cotton My Golfing Album Country Life Limited Published in 1959 © Henry Cotton 1959 including "GOLFERS often ask me what is meant by 'the power-fade"' Page 217

Available on Amazon : The Art of Golf ... With a chapter on the evolution of the bunker, by J. H. Taylor ... Illustrated

"Slicing is caused by the hands getting in front of the swing as the ball is being struck, or by the player pulling his hands and arms across his body at the finish of the stroke or by the player permitting his body to fall back from the ball at the moment of impact. The remedy in both cases (pulling and slicing) is to let the club head go through in the direction of the hole with a straight right arm." George Duncan

That Encourages My Fade By Colin Montgomerie Europe's No. 1 Golfer

MONTY's Stroke Savers. Filmed on location at the Emirates Golf Club. VHS Available on Amazon
and "too often playing a fade encourages a golfer to become a slicer" in Fading The Ball By Bobby Locke 1953

"Too often playing a fade encourages a golfer to become a slicer, and I need not add that the majority of golfers spend a lot of their time trying to eliminate slices. In a correct fade, the ball is completely under control; in a slice it is out of control and loses considerable distance." Bobby Locke

To Impart Spin To The Ball (1913) By Harold H. Hilton

"I found the knack of being able to impart spin to the ball extremely useful in the championship meeting at Apawamis.

There is one very simple way of imparting underspin to a ball and that is by using a very lofted club and hitting the ball hard, trusting to the loft on the club, but it is a method which is not always successful when there is any wind blowing, as one cannot control the trajectory of the flight.

The true scientific method is to impart the spin by the aid of the fingers of the right hand, bringing the club sharply across the ball from right to left.

The club must be held firmly with both hands and the player must remember that it is the right hand which is responsible for imparting the spin.

When playing this shot many players have an idea that it is necessary to stand well behind the ball and lay the face of the club well back. This may be a useful method when it is necessary for the ball to rise quickly over an intervening obstacle, but it is not at all necessary if there is not an obstacle immediately in front of the ball. The safer method is to stand with the balance of the body forward and swing the club vertically, as it is much easier to bring he club sharply across the ball when the swing is vertical than when it is a horizontal one. As I have before suggested, the true art of playing the lofted approach lies in being able to control the trajectory of the flight of the ball, and the manner in which this is accomplished is by altering the position and balance of the body.

If the player wishes to play a high shot he must stand behind the ball, if he wishes to keep the trajectory of the flight comparatively low he must stand forward, with the balance forward.

Provided he keeps the face of the club away from him and comes sharply across the ball, he will be surprised at the amount of spin he will impart in a shot which does not rise more than twelve or fifteen feet from the ground. One thing he must remember, however, and that is that he must hit the ball firmly and crisply. There is probably no more spectacular stroke in the game than the low approach with undercut on the ball.

Modern Golf by Harold H. Hilton 1913When it leaves the club it appears as if the ball must career past the hole, and when the ball lands upon the green there seems little hope of it staying there, as it invariably takes a shoot forward, the velocity of the stroke precluding the underspin from taking effect immediately.

But when it touches the ground for the second time, the spin becomes apparent, as the ball distinctly grips the ground, and on the third time of coming to earth there is no shadow of doubt as to what is going to happen, as the ball suddenly pulls up with a jerk, as if someone had a piece of string attached to it."

Reference : 'Modern Golf' by Harold H. Hilton. Illustrated with Photographs Outing Handbooks New York Outing Publishing Company MCMXVI. Copyright, 1913, By Outing Publishing Company. Chapter VII. Playing The Approach Page 96.

"If the golfer knows how to stand and how to use his right hand, a most important hand in this connexion for a particular degree of pull or slice, diligent practice ought to make him capable of attaining any other degree which he may require." Harry Vardon

The Slice (1924) By Cyril Walker

Cyril Walker 1921"If I were asked to suggest the most commonplace trouble that disturbs the peace of mind of the average high handicap golfer, I would feel no hesitancy in nominating the slice.

The shot that starts out nicely only to fade away to the right in a graceful but disappointing curve causes more regrets not to say disgust than any other that comes to my mind.

My reasons for making this selection are easily reached. In the first place, slicing is one of the most prevalent faults among those who are still in the stages of trying to learn the how and why of playing the game. In the second place, the slice is more pronounced in the long shots, where it robs the player of distance, and with rare exceptions piles on more trouble by landing the ball in the rough, or other hazardous place from which he must play his next shot. Now then for a little treatment on the proper method to avoid these troubles.

How To Play An Intentional Slice

It may be a good idea to first explain how I go about playing a slice, when a situation comes up where it will prove a benefit under the conditions.

Change From The Normal Grip

The first preliminary to playing a slice is the change from the normal grip.

I use the overlap grip, but that is immaterial; what I have to say applies equally to an interlocking grip or the old V grip.

I grip the club with my left hand more under the shaft than normally, so that only the knuckle of the first finger is in view, and the club rests more in the middle or palm of that hand than in the fingers as is usual.

My right hand is placed more over the shaft so that the V formed between the first finger and thumb of the right hand opens down the center of the shaft.

Alter The Usual Stance

The next move is an alteration of the usual stance.

I take a more open stance, playing the ball from a line through it to my left heel at right angles to the line of play. This stance practically insures an upright swing and the grip as explained helps to add the tendency to slice.

Reference : 'Correcting Your Faults' By Cyril Walker. Professional at the Englewood Golf Club. 1924 U.S. Open Champion and of 6 PGA Tour Events. Captain of the British Walker Cup Team. Courtesy of LA84 Foundation.

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"So the more we turn the right, or right and left hands, to the right on the club, the more likely we are to hook the ball. The more we turn the hands to the left on the club, the more likely we are to slice the ball. This therefore gives us the key to most hook and slice problems and a relatively easy way of beginning to control either problem." Vivien Saunders

Causes of A Slice (1926) By Chris A. Wilkinson

At Top of The Swing - By Chris. A. Wilkinson Golf Instructor

The Proper Position At The Top of The Swing, by Chris. A. Wilkinson Golf Instructor This Position At The Top of The Swing Causes A Slice, by Chris. A. Wilkinson Golf Instructor Another Way to Slice At The Top of The Swing, by Chris. A. Wilkinson Golf Instructor
Proper Position Causes A Slice Another Slice

Click on an image to view a larger version

Reference : 'Suggestions That Will Reduce Scores, A Digest and Review of Helpful Hints by Recognized Experts', by George Girard, Golf Illustrated, April, 1926. Courtesy LA84 Foundation Digital Library at www.LA84Foundation.org

"Sliced shots are mainly the result of coming across the ball, because the left elbow has broken in the hitting area." Fred Daly

Teach Yourself Golf-Ball Spin (1934) By Theodore Moore

"You may teach yourself all about golf-ball spin in your own room with a large balloon, and I ask you to do so.

In this way you may learn more in a few minutes than by hours of reading.

Get a balloon about 11/2 to 2 feet in diameter; inflate it; tie and cut off any excess tubing so that it may not be lop-sided.

Now hit it a sharp downward blow just below the belt, and you may easily produce a close imitation of Fig. (2). BACK SPIN. Get a friend to do this for you, and observe from the side: you will see a "slow-motion" flight of the ball as in Fig. (2).

Strike the balloon with a book to imitate the club in Fig. (1); note the flattening of the ball, its recovery of shape and flight at right angles to the plane of the book, with back spin.

Place he book under the ball as in Fig. (3), and move quickly (flick) as shown by arrow. This gives spin with no forward movement of the ball. Next hit (Fig. 4) in a line passing through the centre of the ball. The ball moves forward without any regular spin. Compare its irregular movement with that of the back-spinning ball.

The Spin Of A Golf Ball By Theodore Moone 1934

Top spin (Fig. 5) is caused by hitting in a direction shown by any of the arrows, either above the belt or even a little below it. Try this spin with the balloon on a table and note how quickly it dives to the floor and runs onward. This top spin is that commonly used by bowlers or by a child trundling a hoop. I hope you are not getting sick of all this, John. There is one more spin to discuss here - side spin, see Fig. (6), where we view it from above.

I have sketched two phases of this spin - one, clockwise in drawing, giving "slice" and bending out to the right : and the other curving with a "pull" to the left. Note how these shots break to right and left respectively on landing.

The chief spins, then, are back spin, top spin, slice and pull.

Reference : 'GOLF FROM A NEW ANGLE Being Letters From A Scratch Golfer To His Son At College' By Theodore Moone Illustrated Herbert Jenkins Limited 3 York Street St. James's London S.W.1 First printing 1934 Made And Printed in Great Britain By Ebenezer Baylis And Son, Limited, The Trinity Press, Worcester, And London. Foreword J. H. Taylor. Letter 3 The Spin Of A Golf Ball, page 41.

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Hands Return To The Slot & The 'O' Factor by Robert Baker

'Repair Your Slice' by logicalgolf® with Robert Baker and Doug Heel. DVD from www.DukeVideo.com
Available on Amazon : Logical Golf Repair Your Slice [DVD]

Upward Thrust (1936) By Alfred Padgham

Centrifugal Force By Alfred Padgham

Alfred Padgham

"We have seen that the impetus of the clubhead required to strike the ball is derived from centrifugal force working from the ball of the left foot by way of the left shoulder through the straightening bends at the left knee and the left wrist.

As the left knee pistons up, into a straight line, the left arm and shaft crack down into a straight line through the medium of the left wrist. Two kinks, at the left knee and at the left wrist, are simultaneously straightened out, and while the left shoulder is moving upwards the clubhead is moving downwards.

Now, if you allow the left shoulder, which is the fulcrum, to drift to the right the point of maximum centrifugal speed of the club-head will also be shifted to the right.

And how often will one not observe a powerful player getting no length into his drive simply because he has started his back swing with lateral shifting of weight on to the right foot which he is never able to get back on to the ball ; he will either be scraping the ground inches behind the ball, or, at least, much of the power is already gone from his club-head by the time it reaches the ball, its maximum of velocity having already been expended.

Since the real power of propulsion starts from the upward thrust from the ball of the left foot it should not be allowed to stray from that centre, and the shot is easiest when conceived as a descending blow of the left hand against an ascending thrust of the left side. And, however much you think of hitting down into the ground, you may be confident that the power will be converted into circular swinging of the club-head, a circle from which the ball is to fly off at a tangent.

Reference : 'The Par Golf Swing' By Alfred Padgham Illustrated Preface By Evan M. MacColl. London George Routledge & Sons Ltd Broadway House, Carter Lane, E. C. 1936. Printed in Great Britain by Butler & Tanner Ltd., Frome and London. On Winding Up, page 131, Open Champion, 1936.

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"To my way of thinking, the whole power of the golf shot, properly executed, should depend on two things : delayed wrist action and the piston power of the straightening left side." Alfred Padgham

Two Types of Slice (1961) By Dai Rees

"First of all, there are two types of slice: The one which happens every time, the one which breaks out occasionally, wrecking what would have been a good score.

Every Time Slicers

1. Generally the longer-handicap players come into the first class, so I will deal with them first.

"These 'every time' slicers send the ball to the right because their hit is with an outside-in swing. That is, the clubhead goes away from the body on the backswing and then in an effort to correct it the club is brought back across the ball, putting spin on to the ball at impact.

The whole secret in curing this is to reach the correct position at the top of the swing, so let me run over the position for you:

At the top of the backswing there should be more weight on the right foot than the left. The shoulders should be turned ninety degrees and the hips forty-five degrees. The left arm is reasonably straight, the right elbow points down. The grip with the left hand is firm and the right wrist is under the shaft. The club itself points across the line of flight, in other words at the green. Check this position, and if you are not absolutely sure that it is right get your professional to have a look at it for you.

Then there is another way to check up. Make sure of your follow-through position. If your hands have swung and finished near your right shoulder you have swung from outside to in. But if your hands have followed the ball, as they will do in a correct swing, then everything is all right.

After the club has been taken back, the hands should then pull the clubhead down. I repeat - pull the clubhead down. That means that the hands should always be in front of the clubhead, and they will if the weight is transferred back to the left foot for that will mean you will be hitting against a braced side.

And beware of letting your shoulders take control, for this too can cause the club to be moved out of line. This, then, is the way to straighten up the habitual slice.

Reference : 'The Key To Golf', page 79, A. S. Barnes and Company New York, Copyright © Dai Rees 1961.

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"One of the most beautiful shots in the game is the cut stroke with the mashie. In this shot only is it that the arm-pits open as the club rises; in all other shots they remain closed." Wilfrid Reid

Two Main Faults Cause Slicing (1963) By Bill Cox

"There are two main faults which cause slicing.

The first and most common is cutting across the ball from outside to in, which imparts too much left-to-right spin on the ball. This side-spin causes the ball to drift away to the right as it loses its velocity. The second fault is that at the moment of impact the club-face is 'open' or lying-off, instead of being square to the ball and the intended line of flight. With this fault the ball usually starts a little to the right of the target and continues to curve considerably at he end of its flight. To deal with these two faults it is essential to square up the face of the club and swing the club on the inside groove.

To do this, place the left hand on the shaft so that two and a half knuckles are showing ; this should bring the V to point between the chin and right shoulder. The V of the right hand should point to the same spot.

Improve Your Golf Bill Cox Fulwell Golf Club EnglandAt the address, adopt a square or slightly closed stance, and as you take the club to the top of the back-swing be sure to keep the club-face square to the ball. A full pivot with the shoulders will put the club on the inside groove. On the down-swing, keep the right elbow close into the body and leave the unwinding of the shoulders until you are in the hitting area. Make your hands bring the club-head through so that it is coming from in to out, with the club-face square to the ball and the intended line of flight. During the early part of the down-swing, both hands must be used to swing the club on the inside groove, and a conscious effort must be made to delay the unwinding of the shoulders until the hands are in the hitting-area."

Reference : 'Improve Your Golf' a Penguin Handbook Bill Cox Page 33, 91. First published 1963 Copyright © Bill Cox, 1963. Penguin Books Ltd, Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England.

"During the early part of the down-swing, both hands must be used to swing the club on the inside groove, and a conscious effort must be made to delay the unwinding of the shoulders until the hands are in the hitting-area." Bill Cox

Reason For A Bad Slice (1966) By Bobby Jones

"One reason, or excuse, offered by the average golfer for a bad slice is that he got his body in too soon. The average golfer usually experiences trouble for one of two reasons.

Either he omits the forward movement or shift of the hips that must precede and blend in with the beginning of the unwinding, or he moves his whole body, including head and shoulders, in a sort of lunge at the ball.

He cannot hope to do other than cut across the ball if he holds the greater part of his weight upon his right leg, or falls back upon it as he brings his club down.

In the correct swing, starting down, the hips shift forward slightly before any noticeable unwinding takes place.

I like Abe Mitchell's expression that "the player should move freely beneath himself."

In other words, the head and shoulders should not accompany the hips in this initial movement.

I have often referred to the stretch that I feel up the left side and arm, from hip to hand, as the result of leading the downswing with the hip-turn while the club is still going back. Now the hands drop almost vertically downwards, starting the right shoulder movement below the left, from which point the swing is able to pass through the ball on a line approximately straight toward the objective."

Reference : 'Bobby Jones On Golf', Robert Tyre (Bobby) Jones. Chapter Four. Foreword by Charles Price. Illustrations by Anthony Ravielli. 1966 Doubleday & Company, Inc. New York.

Left Hip Moves A Bit Lateral & Use Your Hands By Gary Player

Winner of 3 Masters, 3 British Opens, The U.S. Open. The Moment That Counts (1920) By Walter J. Travis
VHS Available on Amazon : Gary Player On Golf, Video Instructions and Secrets from Golf Legend

Mechanical Reasons For Slicing (1969) By John Jacobs

"This left-to-right shot arises from a combination of three faults:

  • the clubface is open to both the swing-line and target line at impact;
  • the swing-line is out-to-in across the target line;
  • and the angle of attack is too steep.

The cure starts in the grip, which must be strengthened until the ball no longer bends in the air but flies straight in the direction in which it was started, indicating that the clubface is square to the swing-line. To achieve this the hands must sometimes be placed more to the right on the club; in many cases simply squaring up the shoulders to the target-line at address will do the job, because it has the corollary effect of moving the hands from left to right in their relationship to the clubface. Coordinating the swing-line with the target-line involves squaring-up the shoulders at address, so that they are parallel rather than open to the target-line, then making a 90 degree shoulder-turn while the hands and arms swing the club up and around, pointing the club at the target in the correct plane.

Play Better Golf By John JacobsComing back to the ball, the hands and arms must swing the club at the same time as the hips open towards the target. Remember that if the hips and shoulders get too far ahead of the arms, the club will be thrown out across the target-line, even from a good backswing.

Flattening the angle of attack necessitates setting-up and maintaining a shallower swing-plane, by standing more erect at address from the hips to the shoulders, then turning rather than tilting the shoulders in both the backswing and downswing. Bear in mind that these corrections interact upon one another.

If, having previously aimed left, you square up your shoulders to the target-line you will automatically strengthen your grip and flatten your swing-plane."

Reference : 'Play Better Golf with John Jacobs. Chapter 12. Faults, Causes and cures reviewed', Based on the Yorkshire Television Series written in collaboration with Ken Bowden. Stanley Paul & Co. Ltd, Copyright © Yorkshire Television 1969.

"To drive a ball in a given direction, the club head must be travelling in that direction at the moment of impact. Obvious as this is, it is nevertheless a fact that about ninety-five percent of the people playing golf, swing out of line and do not know it. They swing more or less diagonally across the line of play from outside to inside, and if the club head is late, the ball is struck a glancing blow which causes it to start off to the left and continue flying straight off line to the right." Seymour Dunn

Lazy Hips (1973) By Joe Kirkwood


Hagen (left) and Kirkwood, Hungjao, China, 1938

Hungjao, China, 1938

"I soon found a convenient practice tee and became engrossed in hitting balls when a most charming lady came strolling about.

"Do you mind if I watch you?" she asked.

"I've been watching you from my window, and I've been having a problem with my golf game, a horrible slice. I thought perhaps I might learn something."

"Why, of course not, I replied."

As she settled onto the bank nearby, I asked her where she lived. She answered quite simply, "In London," and then asked me how long I was going to be staying.

Tell Me About Your Slice

"Oh," I said, "I'll be here for some time yet. Tell me about your slice. Have you been to any pros for advice?"

She assured me that she had and couldn't seem to correct it.

Looking down at her high-heeled shoes, I suggested, "You can't play in those high heels." Almost shyly she took off her shoes, but hesitated to take a club. "Go ahead and hit a few balls," I said. "Use any club you want. "

Nobody Ever Told Me That Before

She did, and she really had the biggest slice I ever saw, with the ball winging off to the right in a tight, fast loop.

"Well," I said, "it's quite obvious what's wrong. I see right away what the trouble is."

"What is it!" she almost pleaded.

read more

Reference : 'Links of Life' by Joe Kirkwood Introduction by Lowell Thomas Foreword by Barbara Fey Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 73-2008 Copyright 1973 by Ronald R. Kirkwood. First edition. Manufactured in the U.S.A. Part One Embarrassing Moments Page 12. NOTE: Legends for the illustrations were prepared by Ron Kirkwood, Joe Kirkwood's son.

"Show me a man with his head down and his feet clamped firmly on the ground, and I'll show you a man with a horrible slice." Joe Kirkwood

The Slice Is Born (1975) By Vivien Saunders

"Most golfers just beyond the real beginner's stage fall into one or two contrasting categories; they either hit the ball low and to the left through a faulty grip or, if the grip is relatively sound, they slice it out to the right. Those who fall into the second of these classes have a task in hand.

Caused By Spin

The slice is caused by spin being put on the ball and the spin in turn is put on by cutting across the line of the shot. This happens in one of two ways. Either the clubface is left looking out to the right at impact - the 'open' clubface' - or the swing is aimed very much left of the target with the clubface roughly on target.

The important point is that the direction of the two is in opposition. The swing goes to the left and the clubface to the right.

In Correcting The Slice

The main point in correcting the slice is to get both the clubface and the line of the swing aimed in the same direction at impact.

As a rule the clubface is the easier of the two to tackle first. We want to enable the hands to bring the clubface squarely to the ball.

This either involves a correction in the grip - ensuring that the 'V's between thumb and index finger point to the right shoulder and not to the chin.

Hands Do The Work

Once the grip is correct, the hands need to be trained to produce more and more 'swish' through the ball and also bring the clubface square in perfectly square. Firstly, one can develop the right type of 'swish' by practising with the feet together, immobilizing the leg and body action and making the hands do the work.

Secondly, the actual way in which the hands and arms work through impact needs to be looked at in rather more detail. What very often happens is that in the downswing the left arm stays straight, as it should, but straight in an incorrect and very vulnerable way. As it reaches impact the elbow bone points out towards the target, with the face very often in an open position.

The Complete Woman Golfer by Vivien Saunders

Beyond impact the left arm either buckles at the elbow or collapses at the wrist while the right takes over. The clubface now looks almost directly upwards as it reaches hip or waist high (Fig. 88). What should happen is that through impact the left arm gradually turns so that the elbow bone begins to point downwards.

The arm now starts to fold very smoothly into the body just as the right did in the backswing so that there is no sudden buckling (Figs. 89 and 90).

The Complete Woman Golfer By Vivien SaundersNow as the club reaches hip-height position, the elbow is pointing downwards, the right right arm is able to stay extended and the back of the right hand faces away from the body. The toe of the club is now brought into a position where it points almost directly upwards. This mirrors almost exactly what happens in the backswing so that in the intermediate position through impact the clubface is likely to be square, or very nearly square.

The left arm, then, needs to be firmly in control, turning through impact so that it can fold smoothly into the side, and allowing the clubface to square up through impact."

Reference : 'The Complete Woman Golfer' Vivien Saunders Stanley Paul & Co Ltd. London W1. An imprint of the Hutchinson Publishing Group. First published 1975. © Vivien Saunders 1975. © Peter Dazeley 1975. 8. A Chapter for the Slicer Page 60.

"A favorite phrase nowadays is "timing the club," by which is meant the securing of the full power of wrists, arms and body at the moment when the actual hit is made. The phrase is a good one, but unless the coach can explain how to bring about this desirable result the mere words will not help the beginner much." Alex Smith

What Causes A Slice? (1988) By Chi-Chi Rodriguez

"What causes a hook? And what causes a slice?

Chi Chi RodriguezChi Chi's Six Fundamentals / Basics are:

  • Grip
  • Ball Alignment
  • Posture
  • Ball Position
  • Backswing
  • Follow Through."

Chi Chi Rodriguez What causes a slice?

"You take the club on the outside and then you come over the top and you can see then the club goes across parallel and you strike the ball at 5 o'clock to 11 o'clock, and that is what makes the ball slice."

Chi Chi Rodriguez What causes a slice?

"Let me show you the proper way on how to hit a straight shot. If you strike the ball from 6 o'clock to 12 o'clock you will have a very, very straight shot."

Chi Chi Rodriguez What causes a slice?

"The club goes too far on the inside and as you can see at the top of the backswing the club is going to be too flat, then you are to strike the ball at 7 o'clock to 1 o'clock, and that is what makes the ball hook."

Reference : Chi Chi Rodriguez 's 'Chi Chi's In and Out of Trouble with Chi Chi Rodriguez' VHS video, Copyright © 1988 CBS/FOX Video Sports, Livonia, Michigan. Chi Chi Rodriguez Academy

"The shaft is felt particularly between the index fingers and thumbs of both hands, but the grip of both hands should be firm and unvarying, as in a vice, Havers would say, to which I would add the word responsive, a responsive vice, not a rigid one." Alfred Padgham

The 9 Shots Patterns (1991) By Gary Wiren

"To explain the two factors which primarily influence DIRECTION (swing path and club direction), it is useful to have a visual aid i.e. inside path + closed face = hook or draw:

The Nine Shot Patterns, by Gary Wiren PGA Master Professional, Ph.D
Gary Wiren The Nine Shot Patterns

The pointer arm represents clubface path, the other arm depicts clubface position.

All ball flight direction is as result of the relationship of these two elements at the moment of impact.

With these two arms are at right angles, one always gets a straight shot; when they are not at right angles, the ball always curves. Notice the statement "always".

The PGA Manual Of Golf by Gary WirenThat's because these are absolutes. This is cause and effect.

Under ball flight, the pull, straight and push shots are straight shots - straight left, straight forward and straight right- because the clubface is square to the swing path in each case.

All the rest of the shots are curves, because the clubface is either open or closed to the swing path.

If it's open a small amount, it's a fade; open a large amount, a slice; closed a small amount, a draw; closed a large amount, a hook.

The ball has no choices but to respond in one of the ways it is depicted in the above nine basic shot patterns. Players should learn the nine shot patterns and their basic causes."

Reference : Gary Wiren's book 'The PGA Manual Of Golf, The Professional's Way to Play Better Golf', Gary Wiren PGA Master Professional, Ph.D. Macmillan USA. A Simon & Schuster Macmillan Company Copyright © 1991 by The Professional Golfer's Association of America. Pages 31-32.

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

You Can Tend To Slice Drivers Very Badly By John Jacobs

John Jacobs in 'Faults And Cures Try To Recognize Which Slice' DVD Available on Amazon
John Jacobs: Doctor Golf - Faults And Cures DVD and as related to The Backswing By Bobby Locke 1953

"Most people don't realize it, but the primary difference between a good golfer and a bad one lies in the grip - the most basic element of any player's game." Julius Boros

GOLF. Ordinary Grip (1911)

Ordinary Grip 1911

Ordinary Grip

"The grip of the club is a most important matter, as on it depends largely the command obtained over the club during the process of swinging.

Until the great golf boom began about twenty years ago, there was, generally speaking, but one recognised way of holding and swinging a golf club.

But when English players, born and bred altogether outside the old Scottish golfing traditions, began to take up the game, different methods came to be employed, and their success has led to many departures from the old style.

The Englishmen's traditions were all of cricket, and to them a golf club was but a kind of bat wherewith to hit the ball, and not a club to be swung at it. The new method necessitated a considerable stiffening of the shafts of clubs.

The grip for this cricketing or hitting method requires great strength of hand, wrist, and forearm, and the grip is gripped tightly with the palm of the hand, the fingers holding firmly, the back of the hand being kept well under, as shown in the illustration.

For the older and more orthodox method of using a golf club, the hold is not so much a grip as a grasp. It has been well described as a kind of hold one takes of a rope in act to pull it.

The club should be held firmly, but not tightly, with the fingers of both hands equally, the handle resting on the part of the palms just below the fingers, and not gripped with the hollow of the palms. The hands should be in close contact, so that the grip is not in any way divided, and any danger of the hands working independently is avoided. The thumbs should lie over the handle of the club, and not point down it.

The Encyclopedia of Sport Golf 1911By these means the club will have the requisite play in the hands during the process of swinging, for it must be observed that, in swinging, the palms open a little as the top of the swing is reached, and at that point the club is held, especially in the left hand, almost entirely by the fingers. As the club descends, the full grip is recovered. To hold on tightly with the same immovable grip all through would check the swing, and prevent the club describing the true arc in the air, which is essential to success in the swinging method of using a golf club.

The grip, or the manner of it, should not vary with different strokes, except in one or two particular instances, and as a matter of style a player should endeavour, as far as possible, to make all the various strokes in his play, in regard to grip, stance, and swing, on the same principle."

Reference : 'The Encyclopedia of Sports & Games' Edited By The Earl of Suffolk And Berkshire Volume II Crocodile Shooting - Hound Breeding. With About Five Hundred Illustrations London : William Heinemann 1911. Golf, page 333-334.

"Be careful not to pull the hands in towards the body in coming down. Throw the club-head out behind you at the start of the descent. The effect of this is to bring the club well behind the ball - and not down on it - for the blow. There must be an element of sweep in the hit, or an element of hit in the sweep." Sandy Herd


by Harry Vardon - For a particular degree of pull or slice

"The fundamental features of the methods of accomplishing sliced or pulled shots are the same in all circumstances.

If the golfer knows how to stand and how to use his right hand, a most important hand in this connexion for a particular degree of pull or slice, diligent practice ought to make him capable of attaining any other degree which he may require.

The ability will come instinctively once he is master of the main idea."

Reference : 'How To Play Golf' Chapter XI Golf In A Wind By Harry Vardon With Forty-Eight Illustrations Methuen Co. Ltd. 36 Essex Street W.C. London First Published, at 2s. 6d. net, in 1913. Page 132.

by Diane And Rosalind Rowe - To understand backspin

"There are many ways of serving, but the two main service strokes are the backspin and topspin.

The ball is given backspin by moving your bat downwards behind the ball. As a result of this action the ball, though actually travelling towards your opponent, will rotate away from her and, on bouncing on her side, the forward motion of the ball will be retarded (see Figure 8).

To understand backspin, place your forefinger just behind the top of the ball and press it down. The ball will run forward a little way and then, because of the backspin you have imparted, roll backwards towards you (see Figure 9).


Topspin is the direct opposite of backspin, and is obtained by bringing the your bat up and across the ball.

This causes the ball to rotate towards your opponent and, on striking her court, to shoot forward (see Figure 10).


Now you can apply spin to your service."

Reference : ''The Twins' on Table Tennis by Diane and Rosalind Rowe (Twice World Doubles Champions) With 31 photographs and 35 drawings Edited by Kenneth Wheeler Foreword by Victor Barna (Five times World Singles Champion) Chapter Seven How to Play Page 78. Nicholas Kaye London First Published by Nicholas Kaye Limited 194-200 Bishopsgate, London, E.C.2 October 1955 Copyright 1955 by Nicholas Kaye Limited Printed in England by Adlard And Son Limited London and Dorking.

by Cecil Leitch - This remark has confused some beginners

Cecil Leitch Four Times British Open Champion"Now the player is ready to swing. The first thing to move must be the club-head, and this must be done by a slight tightening up of the wrists, chiefly the left.

The left arm must be kept as straight as possible, during the backward and downward swing. If this is done and the head is kept still, there will be small margin for error in the actual twisting of the body. It is an utter impossibility for a player to jump at the ball without moving her head, a very common fault with beginners.

Throughout the whole of the swing the player must try to imagine that the club-head is travelling around the inside rim of a wheel, of which her body forms the axis.

It is often said that the club-head should be taken back along an imaginary straight line at the back of the ball. This remark has confused some beginners, who, in trying to carry out this instruction, have made the stroke doubly difficult by stretching beyond their natural reach. Every single action of the golfer must be free, and anything that feels uncomfortable cannot be right. This imaginary line which the club-head should follow is really a slightly convex curve on the ground. Some players take the club-head along the ground in this way for about 8 or 10 inches, and are said to have a "flat" swing: those to whom it comes more natural to bring the club-head from the ground after the first 2 or 3 inches of its journey are said to have an "upright" swing.

I will explain the meaning of these terms as they will appear later on."

Reference : 'Golf Simplified' By Cecil Leitch. Chapter I A Chapter For Beginners, Swing; Page 60, Thornton Butterworth LTD. 15 Bedford Street, London, W.C.2. First Published 1924.

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.

by Jack Hoag - The curse of golf the pestiferous slice

"Probably all have seen pictures of James Braid driving from a block of squares marked out on the ground and J. M. Barnes using a letter "H" to illustrate the correct principles of the stroke.

All are familiar with the theory, "Hit from the inside out across the line," and yet, ninety per cent. of all high handicap golfers fail to do it.

Given the correct theory, the execution is up to yourself. There are several reasons why your club head gets outside the line on your downward stroke.

You may turn your shoulders too soon, thereby producing a loop in your swing and throwing your club head outside the line before your hands start to move downward at all.

You may get outside the line by being in too great a hurry to hit the ball and, in your haste, try to take a short cut from the top of your swing to the ball. You may play the ball too far off your left foot and then sway on your back swing so that you are so far behind the ball that your club head reaches the fullest arc of your circle and is swinging in toward the left of the line of play before it reaches the ball. You may take your club head back outside the line and bring it down again without turning your body at all and in this case your club head never gets inside the line until after the ball is hit.

How To Effect A Cure

First diagnose your own stroke until you can classify your fault or faults and a friend who will watch you while you practice will be a big help in locating the trouble.

Once located, use your own common sense in devising a way to eliminate the fault. If you find this difficult and all other cures fail, try this. Mark out a line on the ground which will represent your line of play and tee your ball on it. Take any stance you prefer, but a square stance might help. Grasp your club firmly in the fingers of both hands and start the club head away from the ball so that, for the first foot or two, it stays close to the ground. If you will pause here and look at the head of your club, you will note that it is already well inside of the line, and, if you were to play a quarter or even a half shot with your driver, you would have no trouble at all in hitting from the inside out, for you would be playing an "underhand" stroke.

This is the important feature. The club head must come through underhanded just as you would throw a baseball underhanded, if you are to hit out across the line and produce a good drive. Anybody can take the club head two, three, or four feet from the ball and hit out across the line without any trouble and, if the right elbow is kept close to the side, you can play a half shot and still produce the desired result. It is after the shaft of the club passes the perpendicular that most golfers go wrong, and our suggestion is, that temporarily at least, you stick to the half stroke until you form a habit of hitting from the inside out. You can afford to waste a little time at the start of the season, if it will help you to eliminate a really dangerous fault.

But, some of you will say, "who in heck wants to play half shots with a driver or brassie? Our answer is, that a half shot is a controlled shot and control is what most high handicap players sadly need.

Control means better direction and steadiness and, once acquired, this would be a long move in the right direction. Further than this, we'd just as soon play a half shot with a wooden club as to slice all over the course. No golfer would stick to a half shot indefinitely, for there is a natural inclination to lengthen your stroke as the weather grows warmer, and the chances are that you'd lengthen it too soon. Be that as it may, a slice is the hall-mark of the dub and the cure is there for those who will take it."

Reference : 'The Curse of Golf, Some Observations on and Suggestions for Eliminations of the Pestiferous Slice' By Jack Hoag, 1921, The American Golfer. Courtesy LA84 Foundation.

by Tommy Armour - Having the weight borne more on the left foot than on the right

"To hit a good iron shot, your club must contact the ball before the sole of the club gets to the bottom of its arc.

This gets backspin on the ball, eliminates hitting behind the ball, and gets the hands ahead of the ball as the shot is hit.

Having the weight borne more on the left foot than on the right as you're coming into the ball is the way of getting the correct downward path of the iron."

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

by Carol S. Dweck, Ph. D. - We like to think of our champions and idols as superheroes

"You would think the sports world would have to see the relation between practice and improvement - and between the mind and performance - and stop harping so much on innate physical talent.

Yet it's almost as if they refuse to see. Perhaps it's because, as Malcolm Gladwell suggests, people prize natural endowment over earned ability. As much as our culture talks about individual effort and self-improvement, deep down, he argues, we revere the naturals.

We like to think of our champions and idols as superheroes who were born different from us.

We don't like to think of them as relatively ordinary people who made themselves extraordinary. Why not? To me that is so much more amazing. Even when experts are willing to recognize the role of the mind, they continue to insist that it's all innate.

This really hit me when I came upon an article about Marshall Faulk, the great running back for the St. Louis Rams football team. Faulk had just become the first player to gain a combined two thousand rushing and receiving yards in four consecutive seasons.

The article, written on the even of the 2002 Super Bowl, talked about Faulk's uncanny skill at knowing where every player on the field is, even in the swirling chaos of twenty-two running and falling players. He not only knows where there are, but he also knows what they are doing, and what they are about to do. According to his teammates, he's never wrong.

Incredible. How does he do it?

mindset  by Carol S. Dweck Ph.D.As Faulk tells it, he spent years and years watching football.

In high school he even got a job as a ballpark vendor, which he hated, in order to watch pro football. As he watched, he was always asking the question Why?: "Why are we running this play?" "Why are we attacking it this way?" "Why are they doing that?" "Why are they doing this?" "That question," Faulk says, "basically got me involved in football in a more in-depth way."

As a pro, he never stopped asking why and probing deeper into the workings of the game.

Clearly, Faulk himself sees his skills as the product of his insatiable curiosity and study.

How do players and coaches see it? As a gift."

Reference : 'mindset The New Psychology Of Success How We Can Learn To Fulfill Our Potential' by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. 2008 Ballantine Books Trade Paperback Edition Copyright © 2006 by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. Page 89.

Reference : 'Teaching Is About Relationships' including "That takes a certain mindset to borrow the title of an excellent book" By Bill Gates August 16, 2015.

by Alfred Padgham - Certain golf terms require definition

"Certain golf terms require definition:

Club-face.- The ball is struck with the club-'face'.

Open.- To turn the club-face clockwise is to 'open' the face.

Shut.- To turn it counter-clockwise is to "shut' the club-face.

The effect of judicious shutting of the clubhead at impact is to impart right to left top-spin, giving the ball run and a right-to-left trajectory. The effect of opening the club-face at impact is to give the ball left-to-right under- or back-spin and a left-to-right trajectory with 'stop' on pitching.

Hook or Pull.- The 'hook' or 'pull' is an exaggeration of the first.

Slice or Cut.- The 'slice' is an exaggeration of the second.

Just as a ball can be 'pulled' to the left, so it can be 'pushed' or cut out to the right. The slight 'draw', or right-to-left spin and trajectory, gives the ball the maximum of length, but not necessarily the maximum of 'carry', from the tee.

Pivot.- The 'pivot' is the screwing up or twisting of the body on the feet as the clubhead is raised, and occupies the space of the body as the address.

Sway.- The 'sway' is a lateral movement of the body, or hips, beyond the space occupied by the body at the address. Pivoting keeps the weight of the body evenly distributed between the feet. Swaying shifts the weight from one foot to the other. Orthodox swinging comprises pivoting of the body with lateral movement of the hips.

Divot.- A 'divot' is a piece of turf scooped by an iron club after impact with the ball. Control with iron shots is obtained by this process of squeezing. In all cases of divot taking the ball must be struck first, the ground afterwards.

Fluffed.- If the ground is struck first the ball will be 'fluffed'.

Topped.- A ball is said to be 'topped' when it fails to rise because of being struck on top.

Address.- To 'address' the ball is to adjust oneself and the club for the impeding stroke.

The position of the feet in relation to the ball will also affect the relation of weight of the body to the ball. The nearer the ball is to the left foot, the more forward it is, the more likely is it that the club-head will be coming up at impact. The nearer the ball is to the right foot, the more forward the body is, the more descending will be the blow. Once off the tee, it is important to remember in this connection that it is precisely a descending blow struck with a lofted club that lifts the ball by squeezing it between the club-face and the turf. There are few cases when it pays to cut the ball upwards, there are many cases when it pays to force the ball upwards with a descending blow from a lofted club."

Reference : 'The Par Golf Swing' By Alfred Padgham Illustrated Preface By Evan M. MacColl. London George Routledge & Sons Ltd Broadway House, Carter Lane, E. C. 1936. Printed in Great Britain by Butler & Tanner Ltd., Frome and London. Introductory, Definitions, page 36. British Open Champion, 1936.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If the shoulder turn or pivot is a full ninety degrees, or even more, the clubface opens by that full amount, and that amount only.

Its position with relation to the shoulders is still the same as it was at address.

Let me repeat that the wrists never open the clubface by themselves.

Body turns does it (or more particularly shoulder turn, since on fuller shots they turn farther than the hips). Yes, it is body turn alone which opens the face, and then only with relation to the ball.

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

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

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

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

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

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

by Cary Middlecoff - Slicing Methods

"It hardly needs to be argued that the ability to hook or slice a golf ball deliberately when the situation calls for it, is a valuable asset to a golfer.

So let's proceed to the matter of how to do it, beginning with the slice.

A golf ball curves to the right for a right-handed player for the one essential reason that a left-to-right spin is imparted to it while the clubhead is in contact with the ball.

This type of spin may be imparted in two ways:

  1. The clubhead may be drawn across the ball from right to left on the downswing.
  2. The clubface may be slanted to the right (open) at impact.

Either one of these methods can be used to produce a shot that follows a left-to-right path of flight, and the two can be used in combination so that each will augment the other.

The simplest method of causing the ball to follow a left-to-right pattern of flight is to set the clubhead back of the ball square to the objective in the normal way, slant the club face open a few degrees, grip the club with the face still open, and swing as for a straight ball.

Meeting the ball with the club face still open tends to produce a shot that has a slight left-to-right curve on it, due to the spin on the ball produced by the open club face. This shot is of some value in sending the ball around an obstacle.

The next simplest way to slice is by adjusting the grip.

Bring the knuckles of the left hand back under the shaft and fold the right hand over the top of the shaft.

A wide slice figures to result if the V formed by the thumb and first finger of the left hand points to the right shoulder and that V on the right hand points toward the left shoulder.

(With the normal grip, the Vs will be just about parallel and pointing slightly to the right of the chin.)

This slice grip will cause the club face to sort of flip open as the clubhead comes into the ball.

This result figures to be a shot that starts off fairly straight but starts following a left-to-right pattern a few yards after leaving the clubface.

The slice shot that is generally the most effective in getting around obstacles is the one that travels several yards in a straight line after leaving the clubface, and then curves rather abruptly to the right. This action is the one produced by drawing the clubface across the ball from right to left in the latter stages of the downswing.

The best method for bringing this about is to start the clubhead back from the ball outside the line.

Cary Middlecoff Advanced GolfHaving done so, and assuming no off-setting adjustments during the course of the swing, the clubhead will come back into the ball from the outside in - or across the ball.

With this type of stroke, the forward power of the swing will send the ball out in a generally straight line until the left-to-right spin, caused by the clubhead's slicing across the ball, takes effect.

Here is a simple way of achieving the proper start on the backswing for a deliberate slice.

After lining up in the normal way to the shot, pick out some object that catches the eye about a foot back of the ball and about two inches to the right of the ball. A particular blade of grass will do. Then set it in your mind that the clubhead must pass over the top of that small object on the backswing.

Now for a way of trying to insure that nothing happens during the course of the swing to offset the cut-across pattern you have set up by taking the clubhead back outside the line: Determine to pattern your swing so that at the end of the follow-through the palm of your left hand will be down and roughly parallel with the ground - or, if you prefer to think of it another way - that the back of your left hand will be up.

This action will keep the hands from rolling over, which is, naturally, a part of the hooking action.

Of itself, the stance will have nothing to do with whether the shot slices, but an open stance makes it easier to produce a slicing swing.

The open stance simply calls for advancing the right foot about six inches closer to the intended line of flight than the left. The effect will be to move the left hip out of the way of the arms so that the clubhead may be easily brought across the ball, and to place the right hip in the way so that the arms will have to go out and around it and produce an outside-in swing.

It is clear, I think, that the sliced ball can result from any of a number of factors, or from any combination of these factors, provided there is no offsetting action in the rest of the swing.

An example of such offsetting action would occur if the hands were permitted to roll over as the clubhead came into the ball. That is to say that a player might adjust his grip for a slice, take the club away from the ball outside the line, and try to cut across the ball, but if the hands rolled over quickly just before impact, the shot would tend to go straight, or even hook. (There are, indeed, many players who use some part of the slicing method in the early stages of the swing to offset a natural tendency to hook.)...

Implicit in these instructions for slicing and hooking are some pointers for those players who are continually trying to keep from doing either.

The golfer who is always fighting a hook could hardly do better than to practice a finish with the right palm facing up. In this way he can do much to eliminate the hand roll that is the cause of most troublesome hooks.

The natural slicer should reverse the pattern."

Reference : 'Advanced Golf' Cary Middlecoff Edited by Tom Michael of The Commercial Appeal, Memphis. Prentice-Hall, Inc. Englewood Cliffs, N.J. © Copyright, 1957, By Prentice-Hall, Inc.

by Tom Watson - How do you stop a slice?

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

Everybody seems that they slice the ball and they want a solution. Well, there are several things I tell. The first thing I look at is the grip... A lot of the time, that's the only solution that's necessary for people who slice the ball."

Reference : Tom Watson's Lessons of A Lifetime DVD, Instruction from one of Golf's Greats, Your Step by Step guide to a better game in 44 lessons. Two Disc Set & Instructional Booklet © Copyright 2010 Tom Watson Productions, tomwatson.com.

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