The New Four Magic Moves To Winning Golf (P5)
Sweeping Out the Rubbish
This is the second cousin of “Relax.” At first glance they may look like twins, but there is a difference. Your swing can be loose even though you are not wholly relaxed. This becomes possible with a big hip turn on the backswing, a sway, bad wrist and foot action, and a certain type of grip.
Back in the 1920’s and 1930’s such a swing was thought to be highly desirable, and the fellow who had it was spoken of, admiringly, as being “loose as ashes.”
Regardless of what the pros write or say, their swings in the 1950’s were very definitely tight. They were shorter, more compact, with less movement of fewer parts. This tight swing was gradually developed by the American touring pros, whose very livelihood depended on how long and how straight they could hit the ball.
Tension, once thought to be the deadly enemy of good golf, now is rightly regarded as something to be striven for. A restricted turn of the hips on the backswing, along with a full turn of the shoulders, a different wrist action, and a tight grip all combine to produce the muscular tension that, when released, gives greater power to the swing.
When a swing is loose there are several parts of the body that are just going along for the ride, as it were; they contribute nothing. The pros today want no parts of the body to go into the action which are not working parts. And isn’t this a sound principle?
“Take the club back inside”
The idea here is based on producing the inside-out swing. The thought is that, if the club should approach the ball from the inside on the downswing, why not facilitate matters by taking the club back well on an inside line?
Going back sharply on the inside is something that is not taught, we are happy to say, by many pros. It is something that the average club player figures out for himself. He can’t hit the ball with an inside-out swing, but he thinks he can do it by going back on the inside. So, in his efforts, and backed by a lot of misdirected determination, he comes back more and more to the inside, until he is almost whipping the club around his knees. Yet he still hits from the outside, and he can’t understand it.
The fallacy in this is that the inside-out swing is not produced by the way the club is taken back, but by the way it is brought down. You can take the club back on the outside and still bring it down on the inside, hitting the ball with an inside-out swing.
“The club follows the same path coming down that it takes going up”
The thinking here is closely allied to the last misconception. It is surprising how many people, who should know better, still think that the club head follows only a single path going up and coming down.
The club head does no such thing, in the correct swing. It comes down inside the path it took going up. This is accomplished not by any tricky hand action or even by conscious effort, but by the correct hip and (especially) shoulder actions at the beginning of the downswing. With these actions the club automatically shifts the swing plane to the inside. When these hip and shoulder actions are not correct, they shift the plane from the inside to the outside coming down.
But the conception of the club head following a single path is astonishingly common. We knew one intelligent young fellow – he hadn’t yet played much golf – who carried this thought to a ridiculous extreme. His idea was that he would hit the ball straight if he kept the plane of the swing – both backward and forward – completely vertical. You have never seen, we assure you, such fantastic gyrations as this misdirected effort brought forth. You have never seen such an upright swing either. We mention this merely to show how far off base an intelligent but uninformed person can get when he starts to think about golf.