Friday, April 3, 2009

Summary of Tips on Driving

Two chapters of detailed instruction are too much for a player to carry in his mind when he goes out on to the links to practice drives, and for his benefit I will here make the briefest possible summary of what I have already stated. Let him attend, then, to the following chief points:—

Stance.—The player should stand just so far away from the ball, that when the face of the driver is laid against it in position for striking, the other end of the shaft exactly reaches to the left knee when the latter is slightly bent. The right foot may be anything up to seven inches in front of the left, but certainly never behind it. The left toe should be a trifle in advance of the ball. The toes should be turned outwards. Make a low tee.

Grip.—As described. Remember that the palm of the right hand presses hard on the left thumb at all times except when nearing and at the top of the swing. The grip of the thumb and the first two fingers of each hand is constantly firm.

Upward Swing.—The club head must be taken back in a straight line for a few inches, and then brought round gradually—not too straight up (causing slicing) nor too far round in the old-fashioned style. The speed of the swing increases gradually. The elbows are kept fairly well in, the left wrist turning inwards and finishing the upward swing well underneath the shaft. The body must not be allowed to sway. It should pivot easily from the waist. The head must be kept quite still. The weight is gradually thrown entirely on to the right leg, the left knee bends inwards, the left heel rises, and the toe pivots. There must be no jerk at the turn of the swing.

Downward Swing.—There should be a gradual increase of pace, but no jerk anywhere. The arms must be kept well down when the club is descending, the elbows almost grazing the body. The right wrist should not be allowed to get on to the top of the club. The head is still motionless. The left hip is allowed to move forward very slightly while the club is coming down. The weight of the body is gradually transferred from the right leg to the left, the right toe pivoting after the impact, and the left leg stiffening. The right shoulder must be prevented from dropping too much. After the impact the arms should be allowed to follow the ball and the body to go forward, the latter movement being timed very carefully. The head may now be raised. Finish with the arms well up—the right arm above the left.

Slicing.—This may be caused by standing too near to the ball, by pulling in the arms, or by falling on the ball.

Pulling.—Usually caused by the head of the club being turned partly over when the ball is struck, or by relaxing the grip with the right hand.

I can only agree with those who have followed me so patiently through these two chapters, that to drive a golf ball well is a thing not to be learned in a week or a month.