This is the 2nd part of Percy's discussion on th The Feel of the Club Head discussion. Click on that link if you missed the first part... Otherwise... go on reading.
Our forefathers told us to keep our wrists down as we addressed the ball through a misapprehension of it; they felt down when they hit a good shot and thought it was their wrists that were down, whereas it was really the club head.
Because of that initial misconception, they had to make corrections and compensations on the way up and on the way down, but we can now eliminate these and make the swing more simple.
The fewer unnecessary movements you make in a swing the better.
A simple swing always has been and always will be desirable; so I aim at eliminating every unnecessary movement - and I can assure you I got rid of a big one when I concluded that the wrists should not be held down, yet the club head should feel down.
Try to get this nuance, it is important.
If you try and compare these two feelings with a club, you will find you can push the club head down on the turf with the sole flat but not when the toe is cocked up in the air.
This sole flat and down is the right feel.
You see, golf force is centrifugal so the arms must be at full stretch when we come into the region of the ball, and we can only get this full stretch down at the foot of the swing if we feel down right through the swing.
I remember telling this to a pupil of mine, a good pupil in the sense that he was a good analyst, and he looked at me in astonishment.
"Do you mean that I have to feel down when I am at the top of my swing?" he asked. "You do," I replied.
He said nothing at the time, but one day later he said to me suddenly, "I can feel that down feeling when I am up now and by George! I like it! It keeps me beautifully down to the bottom of the ball automatically." The automatically was what I liked.
"But," you may say, "as I address the ball with my club head on the ground behind it, I must naturally feel down."
Feeling down is connected with the correct brace of the body.
You will never feel down if you slouch over the ball; the feeling comes by opposing the club head by bracing the body.
You must push down against something, and the down feeling is the feeling that you are braced upward against the club head as it is down behind the ball.
The first thing I do with a new pupil is to kneel on the ground and hold his club head and ask him to pull against it. I ask him to hold his position and then relax my pressure, and he at once feels what it is to feel pushing down.
This is the feeling he must get as he comes into contact with the ball - which is why I repeat and keep on repeating, "Full stretch, full stretch all the time!"
Even as you go through the ball you must feel down; "down while through the ball" is an exquisite golf feel.
We will continue with the Feel of the Club Head discussion in my next entry next week
I would like to finish this series sometime this week, but it will depend on time management and availability. You see... I'm getting married on Friday, and my Mrs and I will be going to South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and Sydney for a couple of weeks. No, I will not be playing golf! (I don't want to finish my marriage so soon! LOL!).
If I don't finish the series before this Friday, I suggest you review the abriged copy of Joe Dante's Four Magic Moves to Winning Golf, which you can access by clicking on the link to the home page. Alternatively, you may want to check out the previous entries of "On Learning Golf", i.e. this blog-book.