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Golf Analysis Part 2


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This is Part 2 of the Golf Analysis series.

All golf is opposition. We are in a state of opposing in every phase of our swing, even in the waggle.

The very feel of the club head is only sensed when we are in a state of opposition to it.

Close students of the game will have noticed that the body sags down as the club reaches the top, so that the player's head may be inches closer to the ball at the apex of the swing; the player is thus opposing and retaining the feel of the club head.

At the bottom of the swing the forces and positions will be reversed. The body comes down when the club head is up and goes up as the club head comes down. Opposition again.

These up and down movements are not something we do consciously; they are automatic adjustments of balance in opposition.

To return to the upward stretch. Some of you may have been told in a more elaborate phrase to "elongate the left side."

This, I think, is a bad doctrine. It does result in some sort of stretch, but an unbalanced one- and one of its most direct results is the plunging right shoulder. We must stretch through the whole center of our equilibrium, right side as well as left, right foot as well as left, right shoulder as well as left.

The plunging right shoulder is fatal because if your right shoulder dips below its correct position relative with the left, you cannot go on through the ball-you become blocked just as you get past the ball.

The right shoulder must be felt to come square against the back of the ball, neither under nor above it.

This dipping is a fault of the right hip as well as the right shoulder.

One is the counterpart of the other. When we see a fellow with his club and hands curled around his left leg at the finish, we know that his right side has buckled on the way down, and so his follow through has been blocked.

Now let us go into this question of the right shoulder more minutely. I want you to become much more conscious of your right shoulder than of your left.

When my left heel and leg are going forward I feel that my right shoulder goes back, but I have enough experience to know that what is probably happening is that my right shoulder is stationary in relation to the hips.

We feel we are pushing it back when actually we are holding it back-but that is the basic difficulty of analyzing golf feels; we mistake opposition for movement.

Let me again stress here why I prefer the word "oppose" to "resist." Resist suggests something static, oppose is resistance in movement.

Also, oppose suggests direction. If you resist a pull you stand stock still and resist with your weight; if you oppose a pull you oppose by a pull in the opposite direction, which is what we are continually doing in golf.

A boy with a catapult is a good illustration of op-position; he pulls in the direction opposite to that he wants his shot to take. He stretches his elastic; we must stretch our bodies-only upwards. And the more you can stretch up, the more you can feel down, which is what I want you to feel beyond everything.

Now I think that a lot of nearly good players would become really good ones if they learned to manage their hips correctly.

I talked just now of becoming blocked just past the ball. This is not due (as it is often assumed to be) to faulty arm work, but to allowing the hips to slide out in the direction of the hole -where they effectively stop any chance of the follow through being carried on and around.

If you will brace your hips in the way I have de-scribed, you will feel them as part of a whole not as a break in that whole. And it is when we feel the hips and waist as a break that we go wrong. Bending at the waist must be due to suppleness of the waist not to disarticulation of the hips. Of course, the hips do articulate during the pivot, but they must do so controlled by the brace; they must be moved, but they must not be allowed to slop around.

The braces and stretches of the golf movement, from feet up through the body and down through arms and hands, combine into one feel, the feel that we swing our club wide through the ball and on and around the left side.

The correct manipulation of the hips enables this feel to be maintained, but if the hips are disarticulated the whole framework of the feel is broken up.

Well, there we are! Just a few of the considerations which arise when we try to analyze that elementary and fatal fault of lifting up. So I hope you will see how essential an accurate analysis is before we can hope to effect a true correction.

This is the end of Golf Analysis Part 2. Stay tuned for the final part of Golf Analysis.

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