It is now time for us to talk about how to swing from in to out.
We have already considered certain aspects of it in the chapters on "Golf Bogey No. 1," and "Preparatory to the Swing."
In this entry I want to help you to feel how to swing from in-to-out, a thing of which many people realize the importance without being able to put it into practice.
Firstly what is this "in-to-out"?
It is the feeling of swinging the club head not directly down the line of flight, but from inside this line as the ball is approached to outside the line in the follow through.
The feeling that this is the path taken by the club head is essential to a good swing.
Therefore the fact that scientific analysis can prove that at the impact the club head does actually follow the line of flight exactly can be ignored. You play golf by feeling, not by scientific analysis.
This feeling of in-to-out is intimately connected with that other feeling referred to in the chapter on "Preparatory to the Swing," that of being set inwards and behind the ball.
The long straight drive that covers the pin all the way is the result of a swing which you feel travels from in-to-out.
This is what we all refer to as an in-to-out swing; a shot in which the club head does actually take this path (as distinct from being felt to take it) is only played by the first-class golfer when he wants to put pull on the ball.
And if you will think it out, that suggests why the in-to-out feeling is something that we teachers try to instill into every student.
The point being that, while an exaggerated swing in-to-out feel gives pull, the correct in-to-out feel gives straightness and no in-to-out feel (that is, the feeling that the club head goes along the line of flight) gives slice.
The advantage of the modern in-to-out swing is seen in both the flight and the run of the ball.
Hit with the correct in-to-out feel, the ball is given the very minimum of backspin-consequently it "floats" through the air and, when it pitches, takes its natural spin forward, instead of kicking sideways as an undercut ball tends to do, as every lawn-tennis player knows.
To return to the subject of slice. The man who gave me my first job as a professional thirty-five years ago was the late H. L. Curtis-father of the present Pro at Queen's Park, Bournemouth.
He told me many years later that he was doubtful about giving me the job, but having done so he started me off with a very sound piece of advice. "Now laddie," he said, "if you ever want to make good at this business, you had better find out how to teach people not to slice."
"How to Swing From In to Out" is - as they used to say in TV series - to be continued...