This is the second instalment ofLearning Golf with Inverse Funtioning.
As I was saying, the pivot has two functions, to guide the club and to generate power.
Some good golf analysts combine the two and compare the body to a lever, and while this means practically nothing to the moderate golfer, it is suggestive to the top-notcher.
For he may feel his body as a steel bar turning around between his two feet, with all the time the bones of his big toes opposing the movements of the club head- the extremes of the swing.
We must never lose sight of the fact that we are all in different stages of evolution as golfers and that a technique or a conception may be good in one stage and yet disastrous in another.
For those who can reach it, the turning bar analogy may be fruitful; it certainly is true as you can feel for yourself that the leverage in golf comes up and out from the bones of the feet.
You will feel it better (even the greatest expert can feel it better) if you swing without a club rather than with one.
There is so much more going on when you swing a club that delicate feels are more difficult to detect.
There is, of course, still more going on when we add a ball, and yet more again when it is zero hour and our name is called out on the tee!
Do not forget that I was a scratch golfer years before I hit a decent shot off the first tee at Meyrick Park.
What has this to do with our subject? A great deal.
The point of this chapter is that, while you have to learn golf by direct mechanics, you must play it-as soon as you are able, not mechanically, but through your conception of how it should be played and the feels which you have built around this conception.
The correct conception is the basis, and that is why I have told you in this book many things that are possibly too advanced for you to make practical use of.
You will probably never come up to the standard which I have set you, but if this book has given you a more correct and comprehensive conception of golf movements, you will get nearer to the highest standards than you would have had you been content with a purely mechanical concept.
And, which is perhaps equally important, you are much less likely to recede under pressure.
Even if you do recede a little and if you are unable to play your shots in a tournament as well as I have taught you to play them on the practice ground, remember this:
Your opponent is equally anxious to win his match; you will both (in consequence) fall back from your normal standard-but, other things being equal, the one of you with the more correct and comprehensive conception of the game will fall back the less.
"But," you may say, endeavoring to pull me back to a point from which I may seem to have wandered, "do you suggest that I must not think of pivoting?"
That is exactly what I do suggest, if you are ripe for it. Your shot and my shot both depend upon the pivot. In the early stages you have to concentrate upon pivoting in order to be able to pivot at all.
But I have reached a stage where I can concentrate upon playing a good shot via a good follow through which is quite a different outlook.
Do I neglect my pivot in consequence of this? Oh no! I continue to pivot because I know that if I do not I cannot follow through, and I know the consequences of not following through.
Inverse functioning, that is all! And I do not even follow through because I know I have to but because I feel that there will be no shot unless I do. In fact I have evolved through to inverse feel.
On this matter of inverse feel, I must digress for a few minutes. Long before he plays a shot, the first-class golfer has made up his mind how it should feel. The beginner of course has no such pre-shot feeling, which is why he so frequently makes shots which surprise him!
Now I call this pre-shot feeling and its results, the set.
My dictionary tells me that to "set" is to "put into condition for use," and that is exactly what the set does for a golfer's mechanism.
The average golfer walks up to the tee and addresses the ball-we set ourselves before we get to the tee and then, through the feeling which the set has produced, address the ball.
Do not think that this is mere playing with words.
It is in hard fact one of the fundamental differences between the good golfer and the great one.
It will be obvious that, if the set is the state of the feel that precedes the mechanical movements necessary to play the desired shot, then the feeling of the set and the stance which it induces will differ when we play a chip shot to when we play a full drive.
For though the principle underlying every golf shot is the same, the manner of approach to the shot in hand will differ with the lie of the ball and the distance it is desired to propel it.
And note also that the set is not static. It is an image of the whole operation-stance and swing, and if this image is correct and is correctly followed out by the mechanism of the body, the shot must be one hundred per cent effective.
The set is the image of the whole operation from stance to follow through.
Stay tuned for the next instalment of Learning Golf with Inverse Functioning.