This is the second entry in the Preparatory Movements to the Golf Swing series of articles.
The three directions of brace we discussed in the previous entry (Part 1 of the Preparatory Movements to the Golf Swing) should now make us feel a complete unit, which we can think of as "the set." I think they are what makes the good golfer feel compact.
They give the f eeling that we can carry the club head back away from the ball by the body twist inwards and behind the back of the ball.
In other words, if you are properly braced there will be no sensation of wanting to lift the club head up.
This is important: we should never feel that we lift the club head, but that we carry it back around with the body and along the ground.
This feeling that the club head keeps down is equally necessary in the follow through, after we have sent the ball on its way.
We must feel that we have dispatched the ball out and along but not up.
One of my students told me once "But when my hands are up must they feel down?"
My reply was, "Yes" because the down feeling is not a feeling of position but of direction of pull.
We call it that because it is most noticeable in two downward phases, (1) as we address the ball, and (2) at the moment of impact with it.
We are frequently and wrongly told to keep our left arm straight, when we should be told to aim for the feeling of it being down.
If we look for that, our arm will be practically straight even at the top of our swing, because we are stretching it to obtain the down feeling.
This is the reliable way of reaching this end, because it is conditioned and controlled by feel not thought.
Incidentally this explains why you can be a top class golfer even if your left arm is not straight at the top of your swing not the straightness
but the downness is the vital factor.
Now I hope you see the reason for adopting the set before the ball which I have been describing. It is so that you will feel that you will bring the club face square into the back of the ball, not from above but from behind it.
When I say that I putt as I drive, I simply mean that when I putt I feel that I roll the ball along from behind and I feel the drive is only an enlargement of this sensation, not something different from it.