If you have held something in reserve in order to maintain the pressure against the ball for some distance after you first connect with it you will keep adding to its speed, and if it were possible for you to swing fast enough to increase the speed of the club as rapidly as the ball is moving after you connect with it so that your club head would still be against it for a couple of feet farther out, it would give you a tremendous distance. Now the harder you hit the ball when you first meet it with the club head the quicker it will bounce away and the shorter the time you can keep the club head against it. This not only reduces the distance obtained but it also emphasizes any slight error in hitting it.
In suggesting that players stand over their ball more in addressing it, the fact that this brings the center of gravity nearer to the place where it belongs should be at once apparent. The consequent increase in ability to maintain the balance should convince the player that it is a decided ad-vantage. Instead of having to brace the muscles all over the body to maintain the equilibrium constant you can stand comfortably and reach your ball easily. According to the standard dictionary, “equilibrium signifies the state of a body which, submitted to action of any number of forces, is still in the same condition as if those forces did not act.”
So far as propelling the ball is concerned, the only muscles which add anything to the force of gravity which pulls upon the club head on its downward sweep, increasing the speed at which it is traveling, are those muscles which would twist the body around. The muscles which are used in lifting are useless. They are the most powerful, as they get the most exercise, and the most powerful of all are in the legs. The effort to use them causes you to change the relative distance between the pivotal center of the stroke and the ball.
As they are the strongest muscles in the body, and any effort to use them is neutralizing whatever effort you are making to increase the downward and forward sweep of the club, it should be evident that you must avoid any such effort. If you do use them they will only keep your head swaying around and destroying any chance you may have to hold it still and see your ball clearly.
If you wish to keep your head still, and that is really the only thing to master in golf, regardless of all the things I have written, you will find that when you absolutely stop every tendency to use the lifting muscles, you can use all the strength you have in the other muscles without disturbing the position of the head. If you brace yourself by standing with the feet far apart you cannot help using the lifting muscles. It is bound to happen, because the action is involuntary.
If you are not so braced you cannot use them, be-cause your body is not in the right position to do so. If you cannot use them by reason of standing with the feet fairly close together, you cannot move your head much, even if you want to.