The only thing which you can possibly accomplish by using the lifting muscles and bracing yourself with the feet well apart is to lift the club up quickly, and every rule I have ever heard given is to go back slowly. If you are not braced, your muscles cannot raise the club quickly. This is accomplishing much.
If you are in a comfortable position, such as you are accustomed to stand in naturally, you will easily see that you cannot reach for the ball very much without spreading the feet apart. As reaching for the ball gives you no leeway, this is another point where standing easily and comfortably is curing a fault.
To look at a good player with the intention of noticing the difference in his method and that of a poor player, this easy, comfortable position is at once apparent in the better player’s stance. He does everything easily. He has learned to cut out the things which spoil a poor player’s efforts. He has learned to relax his lifting muscles and can take slight liberties in the matter of stance.
For the average player a stance with the feet closer together is bound to be a great help. What the beginner and the average player need is not power, as I have said so many times, but accuracy. That gives the distance and there is then time enough to refine and perfect the accuracy to gain more power. It is the harmony of perfect action in the good player’s swing which gives the results.
All the energy in excess of that which passes into the ball is wasted. Players swing so hard as a rule that they cannot get the feel of a correctly hit ball and consequently their muscles are not educated to the “feel” of correct balance, etc. Neither are their eyes trained, which would, to an extent, govern the involuntary action of the muscles.
Certainly a man who is not swinging correctly may be supposed to be moving his head also, so that he cannot see the ball clearly when the club head meets it.
Players can tell the moment they are going to play a good game because they have the “feel” of the shot, which is only another way of saying that the muscles and sense of touch have been awakened to the correct gage and balance, and the player knows he can hit the ball. A couple of times a year is about as often as the average player gets right on his game and plays his best, because about that often he has worked and slaved and finally got the “feel” of it.
The secret of it is to study this matter of lifting and pushing down. I have demonstrated that each effort requires an absolutely different set of muscles, and have called attention to examples of what I call exercise by the resistance method. You get exercise but not speed.
Get the right idea clearly in mind and you will be astonished at the distance you begin to get and the peculiar “feel” of the shot. You will get a smoothness which you never had before and you will connect very easily with your ball.
Naturally you get the increased distance and the longer ball you require. Bear in mind that the slightest tendency to lift in any way is cutting down your power, because for ,every bit of “lift” you add, just so much “leaning upon the ball” is neutralized; or just so much weight is taken away from the blow. A little practice along these lines will soon train your muscles correctly and you will get the “feel” of the shot and after that the confidence will come quickly.