It isn’t just beginners that struggle with adopting the correct body position in golf.
The idea of being comfortable and doing things easily seems to be a hard one for many golfers to grasp. We hear so much about physique being so different with different people that players are apt to assume that theirs is one of the remarkable physiques without flexibility, and we hear them apologize for their lack of freedom by blaming it upon nature.
This is silly. Everyone is built pretty much alike as far as the frame goes, and there is about so much play to each hinge joint and each ball and socket joint in the body. The point where people differ most, as regards golf, is in their mental make up. One man grasps a principle easily that another man has to “saw wood” to master.
They say with a mysterious confidence: “it is mental,” much ‘as they would say : “it is a secret, let it go no further.” They nurse a pet
idea with such persistency that they become infatuated with it. I have seen players stand for minutes, motionless in an effort to address the ball as though the address solved the making of the stroke.
I have often wondered what can be in such players’ minds. To stand in front of the ball with every muscle set and not a trace of movement, even of an eyelid, is inviting almost sure disaster. It is not the way you keep your eye on the ball when you are “set” in the address which enables you to hit it accurately, but the way you keep it on the ball when you are in action that counts.
Doing things comfortably is the keynote of the whole swing. It is what gives the results, be-cause the strength is being properly applied. The instant you have to brace your muscles you should be warned that you are drifting away from the correct method of playing. If you will let comfort be the check upon any scheme of play you adopt, you will not go far wrong.
As I previously stated, only youngsters will ever be able to learn imitatively. If you get better results by your own method, that is the one to follow. Don’t try to look like somebody else. Fix in your mind what you are really trying to accomplish, and let your common sense be your guide in solving the problem. Do not ask if you are rolling your wrists correctly, but ask what the object is, and get the player to show you what he has in mind in swinging in such and such a fashion.
If you can learn his reason or purpose, you can apply the knowledge. If you merely try to imitate his swing, you are not getting any permanent benefit from his teaching. You can only learn golf little by little, and the steps come one at a time. It is so with everyone.
The three steps in the order of their importance, which you must constantly bear in mind when working out the various details, are:
(1) keep the head still
(2) keep your club head traveling in a straight line while in contact with the ball
(3) do not “set” the muscles.