There are two circles or sweeps which, merged together, form the golf swing. One is imparted by the twist of the body (I call that the horizontal sweep) and the other is imparted by the arms lifting the club up over the right shoulder; this I call the vertical sweep. I desire to call the player’s attention to a few facts concerning them which may be a guide in understanding the functions of each.
These two forces are the most important items in the stroke, and the mechanical problem they offer requires some nice calculation to work out properly in the player’s mind.
To begin with, I do not consider that many players realize the importance of the bearing of these two distinct forces upon the swing, and what the function of each is. As our pivot or center must remain fixed in order that we may be able to see the ball clearly, as well as to have that pivot remain constant with reference to its distance from the ball, we must remember that the pivot is located between the shoulders, as it is through the shoulders and arms that the power is immediately transferred to the club.
We will now consider the vertical swing or circle, for that is the one which causes the greatest amount of trouble to players, as it is the preponderance of it which results in pulling in the hands. To make this point perfectly clear I suggest that you try the following experiment: address the ball in your usual manner and eliminate everything which does not pertain to a vertical swing in making your stroke; that is to say, every item which has anything in the nature of a horizontal or parallel-with-the-ground movement.
You will find that you will merely raise your club up over your head and bring it down again. If you will notice carefully you will observe that in order to keep from slapping the ground you will have to draw in your hands. You will observe that the club head goes out beyond the ball as you raise your club away from the ground, and you will also observe, on your downward swing, that the vertical sweep is making your club cut the line along which you wish to send the ball, at right angles. To complete the vertical circle or swing you have to draw in your hands.