"A bad grip makes the proper swing plane harder to set up." Paul Runyan
Find Your Swing Plane by Chris Meadows With Paul Foston
Close To The Ground (1901) By Walter J. Travis
"It has been suggested that in the upward swing the club should be swept close to the ground.
Flattening of The Arc
This flattening of the arc of the circle will largely prevent any tendency to strike into the ground back of the ball, for as the club is withdrawn so it will assuredly describe the same course in the downward swing.
It will furthermore considerably lessen the chances of driving a high ball.
Moreover, the flatter the swing, the greater is the latitude for correction of any error.
The accompanying diagrams will illustrate this very clearly.
The swing indicated in Diagram 9 means that the club has been taken more vertically away from the ball in the upward stroke, and has consequently been brought down straighter.
In Diagram 10 it will be observed that the swing is much flatter, and as the arc of the circle is greater, the clubhead is moving longer in the same plane as the ball, thereby augmenting the chances of hitting it more correctly."
Reference : Walter J. Travis' book 'Practical GOLF by Walter Travis. Illustrated From Photographs. New & Revised Edition. New York and London Harper & Brothers Publishers 1903', extract from Chapter II, The Swing Pages 20 - 21'. Copyright, 1901, by Harper & Brothers May 1901.
The Swing Through The Gate (1920) By J. Douglas Edgar
The reader will see from the various photographs and sketches, how The Gate is set up.
Now we come to the method of swinging through it, taking the wooden clubs first.
Fig. 17 shows the direction the clubhead takes on passing through The Gate :
The important point to note is that the line taken by the club-head is curved ; that it crosses the line of direction from left to right and continues on the outward arc for a foot or so after impact, and then turns over to complete a natural finish.
J. Douglas Edgar
This gives the swing through The Gate without touching either side.
Should the sides be touched or knocked over the swing is incorrect.
Take up the position most suitable, easy and comfortable, to swing through on the correct line.
Some players prefer the open, others the square stance.
The latter will no doubt be the easier for the majority, because when using the open stance it is much more difficult to bring the club-head down behind to get the movement.
The line taken by the club-head is rather different from that of wood.
Fig. 25 shows the introduction of a second arm G, to give the player the correct movement through The Gate with the iron clubs.
The club-head, up to the point of impact, comes in on a similar arc to that of the wooden club, but continues for a short distance straight along the line of direction, instead of crossing the line as in wooden club play.
As with wooden play so with iron, the player must concentrate and imagine swinging through "The Iron Gate" as he did through "The Wooden Gate".
To learn the slice The Gate is placed pointing towards the left, as in Fig. 18.
Note that the club-head at the point of impact is crossing the line of direction from right to left.
The stance is slightly behind the ball, with the right foot rather nearer than the left to the line of direction.
The habitual slicer will be able to swing through The Gate in this position quite easily, and without touching it.
By gradually moving The Gate back into the position shown in Fig. 17, and taking care to swing through without touching the sides, the slice will disappear."
Reference : 'The Gate To Golf' by J. Douglas Edgar, The Grip, Page 31. French Open Champion, 1914. Canadian Open Champion, 1919. Edgar & Co. St. Albans England. Copyright 1920.
This Gate I Made A Drill For Slicers By Simon Holmes
The Swing by Simon Holmes who has trained top golfers like Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo and Robert Karlsson. Filmed on location at The Emirates Golf Club Available on Amazon : Digital Golf School - The Swing [DVD]
Flat Swing Or Upright Swing (1924) By Cecil Leitch
"In the previous chapter the outline described by the club-head during a swing has been likened to a circle.
As a matter of fact, an ellipse would be a more accurate description, but I dare not say such a thing to a novice, as an attempt to make her club-head describe an ellipse might prove disastrous.
However, as I am now addressing remarks to those who have passed the earliest stage, I use this example in order to bring home the importance of sweeping the ball away.
It is not for me to state whether the "flat" swing or the "upright" swing is the better, but I can say that my observations, when watching others, have convinced me that there are many players with upright swings who would lengthen their respective games if they could only flatten their swings a trifle.
Does it not stand to reason that the club-head which is describing a half-circle as it comes to the ball, meets it and follows after it, cannot apply as much power as that which describes a flatter sweep?
Now by "flat" I do not mean the swing which brings the club-head round near the right leg.
The word "flat" is used to distinguish the action of taking the club-head along the ground, as far as the arms will permit, from the more common action which causes the club-head to rise from the ground almost immediately."
Reference : 'Golf Simplified' By Cecil Leitch. Chapter II How To Acquire Length And Direction, page 37. Winner Ladies' Open Championship, 1914, 1920, 1921; English Ladies' Close Championship, 1914, 1919; Ladies' Championship of France, 1912, 1914, 1920 and 1921; Canadian Ladies' Championship, 1921. Thornton Butterworth LTD. 15 Bedford Street, London, W.C.2. First Published 1924.
Download : Extract Chapter II. How To Acquire Length And Direction 'Golf Simplified' By Cecil Leitch, 1924.
From Inside To Out (1931) By T. Henry Cotton
This Angle gives slice or cut, and must be avoided
Correct Angle of Swing A to B = In to Out
"I first learned through Armour that the only way to hit a golf ball at all - I say hit, meaning 100 per cent hit - is from inside to out.
For those who do not know what I mean by hitting the ball from inside to out, there is a diagram with an elementary explanation:
The direction of the swing of the club-head is from A to B.
This method will give a spin to the ball which is contrary to the slice spin, and therefore is used as the means to cultivate a controlled hook shot.
It certainly will give you the best results and should increase your length.
If you are successful in this, you are well on the way to a perfect swing and the accomplishment of a style which will give accuracy and direction."
Reference : T. Henry Cotton's book 'Golf Being a short treatise for the use of young people who aspire to proficiency in the Royal and Ancient Game' by T. Henry Cotton. Part I. Chapter V Early instructions and practice, pages 40 and 41. The Aldin Series, Eyre & Spottiswoode (Publishers) Ltd., 6 Great New Street, E.C.4. London. 1931. First published 1931.
"The deciding factor in determining the flight of the ball is the angle at which the force of the swing is transmitted at the moment of impact. It follows that the arc of the swing must be regulated to conform with the desired flight of the ball." Alex J. Morrison
Regulating The Arc of The Swing (1932)
""Oh, now I see. It's the loft of the club face that sends the ball in the proper flight".
Although every club is designed with a particular width and loft of face, size and weight of head and a particular length of shaft, to aid in sending the ball in a certain trajectory, in actual use these features are of secondary importance.
The deciding factor in determining the flight of the ball is the angle at which the force of the swing is transmitted at the moment of impact.
Any experienced player knows that it is quite possible, for example, to hit a high shot with a driver and a low one with a niblick.
Such results, though, have no practical value beyond showing that clubs can be used for purposes other than those for which they are designed and that the loft of the clubface will not automatically send the ball in the desired flight.
This means that the angle at which the clubhead descends upon the ball really is the deciding factor in determining the flight.
And since the striking angle of the clubhead, that is, the angle at which the force of the swing is transmitted at the moment of impact, depends upon the arc in which the clubhead swings, it follows that the arc of the swing must be regulated to conform with the desired flight of the ball.
Ball Trajectory And The Swing Plane by John Jacobs
Doctor Golf John Jacobs The Full Swing DVD. A detailed look at all aspects of the Golf Swing
Available on Amazon : John Jacobs - The Full Swing [DVD]
The More Upright The Player The More Vertical The Plane
"Surely any golfer, regardless of the soundness of his swing or the limit of his experience, knows that golf is not an exact science, and that players will from time to time encounter faults that will need specific treatment.
I have been teaching golf for 35 years and have done much thinking on every phase of the game. The third basic fundamental, the swing's plane, is a much misunderstood, highly controversial aspect of the game.
This aspect of the golf stroke, is influenced most strongly by the degree that the player bends his trunk or torso.
The more upright the player stands the more vertical the plane of the swing will generally be.
However, the height of the player also has a strong influence on the swing's plane with the shorter player having a flatter plane and the taller one the more upright plane.
The girth of the player is another factor influencing the swing's plane. Of necessity the stout person uses a flatter swing than his thinner fellow player.
The short stout golfer will need a flatter swing plane than the tall stout, and the tall stout will generally have a flatter plane than the tall thin.
The short stout golfer needs a flat swing, first to allow the arms to clear the body during the swing, and second, to produce an arc of sufficient circumference to produce adequate power. The short thin player could clear his body with his arms while swinging in a more upright plane, but in doing so he might dig under the ball.
The taller stout player should swing on a plane as upright as possible to allow body clearance and adequate power production.
Be On Plane To Hit The Ball Squarely
"This involves a person's ability to bring the clubhead back against the ball consistently and squarely, to hit it "on the screw" every time, without any great conscious deliberation.
Doing exactly the same thing over and over is the object here, and to achieve it a player sets up his swing path, plane, or groove, so that each swing does not result in a renewed attempt to find the ball.
Picture A Wheel
The wheel's radius is an imaginary line running from the top end of the spine out to the ball.
Thus the outer rim of the wheel is the clubhead.
The hands and arms are like wire spokes which turn this rim.
The axle is the spine itself. The head is the hub.
The wheel is tipped to different angles for different clubs.
Its flattest plane of rotation is about 45° for the longest club, the driver.
If My Grip (2002) By Bob Toski
"A bad grip makes the proper swing plane harder to set up", writes Paul Runyan.
Here Bob Toski demonstrates why that is so :
IF My Grip By Bob Toski
Instruction by World-Famous Teacher Bob Toski with Andy Nusbaum Director Golf Digest Instruction Schools. Bob Toski Winner of 5 PGA Tour Wins. Buy now on Amazon : Bob Toski Teaches You Golf [DVD]
Reference : Bob Toski's 'Bob Toski Teaches You Golf' DVD, 70 minutes of personal instruction by the world-famous teacher widely recognized as one of the finest instructors the game has ever known, with Andy Nusbaum, Director of Golf Digest Instruction Schools.
Extract from Chapter III, Tee to Green, lesson 7. The Grip: the door to a great swing. Teaching Programme includes Chapter I, On the Green and Chapter II. Around The Green. A Golf Digest Production. Copyright © 2002 Pegasus A division of Eagle Entertainment Limited.
Buy on Amazon : Bob Toski Teaches You Golf [DVD]
"The point is that the old rule is a good one to follow if your habit is slicing. To try to "hit out" is usually a good cure." Robert T. Jones, Jr
How To Teach People Not To Slice (1946)
Feel How To Swing From In-to-Out
"To return to the subject of slice.
The man who gave me my first job as a professional thirty-five years ago was the late H. L. Curtis - father of the present Pro at Queen's Park Bournemouth.
He told me many years later that he was doubtful about giving me the job, but having done so started me off with a very sound piece of advice.
"Now laddie," he said, "if you ever want to make good in this business, you had better find out how to teach people not to slice."
Those were the days before in-to-out!
The feeling that this is the path taken by the club head is essential to a good swing.
I want to help you to feel to swing from in-to-out, a thing of which many people realize the importance without being able to put it in practice.
Firstly, What Is This "In-to-Out"?
It is the feeling of swinging the club head not directly down the line of flight, but from inside this line as the ball is approached to outside the line in the follow through:
Correct 'Feel' Or 'Mind Impression" Of The Swing
Therefore the fact that scientific analysis can prove that at the impact the club head does actually follow the line of flight exactly can be ignored. You play golf by feeling, not by scientific analysis.
This feeling of in-to-out is intimately connected with that other feeling referred to in the chapter on 'Preparatory to the Swing', that of being set inwards and behind the ball.
The long straight drive that covers the pin all the way is the result of a swing which you feel travels from in-to-out.
The point being that, while an exaggerated in-to-out feel gives pull, the correct in-to-out feel gives straightness and no in-to-out (that is the feeling that the club head goes along the line of flight) gives slice.
The advantage of the modern in-to-out swing is seen in both the flight and the run of the ball.
Hit with the correct in-to-out feel, the ball is given the very minimum of backspin - consequently it "floats" through the air and, when it pitches, takes its natural spin forward, instead of kicking sideways as an undercut ball tends to do, as every lawn-tennis player knows."
Reference : 'On Learning Golf' by Percy Boomer. Chapter VIII Preparatory to the Swing and Chapter XIV The Force Center, Copyright © 1946 by Percy Boomer. First published in the USA by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Buy on Amazon : On Learning Golf
The Key Move Left Separates Right SHOULDER Comes Under By Robert Baker
logicalgolf® Double DVD 1 The Long Game featuring Ernie Els. DVD 2 The Short Game featuring Seve Ballesteros. Buy this Double DVD on Amazon : Logical Golf With Robert Baker [DVD]
Down And Under, Inside To Out (1986) By Phil Rodgers
"The inside-to-out swing path is created to a large extent by the steady straightening of the left leg and turning of the left side.
Remember the sequence of movements to initiate the downswing begins with the lower body.
The uncoiling is "fired" by dropping the raised left foot onto its heel.
This starts the weight transfer, which is almost complete before the left leg straightens.
You want to feel a very distinct straightening of the left knee through impact. I hesitate to use the word lock, but the knee comes very close to that.
The left hip turns away from the ball most effectively when the left leg straightens.
THE LEFT HIP NEVER SLIDES PAST THE BALL.
This straightening and turning action automatically drops the right side into the underhand-toss position. And when you go underhand, you must also go inside to out with the club; it is essentially an automatic response.
The club is already well inside because of the rotation of the body in the backswing. The underhand-toss motion helps to keep the inside-to-out angle."
Reference : Phil Rodgers' book 'Play Lower Handicap Golf', by Phil Rodgers with Al Barkow. Photographs by Steve Szurlej. Foreword by Jack Nicklaus. Copyright © 1986 Phil Rodgers. A Golf Digest Book.
Don't Tuck In Right Elbow For An Upright Swing Plane
"If you seek an upright swing plane, beware of that old tenet about tucking your right elbow into your side on the backswing.
To maintain an upright plane, the left arm must swing away from the body, the left shoulder must move down (not merely around), and the right shoulder must move up and around.
If the right arm hugs the body, the left arm will follow it, and so will the shoulders - the left shoulder will move around rather than down.
Result: Your clubhead will move quickly "inside" your target line, and you will swing "flat", even though you may have set to swing "upright"."
Reference : Jack Nicklaus' book 'Golf My Way The Instructional Classic, Revised and Update' Jack Nicklaus with Ken Bowden. Illustrations by Jim McQueen. Simon & Schuster Paperbacks Copyright © 1974, 2005 Jack Nicklaus Copyright renewed © 2002 by Jack Nicklaus.
Of "that old tenet about", here is what Alex Smith, Open Champion of the United States 1907, teaches about the right elbow on the backswing:
Lesson II Stance, Grip, and Swing With Illustrations 'Lessons in Golf' By Alex Smith, 1907.
"It must be stressed that, with few exceptions, the correct swing is always from 'inside' to 'out'." Arthur d'Arcy Locke
Key Learning Point
"A third requirement for a good shot is that your clubhead be moving more or less at ball level on impact.
Now, it may seem overly simple for me to point out that during the golf swing the clubhead swings up and down and up again, as well as around your body, and it may seem equally obvious that at the bottom of this arc the clubhead should be at ball level.
What may not be obvious, however, is that the clubhead's "angle of attack" toward the ball should not be too steep or too shallow.
If this angle of attack is too steep - too sharply downward - the force of your shot will be predominantly downward rather than forward, and the ball will not travel as far as it should.
Conversely, if your angle of attack is too shallow, you run a big risk of either stubbing the club into the ground behind the ball or catching the ball on your upswing, after your clubhead has already passed the bottom of its arc.
What may also be news to you - even if you are already an experienced golfer - is that your clubhead path directly affects your angle of attack. It does so as follows.
In returning the clubhead to the ball on the downswing, the more from inside the target line the club is moving, the shallower your angle of attack will be.
Conversely, the more your clubhead moves back to the ball from outside the line, the steeper will be its angle of approach to the ball.
It is important for you to understand this relationship of clubhead path to angle of attack in order to understand some of the swing fundamentals we shall examine later."
Reference : 'Let Me teach You Golf As I Taught Jack Nicklaus' Six Fundamentals Jack Grout with Dick Aultman Illustrated by Jim McQueen Atheneum / SMI New York 1975 Copyright © 1975 by Jack Grout and Dick Aultman Designed by Kathleen Carey. Chapter Three Concepts of the Swing.
"Historically speaking, it is not Jones or Sarazen, Snead or Hogan, Littler or Palmer who stand out in my mind as having best mastered the swing plane.
It is Willie (William) Macfarlane, a tall wisp of a man, who looked more like a professor than an athlete.
Willie grooved his swing so well that his idea of a good rousing workout was to stand on the first tee before starting his round and just make four or five passes in the air with his driver to loosen himself up. The last pass might even be a bit vigorous. Then, he would hit the ball down the fairway straight as a string and go on like that throughout the entire round.
Macfarlane was also sound in all the important fundamentals of grip and stance, of course. But his pipeline, monotonous straightness was mostly a product of his unvarying, effortlessly repeated swing plane."
"I've played with other golfers deservedly famous for their straightness - men like Harry Cooper or Mac Smith, to name just two - without really being overawed. If anything, I felt I was even straighter myself. But Willie Macfarlane always made me feel like a wild man. By comparison, I seemed to be zigging and zagging all over the course.
And the reason for his amazing consistency was that he had grooved this rotating wheel, this swing plane, as well as any man I ever saw.
He could always reproduce it and it never wobbled on him or left its track."
Reference :Paul Runyan's book 'Paul Runyan's Book For Senior Golfers', The Swing Plane, Chapter 5. Dodd, Mead & Company, Copyright © 1962 by Paul Runyan.
Pictures of Willie Macfarlane's Swing, the 1925 Open Champion, from the American Golfer, June, 1933, courtesy LA84 Foundation. The first seven pictures cover the action of the backswing, while the eighth shows the initial move in starting it down.
"There is no such thing as an absolute and standard plane for all golfers.
The correct angle for each person's plane depends on how he is built.
A fellow whose legs are proportionately shorter than his arms, for example, necessarily creates a shallow angle for his plane. At the other extreme, a man whose legs are proportionally longer than his arms sets up a very steep angle for himself.
Neither plane, let me repeat, is incorrect.
Technically, it is wrong to term the man who properly swings on a shallow plane a "flat swinger," or the man who properly swings on a steep plane an "upright swinger," simply because their planes happen to be flatter or more upright than the plane of the man of more average proportions.
However, if any golfer permits his arms and his club to drop well below his established plane, then, whether he normally possesses a shallow or steep or an average plane, he would be swinging too flat.
"The backswing plane runs from the ball through the shoulders."
Similarly, if he hoists his club above the line of his plane, he would be swinging too upright.
Perhaps the best way to visualize what the plane is and how it influences the swing is to imagine that, as the player stands before the ball at address, his head sticks out through a hole in an immense pane of glass that rests on his shoulders as it inclines upward from the ball.
IF HE EXECUTES HIS BACKSWING PROPERLY, AS HIS ARMS ARE APPROACHING HIP LEVEL, THEY SHOULD BE PARALLEL WITH THE PLANE AND THEY SHOULD REMAIN PARALLEL WITH THE PLANE, JUST BENEATH THE GLASS, TILL THEY REACH THE TOP OF HIS BACKSWING, HIS LEFT ARM SHOULD BE EXTENDED AT THE EXACT SAME ANGLE (TO THE BALL) AS THE GLASS.
Actually, his left arm should brush against the glass.
As for his shoulders, as they turn on the backswing, the top of the shoulders will continuously be brushing against the glass.
As golf faults go, it it not too injurious if your club and arms travel on a plane a little flatter than the ideal one.
HOWEVER, YOU ARE HEADING FOR DISASTER IF YOU THRUST YOUR ARMS UP ABOVE THE PLANE SO THAT THEY WOULD SHATTER THE PANE OF GLASS"
Reference : Ben Hogan's book on the 'Five Lessons, The Modern Fundamentals of Golf', Copyright © 1957 Ben Hogan. Lesson 3, The First Part of the Swing, page 77.
"Ten years ago I became a professional.
The other night I got out my pencil and started figuring. Estimating that I have instructed and played with an average of two hundred golfers each year means that I have watched and observed over two thousand golfers, ranging from the new beginner to the best players in the country, both in the amateur and professional ranks.
I am not setting this up as a record or an unusual figure. Many professionals, longer in the game than I, could truthfully quote much larger numbers.
But the thing that I do want to emphasize is that I have really watched every golfer I have come in contact with and as a result of this study have learned some things which I believe are really worthwhile...
There are two major things that make a golfer - they have been present in every golfer I have ever observed and lacking in every man who failed to play the game.
Now you may say "I hook" - "I slice" - "I top" - but those things are results, not causes, and my experience shows that if causes are removed proper results follow...
The two big "causes" that my observation leads me to believe are responsible for the majority of golfing ills are a) lack of control of the club; b) hitting outside the line before reaching the ball on the downswing.
Control of the club simply means that the "feel" of the shaft and the clubhead is in the fingers of both hands all through the swing - every second during the shot I know where my club face is - back - up - impact - through a finish - every second. So does every other professional and a great many good amateurs.
Balance takes care of itself when you have the feel of the club. This control the club - or the "feel" of it - is almost impossible to convey to a man who has never had it in golf.
But there is another method, by direct description, of imparting it which I will deal with later (Ed. read full PDF version).
Control of the club is the thing which gives sureness to the shot - which gives mastery of the length and strength of the swing. It ensures timing - crispness- balance - most of the things which good golfers have and poor golfers lack.
So much for control - and you must have control - "feel" - before you can hit on the correct line.
The second thing is hitting outside the line before the club head reaches the ball.
This means you are hitting towards yourself instead of away from you - it makes you struggle to hold your balance at the finish - it may be the result of "looping" - body in too soon or any one of a dozen different things - but it prevents your getting full power into the shot - absolutely excludes the possibility of your hitting on that straight line, "the correct flight path" before and after reaching the ball.
For - this should be explained and understood - the man who has the feeling of "hitting away from himself" does nothing of the kind - he makes his club travel on a straight line at the vital part of the swing - the bottom.
These are the two big things in golf - control of the club - hitting inside the line."
Reference : 'What 2,000 Golfers Have Taught Me' The Young Ravisloe Professional Propounds Some Novel Ideas About the Game' By Eddie Loos, Golf Illustrated, April 1921. Courtesy LA84 Foundation, Digital Library, www.LA84Foundation.org
Find out more about Eddie Loos : Philadelphia PGA Section
"Misconception 17: The path of the clubhead on a correct golf swing is inside-outside.
Reasons: Most of us have been taught to swing inside-outside.
Unfortunately, this is not correct.
If the golfer swings excessively inside-outside, he will push-fade and hook most of his golf shots.
It might feel we are swinging inside-outside, but what really should happen is this: The golf club approaches the ball from inside the target line through impact, and then moves off to the left of the target line after impact.
This occurs because the hands and arms follow the body rotation both on the backswing and downswing. It is this "inward-to straight-to inward" club movement that creates a natural release of the clubhead through impact and divots that point slightly left of the target line."
Reference : 'Appendix 3 Golf Swing Misconceptions by Dr. Jim Suttie, PGA Professional Cog Hill Golf Course Lemont, Illinois, The PGA Manual of Golf by Gary Wiren PGA Master Professional, Ph.D. MacMillan USA Copyright © 1991 by The Professional Golfer's Association of America.
Bobby Locke, Open Champion, explains it this way : "It must be stressed that, with few very specific exceptions, the correct swing is always from 'inside' to 'out'."
Reference : 'Bobby Locke On Golf' By Bobby Locke. Country Life Limited 2-10 Tavistock Street London W.C.2. First published in 1953. Part Two: How I Play Golf, 8. The Long Irons, page 94.
"Now let us see what this underspin is and what it does.
This spin is at the root of all difficulties and all the delights of the game, and yet there are some players - one might even say many - who do not even know that their ball spins at all as they hit it from the tee.
Some fifteen or sixteen years ago scarcely anybody knew that a golf ball ever had any such spin imparted to it by the player; and it was Professor Tait, the father of Mr. F. G. Tait, both now dead, who first studied the matter, and, having done so, proceeded to make many most interesting and scientific calculations as to the flight of the ball in different circumstances.
The basis of the investigations made by the professor, as stated by himself, was an old scientific law, that when an object is poised in still air the atmospheric pressure upon it is equal at all points; and further, that, as had been known for a long time, since the days of Newton, or even before that, when a ball is made to rotate in a current of air, that side of it which is advancing to meet the current is subjected to greater atmospheric pressure than is that which is moving in the direction of the current.
Simplified and applied to golf , this means that when a ball is sliced it spins from left to right, and there is then greater atmospheric pressure from the left, which forces the ball over towards the right.
But when the ball has been pulled from the tee the spin is in the opposite direction, and therefore the extra pressure of the atmosphere is also from the opposite side, with the result that the ball is pressed to the left.
When the ball has been topped, the spin on its front side is in a downward direction, and so the extra air pressure is downwards also, and as in this case there is the force of gravity pulling in the same direction, the downward movement of the ball is very quick and sudden.
Lastly, when the spin given to the ball on the tee is that kind which makes the front side to move in an upward direction, that is to say underspin, the balance of the atmospherical pressure tends to lift it upwards and in the contrary direction to the force of gravity.
A very little thought will show that the result of this must be to keep the ball longer in the air than it would remain in it if there were no underspin, since it is the force of gravity that pulls everything down, and all the time that the ball is in the air it has some of the velocity that was imparted to it on the tee acting upon it until the other forces, chiefly air resistance, exhaust it.
It will be seen, therefore, that pulls, slices, and balls that fly well all arise from the same cause, the rotation of the ball, and that the difference is the direction of the rotation, which is settled by the kind of stroke that the golfer makes.
Therefore the great authority concluded that good driving lies not merely in powerful hitting, but "in the proper apportionment of quite good hitting with such a knack as gives the right amount of underspin to the ball," and one of his calculations was to the effect that, in certain circumstances, a man who imparted underspin to his ball when driving it, might get a carry of about thirty yards more than that obtained by another man who hit hard but made no underspin.
There would, of course, be a great difference in the comparative trajectories of the two balls."
Reference : 'Advanced Golf Or, Hints And Instruction For Progressive Players' By James Braid Chapter XV The Science of The Stroke The Rising Ball, page 227. OPEN CHAMPION, 1901, 1905, AND 1906. With Eighty-Eight Photographs And Diagrams Fifth Edition Methuen & Co. 36 Essex Street W. C. London. Fifth Edition August 1909.
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