Why do some small men attain greater distance hitting the golf ball than some big men? It is simply because they have the ability to use the muscles most important in golf to the fullest degree. As a result they create the greatest possible clubhead speed within the proper arc.
The loss of the correct path of the swing is caused by the golfer's using the "big muscles" when he starts his downswing. Using them gives him a fallacious sense of power, but what it actually does is to throw him into the wrong arc, and this results in a top, a pull, a slice or a weak hit. These big muscles, the strongest in the body except for those in the legs, are in the shoulders and back. These must be inactive when you start the downswing. Keeping them inactive is what produces a delayed action at the top of the swing which is apparent in the technique of all good players.
When a golfer acquires the ability to start the downswing without using the destructive big muscles in the shoulder and back—particularly on the right side—his arc will improve and he has an increasing chance to cultivate the coordination of the proper muscles. These muscles do not feel as powerful as the big muscles but they actually create much greater clubhead velocity. In our day-to-day lives, a right-handed person uses his right side without deliberation for almost everything he does. In golf, to gain a balancing use of the left side, so necessary to the swing, a golfer must understand the necessity of suppressing the strong right-side muscles which otherwise would dominate the swing.
BILL WOTHERSPOON, Southern Hills CC, Tulsa
NEXT WEEK: Dave Mart on putting spin on the ball