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The Three Essentials Of The Golf Swing
Now to my mind the foregoing are the three basic feels of the golf swing—the pivot, the shoulders moving in response to the pivot, and the arms moving in response to the shoulders. These are the basic movements of a connected and therefore controlled swing, and they must all be built into the framework of your feel of the swing. Of course there are many additional nuances and supplementary feels which you will build up and recognize as your game develops, but though you will add to these three fundamentals you will never alter them. Therein lies much of their value. You will get used to taking a sly look at them occasionally as you go round the course, and so long as you keep these three primary feels right, nothing much will go wrong with your game. Also because we are working from a secure basis we can now begin to notice the nuances and subtleties.
We find that we produce purer shots from one sensation than from another only slightly different. We are enticed to arrange our back swing according to the type of shot we wish to produce: an extra pivot if we wish to pull or a restricted pivot if we wish to slice. But please notice that this will not be a conscious, mechanical control—you will not say to yourself, "I wish to slice slightly so I will restrict my swing to an arc of so many degrees," you will simply alter your swing unconsciously in response to your feeling of what will produce the shot you want. Now we might break off at this point. I realize that I have already given you plenty to think of and to work at.
But there is a development in your game or in your way of playing it that I want to prepare you for; so, for that reason and for the sake of analyzing the matter out to its logical conclusion I add the following. After a while by dint of pivoting correctly, not dipping our shoulders (i. not lifting with the arms), we begin to play some good shots, nice and straight and reasonably long. We have arrived at this stage by building on the basic trinity—pivot, shoulders up, and width—and by occasionally taking a sly peep at how they are going. So far we have never consciously produced a good shot; we have merely made certain mechanical movements which we have been taught will result in good shots. But now we begin to realize how we should feel in order to produce a good shot. We are on the other side of the fence. We know now what it feels like to produce a good shot, and now, instead of preparing for a shot by sly looks at our pivot etc., we instinctively get into the position which we feel will produce a good shot.
And as we go on, the feeling of this preparatory state comes more and more into the foreground. If your game does go wrong, if the shots which you thought you had mastered desert you, all you need to do is to go back to the feel of these three basic points. You just take a peep back at them, and then with one or two shots your mechanism will feel familiar again— and all the other supplementary feels which you have built up by practice will be enticed back.