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A.J.Lacy- Power swinger of the thirties.

Before their time 2.

Born 20 May 1904 – Died 6 August 1979 In addition to being a popular and confident character who featured in two Ryder cups, Arthur James Lacy was also known as a long driver and good striker of the ball. When listening to his thoughts it is no surprise that his swing has a number of similarities with the power hitters of today.


The swing and game Lacy developed was a truly natural self-taught one, developed on the courses his greenkeeping father worked on ( Burnham beeches in Buckinhamshire and Ilfield, West Sussex).

Arthur Lacey preferred to show rather than analyze his pupils, but a few written articles can be found which are worth studying to understand the reasoning that helped to create such a natural powerful swing.

Click on the image to expand

THE SPEED OF THE SWING

A.J.Lacy

(A shortened version of an article written in 1937).

The relative advantages of a quick swing or slow one have alway provided one of the big controversies of golf. ` Taking the club back too quickly` is one of the stock explanations for a bad shot, but it is used too often. It is no coincidence that many of the best players tend towards the faster side.


If I consider fast tempo swingers, competitors like Gene Sarazen, Walter Hagen and Alf Padgham are just some of the players who come to mind. On the other side both Harry Vardon and Bobby Jones are very slow swingers, and the example of two such artists may seem to settle the argument once and for all; but I am not so sure.


Arthur Lacy played in the Ryder cups of `33 and `37 and captained the British side in1951. Lacy had first hand knowledge of the Hagen swing in his match at Southport, where he lost by a margin of 2 and 1 (Click on the image to enlarge).

"I believe that players with such natural tempo and beautiful timing are just born that way. A slow tempo swing is the most difficult thing in the world to develop.

Average players who try to swing slowly just lose length and become more inconsistent."




"I believe if a player can keep his balance and can swing the club back without many `kinks` in the arc, speed is absolutely essential (click on the image to enlarge).




"I am always saddened by slow swinging amateur players who cannot play in high winds. Not only are such golfers short off the tee, but any sign of rhythm quality is quickly lost to the elements before the first hole is over.

A slower swing is also prone to more error as it will often `slacken off` at contact. The smaller muscles will become more active throughout and produce different effects on every shot.

The fact is that most of us playing professional golf are faster swingers. Length is so important nowadays where courses are stretched to their maximum distances." Lacey-1937






"My final advice is to use the shoulder turn to gain the speed. If the shoulders are allowed to turn freely and the grip is good the club will follow."-A.J.Lacy


Most swing students who read this short article will be impressed by the `modern` thoughts of A.J Lacy. In fact his approach was no different to much of the advice given by good players from before and after his era in the 1930s.

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