top of page

Part two of a teaching session with two top teachers of the 1960s?- Don Fischesser and Irv Schloss.

A set of four short films of Don Fischesser demonstrating the swing accompanied by Irv Schloss's writings.

Position to the ball :

Irv Schloss writes “what you are going to learn in this lesson together with what you have learned in the first lesson is about sixty percent of all my teaching.

There are some things in a golf swing that you can learn immediately and to a high degree of perfection. The subjects of my first and second lesson fall into this category. Do not shortcut lessons or take liberty because they seem easy.

An old-time professional once said to me, “Position in life is everything.” I say proper position in golf is sixty percent of what you must learn. Without a proper position in golf, everything else you do could be wasted.

Golf is unlike baseball, tennis, or other sports in which you need to strike or catch a moving object. In golf, the ball is still. Your goal is fixed so you have the advantage of being able to position yourself for it very accurately.

I suggest your approach to the ball from the back holding the club in your right hand

As long as you have this adventure, make use of it. Assume your address posture and grip to the best of your ability – it is very easy to do correctly.

I have found one of the worst obstacles to learning golf is forgetting, and the easiest way to remember is to put your moves to numbers.

People are used to counting in sequence and they can remember the moves that go with the numbers.

In establishing your position to the ball, you will need a count of 4 numbers and, by examining the four pictures accompanying this article, you should be able to assume your position correctly and quickly.

In picture 1 and for count number 1 – I suggest your approach to the ball from the back holding the club in your right hand and squaring the club up to the target.

Strangely enough, with wood clubs, the club should be squared up by squaring the shaft of the club and leaving the club head to rest flat on the ground.

Be careful if the ground is not flat – make necessary adjustments so the clubhead is held where it would be if the ground was flat.

In the case of iron clubs, align the bottom edge of the iron head at a right angle to the line of flight.

In picture number 2 and count 2 – when you are as sure as you can be of the alignment, then place your hands on the club as you learned in our previous lesson, still not attempting to place your feet, but being sure your hands are correctly and firmly placed.

You are now ready to measure your distance away through the feel in your hands and arms, ready for phase 3.

Picture number 3 and 4 – The feet are placed for a wooden club, which is just inside the left heel. They are on a line slightly open to the line of flight (meaning that the toe of the left foot is about one inch further from the line of flight than the right foot and the toe is pointing very slightly towards the target).

The right foot should be about square to the line of flight (regardless of how it may look in the picture)

For irons, position the ball in the center of your feet. Stance is “up”, and arms are extended.

Weight is evenly distributed.

You must be in good vertical balance, over enough from the waist and down enough in the knees to reach the ground with the club, but not stooped at the waist or squatted from the knees. The hips are very turned very slightly left.

Count number 4 has to do with a force that will hold you centered. In picture number 3, you may be able to see the knees trained in (as in a knock-kneed position) to feel a slight pressure on the inside of the thighs and on the inside soles of your shoes.

Read this lesson over often until you understand all of it. Practice the count until you know it by heart.

Irv teaching a favourite pupil

Work with your partner or a professional until you reach a high degree of perfection because you should achieve a mark 0f 9.5 or higher (out of 10) for your address posture and grip.

Until you accomplish these positions correctly you will not be able to proceed further with the fewest possible obstacles.

Learn all of this on the practice tee until you can do it automatically on the course. Remember you must hold your place on the golf course. It is not good golf etiquette to hold others up while you are learning any part of the game.

Donald Fischesser was awarded the Horton Smith award in 1967 while teaching at Evansville country club in Indiana. His son Doug played in the Walker Cup and competed in the Masters two times but never turned Professional.

For part one of this series click on this link.

300 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page