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The Des Smythe swing-the reverse "C," and why it is not representative of past teaching methods.

A still taken from the Des Smythe film. Everything conventional?

Many believe the swings of the past are inferior to those of today.

A closer study will contradict that opinion. The basic elements have always been the same. Centering, width or radius, and contact area are all comparable.

Yet there have been periods where an idea or method `tinkers` with those basics. One such period was in the seventies and eighties. It became popular to slide the left knee in the forward swing instead of allowing it to make the semi-circle movement it should be naturally doing. The end result was a pronounced bending of the back and spine with the right shoulder unable to come around and eventually point towards the target. It was a players thing. Of course, when the top players started doing it the teachers followed.

Jack Nicklaus uses artistic license

Some of the great players were making this move. Perhaps the most notable of all was Jack Nicklaus. In fact, it caused a big discussion in one of the PGA members seminars. It was the author of the teaching manual Gary Wiren who answered the question of why the Golden Bear was doing this.


"It is a master of his trade demonstrating his artistic license."

Tiger at the end of the second millenium. No hanging back here.

In the long course of swing evolution it proved to be a mere blip in the story. It appeared, and unlike some repeating theories that refuse to go away, then disappeared forever.

Well into career and still "doing it."

Enjoy the early high-speed film of Des Smythe. A winner on the European tour and former Ryder Cup team player. Des kept his reverse `C` for all of his long career, and continued to win on the senior tour until retirement.

All photographic and film material is under copyright law.

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