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Great teachers of the past Johnny Revolta- The short game kings-1

Born 1911 in St. Louis

Not a long hitter of the golf ball Johnny Revolta made up for his lack of length by developing a deadly short game.

Although known for his teaching ability it was Johnny`s short game knowledge that brought the pupils of all calibers from afar. The great short game guru Paul Runyon proclaimed Johnny to be the best bunker player of all time.

The classic chip shot-Johnny Revolta

Johnny sets up to the ball with both feet turned a little inwards or to the left. His knees/weight is slightly set on the left side. He holds down the grip for more feel and lightly "squeezes" his upper arms to his torso. His action is firm wristed while he makes sure he keeps the handle in front of the ball and brushes the ground.

The bunker swing-Johnny Revolta

Johnny uses the same mechanics we are still using in the bunker today. Perhaps the most important element in this bunker demonstration is how Johnny cuts across the ball holding the clubface open. His through swing is a little bit shorter than the actions we see today in the modern professional's motion, but otherwise, it is essentially the same. For a fantastic article on the bunker swing history with plenty of film material click the link

One of Johnny`s biggest swing thoughts

Johnny writes in his classic book-"Short cuts to better golf" that "the most important thought in golf is the finish, and here`s why-if you finish high it is almost a sure thing that you have swung back and through the ball properly. And that friends is all there is to a good swing." Johnny Revolta

The Revolta waggle

It is interesting that the great Ben Hogan adopted Johnny Revolta's waggle system. All though nothing new in golf and has a history dating back to the turn of the century ( see Abe Mitchell ), what made Revolta`s ideas unique was how he had different waggles for different strokes.

For instance, to produce maximum bite on a green after hitting over a bunker, Revolta would waggle, short, repeating strokes. The type of waggle would be a preparation for the type of shot intended.

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John Mule'
John Mule'
Jul 23, 2022

As always, nicely done Bill. I remember Mr. Revolta working with many of the LPGA stars (Betsy Cullen, Shirley Englehorn, etc.) back in the day. This inspired me to put in more work on my chipping and bunker play. I've never read one of his books. Think I'll pick one up soon.

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Well I acquired one of his books to make sure I was clear on his approach- it surprised me how up-to-date he was. Book is definitely worth buying, although mine is only a facsimile version as originals are difficult to get. Thanks for other info John-I might include it if I expand this article-which I probably will.

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