Fifty years ago two prominent teachers, Irv Schloss and Don Fischessor joined together and produced a wonderful series on the golf swing. This is the final article
The Dynamics-Irv Schloss
In the preceding lessons, you should have learned to grip the club properly, to take your position to the ball, and turn in the backswing. I hope you have spent some time on these lessons and are able to perform them with professional skill by this time.
If you have not spent the time, and if you are not able to perform them with professional skill, it will do you no good to continue.
I say this because, if you will not have learned your beginning lessons well, the lessons to follow will not produce the quality of result you will expect.
Lee Elder at the top, fulfilling all the factors of a fully `coiled` backswing.
Your first 3 lessons should have you at the top of the backswing properly on balance, with arms extended and muscles under controlled tension, ready to deliver a decisive blow to the ball, continuing on to the follow-through position.
I am going to refer (improperly) to those positions learned as static positions, for want of a better word. I am using the word “static” as you have all the time necessary to assume these positions correctly (at least on the practice tee).
As a comparison the movement can be learned in this, your fourth lesson will be “dynamic” because you will start to experience acceleration, speed, and force.
Irv demonstrates the mechanics he recommends. Like all great teachers, he does as he preaches.
Before you are getting into the movement that makes the forward swing, I want you to understand that you should NOT BE RELAXED, comfortable, or complacent at any time while learning your golf swing, even after you have reached a high level of skill.
The choice of the word “relaxed “is a poor one. A more proper choice of words would be coordination, continuity of movement, attention, alertness, and controlled tension.
I do not want my students relaxed, limp, loose, or comfortable.
In this lesson please examine picture No 1. You will find our model in a good vertical line, effectively wound.
She has used the lower part of her body (below the waistline) as her platform or as her foundation and, because it is a properly-controlled foundation, it has allowed her to respond to the stretch of her arms with a greater turn of the upper body.
Continue to look at the first picture until you realize that every muscle is at “attention”, with the right leg tilted into the center, so allowing the hips to turn, but not slide or shift, to the right.
The late Gordon Brand jnr is perfectly set at the top.
The arms are stretched. The hands are firmly in place and in control of the club.
The club shaft is “along “the line of flight and, most importantly, there is winding between the upper and lower body that will produce a responsive force as soon as the forward swing is initiated.
The position of the left leg is important. The left heel can be on the ground, as shown, or the heel can be up from the ground about an inch but in relatively the same position.
Looking at picture No 1(and Gordon Brand Jnr.) you should feel that both are ready to deliver a very decisive, well-controlled blow to the ball.
Now, look at picture No 6. You should be just as impressed with our subject’s vertical balance. You should be just as impressed with the firmness of position.
The lower body is still the foundation, but the upper body has been pulled further through because of the speed developed through the swinging movement.
Notice that the left leg has been wound-twisted straight with the resistance on the outside of the shoe. Moving to this position has allowed the body to grow tall.
Now to learn this very important lesson.
Look at picture No 1. Have you practiced and learned your preceding lessons well enough to be in this position at the top of your backswing? If yes – then go in this position and practice moving to the position shown in picture No 6. Do this with the hands in control of the club.
Understand you are not to use your wrists or to hit with the club head at all. Move from position no 1 to No 6 slowly, touching the ground as the club head passes the ball area. Do this often until you are sure of touching the ground and arriving at position No 6 nearly perfectly every time.
Now do the same exercise while slowly increasing acceleration, with emphasis on the greatest speed being reached just passed where the ball position would be – but never so fast that your balance is affected or you are swinging beyond your limits of control.
1970-A regular pupil of Irv demonstrates the simple approach Irv advised.
There should be no feeling of hitting at anything, nor any feeling of physical force being applied.
Practice this drill as often as your time and interest will allow.
When you feel you become proficient – check pictures No 2, 3, 4, and 5. These are the positions you should be going through.
Click on the images to expand
Your acceleration is increased in the sequence. Because of the position you have assumed at the top of the backswing, picture No 1, your legs will first move towards the target as if they are going to walk.
As in picture No 2, your body, around its vertical axis, will spin until the position shown in picture No 6 is reached.
Your arms add leverage, and your wrists are the fulcrum/ pivotal point that allows the club/ shaft/ head to catch up from the impact area to the finish (pictures No 3, 4, 5, and 6).
BE CAREFUL NOT TO LET THIS CATCHING UP OCCUR CONSCIOUSLY BEFORE BALL POSITION (picture No 3) IS REACHED.
You should be looking at the BACK INSIDE of the ball. You should be striking the ball on the BACK INSIDE segment.
Your right shoulder should be kept from coming to the line of flight (as in Pictures No 2 and 3) until after contact is made with the ball, and it should then move under the chin as in pictures No 4, 5, and 6.
The right foot should come off the ground on the inside sole as in pictures No’s 2,3,4,5 and 6.
U.S. Masters winner Fuzzy Zoeller