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As instructed in the Presentation Edition of Rights and Wrongs of Golf, by Bobby Jones, 1935.

Bobby Jones FinishYour Address Position:  Bobby notes that ease, comfort, and relaxation are above all else will determine a player’s ability to start the swing with a smooth motion, one void of breakdowns inherent from tense and muscle-strained force.  To go a bit farther Bobby states, “the player should feel himself alert, sensitive to impulses, and ready to move in either direction.”  He continues ” The other point is that the toes of both feet should

Bernard Darwin ShotToday we have many choices of clubs for our fairway shots. But in Darwin’s day, in this case 1912, they really depended on the spoon (3 wood), the cleek (long iron), and the mashie (short iron). This included trouble shots, like difficult downhill lies.

The down-slope, the hated the hanging lie. The exact degree of unpleasantness will be dependent not only on this steepness of the hanging lie

Back in 1921 the Hunter name had considerable weight in Scotland. That was because Charley Hunter, Dave Hunter’s father, was in charge of the demanding links at Prestwick, the site of the first (British) Open. Dave Hunter wrote a book titled Golf Simplified; Cause and Effect, which was published in 1922.

Hunter was told by his father that the most important thing he could teach to others was the critical nature of PRONATING. That is, the proper turning of the wrists and forearms at the beginning of the swing. Let’s take some excerpts from Hunters book to learn his ideas about pronating. Following is his [abbreviated] discussion of the swing and pronation. 

One of our most entertaining television commentators is Peter Alliss. His refined English accent convinces us that he knows what he’s talking about. As a matter of fact, he does. Peter turned pro in 1946 and won 19 professional victories, including three times British PGA Champion. Peter also was an accomplished match player, with an eight-time Ryder cup record of 10-15-5 beginning in 1953, and winner of the European Vardon Trophy for low scoring average in 1964 and 1966.

Alex Morrison is your consonant professional in 1930, and a golf instructor with a huge following. Among hisbook credits are these:morrison a new way to better golf

 

A New Way to Better Golf

1932, Simon and Schuster

 

 

morrison pcoket guide to better golf

 

Pocket Guide to Better Golf

1934, Simon and Schuster

 

 

 

morrison better golf without practice

 

Better Golf Without Practice

1940, Simon and Schuster

 Morrison had a strong message, and the ability to express his ideas clearly. When he writes about the golf swing, it's quit convincing... as teachers go.

Golf for Beginners and Others, by Marshall Whitlatch in 1910

The American golf explosion took place in the period from 1898 to 1929, it was a time of golf courses construction, golf club innovation, and spendid coverage in most national magazines.  Golf was featured in stories and ads with beautiful drawing and artful displays, and naturally it was also a time when instructional golf books thrived. Instruction with photos were especially desirable as golf instructors were neither commonplace and often "un-qualified". Often golf was simply a self-taught result; some pretty strange action was followed by some pretty high scores.  So, let's enjoy the teaching of one such self-taught instructor of the era; Whitlach... he was a man of charm and personality to boot!

“I can remember how my lip curled with disdain when I saw the red coats and knickerbockers.”

Much of what we are taught today is recycled from the long past. Of course there are changes too, but not so much in instruction as in the technology that is imbedded in the equipment.

The following excerpts are taken from a book titled Cut Your Score: The Book of Commonsense Golf, by George Lardner, who, lacking great name status wisely got the endorsement of Francis Ouimet, a true hero of golf, who wrote the foreword. Lardner was a keen observer of the mechanics used by the great players of the time and here presents a variety of tips based on those players and their techniques.

Enjoy these excerpts - commonplace errors that golfers make in any era, and keys are suggested that can help overcome each problem.

stymie shotGolf historians recognize the name J.H. Taylor as one of the all time greats. John Henry was he first English born professional to win The (British) Open in 1894. Taylor's Open victory came at Sandwich, in the southeast of England.

George Duncan1Who, exactly, was George Duncan?  In the southeast of England, in Kent, Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club is only a few minutes from Royal St. Georges, which is part of the current British Open rota. The Open has been held at Royal Cinque Ports on two occasions, the first in 1909, when the great J.H. Taylor won his fourth Open victory. The second Open to be hosted by the Cinque Ports club was in 1920 when George Duncan won the championship. Walter Hagen came from America to play in his first British Open that year and finished 53rd in a field of 54. Cinque Ports, incidentally, is rougher, quirkier course than Royal St. Georges, and it is a thrill to play when the wind is up.

Edward Ray, Winner on Both Sides of the Atlantic
His Putting Style Can Work For You, Pipe or Not

The Greatest Game Ever Played is the name of a movie about the 1913 US Open, played in Brookline, MA, and won by an American caddie in a well-contested Championship that went to an extra payoff day to decide the winner. That player was Francis Ouimet, Edward Ted Ray Putting Masterwho went on to an illustrious golfing career as an amateur, and even more important, inspired the nation to take up golf seriously, not simply as an activity reserved for the wealthy.

Ouimet distinguished himself later by forming a Scholarship Fund, which allowed deserving caddies a chance to go to college. Ouimet was held in high esteem across the pond, both as a competitor in team play and ultimately as the first American elected to be Captain of the Royal and Ancient.

And why was it that Ouimet’s victory was so significant? Because the two men that Ouimet tied at the end of 72 holes, were famous British champions in their own right. They were Harry Vardon, generally acknowledged to be the best golfer anywhere, and Ted Ray, who had won The (British) Open at Muirfield the prior year, 1912.

John Adams, author of the book The Parks of Musselburgh, described “Young Willie as a player, designer and manufacturer of clubs and balls, course architect, writer, businessman and personality, was to become one of the outstanding professionals of his generation.”

Willie Park Jr. PuttingSound like anyone you know? It should, for all those adjectives would fit Jack Nicklaus very well.

Unlike Nicklaus, however, Willie Park Junior played in the shadow of his father. Willie Senior won the very first British Open, in 1860, and did it again in 1863, 1866, and 1875.
It took a while, but Young Willie had his turn too, winning The Open in 1887 and again in 1889.

A Great American Amateur

Jerome (Jerry) Travers wjerome-travers1as one of the truly great American amateur players. Born in 1887 and deceased in 1951, his hey-day was between 1907 and 1915. During that period he won the U. S. Amateur in 1907, 1908, 1912, 1913, and was runner up to Francis Ouimet in 1914. On top of that, he won the 1915 U. S. Open, the second amateur to do so.

ERNIE ELS AND RETIEF GOOSEN are not the first great golfers from South Africa; they follow in the footsteps of the ever-enduring Black Knight, Gary Player. And Gary Player followed in the footsteps of Bobby Locke, an amazing player in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s who constantly had to overcome obstacles and jealousy on his way to becoming an international player of prominence. Bobby Locke Putting

Why write about Bobby Locke at this particular time? Because he won the British Open in 1949 at Royal St. George’s and that’s where it will return this year.

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