Thursday, 8 December 2016

Bobby Jones on Hitting From the Inside

Bobby Jones wrote in his book, Bobby Jones on Golf, about a certain Mr. Alexander Revell who took lessons from Johnny McDermott and was told to swing the club through the ball out towards the right edge of the fairway. The result, for him, was straight drives. 

Bobby then spoke about the idea of an iside to out swing, which many view to be the way to do business. He wrote:

    "J. Douglas Edgar was the first man I remember to have enunciated the doctrine of the inside-out swing, although apparently McDermott had used the idea before. Edgar even devised a 'gateway' through which he made his pupils swing. I am not certain that his lessons with it were always successful, for I know numbers of his pupils in Atlanta who religiously followed him, and nearly all of them were chronic hookers.
     I have always thought that the ideal stroke propelled the club through the ball directly on the line of flight. I cannot conceive that a straight shot could be hit in any other way. Necessarily, the club cannot follow this imaginary line for any great distance, but it is only important that it do so during the time it is in contact with the ball, while the club head is travelling less than an inch.
     Methods differ in detail among individuals, but the mechanical requirements of a perfect drive do not vary. As Mr. Revell obtained goid results by attempting to swing out toward the right edge of the fairway, so I, at Minikahda in 1927, managed to drive well employing exactly opposite tactics. All during the National Amateur Championship of that year, I was resisting a tendency to hook, evidently caused by hitting the ball too briskly from the inside. My straight shots resulted when I attempted to swing my hands toward the left edge of the fairway.
     In any event, the straight shot is accomplished by the straight hit. But the individual plays by 'feel.' In applying the principle of correction by exaggeration, by trying to swing in one direction, he merely avoids swinging in another. in other words, by trying to hit from the inside, the player really dies no more than avoid hitting from the outside."

So, if your tendency is to hit slices, you might benefit from trying to hit from the inside, towards the right edge of the fairway for a right-handed golfer. By doing this you will stop hitting from the outside, which causes the slice. On the other hand, should you actually succeed in hitting from the inside, the result can only be a hook, a push, or, best case scenario, a draw. The straight shot reults from the club head striking the ball squarely with the club moving straight down the target line. It's science.

That Bobby Jones was one really smart character.