Practically all books and all professional golfers teach the distribution of weight in the golf swing incorrectly. This is a very broad and sweeping statement but it is a fact. The distribution of weight particularly in the drive is of vital importance. All the greatest golfers say that at the top of the swing the weight must be on the right leg. This is quite wrong, and if one follows their instructions, it is a physical impossibility.

What one must try for is to have the weight absolutely evenly distributed between the legs at the top of the swing. If one tries for this the major portion of the weight will go where it ought to be, namely, onto the left leg and not onto the right.

The great golfers tell us that at the top of the swing all the weight goes onto the right leg. This is very bad golf. Since I exposed the fallacy of this statement some of them now go to the other extreme and say that it must all be borne on the left foot. This is probably a worse error. The truth lies between these extremes. Try for equal distribution and one will get a slight excess on the left foot, which is as it should be.

This matter is however of so much importance that we must, in dealing with the drive, give it further attention.

The golf stroke a sweep and not a hit.

Probably the most remarkable misconception on the part of the most famous golfers and authors is the wonderful idea that the golf drive is a sweep and not a hit.

I may mention incidentally that one of the most eminent scientists in England measured the duration of the drive in golf and found it to be one ten-thousandth of a second. This, I may mention parenthetically, is truly a gentle sweep!

This idea of sweeping the ball off the tee has been encouraged to an amazing extent by all the leading professionals and writers, even by J. H. Taylor, whose terrific right forearm punch is so famous.

James Braid also encourages the idea. In Chapter VIII (Driving) of How to play Golf he says: "The chief thing to bear in mind is that there must be, in the case of play with the driver and the brassie, no attempt to hit the ball, which must be simply swept from the tee and carried forward in the even and rapid swing of the club. The drive in golf differs from almost every other stroke in every game in which the propulsion of a ball is the object. In the ordinary sense of the word, implying a sudden and sharp impact, it is not a 'hit' when it is properly done."

This really is a very remarkable statement. If one ten-thousandth of a second is not a sufficiently "sudden and sharp impact" to warrant the golf stroke being called a hit I should like to know what speed is demanded before we go from the realm of the sweep into that of the hit.

As a matter of simple fact and plain common sense the stroke in golf, except possibly in the put, is a hit and not a sweep. Even in the properly played put it is open to argument whether or not it is technically a hit. With many, who are usually unreliable putters, it undoubtedly is a hit, but that matter we must consider more fully in another place.

This strangely persistent delusion about the golf stroke being a sweep has ruined the game of many thousands of players. I do not know of any stroke in the whole realm of athletics wherein, at the moment of impact, the striking implement is traveling so fast as the golf club does at that time, yet I never heard of this very silly claim being set up in tennis, cricket, polo, or indeed, in any other game. I am glad to say that the development of modern thought is tending to restrain these flights of imagination and that the player is getting every day a greater chance to be himself, to play the game as every game that is worthy of the name should be played-naturally and unaffectedly.