The player, especially the beginner, must get rid of the idea of the importance of the follow-through in golf. A totally disproportionate place is given to this part of the stroke in the minds of most people. The follow-through, by which we mean the proper completion of the stroke after contact with the ball has ceased, is in itself of no practical importance.
Let me illustrate this clearly. A man may have played a magnificent drive both as regards length and direction and his follow-through may have been perfect. Supposing now for the sake of argument that a stray bullet had caught the head of his club, at say six inches after the ball had left it and had smashed it to pieces, the result of his stroke would have been just as good. The importance of a good follow-through is that it is an indication that the first part of the stroke was well played. The pace of the drive at golf is so great, that, provided one plays the first part of it up to the impact correctly, it is almost impossible to have a bad follow-through.
Players may be excused for thinking that the follow-through has an influence on the flight of the ball, although obviously nothing that the club does after impact can affect the carry, for James Braid himself subscribes to this delusion. He says: "The success of the drive is not only made by what has gone before, but it is also due largely to the course taken by the club after the ball has been hit."
I can remember playing a very good drive across a small river and about two hundred yards up a hill on the other side. The tee was within a few yards of the river. The force of my drive smashed my club head off at the splice and carried it away into the river, but I had never played a better shot at this hole, nor did I ever do so afterwards. If I had ever suffered from the delusion about the follow-through affecting the stroke this would have cured me. Every golfer who has played a little has experienced, or seen, or heard of, similar incidents to that which I have told. Its importance lies in the fact that one can use it to expel the follow-through bogey, which is dangerous, for it takes the sufferer's mind forward to a part of the stroke that, comparatively speaking, is unimportant and removes it from the portion that is all-important.