The real demand of golf is for extreme mechanical accuracy. There are many reasons for this. The striking face of the golf club is the smallest surface used for such a purpose in any field sport, the golf ball is the smallest ball used in any ball game, and, with the exception of polo, the ball is farther removed from the line of vision than in any ball game that I can call to mind. It follows that the margin for error is extremely small.

Of course against these disabilities we have the fact that the golfer is always playing a stationary ball, but even when this is taken into consideration, it will be seen that there is not in the golf stroke much room for haphazard methods or guess-work, particularly when one is playing such a stroke as the slice, wherein, on account of the glancing blow, the margin for error is even less than in the ordinary stroke.

I am emphasizing these points here because one is frequently told, as we have already seen, by persons whose words ought to carry authority, that the slice is played by drawing the hands in towards one at the moment of impact. Nothing could be further from the truth and nothing could be better devised utterly to spoil the correct execution of the stroke. Such a performance would tend to arrest the club head at the very moment when it must be traveling, unrestrained in any way whatever, back in the arc which one decided on as its track the moment one started it on its upward journey from the ball.

This is the truth about the production of the slice. If any one is suffering from producing it consistently and involuntarily there are many ways of trying to cure him; as many cures, I should say, as there are varieties of the disease.

The outstanding suggestion, of course, is to moderate one's stance, to get back by degrees to the normal open stance, or even, if necessary, beyond it. Again one's hands may be wrong and the grip may perhaps be altered with advantage, but each case has almost to be judged on its own merits. I have, however, cured many a case of slicing without even seeing the sufferer handle a club by risking the guess that he was not on his left foot firmly enough at the moment of impact, and by impressing on him most forcibly the importance of being solidly on his left foot at the top of his drive, in his case to have an extra fourteen to eighteen pounds on it if necessary over and above the weight on his right foot. This nearly always means bringing them "through" the ball and out after it a bit more than they are accustomed to. It is extremely easy to slice if one anchors the weight instead of letting it go down the line just as one is hitting the ball.

Another exercise that helps some people is to run a chalk mark in the line from the hole, to place the ball on it, and to drive from it, taking care that in the swing back the club never gets any farther away from one than in the address. If this does not correct the fault, start the swing by coming in from the line of flight directly there is the least tendency on the part of the arms to pull the club-head in, which, if one is playing correctly, is almost immediately the club head leaves the ball. Theoretically the club-head leaves the line of flight and comes in towards the player's side of it the instant it leaves the ground, nor does it return to the line until the actual moment of impact ; for the plane of the irregular ellipse formed by the travel of the club-head only coincides for a very short distance with the plane of the ball's flight. This is another reason for having a fairly comprehensive idea of what it is we are trying to do when we start driving; for unless we did move out bodies forward, as advised by Vardon, on to the ball, we should actually have the head of the driver in the line to the hole but for about an inch. We must therefore see to it that we try our utmost to cultivate the art of timing our bodies on to the ball but not on to the follow-through. That is a matter that will attend to itself.

We have seen now how the slice is produced, and what it is that causes the ball to curve away to the right. The spin on a golf ball, unless the ball has been grievously miss-hit, is nearly always dominated by the pace of the ball. It is when the pace begins to die away that the spin shows its mischievous qualities if there is enough of it to

JAMES BRAID Playing out of a Bunker

© Illustrations Bureau, N. Y.

JAMES BRAID Playing out of a Bunker.

be mischievous. Then it is astonishing to see how the ball, especially if the wind assists it, will career away to the right and probably end by hiding itself in a most inconvenient place in the rough.

If however the ball should land on the fair green and not too near the edge of the course one has a fair chance of escaping trouble, for the slice does not run so freely as its more esteemed relation, the pull. The reason for this is not very generally understood, but it is simple, and may in some ways be helpful, so I give it here.

In dealing with what took place while the ball and the club were in adhesion I referred to the fact that sometimes the slice is played as the club is returning downwards and across the line of flight, and I explained the resultant tilt that is given to the axis of spin. It will be seen that in the spin of an ordinary slice the axis is almost vertical, but generally lying back a little. When it gets that little extra tilt I spoke of, the axis of spin of the sliced ball towards the end of its carry almost exactly coincides with the line of its flight. This is almost equivalent to having a peg top come down, let us say at an angle of thirty-five degrees and with the peg sticking out toward the spot to which it is going. Certainly the peg is not visible in the case of the golf ball. It is invisible, but the effect is there-to a less extent, of course, but it is there.

Every spinning thing tries very hard to stay in the plane of its rotation. This is the secret of the gyroscope. The sliced ball is no exception to the rule. It strives as hard as it can to remain in the plane of its rotation. As the axis of rotation coincides with the line of the ball's flight it follows that the plane of spin of the sliced ball is squarely across the line of its travel, therefore the moment the ball lands that rotation fights to the last turn before it consents to allow the sliced ball to turn over in the way that will allow it to roll sideways off the course. This explanation may make a little clearer to my readers why it is that a properly regulated slice gives control of the run especially on heavy ground.

There is an exaggerated form of the slice that may more aptly be termed "a reverse pull" that produces a different effect on landing. In this stroke the ball, generally by accident, is struck more as the club is coming up. This produces a different effect on the run of the ball, which then has more of the nature of the pull in its run.

The outstanding characteristics of the sliced ball are its sudden rise, high flight, curve to the right and its restricted run. The sudden rise of the slice has not been satisfactorily explained. Personally (in addition to the fact that one frequently and unconsciously increases the natural loft of the club) I think it is attributable to the fact that the axis of spin is oblique, and that almost the whole of the forward and bottom part of the ball is revolving so as to get a lot of friction instead of, as in the ordinary case of a spinning ball, getting it only on one side. This I think must tend to push the ball up a good deal.

It would be easy for me to describe to you how to play dogs-legs and elbows, and around clumps of trees, and how to hold up against the sides of hills, all by the help of the slice, but I shall not do so. I have told you enough to assist you to learn and understand the shot. If you put it into practise to the extent of learning the stroke so as to be able to produce it in the rare cases where it really is the best stroke to use you will understand that I was wise to leave all that other stuff out.