Of all the parrot cries of the links "Slow back" is perhaps the most insistent and also one of the most unnecessary. When once one has got one's swing under control, to insist on one's going back slowly, and to think of doing it, is merely adding another difficulty to the swing.

It is unnecessary to go back more slowly than just enough to ensure that there is no conflict of forces at the top of the swing when the upward swing ceases and the downward swing begins.

In a natural swing it is quite unlikely that there will be any conflict for a peculiar reason that has not, so far as I am aware, ever been stated in a golf book or an article on golf. The downward swing really starts before the upward swing is finished.

This is a paradoxical statement but it is quite sound as any one who is sufficiently interested can prove by a close study of motion pictures. The body leads the hands and arm in the return stroke. It starts to twist back towards the ball before the club has dropped to the lowest point over the player's left shoulder. I believe I am correct in saying that this is the first time this has ever been brought out.

It will thus be seen that even in the quickest of drives, unless the action is quite stiff and unnatural, there is not, as is usually supposed, a moment at the top of the swing when the upward swing gives place suddenly to the downward. As a matter of fact, the one merges in the other in such a remarkable manner that it would be impossible to say where or when the downward swing begins. Any student of golf who thinks that he can do this will find his time well spent with action photographs of the famous golfers of the world at the top of their swing.



There can be no doubt that the top of the swing is a critical position. If one arrives at the correct position there one has a reasonably good chance of returning correctly to the ball. It will therefore be seen that one must in swinging back be careful not to do so with undue speed for in that case there would be a chance of introducing an element of unsteadiness into the swing at a point where it is especially undesirable.

There is an excellent reason against "Slow back" which one does not very often hear advanced. It is impossible to preserve anything like rhythm in the swing if one consciously tries to make one half of it much slower than the other. Anything of this nature should be by sub-conscious effort, otherwise the due relation of the upward and downward swing is lost. This ancient "slow-back" maxim is perhaps the first thing to forget in making the golf stroke.