There is no mystery about what the arms and wrists do in the upward swing. I have spoken of the press forward. This is not an essential, but I do believe that it is useful. The hands are advanced so that they go forward of the ball a few inches just before the club is raised from the ground. It does, I think, tend to stop the hands getting away before the club head; moreover it feels comfortable. The next thing is to pick your club up naturally, holding it tightly with both hands, and to hit the ball, still holding it tightly with both hands.

Of course there is a good deal that goes on in the meantime, but one of the greatest secrets of successful driving is to avoid monkeying round with your grip while you are making the stroke. The grip with which you left the ball is the grip with which you want to return to it. There must be no thought of any modification of it, any loosening up here or tightening there, giving the forefinger a holiday here and the thumb there. Cut out all that nonsense, for your grip is your grip, and, once having taken it, you must abide by it.

There is another advantage in holding firmly to the shaft when once one has got the right grip. It does not give one so much chance to use the wrist wrongly, which is an outstanding fault with beginners, especially those who change their grip as the club is going up or coming down. Moreover it tends to prevent over swinging which comes so naturally to those who loosen up and lose control of the club at that most critical point, the top of the swing.

Having taken a firm hold of the club with both hands, swing it easily and naturally back until it reaches a horizontal position behind your head and within a few inches of your neck. When you get up to this position you will still have a firm hold of the club, it will be pointing towards the hole, the shaft being nearly parallel to the line from the ball to the hole and the toe of it will be hanging down towards the earth and slightly nearer the line of flight than the heel.

EDWARD RAY Playing an Approach Shot

EDWARD RAY Playing an Approach Shot.

Now, in bringing the club up to this position you have used a good deal of what is called wrist action, only it is not wrist action. You have turned your forearms. Some people call it the roll of the forearm. Those who want you to think they know a lot about anatomy talk of pronation and supination. The roll of the forearm will do for us.

If you have allowed your forearms to roll naturally, you will find when you get to the top of the swing that your wrists are underneath the shaft of the club, and in such a position that if your club were an ax, you could strike a good hefty blow at a block of wood in a line with your right shoulder and about four feet away from it. This is a good test of the position of the wrists. Remember, that although you want to strike the ball in front of you, you develop your power precisely as though you were hitting that block of wood. You must not try to get to the ball by a quicker route than the natural track of the club head which is very nearly a circle. Do not cramp either of the arms, particularly the right. Hugging the ribs with the right elbow was once a fetich. Avoid it. Nobody ever saw Vardon do it, and his style is as good as any to go by, particularly as his swing is of the upright variety and therefore the safest and best for golf, as the club head remains much longer in the line of flight than in the flatter swing of some players. I have never been able to see any advantage in a flat swing. I have never seen any advantage claimed for it by any one entitled to speak with authority; and those famous professionals who use it do not advocate it in preference to the upright swing, which I feel sure is most suited to the great majority of players and in the long run the best for the game.

It is usual to instruct the beginners to carry the club back straight from the ball, as far as one can conveniently, until one's arms pull it off the line. It is doubtful if there is any advantage in this. Probably one would get just as good results by letting the head of the club take care of itself and forgetting all about this. It is a certainty that on the return journey the club does not follow this path, and, personally, I am inclined to think that this part of the stroke may well be forgotten. As a matter of fact the more one sees of golf the more one realizes what an astounding number of things there are that one can with much profit, directly one addresses one's ball - forget.

It is customary to attempt to tell one where this alleged "wrist action," this roll of the forearms- comes in. Any one who strives to put it in at any particular point either going up or coming down may just as well give up golf and look for some other game. It is a perfectly natural movement distributed over practically the whole "journey" of the forearms. It cannot be assigned to any particular place. If one grips one's club properly, and maintains one's grip, it will have to come in in its right place. This is another action which is so perfectly natural that it may soon be left to take care of itself.