I purposely brought my readers up to the top of the swing by sections. Going down I may not retain that plan in its entirety. It is not so necessary. I am of opinion that arriving at the correct position at the top of the swing is of the utmost importance. I think that if a player achieves that he has an excellent chance for the rest of the stroke.

I am frequently asked how the downward swing is started. I am making in this book a statement about it that is, so far as my knowledge of golf and golf writing goes, new, but I believe that it is sound. The downward swing in a drive of perfect rhythm is, I believe, started by the player's body before the upward swing is completed by the club having dropped to its lowest point. The player's body is starting to "unwind," to use the term so often employed by writers, before the upward swing of the club is finished. I am inclined to think that this is to a great extent the reason that there is less apparent conflict of motion, less jerki-ness than one might expect, at this point. I have mentioned this idea to one player of great experience and ability and he agrees with me that it is as I say. Personally I should like to experiment and investigate a little more before pronouncing authoritatively on this interesting point. I may say, however, that the motion pictures of the famous players seem to lend color to my idea. In many cases they show a considerable breadth of the back before the club has got to the lowest point and by the time the club has reached the lowest point they are showing much less of the back. This, it seems to me, upholds my idea.

Whether this is so or not there is, I think, no doubt that the body starts the downward swing. I have read a good deal about the "hands leading." I should have to reorganize all my ideas, not only of golf, but of almost every other sport, if this were correct. It is the body that starts nearly every analogous movement in athletics, and the drive in golf is not a law unto itself.

Now again I am going to throw my readers to a great extent on their own resources. I am not going to make any attempt to tell them how to "divide up" the downward stroke so far as regards the arm action. If the ball were a daisy one would not want such instruction. Why should one require it because what one is aiming at happens to be a golf ball. The stroke is a most perfectly natural reversal of the upward movement with the roll of the fore-arms again distributed. It is quite futile to attempt to tell any one "where the wrists come in," because nobody can do it. Even James Braid has confessed that he does not know.

Harry Vardon is not a believer in the idea of wrist action. At page 70 of The Complete Golfer he says: "Now pay attention to the wrists. They should be held fairly tightly. If the club is held tightly the wrists will be tight, and vice versa. When the wrists are tight there is little play in them and more is demanded of the arms. I do not believe in the long ball coming from the wrists. In defiance of principles which are accepted in many quarters, I will go so far as to say that, except in putting, there is no pure wrist shot in golf. Some players attempt to play their short approach with their wrists as they have been told to do. These men are likely to remain at long handicaps for a long time. Similarly there is a kind of a superstition that the elect among drivers get in some peculiar kind of 'snap' - a momentary forward pushing movement - with their wrists at the time of impact, and that it is this wrist work at the critical period which gives the grand length to their drives, those extra twenty or thirty yards which make the stroke look so splendid, so uncommon, and which make the next shot so much easier. Generally speaking, the wrists, when held firmly, will take very good care of themselves."

I am glad to be able to quote Vardon in demolishing the absurd idea of the long driver getting his power from his wrists. Whenever any one speaks like that it nearly always means, if one only knew it, from the forearms. Trying to put one's wrists into the downward stroke is fatal to accuracy for any one who tries to do it at the wrong time. Any particular thing of value that the wrists do they do at the beginning of the downward swing. Except as a connecting joint they have gone out of business long before the ball is reached.

Braid says: "Where exactly the wrists begin to do their proper work I have never been able to determine exactly, for the work is almost instantaneously brief!" Well, if Braid does as well as he does without knowing anything about where the wrists come in, the ordinary golfer may take heart of grace and reflect that it cannot be absolutely necessary for one to know. As a matter of practical golf one will do well to forget that one has wrists, except, perhaps, on the green.

In Advanced Golf, James Braid on page 61 and in the preceding pages explains that the whole idea of the golf stroke is supreme tension, and that at the moment of impact the tension is greatest. He says: "Then comes the moment of impact. Crack! Everything is let loose, and round comes the body immediately the ball is struck and goes slightly forward until the player is facing the line of flight."

I want my readers particularly to gather the idea of "tension" of "supreme tension." Braid condemns the idea of the "even acceleration of speed" that we hear so much about. His advice is so valuable that I must quote it: "What he (the player) has to concern himself with is not getting his speed gradually, but getting as much of it as he possibly can right from the top. No gentle starting, but hard at it from the very top, and the harder you start the greater will be the momentum of the club when the ball is reached."

"Hard at it from the very top" is good advice in driving. As Vardon tells us, if we grip tightly we put the wrists out of business. Well, we don't require to think of them in any way. Anything that they do, and of course they are important, is so natural, so much an integral portion of the arm movement that it is practically removed from the player's field of inquiry.