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Present-Day Golf | by George Duncan, Bernard Darwin



Power in the long game is to-day of the very first importance. I never can agree with Willie Park when he says that the man who can putt is a match for any one.' There seems to be a law of averages which works out fairly certainly in putting. It may seem strange, but it is perfectly true that when a man becomes a first-class golfer his putting becomes 'just average'...

TitlePresent-Day Golf
AuthorGeorge Duncan, Bernard Darwin
PublisherGeorge H. Doran
Year1921
Copyright1921, George H. Doran
AmazonPresent-Day Golf

Illustrated By Photographs By G. W. Beldam

-Part I. Chapter I. The Methods Of Champions. Power In The Long Game And How They Get It
Power in the long game is to-day of the very first importance. I never can agree with Willie Park when he says that * the man who can putt is a match for any one.' There seems to be a law of averages ...
-The Methods Of Champions. Power In The Long Game And How They Get It. Continued
I have said that Vardon's right hand has a lot to do in the making of his swing. As a matter of fact, whether a man has an upright swing or a flat one entirely depends upon whether he is a two-handed ...
-Chapter II. The Methods Of Champions. How They Play In A Wind
It has been a long-accepted doctrine that at the top of the swing the toe of the club should point to the ground, but it is a fact that championships have been won with clubs the toes of which have no...
-The Methods Of Champions. How They Play In A Wind. Continued
The angle of the club-shaft has also a lot to do with the way in which the ball is going to travel. Looking from the green at the player on the tee a keen student of the game can tell, when the club i...
-Chapter III. The Grip Of The Club
I attach the utmost importance to the manner in which way the club is gripped, and being a convert to the overlapping grip I am a great believer in that method. For many years I used the ordinary half...
-Chapter IV. Wrist Action And Pivoting
I have often heard the drive in golf described as a sweep, but I have no doubt in my mind that the tee shot is a hit; and the harder you hit the ball, provided everything is right, the further it will...
-Wrist Action And Pivoting. Continued
Now for something as to 'pivoting.' A good player can best be picked out from a distance by watching how much space his body occupies during his uptake. A good golfer should not as a rule use any more...
-Chapter V. The Transference Of Weight
In first-class golf there are three different methods of transferring the weight of the body during the swing. There is first the sudden pivoting of Braid. Then there is Ray's double body movement. Th...
-The Transference Of Weight. Continued
Bear in mind that all the weight cannot now be on the left, otherwise there will be no balance. When coming down the levering process takes place in converse order, the right side tearing the weight f...
-Chapter VI. With Iron Clubs
In regard to iron play, a great deal has been said and written in the last few years about the push-shot. I must clearly say something about it, and I feel inclined to begin by saying that the push-sh...
-Chapter VII. The Spoon And How To Play It
I believe that I am supposed to be a fairly good player with my spoon, and it is certainly a club of which I am extremely fond. I would go so far as to say that it is one which on an inland course no ...
-Chapter VIII. On The Importance Of The Waggle
It may seem absurd to devote a separate chapter, even if only a very little one, to the waggle, which is a mere preliminary to the stroke, but I maintain that there is a good deal in waggling, though ...
-Chapter IX. The Putters Art
I believe the original story about putting for one's living comes from North Berwick, when David Grant -himself a wonder with a putter-turned round on some one who was knocking the ball into the hole ...
-The Putters Art. Continued
It is a strange thing that we know just how to do a thing at golf and yet we cannot do it. During 1919 I putted, shall I say, moderately well on an average, and yet I knew that, could I only do someth...
-Chapter X. How I Teach
A good deal of what I have said in this book comes very decidedly under the head of advanced instruction. Some of it may be difficult to understand. It has certainly been difficult to express. In this...
-How I Teach. Continued
Gradually the tops become fewer and the slices more frequent. The slicing nearly always comes from the same cause, namely, that the player does not pivot enough. In order to make him pivot properly I ...
-Chapter XI. How I Cure Faults
In the last chapter I imagined a complete beginner coming to me and asking to be taught golf. This time I will imagine another and more common case, that of the golfer, more or less mature, who comes ...
-How I Cure Faults. Continued
Sometimes I find that slicing comes from the player being too heavy on his left foot. He starts with too much weight on it in the address. Then he does one of two things. Either he sways to the right ...
-Chapter XII. My Own Game
Mr. Darwin asks me to say a little about my own game, and I will go back as far as the time when I first started to swing an ancient wooden club on the old links in Aberdeen. In those days any one cou...
-My Own Game. Continued
I said something just now of my preference for the 'All air route' up to the hole. This is to be made easier this year, as I believe that most of the popular brands of balls are to be wound at a highe...
-Chapter XIII. American Golf And Golfers
Vardon and Ray have lately come over from America, where the game is developing at a great rate and, according to Vardon, they have a few amateurs who are quite capable of winning our Amateur Champion...
-Chapter XIV. Likes And Dislikes Among Courses
I do not feel that I want to express my views on golfing architecture at any great length, although I have strong likes and dislikes both amongst individual courses and the different types of courses....
-Part II. Chapter I. Practice: Its Pains And Pleasures
By Bernard Darwin Willie Park has lately revealed to the world that he used to practise putting at six holes with six balls for four hours a day. A good many readers will wonder why his back did no...
-Practice: Its Pains And Pleasures. Part 2
There is one more general consideration, which I should perhaps have mentioned apropos of the caddie. There is nothing that takes the fun and the virtue out of practising like continual hunting for ba...
-Practice: Its Pains And Pleasures. Part 3
In an admirable paper on 'How to learn 'in The New Book of Golf, Mr. Croome went almost further than Sir Walter. He recommended, chiefly for beginners, but also I think for more advanced practises, wh...
-Practice: Its Pains And Pleasures. Part 4
I have talked a great deal about practising when we are out of form, because that, alas ! is the most common kind. There is also, as I said, the practice of shots in which we know ourselves to be habi...
-Chapter II. Some More About Practising
In the last chapter I presumed that the practiser had a golf course ready to his hand. If he has not he may have a field for long shots and a garden for short ones. These are not so good as a course, ...
-Some More About Practising. Continued
Willie Park has already been quoted for his feat of endurance in putting four hours a day. He made himself the best putter in the world. Jack White has practised till his back ached. Mr. Walter Travis...
-Chapter III. The Golfer And His Temperament
It is a maxim of Mr. Charles Hutchings that 'golf is nine-tenths mental.' A golfer who won the Championship when he was a grandfather has at least a long and ripe experience to draw upon, and in this ...
-The Golfer And His Temperament. Part 2
There is just one cheering fact with which the nervous golfer may legitimately comfort himself. It is not the torpid creature with the 'dead nerve,' as I have heard it called, who does best in a big m...
-The Golfer And His Temperament. Part 3
However pitiable our frame of mind, there is, no doubt, much virtue in a mouth kept tightly shut. The enemy may see, from unmistakable signs, that we are agitated, and that will do him good; but be su...
-The Golfer And His Temperament. Part 4
To take a reasonable amount of time over every shot, and not to run at it like a bull at a gate, is another instance of control. It makes it far easier to take pains when they have got to be taken. Th...
-Chapter IV. The Four-Ball Match And The Foursome
To any golfer who has been properly brought up it will appear that I have placed the two different forms of golf at the head of this chapter in the wrong order. 'surely,' he will say, 'the man has an ...
-The Four-Ball Match And The Foursome. Part 2
There are tactics through the green as well as on it, and they are likewise open to criticism and suspicion. My partner has outdriven me by a yard or two and the green is a good long way off, guarded ...
-The Four-Ball Match And The Foursome. Part 3
These foursomes are even better than those in a club meeting, because they are played on level terms. The ideal foursome is so played, and there should be no difficulty in making up a level match. Dis...
-The Four-Ball Match And The Foursome. Part 4
There is no respect in which good foursome players differ more than in the length and frequency of their consultations. Some seem to have their heads perpetually together: with other couples each man ...
-The Four-Ball Match And The Foursome. Part 5
This chapter would be both unchivalrous and incomplete without some allusion to mixed foursomes. I do not mean a foursome in which an ordinary man, trembling at the honour done him, is led out like a ...
-Chapter V. Great Golfers
Any one who has watched much golf has only to shut his eyes in order to see pass before him in a long procession the great players of his time. He sees their characteristic clothes, the very angles of...
-Great Golfers. Part 2
I said that Braid seemed to take the game as part of his day's work. So he does, but I should add that it is with the never-failing zest and interest that a good workman always takes in his work. I ha...
-Great Golfers. Part 3
Mr. Ball must come first. Through the mists of golfing history he will always loom, a towering and colossal figure round which legends will cluster. Those who were his contemporaries and had to fight ...
-Great Golfers. Part 4
If Mr. Laidlay is ever canonised he will certainly be represented on a stained-glass window with a little light lofted putting cleek, much worn by cleaning, in his hand, and on the scroll underneath i...
-Great Golfers. Part 5
Mr. Hilton won two Open Championships and, only through one dreadful disaster at a single hole, just failed to win a third before he ever won the Amateur Championship. That is a curious record, and it...
-Chapter VI. Great Golfers (Continued)
Now let us come back to the professionals again, beginning with George Duncan, and I shall not let him see what I have said about him till it is safely in print. Having first of all read his chapters ...
-Great Golfers (Continued). Part 2
If-and it is very doubtful-there is any one who can outdrive Mitchell, it is Edward Ray. Ray is so large and hits so hard, smokes so many pipes and looks so casual over it all, that he gives the impre...
-Great Golfers (Continued). Part 3
The rule that the course moulds the player has been well exemplified in Sherlock. Hinksey made him a splendid short-game player, but not, by professional standards, a great player of wooden clubs. Whe...
-Great Golfers (Continued). Part 4
Mr. Michael Scott is not only a very good golfer but a very interesting one, because having been ' teethed on a club 'he practically remodelled his whole game after coming to years of golfing discreti...
-Great Golfers (Continued). Part 5
Among Oxford golfers he has something of a counterpart in Mr. R. H. de Montmorency, who improved enormously after he left Oxford. He was a much better player when at Oxford than most people supposed, ...
-Chapter VII. Golfing Doctrines Ancient And Modern
In reading Duncan's chapters in this book I have been greatly struck, though not for the first time, with the change that has come over golfing doctrine since the time when there first began to be a c...
-Golfing Doctrines Ancient And Modern. Part 2
Golfers have always talked of the open stance, but the open as opposed to the shut face of the club is a new technicality in golfing language, and may at first possibly have puzzled some of Duncan's r...
-Golfing Doctrines Ancient And Modern. Part 3
In regard to iron play there has been a change in nomenclature. 'Three-quarter shots,half shots,'even our old and trusted friend 'wrist shot,'seem to be disappearing from the language and everything ...
-Chapter VIII. Children's Golf
When the late Mr. F. G. Tait was presented to the Czar at Balmoral, the two talked about golf, and the then amateur champion told how he had 'taken it seriously when he was eight years old.' To-day th...
-Children's Golf. Continued
The moral is that we must look out for bad habits even in the youngest golfers. When we find them we must be very sparing in our good advice, for a boy has a facility for exaggeration. One whom I know...
-Chapter IX. Courses And Characteristics
Every golf course that we know at all well has for us its characteristic atmosphere. It is an elusive thing, very hard to describe in words. It differs with each one of us, not only according to our t...
-Courses And Characteristics. Part 2
Of perfectly orthodox seaside courses I gave two examples in Sandwich and St. Andrews. They represent two very different types, the course of big hills and valleys and the superficially open course of...
-Courses And Characteristics. Part 3
The course on a chalk down has an atmosphere entirely of its own. If we are light-hearted, it may be very amusing: if we are too serious and are trying to defeat a player with local knowledge, it will...
-Courses And Characteristics. Part 4
There is another public course of historic traditions which is very interesting and very singular, namely, that on the North Inch of Perth. Here played the old and young Tom Morris, old Willie Park, a...
-Courses And Characteristics. Part 5
Trees again are not wholly cheering when, as often on a park course, they are large and solitary trees that stand as sentinels, or sometimes in pairs as goal-posts with the green for the goal. It may ...
-Chapter X. Problems Of Handicapping
Some years ago now, before the war, I saw a friend of mine starting out to play a rather curious match. He was to play one-handed against the better ball of two opponents and to concede the odds of a ...
-Problems Of Handicapping. Continued
Unless one party be very grasping or the other very conceited, two friends can make their own matches far better than any one else can do it for them. Besides the orthodox method of handicapping by...
-Chapter XI. Some Historic Finishes
The watching of golf is unlike the watching of any other game. We cannot do it by sitting at our ease on a covered stand or on the top of a pavilion, even if those of us who have to do it professional...
-Some Historic Finishes. Part 2
These two had many fights, but the one that most people will remember best was that in the final at Prestwick in 1899, when Mr. Ball, having been at one time five down in the morning round, won at the...
-Some Historic Finishes. Part 3
I have already mentioned last year's match between Mr. Tolley and Mr. Gardner. It is recent history, but I will set it down as I recall it now before memory becomes indistinct. Almost all the rest of ...
-Some Historic Finishes. Part 4
Braid's Championships have been less exciting to watch than Taylor's, because he is more phlegmatic and less palpably influenced one way or the other by circumstances. But Prestwick seems bound to pro...
-Some Historic Finishes. Part 5
All day long Duncan had been having just a very little the worst of it. He had been chasing Mitchell, catching him up by a spurt and then seeing him go away again. With but nine holes left Mitchell se...
-Some Historic Finishes. Part 6
One more finish in the University match may be recorded, that in 1896, the last of the series ever played on classic Wimbledon Common. The match was halved, and though there were eight players a side ...
-Chapter XII. Some American Notes
In many ways I have not, I am afraid, much more than a Cook's tourist's qualification for writing a chapter on American golf, since I spent no more than a most interesting six weeks there before the w...
-Some American Notes. Part 2
Mr. Ouimet was then only about twenty years old. Before the Amateur Championship at Garden City some fortnight earlier he had hardly been known out of Boston. It was a tremendous test for him to have ...
-Some American Notes. Part 3
I have been looking through cuttings from American papers to refresh my memory of some of the holes, and in one from the Chicago Tribune I discovered this pleasing headline: 'Darwin finds Course of Sh...







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