I realize there may be some golf teachers who will disagree with this analysis of the swing. However, it accurately describes my own swing.
Incorrect theories about the swing, incidentally, have thrown more than a few golfers off their game, so let me clear up some of them. Many instructors claim that in the proper swing, the right hand pulls the club upward by itself, with the left hand opposing this upward motion. The result of this silly theory is that, with both arms working at odds, the club is never raised more than a few inches off the ground.
I tried the system myself when I first took up the game, and for more than a year was getting very poor distance in my drives—30 and 40 yards. To correct this flaw, the golfer should urge his left hand to take it easy in opposing the right. The result will be that the right hand will be able to tug the club up past the right shoulder, and by then it is too late for the left hand to do anything about it. Later on (on the downswing) the left will have a chance to show what it can do.
Another thing golfers are told is that they should "sweep through" the ball, or "swing as though the ball isn't there." This is the sheerest nonsense. The object of the golfer is to smash the ball, and any weaseling philosophic description of the process that tries to help your swing by pretending the ball isn't there or suggesting that you trick the ball into thinking you are not actually going to hit it is absurd. Of course you are going to hit it. You are going to murder it!
We come now to the application of High Tension in grooving the swing. In the High Tension swing, every muscle—except for those on the relaxed left side—will be stiff as a board: Knees locked, vocal cords taut, biceps contracted, teeth clenched—everything poised to whack the ball. Do not let the ball intimidate you. Imagine that it represents all the things you don't like about your environment, all the ideas you disagree with (such as: sharks don't eat people), your boss, your wife, waiters, tax auditors, hot rodders, 86 taillights on automobiles, a neighbor with a lot of electric appliances, psychiatrists, hearty people, lady golfers, canned laughter, things you have to put together, backing into a parking space. The ball represents all these things cumulatively or separately—whichever rouses you to the whitest heat of anger. These are your thoughts on the upswing.
The High Tension method of preparing for the grooved downswing takes care of tensing the proper muscles and locking the proper joints, so that ideally your reflexes take over.
With this simple system, you don't have to try to consciously pivot. Slam the clubhead around at the ball and you will either pivot or you will break your hip.
Sometimes, of course, the swing won't go right. Shots don't always go right for me, either. After all, the perfect golf shot involves the coordination of about 40 different elements—and even a bad shot demands about 35. Therefore on those occasions when my swing is off, I have found that instead of thinking what to do, it is better to think of what not to do, then quickly do the opposite.
Even if he forgets some of the things not to do, a golfer can apply a simple test: "Does it feel natural?" If it feels natural, or comfortable, he should by all means make an immediate correction, even if it occurs in the middle of the downswing.
Here is a check list of Don'ts which should be memorized for use just before and during the downswing: