“Now there are a number of important things to be watched in the position at the top of the swing. It is possible to write many pages on this phase of the stroke. But the one feature I have in mind is the one the duffer ignores entirely and yet it has everything to do with the success of the stroke.
At the top of the swing the shaft of the club, which for the long shots is in a position approximately in a horizontal plane- should at the same time be pointing to a spot slightly right of the object the player is aiming at. This will be found in uniform practice among the best professional golfers. It is the result of swinging the club back to the top. rather than lifting it as so many poor golfers want to do.
Now from this position it is important in what manner the club is started downward. The necessary elevation of the hands at the top of the swing draws the right elbow away from the ribs, where it should have remained until the last possible moment. the elbow is not, however, lifted into the air aimlessly; the right forearm should point obliquely, almost vertically, toward the ground and be drawn away from the side only by as much may be necessary to accommodate a full swing of the club.
Many players advance this far with fair success; but the next step usually trips them. The almost irressistable impulse now, when all is in readiness to wallop the ball, is to allow the right hand too much freedom. Immediately that unruly member, which has to be watched continually, whips the club over the right shoulder toward the front of the player, whence it must approach the ball from outside the line of flight. Whether a smothered hook or a bad slice results depends only upon whether the club face is shut or open when it reaches the ball. If anything like a decent shot results it may be ascribed as pure accident.
The proper start down from the top position I have described is in the direction in which the grip end of the shaft is pointing. Since the head end of the club is pointing slightly to the right of the objective aimed at, the grip end will be directed away from the vertical plane in which the ball rests. In other words, instead of immediately beginning to approach the line of flight as the downward stroke commences, the club head should be made at first to drop away from the line.
The importance of this movement cannot be overestimated. the right elbow then will quickly drop back into place close to the side of the body and the player is in a compact position ready to deliver a blow squarely to the back of the ball. there is NO possibility of cutting across the shot.
The cock of the wrists is then preserved during the early stages of the downstroke, while the head of the club drops behind the player so that it can approach from the inside.”