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Jan 23

Written by: Marian
1/23/2013 7:29 PM  RssIcon


By Bill Castner, PGA Master Golf Professional
     When golf became popular in America around the turn of the century, Harry Vardon was touring the country playing exhibition matches. This tour was sponsored by A.G. Spalding and Brothers. The Spalding Company hoped that Vardon’s spectacular play and tournament success would lead to golf club and golf ball sales.
     Vardon’s tour not only created a great interest in golf but also in swing technique. Vardon displayed a steady, rhythmic, and utterly simple swing. He also incorporated the overlapping grip, which is still the most popular method of gripping a club, the “Vardon Grip”.
     At the same time, the pastime of “perfecting your golf swing” was gaining popularity. Many professional golfers began emigrated from Scotland to America to add technical proficiency to golf course development and instruction.
     During 1919, the “Picture Analysis of Golf Strokes,” by Jim Barnes was published. This was the first golf instruction book to use high-speed, sequence photography and immediately became the leading instruction manual of the day.
     Another great book, simply entitled “Golf” was written by the Scottish-born golf professional, Bob MacDonald. Upon his arrival MacDonald, taught in New Jersey and later settled in Chicago.
His book, subtitled “Illustrated by Motion Pictures, Exercises, and Explanatory Diagrams” is filled with treasures galore. The preface begins, “It is probably beyond argument that the golf stroke, apart from the putt, is the most highly technical method of hitting a ball in the whole realm of sport.”
     MacDonald approached writing his book in a similar manner. Besides sharing detailed analysis of the strokes, components, and swing errors, he gave us the “MacDonald Drills.”   These depicted 11 sequential exercises that could be done in the home without using a ball.
     Practicing these drills will guarantee a correct pivot. Exercise 5 and 6 are printed below. Doing these at home will help your overall golf motion and swing. If anyone is interested in receiving all eleven drills, please click onto www.castnergolf.com and send me an e-mail.
Bill Castner is the Head Golf Professional at the Plainfield West 9 Golf Course and is also the Director of the First Tee of Plainfield. He is a Quarter-Century Member of the PGA of America, and five-time winner of the NJPGA Junior Golf Leader Award.


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