Bobby Jones On Golf by Robert Tyre (Bobby) Jones

Bobby Jones is universally acknowledged to have been the best amateur golfer of all time. He held at least one major title every season of his career and electrified the world with his 1930 Grand Slam, winning all four major amateur and open tournaments in the United States and Great Britain. 


Bobby Jones in Golf, in print continuously for twenty-five years, is a distillation of all that he learned about playing golf over more than half a century of devotion to amateur competition. Drawing both on the practical and the theoretical, this classic work addresses such topics as feel of the club, placing the feet, using the body, and cultivating the proper back swing. Like the authors impeccable reputation, Bobby Jones on Golf is as timeless as the game itself.


Mr. Jones has great insight, and back in the day experiences, free of the current mass media stories, and big company marketing "information". Although much of what is known about the game of golf has evolved, there are certain aspects which remain intact from the time of Jones. Like the golf swing itself. Sure the equipment technology we enjoy today is inconceivable to golfers from early last century. Mr. Jones comments: It is worse than useless to prescribe a rote by which the club is to be swung and the ball struck and to finish there. The pupil or prospective learner cannot possibly direct his swing through a complete sequence of correct positions as ordered by the teacher. The whole thing happens too fast to be subject to this degree of conscious control. Nevertheless, since the successful player must have a good understanding of his swing, he must be made aware of the results to be expected from all conceivable movements, right or wrong. Obviously, this procedure can result in almost endless discussions and speculations, but that is just the kind of game golf is.  Maybe a lack of the "(helpful?) information" we take in from the media, including nation wide golfing publications isn't feasible for much of the population that seeks to mend a chronic slice, at least in the way that we define the target audience. To Mr. Jones, golf is an inexhaustible subject. I think this stems from the combinations of swings, and the factors that make up the golf swing. Golf swings are like the golfer doing the swinging, each one is unique, and individual in nature. What one person does, even at the professional level doesn't necessitate that anyone else should swing like they do in its entirety. Sure, we can take aspects of the golf swings we see on T.V. but thats they're swing built for their own games. Like a lot of things, we can increase our odds, for lack of a better description, in hitting a consistent preferable swing. Having a mindset that everything will improve if I just do          , isn't realistic. See it as something that takes work, practice, and dedication. While at the same time having fun, and staying a student of the game. We don't make a living off our playing, but we can still be inspired to play our best.


THE ULTIMATE OBJECT: Do not be led astray with what you think the ideal shot would be, like pitching a ball in the bunker with a 4-iron letting the ball run on the sand and hit the lip and bounce out, a few disasters resulting from a desire to display briliant technique are enough to harden even the most sensitive nature. To approach the hole remains the ultimate object in the game. Once the round is under way, the business in hand becomes that of getting results. Nothing else matters. 


 We often hear the term "feel" in relation to the game of golf, but what do they mean by that? Mr. Jones was asked "that a fairly good golfer - this is, one who can play close to 80 on occasions-can sometimes possess what we call the "feel" to such a degree that he can hit the ball really well, and then can suddenly lose all sense of hitting until he cant play at all? It is because he can't play while he is thinking about his swing?"

Mr. Jones's makes no secret that even first-class layers can play the game subconsciously. But the average player should remember that most accomplished golfers can lose the touch as suddenly and for as little apparent reason as anyone else, and that, although at times he can immediately discover and correct his fault, there are also times when he is entirely at a loss for a remedy. This does not mean that that expert does not know how he should swing the club. But golf is a difficult game to play consistently well because the correct swing is not a thing the human body can accomplish entirely naturally. To hit a ball correctly, the golfer has always to be under restraint. Mr. Jones notes he has always in his mind, likened this restraint to that under which a trotting or a pacing horse must labor in a race when he must hold to an artificial gait although every urge must be for him to run like blazes. Furthermore, a golfer who depends upon finding the feel more or less accidentally can never hope to play consistently well, day in and day out, for this very reason. He must know how to hit a golf ball and he must know when and where in his swing to apply restraint previously mentioned. The answer to the question that started all of this, "Not because he can't play while he is thinking of the swing, but because he isn't sure what he ought to think about, and what he ought to try to do." Granted, of course, that there could be those who have an irreproachable conception of the golf stroke, yet have bit enough muscular control and sense of timing cannot play consistently well unless he knows what he is doing.

 As unique as golfers are, so to is the uniqueness of the golf swing. Keep this is mind when correlating certain "errors" as causes of a poor shot. Also, when we begin to consider outside sources of the "ideal" swing, is to compare it to consistency. There are golfers with swings that can produce good results, but is it consistent? These golfers can outperform in rounds here and there. But when everything is perfect for them, and all the shackles have be broken, going to be the same a week later? or even a day later? What is the average over the long term? That is not to say that golfers need not be concerned of their swing, as we all get older our body changes and circumstances change. But rather, there are components of a good golf swing that over the long term produce more reliable, consistent, repeatable golf. Mr. Jones considers the basis of a good golf swing to be simple and rhythmic, the body should flow. Mr. Jones is quoted as saying that "nobody has ever swung the club too slow".

Keep in mind that factors in your golf swing and the remedy for errors in your swing are forgotten and new ones replace them, and later come back again. Golf is an exasperating game. Please keep the student of the game attitude, and not let your blames weigh on you too much. Realize that this too shall pass. Wouldn't we rather stand up on the tee with confidence and belief in your game (and yourself!). Expect that difficulties will come, but think beyond that to the next shot at hand. 

Does your back swing generate a balanced powerful which transitions into a flowing rhythmic downswing? The golf swing is a sequence of correct positions, that in theory is naturally and comfortably pieced together one after the other. Looking at the games greatest players on T.V. today, one sees this so often on every single stoke that it looks easy. The most striking difference between what we see on T.V. that differs from the 4- somes at our clubs, is in the use of hips and body, and any attempt to swing the club in a more upright arc - straight back from the ball is likely to discourage still further the correct use of these members. Oftentimes produces a swing that is accomplished by the arms alone, leaving an important source of power entirely neglected.

Initially, the movement of the club away from the ball should result from forces originating in the left side. The real takeoff is from the left side. The real takeoff is from the left foot, starting the movement of the body. The hands and arms very rapidly pick it up, but the proper order at the very beginning is body, arms, and lastly club head. It is always easier to continue a motion than to begin it; this order has the virtue of originating the hip-turn; it goes a long way toward assuring a proper windup of the hips during the back swing. 

Before finding the tiny nuances that are not working. Make sure you play enough to know what your preferences are. A sound swing, or good form means that the possessor of either has simplified his swing to the point where errors are less likely to creep in, and that he is able to consistently bring his club against the ball in the correct hitting position. In all this talk about the golf swing, it is easy to dismiss the actual hitting of the golf ball. Some may have their own ideas as to what constitutes a good golf swing, and may have good results. But when discussing the method of swinging at all, it is to find a way to make it easier for the player to achieve this correct relationship. Are you assured of this?

 The average golfer should do his upmost to play every shot in a controlled manner. Above all, he should be convinced that he cannot lift the ball from a downhill lie by striking upward, in fact, he must do the opposite, that is to rely on backspin to give the ball lift. Except for the drive and long iron shots where maximum length is desired, every stroke in the game should be played so that the club meets the ball while still descending arc. The angle of decent varies from woods that barely shave the ground, to wedges which move slabs of turf, but the spin imparted by a downward blow is needed to control the flight of the ball.

 Anyone who has played for some time who breaks 90 on a round, can find the reason in the shots on and around the green. Much of the reason why this happens is due to the player trying to pull on the Phil Mickelson type shots. Lets leave always firing at the pin when bunkers and/or water surround the green to Phil. And play the safe shot at the middle of the green, as not as exciting as it is our score will improved as a result. Much of golf is selecting the right club at the right time. Lets be content to play within our selves. Additionally, the more loft a club has, generally speaking the greater the degree of difficultly. Always favor a straightforward shot, and go to a more lofted club only when the necessity for stopping the ball makes this necessary.

The pitch stroke, should never be attempted with the wrists and hands alone, nor even with the arms in conjunction with these two. Proportionate to the length of the shot, the turning of the body and shoulders and the use of legs should be the same as in any other stroke. 

The way most think about imparting backspin on their ball is to leave the clubface open. It is Mr. Jones's opinion that spin is obtained by the natural result of contact with a lofted club. If the club had no loft, every bit of the force of the blow would be directed towards the center of the ball, and no spin would be imparted. It is the club, and no the golfer who generates backspin, and the opening of the face is in danger of taking the ball on an upward arc. Taking an 8-iron is an ideal club to generate backspin while making greater consistent strikes in the sweet spot. The types of shots around the green vary greatly. When you use a driver, you make a driver swing, when you hit a 5-iron, you hit it similarly to the other shots that also take a 5-iron. But around the green you are using as assortment of swings. And require experience and sound judgement. Rarely executing the same shot twice. Keep in mind in the shots around the green, is to strategize  where you want to play your next shot from. Ultimately, it is well to keep in mind that the success of the chip depends upon the success of the putt and is not measured by the number of inches separating the ball from the hole.

On putting, Mr. Jones stated that the single most helpful thing in relation to putting involved the left elbow. He found that by bending over enough to produce a decided crook in both arms, and by moving his left elbow away from his body until it almost pointed directly at the hole. 

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