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Harry Vardon is one of the greatest golfers of all time. 6 time British Open Champion, Vardon (Overlapping Grip), debut of the vertical swing, etc. etc. etc.
BUT there is something that is still a very very well kept secret that almost no one understands. The secret to his DISTANCE.
Harry was considered a long ball hitter of his day but also a weakling. He suffered from tuberculosis and had repeated attacks.
In fact, he had to cancel a promotional tournament tour in America sponsoring the newest golf ball from Dunlop due to a bout of tuberculosis, which also forced him to cancel his ticket on the Titanic!
So how could he be a long hitter and suffer from tuberculosis at the same time? The answer is in his bent left elbow.
Yes, I know your Pro has told you many times to keep a straight left elbow. And that is the classic thinking even today.
But is a difference between the problem the Pros are trying to prevent and what Vardon did. Many amateurs will over-swing at the top and let their left elbow bend.
On the start down, they will again straighten out the elbow causing extra movement and swing plane variations. What Vardon did was something else. He HELD the bent left elbow until just before impact with the ball.
John Jacobs, in his book – The 50 Greatest Golf Lessons of the Century (HarperAcademic), described Vardon’s swing LIKE THROWING A FRISBEE!!
Theodore Jorgensen in his book – The Physics of Golf – devotes 1 separate chapter to Vardon’s swing and comes to the conclusion that by using his left elbow as an additional hinge a power increase of up to 50% is theoretically possible.
Another description of Vardon’s bent left elbow is that he made his left arm into a whip with an additional bending point in it. And then threw his left arm down the target line similar to an athlete throwing a discus but in a more vertical plane. How can you try this out?
Think – throw the Frisbee down the target line.
Keep your left elbow bent on the way down to the ball and unfurl it, like throwing a discus, down thru the ball.
Until the next report.