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The Golf Secret Of James Douglas Edgar

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  • The Golf Secret Of James Douglas Edgar

    Just thought I'd post a compliment to an old golfer's 'secret' who was born in 1895 (Newcastle, England) and unfortunately murdered in 1921 while at the height of his achievements.

    He was the first golfer to show that the club must approach the ball on an in-to-out path and developed a little rubber 'Gate' gadget to swing the clubhead through ball to target.

    Can you spot the similarities in WIG where he expounds the virtue of an 'external focus cue' (ie. the clubhead, 'The Gate') no 'X-factor' , 'Letting Go' ? I must admit that I like the idea of having a 'base address thought' and a feel intent in my fingers/hands of 'throwing the ball' to the target with your clubface. 'The Gate' is similar to cutting grass or swinging through an intermediate target except its positioned before the ball and not after it.

    Here are some of his words of wisdom and it shows that there is nothing new about WIG , its concepts were just ignored approx a century ago (imho , to our detriment).

    1. While addressing the ball, the player should have the feeling of being about to throw the ball to its destination.
    2. In his backswing he should get the feeling of throwing the club round his right hip and he should not be afraid of letting his body go well round also.
    3. Let a little abandonment and 'joie du vivre' creep in , the player would drive better and farther, and at the same time get more of the glorious exhilaration that this game holds in store for them.
    4. If the player has thrown the club and body well round on the backward swing, he is now in the easiest and most natural position to swing the clubhead through ' The Gate' and so get the 'movement'.
    5. During the whole of the downward swing, his mind should be concentrated on swinging the clubhead through 'The Gate', thus getting the movement. and for this purpose the player should have a mental picture of the path or sweep the clubhead has to take.
    6. In golf, complete control of the club with the hands, and a mental picture of the sweep, are necessary to guide the clubhead through 'The Gate'.
    7. If a player concentrates his attention on swinging the clubhead in a special way to get through 'The Gate' , he has neither the time nor inclination to think about trying to hit the ball. 'The Gate' should be a strong and potent enough attraction to completely fill his mind , and all the cells of his brain.
    8. It makes him swing the club in the correct way, which gives him the 'movement'.


    PS. After reading some more about Edgar in Wikipedia , I think the golf media may have misinterpreted his claim that one can still develop a repeatable swing with a restricted hip turn . He had a bad hip and found a way to swing (ie. like WIG using external cues , etc) but that didn't mean he advocated a restricted hip turn as point 2 above demonstrates. I wonder if that 'misinterpretation' was the beginning of the X-factor type swing concept?


    Some more little jewels of wisdom from J.D. Edgar:

    "The difference between a game played with a stationary ball , such as golf, and a game played with a moving ball, such as cricket, lawn tennis, or even ping-pong, is that in the former your ball is your chief opponent, while in the latter you are playing against the brains of your opponent or opponents. Golf therefore can be taught, but it seems doubtful whether the other games can be. As a rule the greatest players of the other games have either taught themselves, or more likely have had a natural aptitude or genius for them. " Either the ball will master your swing, or your swing will master the ball. "

    "Let 'The Gate' be your coach for a few weeks ; 'The Gate' is a far less exacting coach than anything or anybody else, chiefly because it asks the player to concentrate only on the one task of swinging through it, which any player can do with comparative ease, whereas it is a mental impossibility for mortal man to try to recollect one-half, or even one-third, of ·what he is frequently enjoined to remember to do, during that infinitesimal space of time in which the golf swing takes place. Whatever liberties of swing 'The Gate' allows you to take, those you may safely take. 'The Gate' only asks one thing. " Come through." Well, go through! and all other precepts will take care of themselves. 'The Gate', your common sense and your brains will adjust your left wrist, "will set your feet, look after your head, and put them in the most workmanlike position for the job on hand; whether it be orthodox is absolutely immaterial. After all, what is the orthodox·? 'The Gate' will not tell you to put your feet and your hands in a certain position. ·'The Gate' WILL put your hands and your feet in the most effective position. The golfer is told his feet must be placed in a certain well-defined position for a pull or a slice. Is it the position of your feet that determines whether the ball will fly to the right or the left as the case requires ? Not at all! It is the arc that the club-head takes just before and after impact, that gives the required spin whether to the right or left. Determine then on the swing required, and then stand in the easiest and most natural position. Don't first determine how you must stand, and then hope that the position of your feet will give you the required swing; that would be a case of putting the cart before the horse."
    Last edited by Schrodinger; 2 weeks ago.

  • #2
    Hi guys,

    Now, I do not know dirt about James Douglas Edgar?
    However, based on Schrodinger's presentation above, I find I have little disagreement with the man...

    However, I do take exception to this one mention (I do reserve the right to potentially add others?)


    6. In golf, complete control of the club with the hands, and a mental picture of the sweep, are necessary to guide the clubhead through 'The Gate'.

    I find that I prefer our Chairman's concept of "...Abandon control to Gravity..." as the "guide" through the shot.
    I do not see the distinction between replacing our Focus on the Target in favor of being BALL-focused or GATE-focused?

    All in all, however...Mr. Edgar does seem to make some valid, if not quaintly articulated, points that do match a basic WIG profile.

    dude abides

    "OLD" Forum Participation

    Entry Date: 18-JAN-2011
    Posts: 1813
    Thank You: 1048

    "Be water, my friends"

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    • golfdriversreview
      golfdriversreview commented
      Editing a comment
      Great tip. I will keep this in mind. This might have saved me a lot of frustration had I known this beforehand. Thanks for sharing

  • #3
    Hi Dude

    not saying that this is the 'root cause' of such a thought process regarding the 'gate' .. but let's say that some of this is sort of context dependent ..

    so let's look at the nature of the equipment that was in use at the time of his thinking and writing



    gravity was still in full effect then as well - but a fall into a sort of whippier shaft working with rotation .. would potentially create some expression that would vary from what we're playing today

    for what it's worth I understand and agree with what you're saying ..and also JDE's 'gate' books are publically available ..you can google search them and find the scans of his writings..I've read at them .. I had a hard time being able to fully visualize them .. probably if I had made the stuff tangible and physically built his models I might have had a shot ..

    it might have been fascinating to see what JDE would have written as the equipment continued to evolve and his learning/teaching grew - clearly a bright and agile mind .. one of many in that early period who contributed so much to our current understanding of the golf swing.

    glad I'm playing with steel and current technology - even with them, this game is plenty hard enough!

    cheers

    k_f
    from the hidden Ravine below 13th at CN G&CC
    tu nunquam hic

    Secret Swing Tech c/o Pigaman @ Crackpot Labs

    wisdomingolf.com/index.php?option=com_ku...&id=47972&Itemid=225

    let energy instead of style define you.

    Proud Member 'Quote Yourself Club'

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    • #4
      I actually found a .pdf of his old book and interesting stuff on p27 and P28 about the grip and whether left hand or right hand dominant (or equal dominance).

      Also amazingly he mentions the following:

      "should imagine trying to cut cleanly through the bottom of the stem of a thick thistle"


      http://www.nga-earlygolf.nl/golfarch...d33cf636e6.pdf

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      • #5
        Originally posted by Schrodinger View Post
        "...Also amazingly he mentions the following:

        "should imagine trying to cut cleanly through the bottom of the stem of a thick thistle..."

        C'mon guys...ALL "true believers" understand that it is the stem of a DANDELION! Not a thistle?

        dude abides

        "OLD" Forum Participation

        Entry Date: 18-JAN-2011
        Posts: 1813
        Thank You: 1048

        "Be water, my friends"

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        • #6
          Originally posted by COSTA103 View Post


          C'mon guys...ALL "true believers" understand that it is the stem of a DANDELION! Not a thistle?

          dude abides
          Doubt that England has dandelions.

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