Scratch Golfer

Scratch Golfer

Mark Wainfor, a PGA qualified pro golfer since 1989, has up to 20 years as a PGA Golf Professional to his name. He’ll share his top golf tips and experiences with you here

The Seven Ages of The Golf Swing, Part 2

Walter Hagen – The Age Of The “Classic Swing”

The Seven Ages of The Golf Swing, Part 2Hi everybody! Part two of my series studies the life and powerful swing of 11 time major champion, Walter Hagen. Remembered as golf's most flamboyant character, he was responsible for raising the statute of professional golfers in the 1920s. Read on as we divulge into this classic American success story.

A Colourful Career

Walter was born in New York to a working class family in 1892. His successes included 4 Open Championships, 2 US Opens and 5 US PGA Championships. This achievement of 11 major titles comes third only to Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.

Walter was by far the most colourful and exciting golfer of his era. He drank and partied hard, but he also possessed an acute business sense that earned him over a million dollars. 

In the 20s wealthy amateurs ruled the game. Professional golfers were treated as second class citizens and were often barred from entering the clubhouse. At the 1920 Open Championship Walter rented a Rolls Royce and chauffeur which he parked in full view of the clubhouse and used it as a dressing room!

Hagen Swing – The Classic Style 

Hagen Swing - The Classic Style 

Walter had a long loose swing and hit a lot of bad shots. However, he was able to hit great shots under pressure when needed. Always the showman, Walter made the hard shots look easy and the easy ones look hard!

This "classic" style of swinging featured a very active hip and leg movement with the left heel lifting on the back-swing, the left arm was also bent slightly at the elbow, for the sake of suppleness.

The spine would “swing” in each direction while the club-head was thrown with a lashing sidearm baseball type motion. This powerful movement enabled the pros to drive the ball up to 375 yards (although often way offline). A mind boggling thought when you think they were still using hickory shafts!!

It was about this time that teenager Mike Austin (longest drive world record holder) watched and was influenced by golfers such as Walter Hagen and Bobby Jones.

Mark's Golf Movie Tip – “The Legend of Bagger Vance”

Loosely based on a true story. Golfer Rannulph Junuh plays an exhibition match against Walter Hagen and Bobby Jones. He attempts to recover his game and his life with help from a mystical caddy.

Below is my favourite clip of the film which gives me goose bumps every time I watch it. 

Who is your favourite golfer from this era? 1: Walter Hagen, 2: Bobby Jones, 3: Sam Snead, 4: Another. Please share with us on Facebook.

Mark's next blog takes “A Fascinating Look At The Preparation For The US Masters” until then read about:

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