What makes a golfer "hit" with his body instead of his hands is lack of feel at the top of the backswing. "Feel," of course, is something you cannot teach. The best a teaching pro can do is to try to develop for his pupil a sense of the correct positions, trusting that a muscular feel will develop which will instantly "tell" the golfer that his hands are doing just what they should.
In this connection, I have recently arrived at a tip that strikes me as a sound and simple device by which a golfer can check the correctness of his hands at the top of the backswing. The key is the left thumb. It should lie squarely underneath the center of the shaft-just as if it were the first story of a two-story house. When the left thumb is so positioned, it sets up three critical actions: 1) the back of the left hand lines up as straight continuation of the left arm; 2) the golfer will cock his wrists correctly; 3) his club head will be square to the ball.
The reason why I think this tip is so valuable is that a golfer, with his eyes fixed on the ball, can feel the position of that left thumb. Then, with time and practice, he should begin to develop a feel of the over-all interrelationship of both hands in the correct position at the top of the backswing.
from MIKE TURNESA, pro at Knollwood Country Club, While Plains, N.Y.
thumb to rear of shaft—club face is open
thumb directly beneath shaft—club face is square
thumb in front of shaft—club face is closed
Mike Turnesa demonstrates correct position of left arm and left hand at top of backswing
NEXT WEEK'S GUEST PRO: RIP ARNOLD ON THE SPEED OF UPSWING