There is really no need for those 8s, 9s and 10s that now and then make their way onto the scorecards of golfers who regularly play around 100 and sometimes play in the low 90s. They are caused not by lack of skill but by plain poor sense: the golfer tries to overpower the ball off the tee; he plays the ball improperly from a hazard, refusing to accept the penalty because 10 years ago he hit a phenomenal recovery from a trap with a spoon; he tries to hole every putt in sight and, as often as not, takes three putts in his obsession with holing a sensational long one.
Let us concern ourselves here with only this last unnecessary error. When the average golfer is 15 feet or more from the cup, his ambition should be to get down comfortably in two putts. He can do this very easily, even if he is 40 feet or so away, if he gives his primary attention to stroking the putt the right distance. A helpful tip in this connection is to visualize the cup as the center of a circle some five feet in diameter and to concentrate on rolling the approach putt so that it comes to rest within this imaginary circle. This leaves you only a two-and-a-half-footer to hole to get down to two. My old friend Mrs. Opal Hill was a wonderful putter because she never charged the hole and always kept her sense of distance at the front of her mind on making her approach putts. The result was that she wouldn't 3-putt three greens in a year.
from AL COLLINS, Sleepy Hollow CC, Scarborough-on-Hudson, N.Y., and Bahamas CC, Nassau
NEXT WEEK: DENNY LAVENDER ON THE HANDS AND THE LINE OF THE SHOULDERS