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Original Issue

for golfers of all handicaps

My experience as a now fairly veteran tournament player has brought home to me that, regardless of some minor things I may or may not be doing on a given round, my game will be fundamentally sound if I stay under the shot. To explain this a bit—there is always a tendency when you are aiming for a pin situated on the same level with yourself to try and line the ball on a low bulletlike flight for the target. When you have this conception in your mind of the shot you're going to play, you're likely to overaccelerate the whole action at contact and to hammer the ball so that it slides to the right, ducks a little to the left or, at any rate, does something erratic.

When I find I'm doing this—and, I hope, sometimes before an error informs me—I try to remind myself that a shot which flies in a high trajectory seldom goes crooked. Instead of setting my eyes on the pin, I raise them and pick out some higher object behind the pin as my target—the top of a tree, a spot on a slope, or even a cloud. Then, by swinging in such a way that my shot will soar toward that object, I will move into the ball with an action that encourages staying under the shot. I am convinced that there's tremendous value in keeping this image, this precept, always in the forefront of my mind.

from JACK BURKE JR., Kiamesha Lake, N.Y.