I like to imagine that a railroad track runs from the spot where I'm standing right up to the green. My feet are planted squarely on one rail of the track, and the ball is positioned on the other rail.
If this sounds like a foolish method for setting your direction up, consider the square-your-shoulders-to-the-target method many golfers use. By squaring his shoulders to the flag, say, the golfer feels he will be hitting on a straight line toward the flag. That feeling is deceiving, however. Unless the golfer automatically compensates—and a lot of golfers do this—chances are the ball will go sailing off to the right of center, for there is a tendency to cut across the ball in an effort to keep it square on the object. The club closes in instead of hitting from the inside out.
After a few swings the railroad-track method begins to feel natural. The tracks of the imaginary railroad come to a point at the target, just as the tracks of a real railroad appear to merge in the distance. On the downswing the club will feel as if it's going to whack the ball far to the right of that target point. It won't. You'll be right on line.
from WILLIE KLEIN, La Gorce Country Club, Miami Beach, Fla.
NEXT WEEK: DOUG FORD ON PUTTING THE SHORT ONES