One of the major points of difference in the swing of a fine golfer and the swing of a hacker is the position of the hands in relation to the club head at the instant of impact. The expert's hands are ahead of the ball. The hacker's are behind it.
This business of getting your hands ahead of the ball at impact is something like the explanation Jack Dempsey used to give for his tremendous hitting power. "I never hit a man on the chin," Dempsey used to say. "I hit through his chin right for the back of his head."
In golf, to get your hands through the ball, you must make a very conscious effort, just before impact, to get your hands a foot past the ball. You have to have the feeling that the club head is lagging well behind the hands as it approaches the ball. Actually, you can't get your hands a foot past the ball—they are never as far in front of the club head as you think—but by making a mental and physical effort to get them there, you will develop the correct action that allows you to hit through the ball with power. When your hands are behind the club head at impact, your power is lost and the best you can do is scoop the ball up weakly and improperly.
from DENNY LAVENDER, Cedar Crest Golf Club, Dallas
NEXT WEEK'S PRO: MIKE SOUCHAK ON POWER AND BALANCE