The late Macdonald Smith was a pro's pro, one of the truly great players, students and teachers of the game. Mac's essential thesis for any low-handicap golfer was this: When things go sour, you cannot make just minor corrections—you must go back to those essentials of the golf swing which you have been unconsciously neglecting. There was one fundamental in particular which Mac thought every good golfer should keep well in mind when he ran into the miseries: Be sure that the left hand and left foot start forward together when you begin the downswing. That is, as the left hand starts to pull the club down through the arc of the swing, the left foot, which has rolled over on the backswing, simultaneously starts to return to the flat, firm position it must have at the moment of impact.
In regard to this basic matter of timing, if the good golfer starts hooking and doesn't know why, he is probably starting the downswing with a right shoulder movement instead of with the left hand. If slicing or smothering is afflicting him, he is probably rolling his hands over on the backswing and trying to compensate for this error at the last moment before impact. Pronating can only bring grief to the low-handicap golfer and may explain why he suddenly begins to refer to the shower as the best part of the game.
from RALPH HUTCHISON Saucon Valley Country Club, Bethlehem, Pa.
NEXT WEEK: KATHY CORNELIUS ON DRAWING THE TEE-SHOT