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Original Issue

Preparing for the shot

No matter how good a golfer you may be, you find yourself facing tension if you putter around too long over a shot, trying to get a dozen things straightened out in your mind at the same time. Now, in ballet you don't find a ballerina putting on her shoes on the stage. Similarly in golf, there are a number of preparatory things you must attend to before you take your position of address over the ball.

The best way to do this is to set up a definite pattern of procedure for yourself, a routine that you repeat without variation before playing each shot. This preparatory pattern breaks itself down into four steps for me. First, I assess the shot coming up and decide how I want to play it. Second, I select the club. Third, I take my grip on the club. And fourth and last, I step behind the ball, facing down the fairway, and get my line firmly fixed in my mind. Now all the preliminaries are out of the way, and when I take my stance I am ready to execute the shot without any of the fussing and 11th-hour cerebration that inevitably create tension in the golfer.

In a few words, then, I recommend that all golfers establish a definite routine, so that all possible preliminaries are eliminated before you step up to the ball. Over the ball you will be able to focus all your attention on executing the shot just as well as you can.

BEVERLY HANSON, Apple Valley, Calif.









Fix the line

NEXT WEEK: Jim Turnesa on shoulder to shoulder