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Original Issue

Shoulder to shoulder

Playing a golf shot begins for everyone, I think, with visualizing the flight of the shot he intends to hit. This done, each golfer sets himself up for the type of shot he wants to play. I go about it like this. I set up my grip, which, as I hardly need say, is as important as anything in golf. Then I set up my stance, for balance. Then, in the swing itself, I try to get my club set up at the top of the backswing in relation to my right shoulder: I try to swing the club back only to the point where my two hands are at the same level as my right shoulder—no higher. Hitting through the shot, I work on much the same principle, that is, I swing through to a position where my hands reach the height of my left shoulder.

Shoulder to shoulder—I make this my main thought because I believe it keeps my swing uniform and produces timing. I know I will lose both consistency and rhythm if I let my hands get too high going back. My arms and the club face will coil out of line. Subconsciously I know the club face will be correct and under control if my hands stay at right-shoulder height on the backswing. This confident feeling about the correctness of my club face and the position of my arms enables me to concentrate from that point on primarily hitting the ball in the center of the club face. This, I feel, helps to correct all the contributing actions of the swing.

When you think in terms of swinging from shoulder to shoulder, you know you are swinging well within yourself. In my experience this is the highway to timing, when you avoid pressing and hurrying the action and you are swinging within yourself.

JIM TURNESA, Elmsford, N.Y.



At top of backswing


On the follow-through

NEXT WEEK: Harold Sargent on hitting with both hands