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Original Issue

Controlling the right hand

Many golfers, in learning to play, were taught to hit the ball with the left hand and let the right hand go along for the ride. In the last few years we have heard the conflicting instruction to hit the stuffings out of the ball with the right hand.

Actually, there is a danger in both. It is impossible to hit the ball with only the left hand, and in an attempt to do so the player will only impede his natural power. It is true also that the right hand—and, I would add, the right side of the body—can be correctly used only when the swing has been properly set up so that it can play its part in proper balance with the left.

Assuming the player has reached the top of the backswing correctly, the first movement is the turning of the left hip back toward the line of flight, and the weight is moved toward the left foot. This movement will pull the hands down to a waist-high position, with the club dropped on the inside. If this movement has been made correctly, the right elbow will be riding to the right hip, and the wrists will still be fully cocked. The right arm then begins to straighten and continues to straighten as the ball is struck. As the right arm is straightening, the wrist will release its tension, or "cock," and the right side of the body will turn toward the line of flight.

HAROLD SARGENT, East Lake Country Club, Atlanta



NEXT WEEK: Harvey Penick on proper use of all clubs