I am often asked by my pupils, "What is the most important thing to do to play consistent golf?" My reply has been the same for years: "Learn to stroke the ball in the same timing or rhythm each time."
It has been the opinion of experts that when an average golfer plays poorly he has lost his rhythm. So the next time you go out to the practice field, I would suggest that you start to count as you start to hit. That is, learn to hit the ball on a count. From the time you address it, begin a slow rhythmic count. Some golfers use a few more preliminary waggles than others, so, naturally, their count will be a little higher than those who have a briefer waggle. For years, I have been hitting the ball on a five count. I address the ball on one, take my waggles on two, start back at three, reach the top of my swing at the count of four and, as I say "five," my club is passing through the hitting area.
Good hitters in baseball count when the pitcher starts his wind-up. Linemen in football charge on a count, and the backfield men shift on a count. To improve your golf and rhythm, learn to stroke the ball on a count.
from ART SMITH, The Camargo Club, Cincinnati
NEXT WEEK: Bill Wotherspoon on using the speed muscles