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Original Issue

The center of the club face

Anyone who has played golf seriously over a period of years (and has worked during that time to develop a sound swing and groove it) inevitably learns a tremendous lot about technique. This often can become a burden rather than a help. A golfer soon knows more about technique than he can ever hope to apply. His head can hold only so much. He cannot work on 10 things at one time without doing nine of them badly or, at any rate, less well than he might if he could concentrate all his attention on each of them—which he can't. I think the best way for any golfer to find his way out of the woods of overknowledge is to select one or two key parts of the swing which, if he executes them right, automatically insure that he will execute the other tied-in movements correctly.

Now, in this connection, the prime thing I concentrate on doing on the downswing is try to hit the ball in the center of the club face. There is nothing subtle or "inside" about this, I realize full well, and maybe that is its best recommendation. Simply working to hit the ball squarely with the middle of the face, I find, effects several important things. It smooths out the swing. It eliminates your doing a lot of things in the impact area you shouldn't do. It puts you into a position where you take your turf naturally with your irons. It bolsters your ability to stay down and over the ball as you come into it and strike it. I think of none of those things, consciously. I think only of trying to hit the ball in the middle of the club face, and they are the results of this.

JIM TURNESA, Elmsford, N.Y.



NEXT WEEK: Peggy Kirk Bell on where the natural athlete goes wrong