For a good many golfers today, there is only one season, apparently: winter. Even when the calendar states it is July, they play winter rules, helping themselves to preferred lies before each shot from the fairway. In the long run they are not helping themselves at all. To develop sound hand action, the secret of good golf, a player must learn to hit his shots from all varieties of lies. Besides, that is the game.
When it comes to the woods especially, the average golfer takes a preferred lie almost automatically because he has no confidence the club will get the ball up into the air. Here I would strongly recommend that he use fairway woods with shallow faces. For one thing, the club head can get down into the ball on a snug lie far better than a deep-faced club head can. For another, on a normal lie, the shallow face rides below the top of the ball, and this gives you the wonderful feeling that you can't miss getting that ball up. Call it optics if you want, but it will help you to move into the complete swing with greater confidence and style.
I am always a little surprised today when I find myself referred to as an outstanding fairway wood player, for I certainly wasn't when I started my career. I do know, though, that after I changed from deep-faced to shallow-faced woods, I became far more consistent and accurate.
from GENE SARAZEN, U.S. Open champion, 1922 and 1932
NEXT WEEK'S GUEST PRO: WILLIE HUNTER ON THE CHIP SHOT