What makes a golfer "hit" with his body instead of his hands is lack of feel at the top of the backswing. "Feel," of course, is something you cannot teach. The best a teaching pro can do is to try to develop for his pupil a sense of the correct positions, trusting that a muscular feel will develop which will instantly "tell" the golfer that his hands are doing just what they should.
In this connection, I have recently arrived at a tip that strikes me as a sound and simple device by which a golfer can check the correctness of his hands at the top of the backswing. The key is the left thumb. It should lie squarely underneath the center of the shaft-just as if it were the first story of a two-story house. When the left thumb is so positioned, it sets up three critical actions: 1) the back of the left hand lines up as straight continuation of the left arm; 2) the golfer will cock his wrists correctly; 3) his club head will be square to the ball.
The reason why I think this tip is so valuable is that a golfer, with his eyes fixed on the ball, can feel the position of that left thumb. Then, with time and practice, he should begin to develop a feel of the over-all interrelationship of both hands in the correct position at the top of the backswing.
from MIKE TURNESA, pro at Knollwood Country Club, While Plains, N.Y.
NEXT WEEK'S GUEST PRO: RIP ARNOLD ON THE SPEED OF UPSWING