Golf, I keep reminding my pupils, is a two-handed game. To develop the muscles of the left side, the left arm, and the left hand which initiate and control the backswing and downswing, I recommend to my pupils that they go as far as to practice making shots using just the left hand (illustration A). In this general connection, I like to demonstrate to golfers who are skeptical of the great importance of the left side that I can drive a ball just about as far with the normal overlapping grip by gripping the club with my left hand and only the thumb and forefinger of the right (illustration B). In fact, do you know the only reason for the overlapping grip? To take that little finger of the right hand out of the hitting action and weaken the right hand so that it won't overpower the left.
The golfer who lets his right side overpower his left will rarely ever progress beyond the "fairly good" class. Only if the left arm is in control, for example, has the golfer insurance against throwing the club from the top of the backswing. This assumes optimum conditions: left shoulder acting as the pivot of the swing; head acting as an anchor; right elbow in; and the proper wrist-cock and pause at the top of the backswing.
from TOD MENEFEE, pro at the San Antonio Country Club
NEXT WEEK'S PRO: HARRY PEZZULLO ON GAUGING THE TRAP SHOT