One of the first essentials a golfer must master if he is to achieve his goal of hitting the ball straight is to address the ball correctly—to square up to the shot. Too many golfers make allowances for slices and hooks which they have yet to make. If hitting the ball straight is what you propose to do, then make full preparation for this in your stance. Address the ball in an orderly, systematic, almost geometric manner. While this will not guarantee a straight shot, you will by all means enhance your chances of playing one.
The first step in squaring up to the shot is to draw an imaginary line through the ball in the direction of the flight you want the ball to take. With your feet together, place them at a right angle to this line of flight. Still standing erect, check to see that your shoulders are parallel to this line of flight and that the shaft of the club is at a right angle to it. Only after you have carried out these preliminaries should you spread your feet and adapt your posture to the action of swinging the club.
If this procedure sounds too elementary, I might add here that it is an exact description of the way many of the top professionals, such as Sam Snead, assume their stance. After many years of tournament golf, they find that they still profit from adhering to this basic regimen.
from TOD MENEFEE, San Antonio Country Club, San Antonio, Texas
NEXT WEEK: PETER THOMSON ON THE POSITION OF THE HEAD