Did you ever try to start a cold machine in high gear? If the machine moves at all, it does so only in jerks and jumps. The same holds true for a golfer. If he doesn't warm up before a round, and then during the round renew that sense of muscular suppleness so that he is in "the right gear" before he plays each shot, he too will move in jerks and jumps.
You have probably noticed how a baseball player regularly warms up before a game—which few golfers take the time to do—and also takes pains to stay relaxed throughout the game. When he enters the batter's box, he takes a couple of practice cuts to get loose and swings the bat back and forth to stay loose and relaxed as he waits for the pitch. In general, a golfer should do the same. After he has assumed his stance, instead of starting his swing from a dead stop, he should keep his hands in motion, moving the club slowly back and forth a few times, slightly above the ball and along the line of flight. Besides eliminating tension, these movements help a golfer to gain a feeling of the clubhead as well as a sense of his muscular play, and he can then slide into his swing with the smooth rhythm of motion necessary for any good stroke.
from JIM FOGERTEY, Sunset Country Club, St. Louis
NEXT WEEK: CARY MIDDLECOFF ON THE PUNCH SHOT