The average golfer is subject to three fundamental faults when he takes the club back: 1) picking the club up too quickly with his hands rather than swinging the club back along the line; 2) pulling the club up too close to the body; 3) starting the body action before the hands and the golf club start to move—which pulls the body out of line and forces the golfer into an unbalanced chopping action.
When I first began playing, I brought the club back too close on the backswing, and this caused me to hook and shank. To overcome this fault, I drew a mental line straight back from the ball and also in front of the ball to reinforce my awareness of the line of flight, the line I intended the ball to travel. Then I worked on drawing the club back along that line. Today my habit is to pick an object in the foreground which is situated on the line of flight—a tree or a bunker or a house. Then I take the club back straight from that object and the ball. To check my backswing in practice, I stick a tee about 6 or 8 inches behind the ball on the line of the intended flight, and when I draw the club back I can check to see if the club hits the tee squarely or if it tips or shanks it.
from BYRON NELSON, Fairway Ranch, Roanoke, Texas
February 27, 1956
NEXT WEEK'S GUEST PRO: AL COLLINS ON THE APPROACH PUTT