It's a golfing fact that women take more lessons than men but, unlike men, almost never practice by themselves. This is a mistake. Only by constant practice—and this often means solitary practice, necessarily—can a person consolidate into his or her swing the various points brought out in lessons. Furthermore, independent practice away from the instructor will give a player the confidence without which it is impossible to play a really good round of golf.

On the practice tee, the ladies would do well to observe these check points:

1) At intervals throughout practice, before addressing the ball, run through three complete swings without stopping. This gets the swing in a definite pattern and establishes a sense of balance which is even more important for a woman than a man.

2) Always start practice with a short iron, never with a driver. A short iron sets the basic pattern of the swing as effectively as a longer-shafted club and instills confidence. A series of bad strokes with a longer club can short-circuit the entire practice session.

3) Make sure the toe of the club head is pointed at the ground both at the top of the backswing and at the finish of the follow-through. These positions are hallmarks of any good swing.

from SHIRLEY SPORK, Tamarisk Country Club, Palm Springs, Calif.

TWO PHOTOS TWO ILLUSTRATIONSShirley Spork's club head points to the ground at top of backswing (left) and at finish of follow-through (right)

NEXT WEEK'S PRO: ART WALL ON THE DELICATE CHIP

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)