In my travels around the country, one thing I've noticed about the golf of the average female player is a lack of firmness in the short game. Most of them swing the club back much too far and their wrists collapse all over the place. This is the reason why I would like to describe, and prescribe, a type of chip which I am sure the average woman can learn to play with consistent efficiency.
This shot—you play it with the nine-iron or the wedge—is called the drag shot, for the principal characteristic of the stroke is that the player drags the club back from the ball low along the ground, right on the line of flight. Both hands take the club back, but I think it is a good idea to emphasize the role of the left hand: the back of the left hand remains square to the target both on the short backswing and when you hit through the ball. This shot should be played with a minimum amount of wrist break. The blade starts square and stays square.
Keep in mind that this is a soft shot whether you're playing it from 15 yards out or from the apron. I think of it as being, in its feeling, like a little underhand toss in baseball. I generally play the ball off the right toe, hands slightly ahead of the club head. To play a higher shot, I simply move the ball forward.
from MARILYNN SMITH Wichita Country Club, Kans.
NEXT WEEK: RALPH HUTCHISON ON THE FUNDAMENTALS