My thinking on half and three-quarter shots is pretty much limited to the eight-iron, nine-iron and wedge. Let me give you the setting first—when a golfer should think of playing these shots. Let's say he's studying his approach and his partner or caddie estimates the shot by saying, "It's a full nine-iron." Well, it may very well be, but quite frequently a better shot to play at this time is a three-quarter or half shot with the next lower club, the eight-iron in this case. If there's a little wind in your face, then it certainly is the time. Apart from the benefit you gain from hitting a shot with a slightly lower arc, there's an additional benefit: using a little more technique on the swing invariably helps the player to hit better golf shots.
To play these half and three-quarter shots—shots on which you employ less than your full-length swing—the player short-handles the club a little, going down the shaft an inch or an inch and a half on his grip. He positions his feet a bit closer together than usual. On the back-swing, he must be sure that his weight doesn't get off the left foot too much. Holding the weight on the left side is somewhat difficult, but try to keep the left heel "trapped" on the ground, as we say in Canada, and that will help considerably. Proceed to hit the ball firmly, very firmly, with your natural swing—your naturally restricted swing.
STAN LEONARD, Vancouver, British Columbia