On the women's professional circuit, with tournaments scattered throughout the country, a player spends a good portion of her time driving on the road. Those hours behind the wheel can make you tense, and when you arrive at the site of the next tournament, it takes some loosening up. On the practice tee what I do first is to get two or three clubs and swing them together easily, as a batter does in baseball. Then I get my four-wood. There's more feeling in the four-wood for me than in any other club. I like the feel of the clubhead—it has the weight on the bottom. Along with this, I think it has the best over-all balance of any club. I find it the easiest to swing and the easiest to hit with. I can sting the ball with the four-wood.
When I'm shaking the kinks out swinging the four-wood, I have a very definite idea of the swing I want and the feel of the swing I want: I want to get everything moving smoothly. Accordingly, balance is what I work for. At the forefront of my concentration is the importance of finishing every shot on balance, not to fall back, for if you have the right balance everything comes through faster. In this connection, I find a tip given to me early in my career by my old club pro, Tom Garcia, to be very valuable, and I pass it on to you with the hope that you will really try it. When you are hitting out practice balls, hold your finish after each shot until the ball hits the ground. Simply having this thought in mind seems to encourage a swing that is integrated and balanced from start to finish.
WIFFI SMITH, St. Clair, Mich.
NEXT TIP: Billy Maxwell on soft draw on the pitch shot