The start of the downswing

August 30, 1959

There is a lot of room at the top—for error. The soundest way to avoid it is to groove an action where at the top of the backswing the heel of the left hand points directly away from the target or, to say it another way, is directly behind the line of flight. There should be no crease in the left wrist. The beauty of this position is twofold. First, you don't have to be an extraordinarily talented player to execute this. And second, once you're there, it's a great way of hitting the golf ball: coming down, you don't have to discriminate with either hand.

In regard to coming down, there is a little move that nearly all the fine strikers use that I want to point out. Ideally, the initial motion of the downswing (which brings the shaft almost parallel with the ground) is a slight clockwise movement of both hands, with the right elbow moving directly under the hands and toward the right hip as the swing starts to enter the hitting area. Don't think for a minute that this is an easy thing to do right. The club seems too far behind you, and your hands are all eagerness to hit. This is not for the average golfer. But for the very good players, this finesse move at the hardest point in the swing is worth the learning. It brings you into the ball inside the line and in a superlative position to hit it squarely and accurately.

BERT NICOLLS, Belmont CC, Mass.

PHOTO
ILLUSTRATIONThe heel of the left hand is directly behind line of flight ILLUSTRATIONThe finesse position coming down

NEXT TIP: George Bayer on relaxing on the drive

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)