Recently, when I was reading Henry Cotton's This Game of Golf, a book that delighted me with its many provocative thoughts on that inexhaustible subject, I was particularly struck by a short chapter about practicing with the left hand only.
Being a great believer in timing and rhythm, which a strong left side produces, I have taken Mr. Cotton's advice and have started practicing a left-hand swing with the wedge. It tells you a great deal. You can feel with marvelous clarity everything that happens in the swing, and you get a good feeling of contact with the ball. Right from the start, you discover another important plus: practice with the left hand alone makes you finish your swing. You can't possibly hit the ball unless you do.
Swinging with the left arm teaches an equally significant lesson. You find out the role the controlling left side plays in every phase of the swing and exactly how the movements of the left arm relate to the other parts of the body. To start with, it compels you to get set up correctly at address with your feet and legs positioned strongly. Otherwise, you can't even begin a golf swing. Throughout the swing, it reinforces facts you had previously known but never appreciated so keenly. You are more certain than ever, for instance, that when you sway off the ball you can't get back to it. In the end, when you begin to swing with both hands again, you find that everything—everything that should be in the swing—has become more clearly defined.
MARRY LENA FAULK, Glen Arven CC, Thomasville, Ga.
NEXT TIP: Fred Novak on the open stance on bunker shots