The first foot of the backswing

July 17, 1960

There is a persistently bad habit in nearly everybody's swing pattern that has to be guarded against continually. With me and many other golfers the faulty movement comes near the beginning of the swing. I tend to let my wrists break in quickly to the right when the club has barely been started back. It is at this point that golfers, particularly if they have played other sports, believe that they should cock their wrists and hoist their shoulders. They are wrong. Breaking the wrists yanks the club off the line and lays it back on a plane that is much too flat. The move might be all right in baseball, but golf requires a different technique. The hands must be trained to learn to sense differently when and how to cock for power.

Most people who have the fault discover that it comes in the first foot or even six inches of the backswing. This is where they should start on the correction. The left arm is the heart of the matter. As the left arm is taken back, it must be kept straight and firm and close to the body. If the hands stay on this line, when they are about hip-high they will begin to cock, naturally and correctly. Should the hips turn too soon, the hands will be thrown out of line. Therefore, it is most important to restrain the hips until the proper time, but don't worry about the hips not turning. They will. The arms and shoulders moving back are sure to pull them around.

RUTH JESSEN, Inglewood CC, Seattle

PHOTO
ILLUSTRATIONincorrect ILLUSTRATIONcorrect

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)