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Getting that impact in line before you swing for the fairway

Now that young Bob Clampett is really beginning to make a mark -- and not a black one, as he did by larking about on a most serious occasion a year or so ago -- that extraordinary book by Seattle's Homer Kelley, "The Golfing Machine," is also back in the news. Clampett was brought up on it, under the watchful eyes of Ben Doyle at the Carmel Valley Country Club.

Many people who left geometry behind along ago with sighs of relief, and never truly managed to get into engineering, find the book hard to take. But it has many simple but revealing insights into golf that can be found nowhere else in all the massive literature about the game.

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For instance, Homer Kelley was about the first to point out that, contrary to what almost everyone else says, the impact position and the address position are not -- repeat not -- the same. Or anything like the same. If you return to the address position at impact you're sunk.

So, Kelley asks, why not rehearse the actual impact position you want before you swing? Either instead of or as part of a forward press. Nothing could be simpler.

The left wrist is bowed out, or at least flat, at impact. The clubshaft leans backward. The player's left shoulder is high. His right shoulder is coming "under." The clubface is (usually) exactly "square."

At impact the player's legs are working too. His left hip is forward. His left foot is beginning to roll and his right to come up toward the toes.

In less time than it takes to explain, it is possible to rehearse the entire impact position before starting the swing. At the same time you can confirm that your grip is right.

So they not do so? Why leave it to chance?

Kelley's concept of the Impact Fix is one of the mo st valuable new ideas in golf.

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