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Drive the hands at the ball

One key to good golf is, as Homer Kelley says*, to make a habit of driving the hands rather than the club-head at the ball. Or at an aiming point on your delivery line just ahead of or just behind the ball.

There's no rule about the exact point of aim for the hands. Everything depends on one's individual hand speed. Fast hands can move the point aft. Slow hands will move it forward.

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One has to discover the point for oneself. And I most earnestly advise my readers to do so. This truly is one of the keys to consistency.

I well remember the first time I adopted this drill. I picked a point just ahead of the ball when driving. Then I aimed the back of my left wrist at this point. I hit the ball 50 yards further and much straighter than usual.

I remember also the last time I did it. That was today just before writing this column. Last time out I had suffered greatly and unexpectedly from wild inconsistency. Only later did I realize that I'd become slack about the aiming point. Today I went out determined to think of nothing else. For the nine holes I played I was three-over-par, playing in a howling gale.

I think of driving the firm left wrist ''through'' the ball. Some others think of the left forearm. Some, I'm told, drive both wrists at the ball. A correspondent of mine in South Africa drives the back of his right hand. As I say, there's no rule about it.

No rule, that is, except to drive some part of the hand (or both hands) at the ball or an aiming point. Not the clubhead. The hands.

This requires a bit of experimenting. But not much. To begin with, it may also require a bit of courage. Try it out. I'm sure you'll find it one of the best tips you have ever had.

*The Golfing Machine: by Homer Kel-ley: Star System Press, Seattle, Wash. 98115.

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