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How you can improve your line-of-aim

Passing a carpet store a little while ago I noticed some rectangular carpet samples being sold for a dollar each. The wheels whirred. I went in and bought a few.

There are few things more useful to a would-be golfer than a rectangular carpet sample. An ordinary doormat might be better. But doormats cost seven or eight bucks where I live.

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What's so useful about a carpet sample? Well, one can use it in the yard to hit golf balls off (particularly those plastic practice balls that don't go very far). But - and this is far more important - one can use it to perfect one's aim and setup.

Go to any course and watch a dozen golfers. Only one or two will be aiming straight and only three or four will be ''set up'' to hit the ball anywhere near where they are aiming.

Standing on a road 150 yards from the first tee at a local course, and at an angle of 45 degrees, I saw a powerful male golfer aiming right at me the other day. I'm positive he thought he was aiming straight at the flag. (If I had had one with me, my flag would have been white.) I need not have worried, because the consequence was that he sliced into some trees 90 degrees in the other direction.

This happens a hundred times a day on every course in the world. Outside the pro ranks hardly anybody seems to bother to aim or set up correctly.

But with a doormat or carpet sample one can practice aiming, with or without a ball, indoors or out.

Stand behind the doormat and ''aim'' the outside edge at some mark. Now step around alongside it and ''aim'' yourself, standing in line with the inside edge. See that your footing is ''square'' and your shoulders, too. Get used to aiming straight.

With some white sticky tape the mat can be improved. You can give it a visible line-of-aim, also a delivery line or a takeaway line. Then practice in slow motion with a club in your hands.

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Aim is the name of the game.

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