Guiding catheter and method of using the same in a cardiovascular procedure such as coronary angioplasty. The catheter has an elongated shaft with a deflectable distal portion. One lumen extends through the elongated shaft to form a passageway through which a dilatation catheter can be introduced. A second smaller lumen extends through the shaft to form a passageway for a control line which passes therethrough and which is connected to the distal tip. Proximal movement of the control line decreases the included angle between the distal portion and the main portion of the shaft. Pull on the control line also exerts a force on the distal portion of the guiding catheter which transmits a resultant axial force to push the catheter disposed within the first lumen. Pull on the control line also allows for catheter tip configuration adjustment thereby enabling the catheter to engage a difficult coronary ostium. In the disclosed embodiments, the distal portion is formed in two sections. Pulling the control line decreases the included angles between the distal sections and the main sections while the distal portion is positioned within a patient. The axial force is particularly advantageous with dilatation catheters to aid in directing the distal end thereof across a lesion.