Tom’s Tip: Getting a grip on your game

by Dan M | Posted on Friday, July 28th, 2017

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I am happy to know that there are many people getting into the
game with renewed enthusiasm and are hungry for information to improve
their swing. So this weeks tip is all about the grip.
The grip is the lifeline to the swing and having a faulty one is
going to lead to a lot of wayward shots. Remember the only purpose of
the grip is to hold onto the club!
Let me give you an example of something we have all felt at one
time or another during a round of golf. When getting nervous or tense
playing golf the tendency is to squeeze the club a little tighter
than normal. This added tension in the hands will automatically start
transferring into the arms and shoot all the way up into the shoulders
and neck furthering the anxiety. Now you are over-using muscles in the
body that aren’t geared to swinging the club properly. By attempting
to over work your hands in the swing , especially under pressure, will
break the wrists which will mean a loss of control and power.
First, place your palms together like saying a prayer. This
symbolizes that you want to keep your hands in a neutral position
whenever possible. It’s like placing your hands on the steering wheel
before driving. Turning your hands left or right on the steering
column will make the car go in that direction. As it relates to golf,
too much left or right will result in hooking or slicing. So having
the hands placed on the club properly will allow you to drive the golf
ball in the desired direction.
A good grip leads to good wrist action. To explain wrist action,
there are two directions the wrists can move in the golf
swing….forward/backward or up/down. For the purpose of this article
I am going to refer to the forward/backward action as “breaking” the
wrists, and the up/down action as “hinging” the wrists. You may have
also heard this referred to as “cocking” the wrist. Having a faulty
grip encourages breaking which causes trouble.
One doesn’t have to learn the up /down (hinging). If the grip is
correct and your left arm (if right handed) is in the correct natural
position, the hinging will be automatic. In order for this “hinging”
to happen, keep the left wrist flat in relation to the back of your
left forearm and the back of your left hand. It’s as simple as that!
If the left arm is in the correct position, the wrists will hinge, if
not, there will be a breaking motion. Never, and I repeat, never try
to cultivate an independent wrist action. Let it happen naturally.
There are three standard types of grips: Interlocking,
overlapping, and ten finger (baseball grip). Which is the right one
for you? Whichever one your prefer is correct as it’s all about
comfort and feel.
I created another grip for a friend about 20 years ago that I
would like to include called the “bridge” grip. My friend had a good
swing, however he was getting too “handsy” at times which resulted in
bad shots. I teach this grip to help golfers understand how the hands
and wrists need to move correctly in the swing.
If you’re a right handed golfer all you have to do is place your
left thumb on top on your right thumb. This grip will prevent your
wrists from becoming to active and allow the arms to control the
takeaway in a smooth, one piece action. Remember, arms must control
wrists, not vice versa. Try it.. I think you’ll like it!
If there is a disease in your golf swing it’s in the hands as
that is the only contact you have with the club. Improper use of the
hands and wrists will always make the game of golf difficult instead
of a fun.
Remember a good grip leads to good wrist action. Your arms have
to put the wrists into position to hinge and unhinge naturally. Never
try to cultivate this action by cocking your wrists prematurely.
By getting a grip on your game you will see more fairways and
greens and that will lead to lower scores.

Tom Ward can be contacted at


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