Tom’s Tip: Eliminate cockiness in the grip

by Dan M | Posted on Friday, November 8th, 2019

 

TOM WARD
TOMPWARD@SBCGLOBAL.NET

This week’s tip deals with the kind of “cocky” that can ruin your
swing and deliver a devastating blow to scores and ego.
The cocky I’m talking about starts with the hands and wrists, not
the lips. You’ll need to pay special attention to this particular area
of the swing because it’s the heartbeat of your golf game. The hands
are the only contact with the golf club as this is the central nerve
center.

To elaborate more on this important issue reference the two photos
showcasing the same hands as they make their way to the top of the
backswing. The photo on the bottom is the incorrect way to swing the
golf club. Compared to the photo on the top you can easily see a big
difference in the manner of how the golfer’s hands are working.

First, in the picture on the bottom you can see how the hands
have begun to separate from the palm of the golfer’s left hand. That
gap can widen as the golfer takes the club back to the top of the
backswing, resulting in a loss of control over the club’s shaft.
Commonly, you’ll see a lot of golfers over-swinging or “crossing the
line” at the top of their backswing with that action.
“Casting”, or throwing the club head first, usually occurs when making
a downward move back in the impact area, and the ball could go all
over the place. If the seams of your grip start coming apart, so will
hopes of hitting good quality shots.

There are a few measures you can take to counteract this critical
error. Some people wedge a coin between the palm and grip. The idea is
to make a swing without letting the coin fall out at any point. This
can work, but it feels awkward and uncomfortable and people usually
lose interest after a few swings.

There’s the concept of keeping the palms pressed together like
when saying a prayer. It works on the same principle as the coin,
however you don’t have to deal with a physical object placed in
between the hands. Initially, it can feel forced and cumbersome, but
eventually you’ll forget about it after a few swings.

Another idea is to use a golf tee and wedge it in there like you
did with the coin. All of these well known band-aid solutions, or
quick fixes, have been around for quite awhile with mixed results. I
personally believe that the problem can be rectified by simplifing
your grip and going back to the basics. This is the best way to attack
the issue of separation in the grip by relying on good old solid
fundamentals. I’ll elaborate in greater details in future articles
about how to place the hands on the club properly.

As seen in the top photograph, which is the correct way to swing
the club head, there is symmetry to a good golf grip. The player has
total control of the club head throughout the entire swing. Your
wrists will hinge properly in the correct sequence without any
assistance by staying true to the time tested formula of keeping the
hands in check. What I mean by that statement is, if you allow your
arms to control your hands and wrists instead of vice versa, then golf
will be a fun activity. It’s really that simple!

Take a closer inspection of the golfers hands. The picture on the
top shows how well the golfer’s hands are connected to the grip, when
in comparison to the photo on the bottom where you can clearly see
there is a significant gap as the butt of the handle from his left
hand has separated from the club. I’ve marked that point with an X.
Once the hands have lost control of the grip your swing is out of
control and it’s tough to recover.

Also, look at the back of the golfer’s left hand in both
photographs. There is a tremendous difference in the two. The correct
grip on the top shows how the players left forearm and back of her
left hand have stayed uniform and connected as a one piece…a perfect
lever system that will automatically keep the club head on the correct
swing path.

Looking at the photo on the bottom (incorrect) you’ll see not only
a separation in the grip, but a cupping of the golfer’s left hand
sending the club shaft on a move upward, or steeper, swing path. When
the hands get too “cocky” a multitude of bad scenarios are going to be
played out on the golf course.

If there is a disease in the golf swing it starts in the hands.
The hands are the only physical contact you have with the club and
when we get nervous and tense we start applying a death grip. The
legendary golfer Sam Snead once said, “If a lot of people gripped a
knife and fork like they do a golf club, they’d starve to death.” I
have to echo Sam’s sentiments on that statement.

Remember, the whole purpose of the hands are to hold onto the club
and nothing more. Give this tip a try, I don’t want you to end up like
a golfer who told me the other day while playing he finally hit two
good balls……he stepped on a rake.

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