Tom’s Tip: Getting a ‘grip’ on your game

by Dan M | Posted on Saturday, January 23rd, 2016


The winter months are a good time to re-access your golf game.
One of the crucial areas that is greatly overlooked is the grip. The
grip is the lifeline of the swing as it’s the only contact you have
with the club. How to hold a club is the first essential step in
learning about the swing. A good grip (hands) leads to good wrist
action. Improper wrist action causes 90% of all bad shots.
It’s only natural to try and control the club with the hands.
However, any attempt to use the hands incorrectly encourages breaking
of the wrists.
With the clubhead in a normal position, place the extended left
hand with the thumb close to the fingers, slightly over the top of the
shaft. The shaft of the club lies diagonally across the base of the
first and middle fingers and across the palm below the ring finger and
little finger. The thumb and forefinger should form a “V” which points
toward the right shoulder. The left hand controls the clubhead
position throughout the swing.
The grip must be firm, but not tense, at all times.
The right hand is placed on the shaft in such a position that
the palm is squarely facing the target. Place the right hand over the
shaft so that the” life line’ of the right palm covers the left thumb.
The little fingers of the right hand overlaps the first finger of the
left hand. As with the left, the ”V” formed by the thumb and first
finger points toward the right shoulder. The two “V’s” should be
parallel. Both hands should be placed close together so they can work
harmoniously for control.
Theoretically the clubface is an extension of the right palm-
for right handed golfers., the opposite for left- handed golfers.
I have explained the overlapping grip, but there are two other
standard types of grips: The “Interlocking” and the” Ten Finger grip”.
With these two grips the placement of the hands is the same.
The middle photo is a good image of the correct standard grip.
You can see the “V” formed with the right hand just above the Ben
Hogan name on the golf club. The other accompanying photos showcase
some unique grips that are used in drills to help understand that the
hands just go for a ride in the golf swing which is what they are
supposed to do.
The top left photo is the “Claw” grip.
The top right is the “Open Palm” grip.
Bottom left is the “Ball under the thumb” drill.
The bottom right is the “Split” grip.
These grips are designed to de-sensitize the hands so they don’t
get too actively involved in the swing causing bad shots.
Grip pressure affects swing speed as well as accuracy. A tight
grip creates tension which will restrict motion. You want a firm grip
without undo amounts of tension. On a scale of 1-10 you want somewhere
along the lines of 4 or 5.
Getting a grip on your swing now will make a difference in
achieving success on the course this year.
Tom Ward


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