Get A Grip
As you can imagine, I have a near-obsession with observing golfers with whom I come into contact. I look at set-up and posture, backswings, downswings, impact zone and follow-through with an analytical mind. And I also study how various golfers go about their pre-shot routines and shot selection, often having a “what was he/she thinking” reaction to what I observe.
But my focus is almost always drawn to how a golfer holds the club, as I think that is the most significant key to a golfer’s potential, and it unlocks the rest of the swing . . . or absolutely prevents a golfer from ever reaching their true potential. Ben Crenshaw is also a huge admirer of a good grip, and once told me that you could tell more about a golfer by looking at his or her grip than you ever could by watching their swing action. I agree completely.
The most wonderful thing to me is that a fundamentally sound grip on the club is attainable by anyone. It doesn’t require strength, and it isn’t discriminating against those with physical restrictions or limitations. It doesn’t take a driving range to learn and practice a good grip; you can do it in your office while you are on the phone, on your sofa while watching the news or a ball game, golf tournament, etc.
So the amazing thing is . . . why the heck to the vast majority of golfers have such lousy grip fundamentals? If you don’t have a proper hold on the golf club, there is no way that a fundamentally sound swing can result. The exact positioning of the hands on the club allows all the other things to happen like they should. But I see more golfers hold the club like it was an axe, a baseball bat, a shovel or a ham sandwich than anything else. I’ll guarantee you that you can see all kinds of swing moves on the professional tours, but it is rare to see a golfer performing at that level with anything but a near-perfect grip.
We’re coming into fall, and many of you are dreading the end of the season. But what better time is there to make a commitment to really improving your game for next year? And there is no better place to start that by changing the connection between you and the club.
I’m so serious about this that I’m going to devote the next 2-3 columns on the fundamentals of a good grip, and how all of you can get there. If you are an accomplished player of low single-digit or better, this might not be as interesting to you as some of my other columns. But if you have room to improve, I can assure you that a better grip on the club is the first building block to making dramatic progress.
Have a great weekend guys, and the grip overhaul will begin on Tuesday.
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[ comments ]
Look forward to it, curious to see what changes I could implement. I changed my grip about 2 years ago, toa slightly strong grip with interlocking hands (from overlapping weak grip). This took a while to get comfortable but the off-season proved to be the best time to hone it in.
So what actually is a good example of a good golf grip?
For me, it's safe to say that the majority of golfers have lousy fundamentals, not just specific to the grip. It starts with the grip but extends to ball position, posture, setup, etc. Many golfers I see are very inconsistent with all of this.
@blundermuz, Ben Hogan's book, "Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf" has very good illustrations/explantions on the proper grip.
changing my grip was the hardest thing to do so I took last winter to change my grip by just grabbing the club properly without hitting any balls. Went from a 10.2 to a current 5.6, I'd say it helped.
How bout Tommy Gainey's grip?
You can't really say enough about the importance of good grip. I'm still not sure what makes a good grip but I know that I try to achieve one that delivers a square face at impact without too much hand and wrist manipulation. Also the waggle as taught by Hogan is a good way to check your grip.
What do you think about those training grips that they have on weighted clubs or other training aides?
I would say more often than not, many higher handicaps have weak grips. I always encourage newer golfers to take a stronger grip (for right handers, you can see 3 or 4 knuckles of their left hand.
I'm looking forward to your discussions on the grip. I hope you will give specifics on why a good grip is important. How a good grip will help your game and how a bad will hurt you. Everyone seems to agree that a good grip is important but most people seem unable to explain why. Don't throw the club from the top of the swing. WHY? because throwing the club will cause you to slice the ball. Grip the club correctly, WHY? Umm... because the grip is the only contact you have with the club.
The Ghost says:
looking forward to your articles
The best tip regarding gripping the golf club I ever read was to stand with your arms hanging, relaxed at your sides. Look down at your left hand. That is the position your left hand should be in on the golf club. Before this tip, I had a push-slice. Following reading and applying the tip, I eliminated the push (took some lessons, and did some other things to cure the slice).
joe jones says:
As I have aged I have developed severe arthritis in my hands. Obviously this condition can be catastrophic when one has to grip a golf club. I have always tried to use a correct grip but increasingly I found that I was losing my grip with my left hand at the top of my back swing . The pinky and ring finger would loosen if I tried to take a full back swing and I could no longer control the path or the position of the club face at contact. Thankfully I have discovered a solution. The product is The Stabilizer Golf Glove by Pickle's Custom Golf (www.garypickle.com) After you place the grip in the proper position there is a Velcro strap that wraps and locks the grip in position. This has allowed me to stop squeezing the club and allows me to extend the top of my swing with confidence. I no longer have the fear that I will "lose it". I have regained about 10 yards on my drives but more importantly improved my accuracy.Price $16.00
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