Get A Grip Wrap Up
So, over the past week, we’ve explored the role of both the left hand and the right hand on the grip of the club (lefties, please reverse all this, OK?). I cannot stress enough how much your ball-striking will improve if you really focus on developing sound grip fundamentals. Most golfers don’t really think about it, but your hands are the only connection you have with all that technology in your clubs. If the connection is wrong, good things just cannot happen with regularity.
Only with your left hand on the grip in a power position and the right hand on the grip in a passive position, can your wrists can hinge/unhinge and rotate back and through in the proper manner. The key is to get the hands to work together. And the basic principle of that is to have your two palms facing each other every time you grip the club. It really doesn’t matter if you feel more comfortable with a strong (rotated slightly to your right) or weak (rotated slightly left) grip, your hands can work together ONLY if they are aligned with each other.
As you practice your left- and right-hand grip independently, those positions will become more familiar. But when you put both hands on the club together, simply open them up flat and make sure the palms are on the same plane. A stronger grip will have the left palm facing downward some, toward the up-facing right palm. A weaker grip will have this plane formed by the palms to be more vertical.
I suggest the best angle for the majority of golfers is where that plane of the palms is in line somewhere between your right cheek and your right shoulder. Do your experimenting within that range and see what delivers the most desirable shot pattern for you.
Finally, when you are practicing – and playing – focus your attention on your grip pressure, and the relative control assigned to the two hands. You should feel most control of the club in the last three fingers of the left hand, with a lesser degree of firmness in the middle two fingers of the right. You should feel as little pressure in your right thumb and forefinger as possible. In fact, as I mentioned earlier, it is great practice to hit shots of all kinds – from short chips to full swing drivers – with your right thumb and forefinger completely off the grip. It will feel “weak” and funny to you, but I’ll bet dollars to donuts you will be amazed at the smoothness and rhythm this exercise brings to your swing . . . and to your results.
So, there you have “The Wedge Guy’s” take on the importance of a sound grip and the way to get one for yourself. What would you guys like me to tackle next?
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.
[ comments ]
Short game! short game! short game!
I'm a mid-high handicapper and while I'd love to get more consistent driving and mid-long irons, it's round the green that would help my scores the most. Within 40yds of the cup I should be taking no more than 3 strokes and regularly giving myself chances of 2's but instead I more often than not take 4+ shots. Be it an attempted flop shot hit thick (way over the green) or thin (ball moves 2in), I just can;t seem to get it right.
So Terry, what I'd like you to write about next is a quick run through of the basic "round-the-green" wedge shots and some tips on when to use them. I'm talking chips, pitches, flops, bump'n'runs, hop'n'stops, trundlers, and whatever else you think is important.
SD Charlie says:
That series was awesome. After working on this recently, I feel that I already had good grip fundamentals. However, like you said, it's always good to get a refresher, or to get reminded so bad habits don't form. One thing I know I missed was having little-to-no pressure/tension in the thumb and index finger of the lower hand. I will definitely try your tip of taking them off the club, the next time I go out for practice.
@nojdemo2 I agree my last three rounds all of my blow up holes have been because of faulty short game fundamentals. Help us "Obi" Terry "kanobi" you are only hope. lol
Terry, How about splitting this into a Tuesday work up for everything about the swing and Friday answer specific questions/requests. The next Tuesday session could start with set up (followed by take-away, backswing, start of the forward swing, impact, and follow-through) and Friday you can start with one of the typical short game shots requested above (chips, pitches, flops, bump-n-run, etc). We all appreciate your years of experience and that you are a true student/teacher of the game.
Terry, nice set of articles. I must admit when I saw the title of the first one I was expecting an article on club grips. How about an article on club grips? I'm interested in the caring and replacing of grips as I can't believe the spin the grip companies use telling the average player how often to replace their grips.
Thanks. I got the same point about positioning the club low in the palm and fingers from a D Leadbetter book some time ago. Is it bad to grip the club with the lead hand almost exclusively in the fingers (ie no palm at all)? I'm thinking I might be gripping too low in the hand and overcompensating for past mistakes.
How right the wedge guy is.I just recently discovered this when I heard Tom Watson say,the tighter you grip the club,the faster you will swing it.I used the same method the wedge guy stated and it made a big difference in my game.It helped my tempo,and really shows in my ball striking,most notable in my fairway metal shots.Between the lighter grip pressure and palm to palm grip my numbers are getting lower.
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