After reading this you are likely to be qualified to go down the driving range line and give lessons yourself. Looking down the line we will see all sorts of swings. Some more rhythmic than others. Why?
It all starts in the grip. How you place the club in your hands.
How you grip the golf club will affect your instincts on how fast you can swing the club – where and how you move your body – the position of your clubface – everything.
Everyone who wishes to make a more effortless swing creating more power and distance will benefit from a visit to their grip.
Once in a demonstration clinic by Kathy Whitworth I witnessed her telling us about when she went to Harvey Penick for lessons and he worked on her grip for 30 days before she hit a golf ball.
So what is the “secret”?
One starts by placing the club first in the fingers of the leading hand and simply close the hand on the club by placing the thumb as it would naturally land on the grip.
A simple test of the range of motion of your wrist will tell you where that is.
Hold your leading arm extended in front of you with the thumb up. Rotate as far as comfortably to one side and the other. When you feel tension – stop. The middle of that rotation will be where your thumb would be placed.
A checkpoint at this stage is hinging your hand up and down with the thumb and the butt of the hand supporting the club. With the arm extended and hanging at the side this should be comfortable. Hinge in your wrist to lift the club – not by bending the elbow.
Where the club is placed in the trailing hand is very important. The grip pressure in your hands and your instincts will change based on where you make the first contact with the club in your hands. This is the “Domino Effect” applied.
Whether you prefer to interlock your fingers, overlap or baseball style – the middle two fingers of the trailing hand should make contact with the club grip first – then close around the grip snugly.
The lifeline on your trailing hand will then fit nicely on the thumb of your leading hand – with this now being where you may feel a new source of support for the club in your hands.
The thumb and forefinger will be your curse. You may cut them off for all practical purposes. Most avid golfers will have a spot on the inside of the thumb to touch the grip and we’d like to see little pressure in the forefinger.
Take a lesson from Jim Furyk on tour – watch the way he takes his grip before approaching the shot.
Then take a bucket of balls and take time before each shot to carefully place your club in your hands. It will reduce tension and your final domino to fall will be straighter and longer golf shots.
To Good Golf,
Tony Simpson, PGA Professional