It's All in the Grip

Instruction

It’s All in the Grip

Practicing this part of the golf swing doesn’t involve getting out in the cold  

By Tim Cusick

The year 2013 is upon us and it’s time to give some thought to improving your game for the coming season.

One area you can improve without ever hitting a shot is your grip. The grip has a direct connection to the club and is vital to achieving a consistently square clubface at impact. It also helps control the trajectory that you hit your shots. However, the grip is often neglected. How you hold the club can make the difference between a shot in the fairway and one that sails out of bounds.

A quick step-by-step positioning of your hands should go like this:

Let your left arm hang down with the back of the left hand facing the target. Take hold of the club with your last three fingers. That’s a pressure point. Follow by closing the rest of your left hand, creating a “V” with your thumb and index finger.

Next, position the seam of your right palm against the side of your left thumb. This is another pressure point. Close the remainder of your right hand, creating a V with your thumb and index finger.

V’s on the left and right hand formed by the thumb and index finger are pressure points as well.

How you interlock your hands underneath is important but not critical. Golfers that have small hands and juniors can hold on 10-finger style. You may also interlock or overlap your left index finger and right pinkie. Either style is acceptable. Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus use the interlock style. Many other Tour players use overlap.

Grip pressure should be like a nice firm handshake, providing equal pressure with both hands. The tighter you hold on the more difficult it is to release the club, and vice versa for a looser grip pressure.

The end result should be a grip that shows between 1½ and 2 knuckles on the left hand, a right palm that covers the left thumb and both hands matching one another in the angle they’re positioned on the club. Never have the hands oppose one another.

 

Instruction 1

 

The above neutral grip will help produce a square clubface throughout the swing. As the club swings back and up the top of the backswing the back of the left hand should be flat to the forearm. If the grip is neutral the clubface will match the back of the left hand. This is the optimum position at the top of the backswing to be consistent with your trajectory and accuracy.

Instruction 2

 

If the hands are turned too much to the right at address, creating a stronger grip, you’ll have a clubface position throughout the swing that’s closed to the swing plane. Closing the face will lower the trajectory and manipulation will be needed to get the clubface consistently square at impact.

Conversely, a grip that’s turned too much to the left at address is a weaker grip, and will produce a clubface that’s too open throughout the swing. The trajectory of the shot will be higher than normal, potentially losing distance, and manipulation will be needed at impact to square the clubface.

Instruction 3

 

To practice your grip all you need is the club. I believe the best way to work on your grip is indoors. Practice putting your hands on the club, holding on to the club for a few seconds and then start the process all over again. Becoming more familiar with the correct grip indoors allows you not to worry about your grip when it’s time to practice or play.

Create a “ripple effect” throughout your swing by improving your grip in 2013. It will help improve your trajectory, curvature, impact, distance and might just help cure that nagging golfer’s elbow.

 

 

SCORECARD

  • The grip has a direct connection to the club and is vital to achieving a consistently square clubface at impact. It also helps control the trajectory that you hit your shots.
  • If the hands are turned too much to the right at address, creating a stronger grip, you’ll have a clubface position throughout the swing that’s closed to the swing plane.
  • A grip that’s turned too much to the left at address is a weaker grip, and will produce a clubface that’s too open throughout the swing.
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