Teaching golf as a profession, I see countless examples of why students are struggling so much. In this blog, I will attempt to identify what I believe is the number one killer of a good swing. The way we hold the club.
The number one most important aspect of any good swing…is how you grip the club. If I had a penny for every bad grip I’ve seen, I could stop teaching and retire today. Below would be an example of the correct grip:
The second and often overlooked aspect of a proper grip, is grip pressure. For some reason golfers of all levels come to me squeezing the life out of the club! Like they’re trying to kill something. I often tell my students to hold the club like you’re holding a baby bird. Gentle.
Here is a breakdown of what each finger(s) is doing when we hold the club.
The index finger and thumb on both hands are primarily place holders. They should be applying very little pressure at all. Think of them like you might if you were holding a pool stick. The shaft of the club is meant to rest in the middle pads of your index fingers (not palm). Think cradling the club with each of those fingers.
That leaves 6 digits to potentially hold the club. Whether you use overlap or interlocking, the pinky of your trail hand (right hand for most golfers) will wedge itself in between the index and middle finger of the left (lead) hand. So that’s not really touching the club either.
We’re now down to 5 fingers left. Three on the left and two on the right. THOSE are the only fingers that should be applying pressure. This is where the baby bird grip pressure is applied.
The left (lead) fingers are controlling the top grip portion with the pinky, ring and middle fingers, while the shaft lies in the fatty pad of the left hand. Done correctly, you should be able to hold the club with one hand and two fingers. Done incorrectly, the club will fall out of your hand.
Once your lead hand is on the club correctly, you’ll want to see the two knuckles of your left hand when looking down at address. There should be a V formed in your hand and it should be pointing to your right (trail) shoulder/eye.
When you put your right (trail) hand on the club, think of it like you are shaking hands with someone. You wouldn’t slide your hand underneath somebody to shake their hands, you just would extend it out. Similarly I want you to just extend your right (trail) hand out and grab the grip with your middle and ring fingers. The pinky will overlap or interlock with the left hand, the index and thumb will just cradle the grip of the club.
The moral of this story is this: an improper grip often leads to hooks, slices, lack of hinging, too much hinging, outside to in swings, over the top and several other flaws that can crop up. Take time to learn what a correct grip is, practice it while you’re watching TV and soon you’ll see better results out on the golf course.
For further instruction or questions, please visit bettergolfinstruction.com or contact Dan Chicorel directly.