Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Golf Grip

Whoa Nellie, I must have had a brain burp. Here I've got everyone up on the tee box, ready to hit that little white ball down the middle of the fairway, and I forgot a very important golf setup. The Golf Grip. So, without further ado, let's get to it.

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The Golf Grip:

There are many different opinions on how to grip a golf club, but very few instructors tell you WHY you should grip the club a certain way. The reason that the grip is SO important is because it is the only part of your body that controls the clubface, your hands.

Gripping the Golf Club with the Left Hand:

We're going to start with the grip!

When you pick up a golf club your hands are the only part of your body that touches the club. For many years the hands (grip) have often been referred to as the steering wheel of the golf swing. I don't believe this could be more true. Gripping the golf club correctly makes playing this game a much better experience.

Gripping the golf club at first glance does not seem like a very difficult thing to do, however, it can take a lot of trial and error to figure out the correct grip for you. This is a very interesting aspect to the game of golf. Gripping the golf club is a VERY INDIVIDUAL thing for everyone that plays golf. There are no two grips alike.
During the time you spend experimenting on finding the correct grip for yourself, you will have to record in a journal what grip you were trying and the results of the shots you hit. You can only find what works for you through hitting golf balls. I can and will guide you, but ultimately, results on the golf course speak louder than me.
Here is a guide, on the way I have taught my students since I began teaching this game over 30 years ago. I haven't changed my theory of the grip in that time span, so I hope you can take this and learn from it.

Golf Grip Mechanics:

As you pick the golf club up in your left hand, the golf club goes across the left palm - from the base of the forefinger to the pad above the pinky. The more you grip the golf club in the fingers, the faster you can swing the golf club and the quicker the clubface will close (causing a hook or draw ball flight).

If you grip the golf club further up in the palm,

the slower the golf club will travel and the longer it takes for the clubface to close (causing a slice or a fade). If you are slicing the golf ball, you will want to move the grip more into the fingers (the base of the fingers), if you are hooking the golf ball, you will want to move the grip more into the palm area (higher up in the left hand).

Golf Grip - Effects on Ball Flight :

The grip does more to effect actual ball flight than anything else in the game. That's why we've started with the grip. It's the foundation of the swing, and a quick fix for those of you that have undesirable ball flight patterns.
Once you have placed the left hand on the golf club you can close your hand around the grip.

Golf Swing – Gripping the club with the Right Hand:

Golf Grip - How to Grip the Club with the Right Hand -

The left hand is in place and now you are going to place the right hand on the golf club. With your right hand on the side of your right leg, slowly bring it towards the bottom of the golf club. The right hand will be placed on the golf club more in the fingers than the palm. You will simply fold the right hand around the fingers of the left.

Golf Grip - Palms Must Face Each Other :

No matter which grip you choose, BOTH PALMS MUST ALWAYS FACE EACH OTHER .

It is not a difficult thing to do but it is mandatory, no grey area.

You have now GRIPPED the golf club. There is a good chance you have NOT gripped it properly for you, so you will have to experiment.

However, I have given you a great starting point. The placement of the hands on the golf club controls what the clubface will do during the golf swing and ultimately what the clubface will look like at impact.

A side note:
** Most golf clubs either have a "ladies" grip or a "men's" grip on the golf club. If you have small hands it is very important to make sure you have your clubs gripped with a ladies grip, it doesn't matter if you own men's clubs. If you have large hands you should have your clubs gripped with men's grips. There are a couple more options, if your hands are really small you can have "junior" grips placed on your clubs or if you have x-large hands or arthritis you can have "jumbo" grips placed on your clubs. The grip size also effects ball flight. Large grips tend to make a person fade the ball and small grips tend to make a person draw the ball.**

An article by: Bobby Eldridge on 12-03-2007

Bobby Eldridge is a teaching pro and one of the best we've ever seen. He has over 30 years experience teaching people to play better. No wonder he's taught the best of the best.

Next week, we'll talk about the seven different grip types. Stay tuned.

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