Thursday, September 26, 2013

Grip the club like a pro

 Grip the club like a pro

Your hands are the only part of your body that comes in contact with the golf club.  What you do with your hands determines what kind of a shot you will hit.  Having a neutral, balanced grip, is essential to consistent play - solid shots that sound and feel as good as they look.

If you are a beginner, your number one priority is to learn the proper grip.  It won't feel comfortable at first, but the results of sticking with it far outweigh the struggle.  If you have been playing golf for a few years with the improper grip, then make an effort to change, even though it may take a while and you may shoot less than satisfactory scores for a few rounds.  The effort is well worth the time.

Before explaining how your hands should be placed on the club let me just say something… tension kills the golf swing!!  Tension starts in the hands and if you want to have any chance of making a great golf swing you need to lose the tension in your grip.  When holding the club properly the tension should be minimal.  On a scale of 1-10 you should hold the club at about a 3 or a 4.  The more you hold the club in your fingers the easier it is to keep the tension light.

 The left hand 


Step 1 : Lay the club diagonally across the palm of the left hand, starting with the middle knuckle of the forefinger and ending with the base of the little finger.  Leave roughly 1 cm between the butt end of the club and the underside of the left hand.

Step 2 : Close the left hand around the grip with the thumb slightly right of the shaft centre at approximately the 12.30 position and make sure that there is no gap between the thumb and forefinger.  When holding the club out in front of you, the line formed by your thumb and forefinger should point between your right ear and right shoulder. 

The right hand 

Step 3 : Bring the right hand to the shaft such that the grip rests on the middle joints of the second and third fingers and make the choice of the overlapping, interlocking grips or the 10 finger grip. See below
Step 4 : Close the fingers of the right hand around the grip.  The life line in the right palm should be placed against the left thumb.

The palm of the right hand should now be parallel to the backside of the left hand with the right thumb at approximately the 11.00 position.  Now, when holding the club out in front of you, the line formed by your right thumb and forefinger should be parallel to the line formed between the left thumb and forefinger.

The Overlap or Vardon 

This is the most common grip amongst golfers, where the little finger of your bottom hand sits in between the middle finger and forefinger of your top hand.  This is especially useful for players with large hands as it is the most comfortable grip for big fingers.
The Interlock
The forefinger of your top hand intertwines with the little finger of your bottom hand.  Normally recommended for anyone with small hands as you get a better hold than with the overlap. 

The 10 finger

With the 10 finger there is no connection between the fingers.  This is the least common grip by far and very few top players have ever used this style.  But just because it is rare, it doesn't mean that you can't give it a go and see if it suits you.  Any size hands will do.

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