Get A Grip - Part 2
I’m a firm believer that the golf swing has to be controlled by the lead side; that would be the left side for a right hand player, the right side for the lefties out there. The reason for that is that the body core rotation is the center of the swing, and really cannot move around all that much and let you stay in balance. So, a firm lead side keeps the distance between the ball and body core very consistent from top of backswing through impact and into the follow through, where it logically has to break down a bit and the trailing side extension takes over.
So, if the lead side is the controller, the lead hand’s hold on the golf club is super-crucial to achieving desirable and consistent results. Today’s column is completely devoted to breaking down the lead or upper hand’s position on the grip. Done correctly, this can almost force a more reliable swing. But a fundamentally unsound hold on the club with lead hand will prevent you from ever reaching your potential.
As you read this, it would be helpful to grab a golf club to have it handy. Now, look at your opened left hand (for righties from here out) and lay the golf club grip across in such a way that the grip is laying on the first joint of the forefinger, crossing the point where the middle fingers join the palm, and then across the pad in the palm just above the little finger. About 1” of the grip should extend past the heel of your hand.
Now, just curl your fingers – not your thumb – around the grip, so that you have a firm but not tight hold on the club, primarily with the last three fingers. If you stand up and hold the club in front of you, you should feel like you have control of the club with the last three fingers, and the forefinger and thumb are just kind of “hanging around”. They really are not that much in the picture, but just gently folded onto the grip.
As you stand up and try to hold the club directly in front of you, parallel to the ground or floor, you’ll find that the club is well in control without your thumb or forefinger even engaged. It is levered under the heel pad of the hand and across the fingers. Looking down, you should see at least two, but possibly three knuckles of the back of your hand.
If this feels really awkward, you’ve probably been holding the club much too far up into the palm of your hand, which prevents a proper release through impact and robs you of most of your body core power. If you have room to stand up and swing the club back and through, about a half swing, do that with just this left hand hold on the golf club. Just slowly swing the arm back and through, with just the left hand on the club and you’ll feel the club “loading” into the backswing and releasing through impact into the follow-through. You don’t really have to do anything but swing your arm back and forth and let this happen naturally.
Spend some time getting that feeling over the next few days, and I’ll get the other hand on the club on Tuesday.
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This is the grip concept that Ben Hogan promoted on his book and used all his career. Thanks for sharing this key swing tip.
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