I have been coaching golf for a long time. I’ve worked with people through handwritten letters (that is a long time ago), over the phone, via email, and even used signals from across the golf course. I’ve always had pretty good success with all of these methods, but there’s one thing I really have to be “hands on” for and that is the grip.
There’s something about getting people to hold a golf club properly that requires me to be there, molding the hands around the grip. But, I feel so strongly about having a good “connection” to the club I will try to explain my thoughts on the grip here. As with most aspects of the game, there are different opinions as to how we should hold a golf club. This is mine.
Most people learning the game, and even many long time golfers, put the club in the palm of their hand where they have lots of skin contact. Our brain seems to feel the amount of skin contact we have with the club equates to the level of control we have over it.
I subscribe to the idea that we hold things in our fingers, not the palm of our hand. Knife, fork, ball, pencil ... why not the golf club? I like to cup the fingers of my left hand and then place the grip in this cup, making sure only my fingers are touching the grip, none of the palm (for a right hander this is easiest to do with your left hand hanging naturally at your side and the club running across in front of you with the head somewhere near or to the right of your right foot). Then I feel like I’m wrapping my little finger around the grip, and finally put my thumb down a little to the right side of the club and against the index finger.
The right hand will fit very nicely to the left hand if you do it properly. Look at your right thumb and see how it looks like a chicken leg, specifically the drumstick. The meaty part of the right thumb will fit perfectly on top of the left thumb – the key is to make it fit. All that’s left is to wrap the fingers around the grip as best you can without disrupting anything you have done to this point. If you overlap or interlock your little finger, go ahead and do that. If it feels wrong, or at the least not quite right, you are probably pretty close to perfect.
I believe a grip change is the worst feeling change you can make. But, you will adjust to a grip change quicker than any other. And, the benefits realized by a good grip include better hand action through impact resulting in longer straighter shots.
Putting your hands on a golf club properly is not easy, and at first it does not feel good or the least bit “correct”. But, a good grip is essential to playing better golf. If you’re having difficulty achieving a good connection with your club, see your local PGA Professional.
Kim Anders is Director of Golf at Estrella del Mar Golf & Beach Resort in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico. You can reach Kim via email at Kanders@estrelladelmar.com or call 1.888.587.0609, Ext. 3010. Find out more about the golf resort by visiting www.estrelladelmar.com.