Getting A Grip On It
By Jimmy Rockelman
The first thing to understand is that the grip may be the single most important factor to everyone’s golf swing and producing consistent results. A poor grip does not mean that you will not be able to hit some quality shots; it will just make it more difficult to hit the quality shots with a high level of consistency.
Let’s start with the lead hand (left for a right hand player, right for a left hand player). The lead hand is a three step process, first we place the club in the fingers (Photo #1) The golf grip is a finger grip not a palm grip, a grip that is to much in the palm will lead to a number of problems including poor or incorrect hinging of the wrist, incorrect club face positions, and poor grip pressure.
The second step is to place the heal pad on top of the grip, and then the thumb is placed to the right of center on the club shaft. This will produce a neutral grip. (Photo #2) Once your left hand is placed on the club, again start with the fingers of the right hand and place the right on top of the left, with the right thumb placed on the left side of the center of the shaft making sure that there are no gaps between you thumbs and index fingers. As for your right hand pinky, you have a few options. The pinky can interlock with the left index finger, lay on top (overlap), or be placed on the club with a ten finger grip. The overlap or Varden grip is the most popular. The placement of the pinky is determined by the player’s preference and hand size.
The last part of the grip, may be the most important, grip pressure. One of the most popular questions I receive in my lessons is “How tight should I hold the club?”. The best way I describe grip pressure is by giving the student a way to feel the correct pressure. Grip your club and hold it out in front of you at a 45 degree angle and make small circles with the club head. The first step is to squeeze club the very aggressively and you will notice that you can feel the weight in the grip end of the club, now release the grip pressure until you can feel the weight in the club head. Once you have the feel of the weight in the club head, you have the desired grip pressure. You should always hold the club soft enough to feel the weight of the club, but not to lightly that the grip would move in your fingers.
Working to always monitor position of your hands on the club is extremely important and something that every player must do in order to receive the desired consistent results all are trying to obtain. Starting a new season or looking for better results improving our pre swing fundamentals is the place to start.