The Golf Grip -- the connection
How you grip the club greatly influences how you are able to swing the club. There are 4 important principles to gripping the club:
Placement of the fingers
Placement in the fingers
It's important that the club be held more in the fingers of the hands as opposed to the palms of the hands. In a good golf swing, the hands must be able to rotate quickly through the hitting area. This is much more achievable if the handle of the club is in the fingers, like in the 2 nd photo on the right below.
The butt of the club should rest against the pad of the hand, as in the first photo below. Likewise, the other hand should hold the clubs more in the fingers as well.
The thumb of the upper hand is place on the top of the grip, slightly to the right (for a right swinger, and left of a left swinger).
Make sure the end of the club extends out from the pad of the upper hand a little.
The hands must link together on the handle of the club. There are 3 basic ways of accomplishing this link: overlap, interlock, ten finger
The overlap grip places the hands together on the club by the small finger of the low hand overlapping the upper hand using the space between the forefinger and middle finger.
The interlock grip places the small finger of the low hand in between the forefinger and middle finger of the upper hand.
The ten finger grip is the grip with the least connection. It places the small finger of the low hand next to the forefinger of the upper hand.
The ability of the hands to release the club to the ball is influenced by the strength of the golfer's hands as well as the type of grip. There are three basic grip strength types: strong, neutral & weak.
The strong grip, numbered 3 in the photo below, encourages more rotation of the hands through the hitting area, and thus a closed face at impact. If the golfer has difficulty closing the clubface at impact (leaving the face open, and thus slicing), a stronger grip will help. With a strong grip, the golfer can see more knuckles of the upper hand and the V formed by the forefinger and thumb point significantly to the right.
A neutral grip, numbered 1 in the photo, encourages the proper rotation of the hands through the hitting area, given that the sequences of the other parts of the body are correct. With this grip, the V points only slightly to the right.
The weak grip is used by golfers that tend to naturally have a lot of hand rotation through the hitting area. It encourages the club face being more open at impact. Thus, a hooker might use a weaker grip. With a weak grip, numbered 2 in the photo, the golfer sees the fewest number of knuckles and the V points towards the head of the golfer.
Below are photos of the 3 grips with both hands on the club. The photo on the left is a strong grip, in the middle is the neutral grip, and on the right is the weak grip. These grips promote a closed club face, square club face and open club face, respectively.
It's important that the club not be held too tightly by the hands. A tight grip pressure will cause major tension in the hands and arms, inhibiting proper movement during the golf swing.
Famous golfer Sam Snead used to imagine holding the golf club as if holding onto a small bird, with very little pressure. The pressure with a golf grip should just be enough to hold the club and prevent from slipping out of the hands. As the club is swung, the grip pressure will naturally increase to hold onto the club as it moves faster.
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the maximum grip pressure you can apply, the proper pressure at the start of the swing should be about 1 or 2. A person should be able to slide the club from your hands without too much effort.
Most of the grip pressure should be in the last 3 fingers of the upper hand. There should be very little pressure anywhere else except enough to keep the hands attached to the grip. You should be able to hold the club with just the 3 fingers of the upper hand. Holding the club so that it is horizontal, however, will require more finger pressure than needed when both hands are on the club and the club is resting on the ground at address.
Training Aid - You can purchase training golf grips to help you learn the proper grip. These are pre-molded grips that attach to the club and are shaped so that the fingers must be placed onto the grip in the correct way.
Want to view other lessons in this series thus far. Click on the link below.
Lesson #1: Golf Grip -- The Connection
Lesson #2: Golf Stance & Set-up -- The Foundation
Lesson #3: Golf Swing Plane -- The Swing Slot
Lesson #4: Golf Swing Weight Transfer -- The Athletic Move
Lesson #5: Golf Swing BackSwing -- The Takeaway & Coil
Lesson #6: Golf Swing DownSwing -- Maintain Angles & Transition Period
Lesson #7: Tempo Timing Rhythm -- Backswing/Downswing Ratio
Instruction, Ken Tannar 2001-2013. All Rights Reserved.
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