by Roger Wessels
Building a good grip is very similar to a building’s foundation. Get it right and you have a solid and reliable base to build your swing on. Get it wrong and you will have years of quick fixes and compensations that will not allow you to reach your full potential and will ultimately result in frustrations and poor shots.
A correct grip is the first step towards returning the clubface to square at impact, which has a direct effect not only on the direction one hits the ball but the distance one is able to achieve. A square clubface at impact compresses the ball which maximises distance.
So how do we build a good grip?
- Step 1. One of the most natural actions we have as humans is to hit an object in front of us with the palm of our hand. So use this natural instinct and place your open right hand on the grip with it parallel to the leading edge of the clubface, follow this action by placing your left hand in a position which would have the palms facing each other.
- Step 2. Close your left hand around the grip of the club trapping the butt of the club between the fingers and the butt of your hand, you will notice the line created between thumb and forefinger points between your chin and right shoulder indicating the hand position is correct. The line created is a simple but effective way of checking your grip.
- Step 3. Close your right hand around the grip of the club and you will again notice the line created between thumb and forefinger points to the same place as the left hand line – between chin and right shoulder.
- Step 4. Grip pressure has a direct impact on how one is able to swing a club – too tight and the muscles in the arms will prevent acceleration in the movement, too loose and there is no control. Of particular importance is to maintain the same grip pressure when changing direction from backswing into the downswing. The grip pressure in the swing can be affected by a golfer’s physical state (refer Jan and Brigitte’s articles in this month’s newsletter).
Building a good grip takes hours of practice but it is well worth the effort, as we would all like to hit straight, powerful drives and accurate approach shots when playing the game we love.
Roger Wessels – Head Coach at KeNako.
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