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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

The key to control of the golf club is educated hands. The player should acquire, and continue to develop, the correct grip and motion of the hands. Having a balanced grip will consistently deliver a square clubface at impact with the golf ball. The left and right hands control the clubface and we call it the “GRIP”.

 

The basic factor in all good golf is the grip. To hold the club properly, we begin with the left hand for the right handed player. Place the club in the left hand while the arm is hanging from the side of the body. Let the shaft lie where the fingers join the palm of the left hand. The club should be kept as close to the finger joint as possible. The last three fingers of the left hand are closed snugly to the grip where the fingers of the left hand close around the club. The left heel pad is on top of the club. This heel pad should rest above and over the back of the grip, not to the side of the grip or high in the palm of the hand. One can use a mirror to check the position of the heel pad. The thumb of the left hand is to the right of center as you look down at the left hand. With most grips today, manufactures have notches to show the top-side of the grip. At the top end of the grip, there is a notch, and also at the lower end of the grip there is a notch. As the player places the left hand on the club, the heel pad fits above and over the top notch and the lower notch should remain facing the player. If the lower notch has rotated to one side, then the grip will need to be adjusted. Once the left hand is on the club, the player should check in the mirror to see if the heel pad is above the butt end of the shaft. The heel pad should not be along the side of the shaft. The heel pad should fit above and over the notch on the grip.

 

The right hand is formed by placing the lifeline of the right hand over the left thumb and the heel pad of the right hand fits along side the left thumb. The right hand is pulled up onto the left thumb fitting up to the left hand snugly. The small finger on the right hand should sit over the first finger on the left hand. The player can also interlock the small finger on the right hand with the first finger on the left hand. Where the small finger fits on the grip is the players preference, but there should be no gaps visible in the grip. The right thumb is placed on the left side of the shaft, slightly left of the lower notch on the grip. The forefinger is wrapped around the right side of the shaft. To check the grip for proper hand alignment, take the proper stance, and then stand straight up. Let the arms hang and relax the arms and wrist joints and let the club hang slightly above the ground. Let gravity pull the club toward the ground. If the grip is correct the clubface will remain at 90 degrees to the body. If the grip is too strong or twisted the clubface will turn toward the body. If the grip is weak, the face will open away from the body. The grip should then be adjusted accordingly. 

 

There is no single ideal grip pressure. In general, the pressure in the left hand should be slightly heavier than in the right, but only tight enough so the club will not slip during the swing. The last three fingers of the left hand hold the club firmly. There is also steady pressure between the left thumb and right hand lifeline pressing together. It is important that the left hand grip secures the club well under the heel pad so that the player feels the club primarily with the bottom of the fingers and with only a small part of the club in the palm.

 

The battle against square impact with the golf ball starts with the grip. A strong grip can result in a closed clubface at impact and a weak grip can result in an open clubface at impact. Either one will send the ball flying off-line. Having a balanced grip will consistently deliver a square clubface at impact with the golf ball.

 

If you have any questions, or need additional information please call me (847) 514-9009.

 

John M. Andrews

PGA Teaching Professional

Pine Meadow Golf Club & St. Andrews Golf Club

Unfortunately, poor posture is rampant in golfers today. Two of the most commonly uttered instructions from your fellow players are “keep your head down” and “feel like your sitting on a bar stool”. This advice will promote poor posture, and poor balance. With poor posture and balance you will achieve inconsistent shot making.

We are always trying to find that one in-swing secret or feel. Now lets look at trying to get started on the correct foot. Lets look at one of the fundamentals of the golf swing - “POSTURE”. The primary spinal tilt comes from the hip & pelvis areas. The tilting motion is forward until ones shoulders are adjusted above the toe line. The hip joints serve as the axis of rotation. This is the only way to functionally position the golfer over the ball and still maintain some semblance of spinal neutrality, balance, and mobility. The secondary spinal tilt is to the right for the right handed players. This will position the right shoulder, and the right hand for the proper takeaway in the backswing. The legs should be bent at a ready athletic position to give the player dynamic balance, which is essential at the set-up position and during the swing. Distribute your weight evenly between your feet and let your arms hang comfortably beneath your shoulders. The head should be on the same plane as the spine, not dropped toward the chest or angled left or right.

Use a mirror to check the keys to good posture. The golfer should also build a strength & flexibility program. A good ABS workout and stretching program are necessary to maintain your posture & balance during the swing. See your physician for a proper workout program, which should be tailor-made for you.

When your golf posture is correct you have the advantage of starting your backswing from a stable, balanced position. This will aid in achieving consistent ball striking and lower scoring.

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