Make a Proper Connection with Your Golf Club
Founder, Savannah Golf School
The only connection between you and your golf club is your hands, so gripping the club properly is vitally important to accomplish what all players want – solid, consistent ball striking. The way that the hands are placed on the club has influences the position of the clubface at impact and therefore relates to directional control of the golf ball. A less than ideal amount of clockwise or counterclockwise rotation can cause the face of the club to be open at impact enough to cause a 30 yard slice.
In order to place your hands on the club correctly it will be helpful to realize the natural position and location of your hands when hanging naturally at your side. Most people will notice that the palm of the hand faces inward (toward the thigh) when in a relaxed position. Bend forward from your hips, relax and let both hands fall away from the body naturally. You will see that your hands hang in front of the center of the thighs. Note the position of the hands and move both hands toward one another to simulate gripping a golf club.
The left hand (for the right handed golfer) will have a huge effect on your ability to hit the ball with a square clubface. Most golfers find it hard to stop slicing the ball but don’t realize that the placement of the left hand on the grip in a weak position (where no knuckles are visible) can be one of the reasons that they slice.
Another mistake many golfers make is that they position the grip of the club too much toward the palm of the hand rather than in a diagonal line across the fingers. A fundamentally good grip is one in which the grip of the club is positioned across the fingers along a diagonal line from the first knuckle joint of the little finger to the second knuckle joint of the index finger.
The lower hand on the club (the right hand for the right handed player) should be positioned so that both hands can work in unison during the swing. The lower hand should fit together with the top hand with no gaps between the fingers or between the hands and the grip of the club. There are a variety of ways that are commonly accepted in teaching the grip for the lower hand. They mainly differ in the placement of the little finger of the bottom hand and the index finger of the top hand. Three commonly accepted grip techniques are the Overlapping, Ten Finger and Interlocking.
When the bottom hand and top hand are placed on the club, simply let the thumb of the top hand fit into the lifeline of the bottom hand.
Grip pressure refers to the amount of muscular tension in the hands. At all cost, avoid the thought or sensation of squeezing the club with the fingers. When you grip a club, notice if you have excessive tightness or tension in the forearms. To see if you have grip pressure that is too strong, take this test…. After you’ve taken your stance but before you’ve soled the club behind the ball, “waggle” the clubhead using your hands to make small circular movements of the clubhead in the air above the golf ball. If this is difficult to do, it may be an indicator of excessively strong grip pressure. Relax your hands and arms until the waggle motion becomes easier to accomplish.
I hope that some of these ideas will help you play better golf. As you put some time into developing a better way to grip the golf club, it is likely that unless you pay close attention to detail, old and less effective habits will return. Do your best to position your hands on the club the same way every time you make a practice swing or hit a golf shot. Becoming precise in this area will go a long way toward helping you gain the ability to become a player who enjoys consistently good ball striking ability.