In this article, I would like to tell you, as simply as possible, what you must know and remember to apply with regard to the Proper Grip for golf. Too many golf teachers make this fundamental too complicated and emphasize it too much. Just remember to find a grip that is comfortable and that allows you to “release the clubhead” when you swing. The grip for putting is not the same as this.
The next most important fundamental of the Golf Swing Basics System is the proper grip. The previous three fundamentals (Relax, Watch the Ball and Balance & Foot Placement) are all tied into having the proper grip for your own physique and flexibility.
The grip (the way of holding the club) that is most popular among professional golfers is called the Vardon grip, named after the great Harry Vardon, who popularized it. In the Vardon grip, place your little finger on the right hand (for a right handed player) and place it between the index and middle finger on the left hand (the hand that is higher on the club). The left hand thumb should fit in the lifeline of the right hand.
With this grip you should only apply pressure with the thumb, ring and middle finger of the right hand. With the left hand, you should only apply pressure with the thumb, little, ring and middle fingers.
Applying pressure with only these fingers of both hands allows the club head to move much faster than the hands which is called “allowing the clubhead to release”, and will result in increased swing speed. On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is light and 10 is tight, a pressure of 4 or 5 is recommended.
Sam Snead said, “Hold the club as if you had a little baby bird in your hand.” This pressure, combined with the proper placement of the hands on the handle, will give you your greatest chance to produce longer, straighter shots. Another way of picturing this is to imagine that you are holding an open tube of toothpaste. You don’t want to squeeze so hard that you squeeze toothpaste out of the tube.
Placing the club more in the fingers, rather than in the palm, increases the amount of wrist hinge which results in more “release of the clubhead”. This will produce longer tee shots and more feel for the golf shot.
One of the most common errors among golfers is a weak left hand grip (for the right handed golfer) that places the club grip too much in the palm. This produces a shot that slices and lacks power.
The Left Hand (for the right handed golfer)
First, just hold your left palm flat up to the sky. Now, the club grip should touch the base of the little finger and rest just above the first joint of the index finger before you grip with the left hand. When the club is now placed on the ground while you are gripping it with your left hand, you will notice that the heel of your hand is on the top of the grip (not on the side of the grip).
In the address position, looking down at your grip, you should be able to see the knuckles of the index and middle finger of your left (top) hand. You should also see a “V” that is created by the thumb and forefinger of the left hand, and that “V” should be pointing back toward your right shoulder.
Set the last joint of the index finger of the right hand directly under the shaft. Place the club handle between the first and second joint of the ring finger. The little finger of the right hand should be placed over the space between the index and ring fingers of your left hand.
Now, when you grip with your right hand, the thumb of your right hand should be resting somewhere near the top of the grip. Place your thumb where it is comfortable for you.
Be sure that the “V” formed by the thumb and forefinger of your right (bottom) hand points toward your right shoulder area. This “V” should be parallel to the “V” on your left hand.
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ROB – (admin)
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