Golf: The Grip

The grip you are looking at is  Sam Snead’s, one of the greatest golfers of all time.  Sam was noted more, for that long graceful swing, that gave him one of the longest PGA careers of all time.  In my opinion, he also had, one of the best grips in golf.  He was the perfect example of what I call the classic grip.  There were two things that made this grip classic. The line made by his thumb and the base of the forefinger, commonly called the V’s pointed more toward the right shoulder than at the chin or the right eye.  Second, those two V’s ran parallel to each other. Ben Hogan was the first top player, to introduce the grip, where the  left thumb was more on top of the shaft. In the Hogan grip, the right hand was also  more on top of the shaft, with the V’s being close to parallel again. Annika Sorenstam and Tiger Woods,in their respective instructional books, put the final touches on the grip. This is what I call the modern grip.   They keep the left thumb on top of the shaft, but they place their right hand on the club, a little more like Sam Snead, and therefore the V’s are not parallel.  The grip is one of the basic fundamentals of golf.  You can not play good golf, without a good grip.  There is no question, the grip has evolved over the years.  Here are some other elements of a good grip. The grip needs to be firm, but you do not want to feel you are squeezing the club. That’s why the waggle is so important.  A nice rhythmic and long waggle should give you the right grip pressure.  The hands should feel snug together with no gaps.  I do not think it makes much difference, whether you overlap, interlock, or have all four fingers of the right hand  on the golf club. Results and comfort should dictate that. There are lot’s of other variations on the way the pros grip the club, and I am not going to write about all that. There are plenty of places to go, to get good instruction, on how to grip the golf club, when making a full swing. I want to discuss a different way to utilize your grip.

This will be my experiment over the next 2 to 4 months, depending on how it goes, and how much golf I will play.  I started it yesterday, as we were able to play 18 holes, under not too bad of conditions, and the first round went rather well.  There has always been this resistance in the golf teaching community to use the grip as a way of working the ball, from right to left, and left to right.  There is the unwritten rule to never change your grip.  In my view, it is much easier to change your grip, rather than make swing adjustments, to work the ball in a certain direction. It is quite simple.  When you want to work the ball from left to right or hit a fade. use a grip that has your left thumb on top of the shaft and your right move on top of the club.   When you want to hit it right to left or a draw, then you turn your left hand, so you are seeing at least 3 and even 4 knuckles, when you look down at ball, and your right hand is more underneath the shaft. Get committed to the shot by aiming enough left for the fade and aiming enough right for the draw.  Of course, the rule of thumb is to work the ball away from trouble, not at trouble. By using this method, you never really need to make any swing adjustments,  and your hand action will curve the ball in the desired direction.  We will see how this experiments works over the coming months, and I will keep you posted.

 

 

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