Golf Basics – One Golf Grip At A Time
I would like to focus the jest of this article on the basis of the golf swing… the grip. With spring in the air and golf on our minds let’s get this year off to a good start by not overlooking the basics. Unquestionably the biggest mistake I see in people’s golf swing isn’t in their golf swing itself. Nope. Not at all. More often than not the mistakes happen before the swing even begins.
The first mistake is made in how the golfer holds the golf club. After that the next mistake usually comes in with how they stand up to the ball. Poor posture. Then after having two strikes against them, they then finish the job of making it almost impossible to hit a good golf shot by improperly lining up to their intended target. Of course, after hitting several (possibly several hundred) balls with only a minute few being what they think is acceptable the tired frustrated golfer asks… what am I doing wrong with my swing? For the purposes of this article I want to discuss the very first part of the proper golf swing … the golf grip.
In fact, let’s be even more precise here; the left hand grip on the golf club. Oh sure… there’s much more than just the grip including the aforementioned posture and alignment. But there’s only so much typing I can do at one time so let’s stay with the grip for this communication. The position of your club face is greatly influenced by your grip. And this is especially true as your club face enters the impact zone and contacts the ball. Certainly there is an abundance of golf swing peccadillo’s that can occur that can cause those woeful golf shots. You know the ones I’m talking about: the banana ball, the smothered hook, skied, skulled, and chili dipped. Ok, I’ll stop… If you’ll stop trying to correct your golf swing by in incessantly hitting ball after ball trying to make every physical adjustment known to man (and some that aren’t) within your golf swing itself and begin by using a fundamentally sound grip. So you’re going to continue on with me… great! Let’s talk about the left hand (right handed golfers) first and foremost. The left had should come in contact with the grip of the club in such a manner that the grip cuts a diagonal across the palm of the left hand from the crook in the index finger down and across to the bottom right pad of the left hand.
When you close your left hand, your club should be held in the first to fingers and your palm. The key that you look for out of your left had grip is quite simple. As you address your ball and look down, you should only see two knuckles of your left hand. As an instructor standing directly across from you, I too should only see the same. If I don’t see EXACTLY two knuckles of your left hand then we take a step back and re-grip until we get it right. And don’t try to cheat and re-grip club just as you begin to take the golf club away and into your back swing. FOUL I say. And I will stop you. Ok. I certainly haven’t given you that much to remember here.
But seriously golfers, resign yourself to go through a quick, short checklist before you begin the journey we call the golf swing. Start with your grip. Get used to it. A proper grip will feel awkward to you particularly if your grip has been way off. Stay with it. Know that it’s the right way to grip the golf club. Piece by piece let’s lay the foundation for a good swing.