The best way to develop your own repeatable functional golf swing is to find your local PGA pro and have him help you find your own individual swing. Have him help you understand what will work best for your body type, strength, and experience. With that being said, I will give you some tips about how to hold the club. I start every new golfer trying to get them to learn the best grip for them. A long time ago, pros realized the most important thing we can teach is how to hold the golf club. Remember the three p’s when holding a golf club:
1. Placement - Where you place your hands and fingers.
2. Precision - How consistently you place your hands on the club.
3. Pressure - The tightness with which you hold the club.
When placing your hands on the club, you need to take note of where you wrap your fingers around the club. You can place your hands in a closed face or open face position.
This will determine how the club will be delivered into the ball. The clubface is vital in direction and how well the club will contact the ball. Also, how well you place your hands around the club will determine how well you hinge the club on the backswing. Having the club run through the fingers will help you hinge the club properly. (Next Issue’s Discussion)
Also, how precise you are at placing your hands is vital. I notice this especially in new players. Beginners grab two bags of balls to practice and improve (This will be discussed in a future issue) and by the last ball their hands have slid into a position that may be more comfortable to them, but ineffective in swinging the golf club. I have always suggested to just practice holding the club in your home. I pay specific attention visually to where my knuckles and fingers are placed. You can improve much faster by this type of practice rather than hitting balls in a range.
Finally, the amount of pressure you put on the club with your hands; I’ve seen people try to hit a golf ball with a club like they were trying to slay a dragon. Veins were popping out on their forearms. Please remember an effective mechanical device is lubed and taut, not tight. You put oil in a car so your pistons can move up and down. Same with a golf swing, for your arms and hands to work properly, your arms should be free of tension. I recommend clubs with good handles on them. A person with dry rotted handles makes their task of holding the club difficult. I also use the terms handle and hold instead of grip. Gripping is tighter than just holding. Sometimes before I swing, I gauge the level of holding by going from squeezing tight to barely holding the club to help me find middle ground. There are cases of people holding the club too loosely. Short of just simple losing the club, the person with a hold that is to loose will not hinge properly. Also, people with close face grips and swings will have to hold the grip tighter. Moreover, a specialty shot like a shot out of thick rough may require a tighter grip.
This is what is so “awesome!” about this game. Just one little topic of how to place your hands on the club makes a huge difference. The challenge of learning this great game makes the reward of hitting the ball properly that much better.
For any comments or questions to this article please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jens Klemsche is a PGA Professional at Highland Country Club.