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The Perfect Grip

By R.J. Ugolik

There are essentially four cornerstones of the golf swing that have to be performed correctly in order to achieve some form of success with the golf swing.

Here is a basic teaching tool I use when teaching.

P osture

B all position

A lignment

G rip

The importance of those four things goes in reverse order, with the grip being the most important. This is because the grip is the only direct connection our body has with the club, through our hands.

In this week’s Winter Tip, I will go over a simple way to use a household object in order to check if you are gripping the club properly, and how to ensure you are getting the most out of your connection to the club.

What we will need:

  • Butter knife

  • Mirror

A common fault I see a lot with amateurs is the tendency to bury the grip of the club in the palm of their hands.

Let me ask you this:

What can you move quicker, your palms or your fingers?

Try for yourself. The answer is pretty obvious: your fingers.

By grabbing the club with the palms of our hands, we are putting a “speed limit” on how fast the club can accelerate and how much the club face can rotate.

I want you to try and take hold of the butter knife with your fingers rather than your palm. You should feel how much freer your hand and wrist get, while still having control of the club. Ideally, a neutral grip would have the knife or club run from the middle finger pad of the index finger to the intersection of where the pinky meets the palm, like such:

When you close the hand, it should look something like this, with the thumb going straight down the knife (shaft):

A good checkpoint is that you should be able to see your first knuckle from your vantage point. From here, we want to bring the bottom hand so this pocket of the palm covers the thumb of the top hand. In 5 year old talk, cover the hotdog (top thumb) with the bun (bottom palm pocket).

Lastly, be aware of how much tension you are keeping in your hands/forearms. I like to tell my students it’s around a 5-6/10. The tighter you pull during the swing, the less free the club is to travel on its path.

When working on making a change like this to your grip, I recommend repeatedly gripping the club in a mirror to check your positions. Do it enough until you feel that you have retrained the brain how it should instinctively reach for the club.

R.J. Ugolik

PGA Apprentice

Lead Instructor at Arena Golf

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