The tagline for my advice on how to help you play better golf is, “Little Things That Make A Big Difference.” Today’s post is about a thing so tiny you can hardly see it, and which I have never read or heard about before.
It’s about the way in which you place your hands on the handle, no matter what kind of grip you have or what it looks like.
Go get a golf club and I’ll show you exactly what I mean. A 5-iron will do nicely. I’ll wait.
[wait] [wait] [wait]
Got one? Good. Now. Hold the club out in front of you, in your right hand, so the shaft is inclined a bit above parallel to the ground. Turn the club until the leading edge of the clubhead is exactly vertical.
While watching the leading edge, don’t take your eyes off it, put your left hand on the handle in its grip position. The bottom line of the clubhead must not get disturbed as you’re doing this. If it got turned slightly to the right or left, the clubface is now out of alignment and, guess what, the ball won’t go where you want it to go.
We’re not finished. Assuming you passed the left hand test, now add your right hand to complete your grip. Do not take your eyes off the leading edge as you do this. If the leading edge turned, even just a bit, you blew it. You haven’t even put the club on the ground and taken your stance, and the shot has been ruined.
Cary Middlecoff said in his book, The Golf Swing,
“… it is quite easy to vary the grip slightly without being aware of it, and just a slight variance can make a vast difference in how the shot comes off.”
“So many golfers do not relate their bad shots to a basically bad grip, or to slight but relevant changes in their grip from one shot to the next.”
It is one thing for your grip to be identical for every shot. That takes lot of practice, and is a good subject for another post.
But the way you place your grip on the handle is part of it. Doing that haphazardly can make a grip that is perfect in every way ineffective because you did not relate the grip to the clubface when you placed your hands on the handle.
The clubface acts as a surrogate for your hands. They must be coordinated from the very start. Practice this deliberately, and when you play, be that much deliberate when you take your grip. It’s a little thing that makes a big difference.