Getting the Right Golf Grip

The right grip opens or closes the door to good shots. It is much more important than you might think. Here’s how to find the grip that works for you.

To make golf easy, the clubface needs to be square at three places: address, the end of the backswing, and impact.

Everybody can get the first one right. The second one is what I will talk about today.

Now you don’t have to have the clubface square at the end of the backswing. Many championship golfers do not. But golf is a lot easier if you do. Let’s find out where yours is facing.

Take your normal grip, swing the club all the way back as you normally do, and stop. Without moving your hands, turn your shoulders back so they face the front again. Lower your hands until you can see the clubhead. If you have horizontal hinging in your backswing, you’ll have to straighten the shaft so it is vertical.

Now look at the clubface. Is it square? If it is not, I guarantee that your right hand is not in the same orientation that it was in when you addressed the ball.

If you find that the clubface is no longer square, keep your hands oriented where they are, twirl the club with your fingers until the face is square again, and re-test. And you know what you’ll get? A square clubface at the end of your backswing.

Why does this happen? A golfer’s flexibility, habitus, and sense of movement can force the right hand into a certain position when the club gets taken back. But if the hand is already in that position at the start, it does not move, and the clubface stays where it was: square.

If I start with a square clubface on the ground with the V in my right hand pointing toward my right shoulder, the so-called neutral grip, after I do this test the V will be pointing straight at my chin, and the clubface will be closed.

Getting a properly oriented grip is only one step. If you swing down and stop at what would be impact, is the clubface still square? If not, you have a swing correction to make.

But if the clubface is square, welcome to the world of straight shots.

Check your grip this way periodically. Everybody’s grip drifts over time.

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