A Little-Known Facet of Grip Pressure

It seems obvious that grip pressure refers to how firmly your fingers hold the handle. That is true, but the way to get the pressure right is not to think about your fingers.

Grip pressure includes how the the hands press against each other, namely how pocket in the palm of the right hand rests against the thumb of the left hand. Contact must be secure, but without a feeling of the hands pressing against each other here.

For left-handed golfers it is the pressure of the pocket of the left hand resting on the right thumb.

The key point is to maintain that amount of pressure at that spot during the entire swing. That is very easy to do, and has the effect of keeping your fingers from squeezing when they shouldn’t.

While you are learning how to do this, pay attention at the places where pressure can easily change, which are at takeaway, at the start of the forward swing, or as the hands approach impact.

A Unique Masters

There were many things about this year’s Masters that made it unique. Start with it being played in November.

This Golf Digest article gives you 18 more reasons why this was a Masters to remember.

I will add, that without spectators, we got to see the entire course in a new way–where holes are in relation to each other, where tees are in relate to the preceding green, like we never have before and will never see again.

Unless you can angle an invitation to play there. Good luck.

Augusta National in Autumn

I spent a lot of time yesterday watching The Masters on TV. But I wasn’t watching the golf particularly. I was watching the course.

This time of year the course is jaw-dropping beautiful–much more so than in the spring. All the trees are yellow, and the grass everywhere is deep green. With no spectators on the course, you can see the depth of these colors in big swatches.

And with no spectators, you can see the course like you have never seen it before. You see it as if you were there, playing it, just like you saw all of Winged Foot and the Open. You see the whole thing, and it’s beautiful.

This is the only chance you will ever have to see this wondrous sight, so drink it all all three days remaining if you can, and for sure on the weekend. You will remember it forever.

2020 Masters Preview

Before a major championship, I introduce the tournament, who I think will win, put in a bit of history, and all that. Not this year.

This year the message is different. This year might be the beginning of the end of The Masters at Augusta.

I got this off Alex Miceli’s The Morning Read a few days ago:

“Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine…According to Carl Paulson, co-host of “Inside the Ropes” on SiriusXm PGA Tour Radio, DeChambeau teed it up last week with Sandy Lyle, the 1988 Masters champion, and the reports from Lyle were ‘jaw-dropping.’

“Here’s a recap, per Paulson via Lyle, of what DeChambeau hit into some of the holes”

No. 1 (Par 4, 445 yards): Sand wedge
No. 2 (Par 5, 575 yards): 8-iron
No. 3 (Par 4, 350 yards): Flew the green with 3-wood off the tee
No. 8 (Par 5, 570 yards): 7-iron
No. 9 (Par 4, 460 yards): Sand wedge
No. 10 (Par 4, 495 yards): Pitching wedge
No. 11 (Par 4, 505 yards): 9-iron
No. 13 (Par 5, 510 yards): 7-iron (hit 3-wood off tee)
No. 15 (Par 5, 530 yards): 9-iron
No. 17 (Par 4, 440 yards): Sand wedge”

And here is what Miceli said on today’s TMR.

Six years ago I posted in this space that the distance the pros were starting to hit the ball could make Augusta obsolete in a few years. That time might have arrived.

Bryson dismantled Winged Foot. We’ll see if he does the same thing to Augusta, which was no rough to speak of.

And then, since there is only one course on which The Masters and be played, and in, say, five years it cannot stand up to just being run over, what then?

If this year is the beginning of the end of The Masters at Augusta, is it also the beginning of the end of The Masters?

Bob’s Living Golf Book – October 2020 Edition

The October 2020 edition of Bob’s Living Golf Book is now online.

There aren’t many major additions this month, mainly clarifications of a few existing topics that make them easier to understand and apply. A new backswing concept (D2) that addresses both mental and physical concepts deserves your attention.

There is also a new eleven-page section of tweets from a Recreational Golfer Twitter feed many years ago that went nowhere.

Play well, and have fun.

The Pop Putting Stroke

Some time ago, it might have been in the early 2000s, The Golf Channel showed old All-Star Golf episodes after hours.

These were matches filmed from the late 1950s to the early 1960s featuring two Tour pros in an 18-hole stoke play competition. The winner got $2,000 and the loser $1,000. Back then that was good money and they got everybody to appear.

I taped a lot of them.

There was one match with Bob Rosburg, who was recognized as one of the best putters of his time. He had something of a pop putting stroke, and was very good at it.

Since I’m wiling to try anything, I tried it out, had some fun with it, and forgot about it. But I came back to it recently.

My version of the stroke is to take the club back only a very short distance, two inches, and give the ball a firm rap. There isn’t much of a follow-through.

I make the stroke with my hands, but I have to be careful to make it a controlled stroke and not a quick stab or a jab.

Because the stroke is so short, all the power comes from the pop you give to the ball with the right hand (lefties, it would be your left hand). Most of your practice with this stoke is in learning how to make a smooth hit.

The major benefit of this stroke is that the backswing is so short that the face of the club never gets out of square. There’s no “swinging door” that has to get itself back to square at just the right moment. Performed correctly, the ball goes where you aimed the face, guaranteed.

The pop stroke works great in my back room on the deck carpet, and it works great on the course. The ball runs right to the hole and falls in. A lot.

I use it for makeable putts, of no more than about twelve feet, where direction is paramount. Longer than that, getting the distance right takes over so I switch to a normal sweeping stroke because it controls distance better than a quick pop.

So this is something for you to play with, something different to try. Can’t hurt, might help.

It’s time to vote!

I know this is a golf blog, but I also know there are things more important than golf and this is a forum I can use to talk about them. Voting is one.

This is it. The November election has arrived. Or should we say, with a record number of early voters, it ends today.

I hope you have made your plans to vote, either at a polling station or by a mail-in or absentee ballot.

If you have an early ballot, check with your county office to find out how to turn it in.

And turn it in as early as you can. Don’t wait until the last minute.

Once more–vote! Your vote does count.

And for your reward, there will be a post that is actually about golf on November 4th.

After all, this is a golf blog.

[November 4, 6:00 a.m.] THANK YOU FOR VOTING!

Little Differences That Make a Big Difference in How Well You Play