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 »  Home  »  Regional Editorials  »  Northeast  »  Instruction - Summer Issue
Instruction - Summer Issue
By Tom Landers | Published  10/18/2007 | Northeast | Unrated
Instruction - Summer Issue
Debunking the Myths – There is One Perfect Grip
by Derek Hooper

Watch any Professional Tour event on television and you will quickly see that there are a wide variety of different grips in use among the world’s best players. Some players use overlap grips while others use interlocking grips. Some grips are weak while others are strong and some fall in between to what we term neutral. So if the best players in the world are utilizing a wide variety of grips to be successful, how can there possibly be only one perfect grip in golf?

Quite simply, there is no one perfect way to hold the club. The grip is simply a connection of the golfer to the golf club. If a player can return the clubface squarely to the ball with speed and consistency, they have found the perfect grip for themselves. There is a best way for each individual to hold the club and the grip you choose should be based on a number of factors:

• What is your preferred ball flight – draw, straight or fade?
• Are you physically strong, average or a little weak?
• How big are your hands?
• How are your hands positioned when your arms hang naturally by your side?
• Do you swing the club with a predominantly body motion or hand action?

The answers to these questions will help to determine the best grip for you as an individual golfer.

Regardless of whether you utilize an interlocking or overlap grip, whether it is strong, neutral or weak, there are certain factors which are consistent with all good grips.

1. The hands should be linked in some way – The hands can be overlapped, interlocked or connected in some other way, but when the hands are linked it is easier for them to operate as a single unit in consistently returning the club squarely to the golf ball.

2. The grip is held more on the fingers than the palms – When the grip is held more towards the fingers, you will be able to move the club at greater speeds and have finer control over the club head.

So how do you know what is the best grip for you? Your first check is your current ball flight. If you consistently slice the ball then you may need a stronger grip (hands positioned more to the right on the grip). The opposite will apply if you consistently hook the ball. If you lack club head speed and consistency, check that you are gripping the club towards the fingers rather than the palms of both hands.

You should also talk to your local PGA Professional about your grip. They will be able to analyze your swing and ball flight and suggest a grip that will match your body type and ball flight.

When You Play Golf, Play Golf Not Golf Swing
by Tom Shea

Almost every amateur I observe on the golf course has several swing thoughts, including a backswing thought, on every shot. Almost none of them have a consistent pre-shot routine, even though every time they watch pros playing on T.V., every pro goes through his or her pre-shot routine every time._Meanwhile back at playing. When you play, play. When you practice, practice. You can practice on the golf course (I don’t mean hitting extra balls) as long as you don’t care about your score. In fact, the golf course is a great place to practice shots – not a good place to work on your swing. The practice tee is a better place for that. Most people feel they don’t have much or enough time to practice. Well guess what? If you don’t practice at least a little bit, once in a while, your game isn’t likely to improve. The most effective way to multiply exponentially the positive effects of practice (even if it’s only ten minutes in the backyard with sponge golf balls (yes they make them) is to get visual feed back on what you are doing. Lots of people have video cameras with small viewing screens on them. Set up the camera when you practice. If you don’t have a tripod, use a table or chair. Most people are amazed at how much difference there is between what they are doing and what they think they are doing. You are going to learn whatever you practice so make sure you are practicing what you think you are practicing.

The Golf Swing
by David Pianki

I  teach the”golf swing” to my students as a continuous, uninterrupted motion. The word “swing” speaks of a motion without control or interference.

Many golfers mistakenly view their swings as a deliberate sequence of positions. The positions we see in the swing sequences of great players are still pictures of moments within a motion. Any attempt to isolate individual positions within a swing interrupts the fluidity of the motion and destroys the dynamics that send the club and ball toward the intended target. A golf swing should be a fluid and continuous motion to propel the ball forward toward a target.

Some general guidelines to help you SWING the golf club.
1) Hold the the club toward the base of your fingers. Hold the club lightly so you to feel the weight of the clubhead throughout the swing.
Positioning the handle correctly in the fingers will allow the wrists to hinge and unhinge naturally in response to the swinging motion and weight of the clubhead.

 2) Swing the club back in the direction of your right shoulder (right handed players) The backswing ends when the club feels over the right shoulder.
During the backswing turn your shoulders continuously with your hands and club. The wrists hinge naturally in response to the swing.

3) A word of warning. If the backswing is performed too slowly the wrists will not hinge naturally and the downswing will be a lunge in an attempt to create speed.

 4) Make no attempt to pause at the end of the backswing. A slight pause will occur naturally as the club changes direction. Swing the club with your arms in an uninterrupted motion to the end of the follow through. Allow your body to respond to the motion as it would have if you were throwing a ball.

 5) Swing the club through impact to the end of the swing with no attempt to administer loft to the ball. The clubface should put pressure on the back of the ball.
The player should strive to propel the ball forward, not up. The trajectory the ball is launched at will be attributable to the loft designed into the clubhead.
Nothing intentional should be done with your hands or wrists. Your hands’ responsibility are to hold the club and your wrists to respond.

 In review

Hold the club in your fingers and swing with lively “oily” wrists. Relax your arms and swing the club back over your right shoulder and then all way to the end of the follow through in a continuous uninterrupted motion. The body should respond. Never use your hands or wrists through impact to administer loft to the ball.