Tuesday, February 24

Jim McLean Instruction: Grip and Grip Pressure

By Jim McLean
Special to ARMCHAIR GOLF


IT’S A GREAT IDEA during the winter to work on your grip. It involves very little time and can be done while sitting on the couch watching television. There are two things to focus on while working on your grip through the winter: technique and grip pressure.

At the school we like to teach our students a neutral grip. The grip is key to returning the clubface to a square impact position. The best way to prepare a successful grip is to hold the club at eye level in the right hand. Next, slide the left hand down the shaft keeping the shaft along your middle knuckles. After reaching the end of the club, close the hand over the top of the club keeping the club in the fingers. Now slide the right hand down the shaft in the same manner keeping the shaft on the middle knuckle. Close the right hand over the top of the left thumb, compressing it along the lifeline of your right hand.

The club should always be held in the fingers. As a self check, double check that the “V” is formed by your left thumb and forefinger points towards your right shoulder. The “V” formed by your right thumb and right forefinger should point towards your left shoulder.

It’s important that the hands work as one throughout the swing. To do this, we unify them using one of the following three setups:

1. Baseball Grip: This grip involves all ten fingers fitting on the grip. This grip is best used by women, juniors, and individuals who have trouble closing the face of the club through impact.

2. Overlap Grip: The overlap grip involves placing the right pinky over/between the left index and middle finger so that it sits in the crease comfortably.

3. Interlock Grip: The interlock grip is formed by hooking the right pinky under the left index finger.

Next week: Grip pressure

Jim McLean is the instruction editor for Golf Digest and the Golf Channel, and an author of numerous, top-selling golf instruction books. For a free intro DVD to his new Building Block Approach, visit Jim McLean Golf School.

Copyright © Jim McLean. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

2 comments :

Heather said...

I have worked (and reworked0 my grip several times since I started playing golf three years ago. My golf years are more like dog years, so it feels like about 20 years. Finally my more-neutral grip feels normal and comfortable. I really had to start all over this winter with an entirely new grip. The trick is keeping it there and not letting it slide back to a stronger grip.

Looking forward to next week's post on grip pressure. I am amazed what a difference this has made in my swing.

The Armchair Golfer said...

Heather: The grip is so crucial. If it's not comfortable, then it can throw everything off. I've only made about two or three grip changes in my golfing life, the last one at age 19 (a while ago). My grip is probably not ideal, but I would suffer greatly in the short term if I attempted a change.