Part 1: The golf grip is key to a good golf swing
LESSON SERIES: The golf grip, by Andrew Cooper, PGA Professional
Your golf grip may be helping or hindering your golf, but many are blind to just how important the grip is in golf.
Here are 4 key reasons why your grip is important:
- 1. The grip is the biggest influence over your clubface angle (which in turn is the biggest influence over where your ball goes). See part 2, next week for more on this.
- 2. Your grip will impact your body alignments which, in turn, impacts your swing shape and path.
- 3. You control the club through your hands.
- 4. How you position your hands on the club will massively impact how your hands, wrists and arms then function throughout the swing. This will be discussed in more detail in Part 3, coming soon.
How your swing looks and the results you get are massively influenced by your grip.
Learn a good grip early on
A “textbook” grip is a great place to start from, and I’m always keen for new golfers to learn a good grip early on. It will really help them. Also, I know that once a bad habit starts it becomes increasingly hard to change.
But the reality is few golfers learn a “textbook” grip. Indeed, many skilled golfers have unorthodox grips, even some Major winners. They’ve developed their techniques around their grips (consciously or not). With consistent manipulations and compensations in their swings they can play amazing golf.
Decisions, decisions: what to do with an unorthodox grip?
So, whether to attempt to “improve” a grip or work with it, can be a tricky decision. Aside from thinking about the time and commitment required to make a grip change, whether it would be beneficial for you to do so or not would come down to answering the following questions…
• Can you generally control the direction your shots fly in (all be it with a draw or fade)? or do you consistently suffer from a big miss i.e. a nasty slice or hook?
• Relative to your age and physical fitness, can you achieve reasonable distance?
• Does the club feel in control in your hands?
• Can you hinge your wrists without difficulty? (without excessively folding your elbows)
And for golfers aiming at an elite level, all the above plus…
• Can you make a decent go of hitting different shot shapes i.e. a draw or fade, or high or low when required?
If you can answer yes to all the above, then your grip is functionally sound, even if not necessarily textbook. A tweak may help, but an overhaul would probably be best avoided.
However, if there were quite a few no’s, then there is a reasonable chance that your grip may be at the root of your struggles and some work on it could be really help you.
Look out for Part 2, next week: The grip is the biggest influence over club face alignment.