Golf Tips - A Good Golf Grip Leads to a Good Game

By Tom Ward

I've gotten a lot of e-mails and questions from you readers as well as golfers I see on a daily basis all around the country about the grip. I am happy to see that there are many people here locally that are getting into the game with renewed enthusiam and are hungry for information to improve their swings. The grip is the lifeline to your swing and having a faulty one is going to lead you into a lot of wayward shots. Remember the only purpose of the grip is to hold onto the club!

Let me give you an example that we have all felt at one time or another during a round of golf. When we get nervous or tense playing golf trying to pull of a critical shot, the tendency is to squeeze the club a little tighter than normal. This added tension in your hands will automatically start transferring into your arms and shoot all the way up into your shoulders and neck furthering the anxiety. Now your over using muscles in your body that aren't geared to swinging the club properly. By attempting to over work your hands in your swing , especially under pressure, will break the wrists which will mean a loss of control and power.

First, place your palms facing each like your saying a prayer. This symbolizes that you want to keep your hands in a neutral position whenever possible. It's like when you place your hands on the steering wheel on a car that your about to drive. Turning your hands left or right on the steering column will make the car go in that direction. As it relates to golf in this case, too much left or right will result in hooking or slicing. So having your hands placed on the club properly will allow you to drive the ball in the desired direction. A good grip leads to good wrist action. To explain wrist action:There are two directions the wrists can move in the golf swing. They are forward/backward or up/down.

For the purpose off this article I am going to refer to the forward /backward action as "Breaking" of the wrists, and the up/down action as the "Hinging" of the wrists. You may have also heard this referred to as "Cocking". This is why having a faulty grip encourages breaking leading to trouble. One doesn't have to learn the up/down(hinging). If your grip is correct and your left arm(for right handed golfers) is in correct natural position, the hinging will be automatic. In order for this "hinging" to happen, keep the left wrist flat in relation to the back of your left forearm and the back of your left hand. It's as simple as that! If the left arm is in the correct position, the wrist will hinge, if not, there will be a breaking motion. Never and I repeat never try to cultivate an independent wrist action. Let it happen naturally.

There are 3 standard types of grips which are:Interlocking, overlapping, and ten finger (baseball grip). Which is the right one for you?Whichever one your prefer is correct as it's all about comfort and feel. I would like to include another grip I created about 8 years ago for a friend of mine I call the "Bridge"grip. I came up with this grip to help a friend of mine who had a good swing, however he was getting too "Handsy" at times leading him into trouble. I teach all of my students this grip in my practice sessions to help them come to a clearer understanding of how their hands and wrists need to move in their swings correctly. If your a right handed golfer all you have to do is place your left Thumb on top on your right thumb as seen in the photo and press down lightly and swing. This grip will inhibit your wrists from becoming to active and allow your arms to control the takeaway in a smooth, one piece action. Arms must control wrists, not wrists controlling arms is the correct formula in quieting your hand action. Try it - I think you'll like it!

If there is a cancer in the golf swing it's your hands and wrists because it's the only contact you have with the club. Improper usage of your hands and wrists will always make the game of golf a real labor instead of a fun activity. Remember a good grip leads to good wrist action. Your arms have to put your wrists into position to hinge and unhinge naturally. Never try to cultivate this action by cocking your wrists prematurely. So Get a Grip on your game and you'll see more fairways and greens leading to lower scores. *


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