February 16, 2016
It All Starts with the Grip
My friend and PGA Tour winner, Bob Byman has just published an excellent book titled "The Absolute Best Grip In the World: How to Finally Take Control of Your Golf Game." The book centers on the importance and absolute necessity for gripping the club the proper way. The book is not just about the grip, but the entire swing and how you can swing the club more effectively. It all starts with the grip.
There are many components that make up the modern golf swing. Each component has a specific purpose that will enable the golfer to swing the club in the most efficient and effective manner. The first and most important fundamental is the grip. The other fundamentals, such as swing plane, tempo, posture, alignment, club position, and balance are reliant on how you place your hands on the club. If you start with a poor grip the other elements of the swing must make adjustments to compensate for a wrong starting point.
The players that make a successful living playing golf have solid core fundamentals. The first core fundamental is the grip. This is the only contact that you have with the club. Because of this, I strongly recommend, what Bob preaches, that you make your grip as perfect as you can. Deacon Palmer, the father of Arnold Palmer, placed Arnie's hands on the club at an early age and told him. "This is how you hold the club, DON'T EVER CHANGE IT!" Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott all have beautiful grips. They might change clubs, make swing adjustments or other tweets to their games, but you NEVER hear that they change their grips.
I hope I have made a case for the importance of a proper grip. If you have a poor grip, you will always be limited in advancing your game to the next level. Remember, it is the only contact you have with the club. A good grip is something almost everyone can achieve!!
One good way to learn the correct grip is place a mid-iron on the ground with the face square or perpendicular to your target. Then place your left hand on the grip and wrap the fingers around the staff so the thumb is extended and is slightly to the right of center. See photo of the position of the shaft through the fingers. Looking down the shaft, you should see your two knuckles of your left hand. Then place the right hand on the shaft with the little finger of the right hand overlapping the forefinger of the left hand and the lifeline of the right hand on top of the left hand thumb. On the right hand a crease with be formed between the thumb and forefinger with that line pointing midway between the right shoulder and your chin. The forefinger of the right hand will extend down the shaft in a hook shape, so there will be a separation between the middle finger and the forefinger. Grip pressure will be consistent, but not so tight to restrict flow or so loose that the club will slip during the swing or during contact. Generally, both hands will have the same grip pressure. If one hand must grip on tighter, then it is the left.
Be meticulous with placing your hands on the club, especially when you are learning the proper grip. Ben Hogan was very deliberate at all times with placing his hands correctly on the club. If he felt it was that important, we should treat this core fundamental with the same respect. So, make sure your grip is correct and is consistent every time you address the ball. Copy this grip. If your grip looks like this, you will have my admiration and you will be on our way to more consistent and better golf.
Bob Byman, with his book, has made a major contribution to the education of golfers and instructors. His book is the most detailed literary piece written about the grip and how to develop one. His insights are from playing at the highest levels of professional competition, and personal conversations and interactions with the greats of the game, along with practical experiences from giving over 47,000 golf lessons. Part One of the book focuses on developing the proper grip, while the fundamentals presented in Part Two will give every golfer the path to optimize all of their talents. This could become a must read for all golfers! To read an excerpt of his book or purchase his book, click or paste this link http://www.amazon.com/The-Absolute-Best-Grip-World/dp/1523292040.