"No, you idiot," this person told me. "A strong grip means you turn your grip towards the right (for a right-handed golfer)."
"Why the hell is that called a 'strong grip'?"
"I don't know, but it is."
To this day, I still don't know why it's called a strong grip. But whatever the reason, I've learned that a strong grip allows your wrists to hinge properly and squares up the clubface at impact. This is essential to hitting the ball straight with the most distance.
The great Ben Hogan wrote in Five Lessons, The Modern Fundamentals of Golf, "Good golf begins with a good grip...The grip is the heartbeat of the golf swing." I agree with Mr. Hogan and I believe that a proper grip (strong to neutral) is probably the most important fundamental in golf. However, it is also one of the most neglected and ignored, especially over an extended period of inactivity such as the golf off-season. Now that the golf season is finally in full swing around the country, it's important for golfers to pay special attention to their grip as they start playing golf again.
Butch Harmon, the #1 instructor in the world, wrote an article in Golf Digest several months ago about an easy method to achieve the proper grip each and every time. According to Butch, "Always establish your left-hand grip with the club positioned outside your left thigh, your left arm hanging naturally from your shoulder. See how my left hand is turned inward a bit? That’s how nature intended it. All you do now is close your left hand on the club. As for the right hand, it simply joins the left as you move the club in front of your body in preparation for hitting the shot." I would also emphasize that the right hand should be placed on the grip from the side, rather than the top and that the right hand grip should be more along the fingers.
Since I have a tendency to revert to a weak grip, I found Butch's method extremely valuable. It's fast and very easy to do, and I have even integrated it into my pre-shot routine. I recommend that all golfers give Butch's grip drill a try, especially those who have problems with a slice or generating adequate distance. It's amazing how something as simple as the grip can be the solution to many golfers' swing woes.
Here's a video of the man himself showing you how it's done:
Labels: Swing Tips