Chilliwack Golf and Country Club instructor Jennifer Greggain writes a bi-weekly column in the Chilliwack Progress sports section.
Now that spring is finally here, along with the promise of nice weather, many people are thinking about their golf games.
For most golfers, mistakes happen before the first swing of the year. Having the proper hold or grip on the club is crucial in making an efficient golf swing. A proper hold can also help with some ball flight issues you may be having.
For a right-handed player, begin by taking the club in your left hand with your thumb pointing to the ground. Have the grip crossing the heel of your palm, and hold the club firmly with your last three fingers. Next, place your right hand on the club, with your thumb pointing down, and your left thumb in the pocket of your right hand.
A good check point is to make sure the V’s created by your thumb and index fingers on both hands point between your right ear and shoulder.
If the V of your right hand is pointed more toward your left shoulder, you have a weak grip. If you are having difficulty in hitting shots that are fading or slicing to the right, you may want to consider neutralizing your hold so that your V’s are pointed more to your right shoulder. This will allow your hands to square up the club face easier, and hit straighter shots.
If you have the opposite problem, and tend to hook the ball more than you would like, double check that your right hand V isn’t pointing too far to the right.
This is called a strong grip. Try to bring your right hand more on top of the club. This will reduce the amount of motion on your hands through impact, and thus a little less hook in your ball flight.
Next, decide if you prefer the overlap, interlock, or 10-finger/baseball grip. This is determined by the position of your right pinky and left index finger under the club.
You can overlap the pinky over the index finger (overlap), lock the pinky and index finger (interlock), or place them side by side (10-finger/baseball). All three of these options are acceptable, and based on personal preference. If you have not done so, try all three to see what feels best for you.
Finally, how hard you hold the club, or your grip pressure, is just as important as how you hold the club.
Most players grip too tightly, which is detrimental to an efficient golf swing. Be sure to hold the club just firm enough to hang on to the club, with your forearms and shoulders feeling relaxed.
Tension is the number one enemy of the golf swing!
Before you head to the range to check your hold, I always caution my students, especially experienced players, that the hold is often times one of the most difficult changes to make to your golf swing.
Don’t worry if your hold isn’t perfect. Check out how many different ways pros hold the club on tour.
Be sure to choose a hold that is both comfortable for you, as well as giving you the ball flight that suits your eye.
Jennifer teaches golf to adults and juniors at the Chilliwack Golf Academy.
She played professionally on tour for over 10 years, including two years on the LPGA and was also named the 2010 CN Canadian Women’s Tour Low Teaching Pro of the Year.
She can be contacted at 604-798-9805, or at Jennifer@chilliwackgolf.com