If you’ve read the Awaken Your Inner Golfer book or some of the monthly blogs on this site, you are already familiar with my basic premise of the necessity of establishing an effective golf grip as a foundation in order to awaken instinct in your golf swing. (See the Aug 2017 Blog The importance of an effective grip on this site). Specifically, my basic premise is that if you don’t have a golf grip leveraged in the fingers, you won’t be able to leverage the weight of the clubhead in your golf swing.
Those that started golfing at a young age often instinctively found how to grip the golf club effectively. It’s how a child learns a physical motor skill. They explore, experiment, adapt, refine and discover what works. Those that started golfing at a later age may need guidance to establish this important foundation. This is what this Blog is about. It is helpful for even a child to have guidelines regarding how to establish an effective grip, but remember that rigid instructions often produce resistance and alienation. And if one has played golf for a while with a “comfortable golf grip”, even though it may not be effective in helping you leverage the weight of the clubhead in the swing, resistance toward changing a habit can be strong. I have strived to produce guidelines that are as simple and effective as possible.
Let’s go back to the premise of leveraging the weight of the clubhead. We don’t swing the shaft of the golf club or the grip of the golf club. We swing the weight of the clubhead. A golf club is designed to use gravity to produce enough clubhead speed to get the golf ball airborne, and as far as possible on a full swing. How do we efficiently achieve speed of the clubhead in our swing? It is through timing, through the efficient use of the muscular chain in our body and through the efficient use of gravity. How do we know when we’re using gravity in our golf swing? We know something in a motor skill when we can feel something. It is through our feel rather than through mental efforts of replicating golf swing positions and golf swing mechanics that we know we have an efficient golf swing. Go ahead, fool around with a golf club – in different positions, with different grips, and with different movements. You will without a doubt feel when you are using gravity. It is a natural human attribute and skill.
For further explanation of the dynamics of a golf swing, I recommend reading The Golf Swing by Chris Riddoch. He explains, “We don’t generate additional speed by applying muscular force to the club. We derive additional speed by harnessing the power of our hinged arm-club lever system, which acts as a double pendulum.”
If you think about how a pendulum works and swings, you’ll realize that it is a demonstration of the use of gravity. A weight gets leveraged, and then released and allowed to swing. (See the July 2018 Instinctive Golf Blog The Double Pendulum Concept of a Golf Swing on this site). Riddoch also states, “The essential point with respect to our golf swing is that humans are good at learning skills, not positions.” I suggest that you will benefit greatly by using the natural human attribute and skill of feel in learning how to use gravity efficiently to produce effortless golf swing speed.
For detailed guidelines and illustrations about how to establish an effective golf grip, see Chapter 5 in Awaken Your Inner Golfer. But, I believe this is such an important issue to help golfers learn, improve and enjoy the game of golf (after all, improved performance is part and parcel of improved enjoyment), that I don’t want you to have to go out and buy the book (although I think you’ll benefit from more than just the guidelines for the grip!). So, I’ve included simplified guidelines below to achieve the same results – an effective golf grip that will allow you to leverage the weight of the clubhead to achieve an optimal golf swing. I believe this to be possibly the simplest and most effective guideline to achieve a golf grip that is leveraged in the fingers. Feel free to provide feedback through the Contact tab on this website. Thanks.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Leonardo da Vinci
THE SIMPLEST WAY TO ACHIEVE AN EFFECTIVE GOLF GRIP
For right-handed golfers:
Hold the golf club parallel to the ground with the grip in front of your lower belly and the clubhead out to your right with the leading edge of the clubface perpendicular to the ground.
Support the shaft with your right hand and place your left hand on the grip naturally as if you were picking up a piece of luggage by the handle.
Now, to place your right hand on the grip, hold the golf club as you placed your left hand on the grip and extend the club out in front of you at about waist level.
Extend your right arm and hand out as if you were about to shake hands with someone at the end of the golf club.
Without changing the angle of your right hand, gently slide it onto the grip to meet your left hand with the lifeline of your right hand that leads to your wrist resting over the middle of your left thumb.
You can form a 10 finger grip, an interlocking grip, or an overlapping grip.
Now, lower the clubhead a little and waggle the golf club back and forth so it feels secure in your hands, and your hands feel unified and working together.
Congratulations, you have now achieved an effective golf grip that is leveraged in the fingers – in order to leverage the weight of the clubheadand use gravity to achieve an optimal golf swing with effortless speed!!!