There is a reason that in nearly every golf book ever written, a chapter towards the beginning talks about how to hold a golf club. That’s because it’s the single most important fundamental you can ever learn in golf.
Your hands are the only connection you have to the club. They have a direct influence on where a golf ball will go, and a direct influence on how much club speed you can create. If you get right down to it, the essence of golf is all about distance and direction.
I have seen golfers with the most gorgeous swing you could ever imagine…great tempo, great balance, in plane, perfect path….and they never hit two shots in a row the same because they hold the club poorly. On the other hand, I’ve seen golfers with unique swings that are able to hit consistently good shots because they hold the club properly.
Here are a few things you can check to see if you are placing your hands on the club correctly:
1. Make sure the back of your top hand and the palm of your bottom hand are facing your target.
2. Keep the handle of the club in your fingers. Keep it out of your palms.
3. Hold the club tight enough to keep control of it, but not so tight that you start feeling tension in your arms and shoulders.
4. Have equal pressure with both hands when you place them on the club. You will read that you should grip more tightly with the last three fingers of your top hand. That is only a sensation you feel as your hands respond to the swinging motion of the club. Excessive tension in your top hand will prevent your hands from being able to be responsive, and will lead to lost distance and a tendency to slice the ball.
Grip changes are difficult to make a commitment to. Early in the season is the best time make a change, while you’re still finding your feel after a long winter layoff. It won’t be comfortable, and you’ll hit some lousy shots while you are getting used to it. But if you will commit to hitting 150 shots, holding the club correctly for every shot, you will notice a marked improvement in your ball striking.