The Strong Grip

One of the dangers of learning on your own is absorbing and trying to apply all the conflicting information available from magazines (I’m looking at you, Golf Digest), TV, and the internet.  The problem is, a suggestion often works for a day or two and we all think we’ve found some type of magic.

One of these discoveries was “the weak right hand grip”.

Hogan Grip

Weak Grip

Life mag grip-1

Hogan’s Grip

I really had no reason to try this new grip but being eager to try anything to improve (there’s no cost to just try it) and was able to hit the ball pretty with higher trajectory immediately versus my neutral grip.  Hey, it (kinda) works so let’s keep using it.  As a chronic slicer, the fact I was still slicing didn’t even enter into the equation.

When I finally took a lesson, my instructor said “Okay, this is going to be the easiest lesson I’ve ever given, why are you gripping the club like that?”  All in one breath.  Of course, I didn’t admit to copying Hogan (I didn’t know who he was at the time) nor did I answer “um, the internet”.  Embarrassed, I just said “um, I just thought you’re supposed to hold it this way… ? ”  He changed my grip big time- into 4 knuckles strong like this:

STRONG Grip

STRONG Grip

The grip was in the fingers only and the face was dead shut.  Within 3 swings, my body figured out on its own that I cannot roll my arms open on the backswing and close on the downswing.  I was able to hook the ball for the first time by design during the lesson.  Like everything in golf, we’re supposed to over-exaggerate first to learn the feeling and then correct and adjust later.

I played a full season with this strong grip- gaining at least a club’s distance and more confidence that I’m not going to slice anymore.  Eventually, this change was the last “fix” needed to start drawing the ball that I’ve dreamed off since starting this game.

Here is an excellent video from Shawn Clements that explains the difference between the grip/face relationship at static setup versus dynamic impact positions.

Eventually, my draw dream turned into a crazy 2 way miss- super held off, high handles, swing to the right push or flip the wrists and hook nightmare but that’d be another post.

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