The Power In Your Grip

In the previous article on grips we looked at a variety of grip types. Here we will look at how power can be added or its potential power can be subtracted depending on how you hold the club in your left hand only. Few have ever mentioned the power in a grip and you will see just how a simple grip change can make a difference.

On the forum many people ask “How do I grip the club as I keep wearing my gloves out?” Normally this is a sign of a loose grip caused through not getting the grip in the correct slot. Most golfers have the grip sitting on the heel pad of the left hand and as your swing lengthens it has a loosens to it that allows it to flop up and down in the transition or even close to the top of the swing.

If it moves, then the alignments made to line the face up for impact will have been destroyed, as even a minor adjustment will not be helpful towards the cause of getting the ball into the hole.

To get a good left hand grip on the club let us go back to the club and body design we have shown in Fix Your Golf Swing – Part 1. The clubshafts lie angle has it leaning towards our body via its lie angle on an inclined plane as shown in Fig 1 and where our target side hand hangs naturally in front of us and we blend the two together.

You will see how the shaft starts off in the left index finger top joints and runs into the base of the little finger and the palm is slightly above it.

Now close your hand around the shaft with the left thumb slightly aft and when you lift the shaft you will see how well secured the grip is between this finger and little finger and underside of the palm as illustrated in Fig 2. So there you have your standard left hand correct grip. You will notice that there is an angle produced between your left forearm and the shaft. This is part of what we call The Flying Wedge.

Let us now step back and look at another left hand grip that is more like a putters grip. This one is shown in Fig 3 where the shaft sits not in the fingers but up the life line and would run up the forearm. Notice here there is no angle.

We now have two grips to compare in motion. They are the extreme ends of grips so those of you who have a grip somewhere in between will see where there is potentially more power or more control on some shots to be had using either.

Figures 4,5 and 6 show the left arm making a rolling motion through the impact zone of the grip show in Fig 4. Note the small hand travel and how far the clubhead has travelled. How far do you think a ball could be moved by just rolling your left forearm? Not far at all.

Fig 7, 8 and 9 show the same hand roll motion but with the Finger grip. Notice the distance the clubhead travels for the same amount of hand motion. It is further by a country mile. Now we can move the ball much further as there is more clubhead speed at word. This is Accumulator #3 at work – the angle between the left forearm and the shaft. Viola, power from your grip via a useful hand role motion.

So I hear you saying, what use is the up the forearm or left hand palm grip? If you are putting or chipping you may wish to eradicate any ability to cock your wrist and inadvertently add power. Using that grip it is impossible to make a wrist cock without a major collapse of the grip during the motion. It has the same effect as the old saying of stand your chipping club up on its toe and make your swing. It zero’s out that potential power source.

So getting to know your grips is not just about clubface control, it does have great applications towards power control.

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