ONE of the first things you should do before you take your swing is to check the line formed between your thumb and forefinger points to your right shoulder for a right handed golfer. The bottom of the club should be running straight up and down.
If you have a strong grip your hands will point to the outside of your right elbow, which will influence the club face to the left of the target. When struck, the ball will start left and continue to turn left if your swing plane is correct.
This is a very common error amongst golfers, unless you are wanting the ball to curve this way. If you are doing this unintentionally and attempt to correct it mid-swing, it will only lead to more problems.
The weak grip on the other hand, is when your hands your hands a turned slightly anti-clockwise, meaning your thumb and forefinger will be aiming towards your left ear or something like that. This will result in the ball starting to the right and finishing further right.
How do you make sure this is not a part of your game?
The best way to check is simple. Take your normal grip and then hold the club out in front of you, then set the club face so the leading edge or the toe is running straight up and down.
Next have a look at your hands and make sure the line formed between your thumb and forefinger on both hands and make sure it is pointed at your right shoulder.
Adjust your grip accordingly and you gain much more control over your club face and subsequently find more fairways.
We are going to look at strong versus weak grips, I know I’m getting into golf terminology, but I’ll explain it.
If I hold the club with the correct grip one of my checkpoints is the line formed between my thumb and forefinger points to my shoulder for a right handed golfer.
You can see that the bottom edge of the club is running straight up and down, now if I turn my hands clockwise on the grip so now these lines point outside my right elbow, when I bring my hands back to where I’d like them to be my club face is no longer square, it is aiming to the left.
So if I put that on the ground it is putting to the left of the target.
Now that grip, when my hands are turned around the grips this way, is called a strong grip and what you can see is that actually influences the club face to the left. When I strike a golf ball and the club face and aimed left the ball will start left, not only will it start left, but if my swing path is correct it will cause the ball to curve left in the air.
Now if I deliberately want a shot to curve left, that’s one of the things I can do. If I’m doing it unintentionally, in other words, if I set myself up and my hands are normally around the grip this way, which is actually very common, then my club face is going to be closed.
Now the only way I can get the club face to aim at the target is to make some sort of manipulation, either with my hands or with my body.
The weak grip on the other hand is where my hands are both turned a little bit anti clockwise, so it is like having the thumb and forefinger on each hand aiming to my left ear or something like that.
When I strike the ball the club face is wanting to swing in aiming to the right of the target, which is going to cause the ball to start right and even curve right.
Make sure you check that your grip is not too strong or too weak because that is going to influence your ability to control the club face. The best way to check that is to both take your grip and hold the club straight up in front of you, set the club face so the leading edge of the club or the toe is running straight up and down and then have a look at your hands.
Is the line formed between your thumb and forefinger on each hand pointed to your right shoulder or is it pointed somewhere else? Adjust your grip and you will find that will give you much better control of the club face when you are swinging the golf club.
Give it a go, check your grip, even if it feels uncomfortable it is going to make a difference to your game.
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:
As one of only four Master Professional Coaches with the PGA of Australia, Peter Knight has a long track record of helping players whatever their age or ability level.
Peter applies the same care in coaching you as he does international teams and professionals.
All he asks is that you are prepared to put in a little practice to reap the rewards you want from your game.
You can book lessons with Peter at Yarra Bend Golf Course either on the website www.yarrabendgolf.com or by calling (03) 9481 3729.
Check out his site www.melbournegolfcoach.com.au and subscribe for weekly golf videos and other updates.
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