This post is the start of a series of discussions where I tackle a lot of common swing issues. However, instead of providing common fixes that you've probably seen elsewhere, I will be providing a more accurate way to think about how to obtain the correct feels of the swing. This series is catered to help more of an intermediate to advanced player who has somewhat of a functioning swing. These articles will assume you know some swing vocabulary.
Today we will be discussing some Grip Tips:
How it's different: This grip tip is different, because it not only helps with how to hold the club in your hands, but also how your hands and arms should feel in connection with the body at address as well. Having the correct grip-arms-body relationship helps from over-swinging, tempo, loss of consistency, distance, and balance.
Before you take your grip I want you to grab the club like you would do for handlebars on a bike with one hand holding the grip end and another holding the shaft end. Notice how secure your grip on both hands feel. Then take only your trail arm off and see if you can put it back on top of your lead arm to hold the club in it's regular position. If you feel that your lead grip is different, then you've been holding your grip wrong this whole time. A couple things to note, make sure the last three fingers of your lead hand are securing the grip and your thumb is longer rather than shorter. Also, when looking down at your club you should see at least 2 to 2.5 knuckles. of your lead hand.
Now, while holding your grip, bring your arms and elbows into your body really close and hinge your wrists and bend your elbows so that the club falls over your trail shoulder. Now slowly start unhinging your wrists toward the ground keeping your arms to your sides. You should start feeling that the grip will start bracing itself agains the pad part of your lead hand which will in turn start opening up your elbows, then your elbows will start unfolding and start bracing up against the side of your body like a chain reaction. After you have completely unfolded your writs and arms, your club should be laying down on the ground with your arms feeling snug up against your body. Another note if you've done it correctly is that you'll feel a slight pressure into your lead side and leg. Doing this drill you will have obtained not only the right feel in you hands, but also how your writs arms, elbows and body feels in complete connection with itself.
You would be surprised at how many people I can get making better contact simply by getting their arms and wrists connected better at address. Try it and you will start feeling what it means to have a connected swing.
I just wanted to take the time to thank all my readers and golf students who continue to motivate me to provide highly quality instruction. I pride myself in bringing a research based approach to golf instruction that is often insightful and less talked about. My teachings debunk a lot of myths and faulty traditional teachings that have thus plagued golfers in the trying to get better. So after reading some of my articles, you find yourself swing better, please share my blog and tell others in return for this free service :) In this article, I discuss the motion in the pelvis that contribute to a faulty swing, what I call "Twisting." A deadly move that most people do.
In an earlier article, I talk about how the discerning difference between pros and amateur swings is their ability to create more separation int their bodies (Arms, torso and hips) and how this creates in effect a sort of "Gear" effect. The correct motion gives an appearance that the hips and body are more open and impact and the spine angle is in tact. This motion is in contrast to high handicap players who try to "Clear" their hips simply by trying to fire their hips! Does this sound like you? If this is you be very careful because you may cause more injury and you'll in fact get the opposite effect which is early extension and getting on your lead toe on the finish. I cannot count the amount of people who come to me with this problem, it's nearly everybody.
In order to solve this problem, one of the first things I look for is the pelvis orientation at setup. Most people are under the impression that their backs need to be perfectly straight and do so by excessively sticking out their butt. If you do this, it will engage too much of the lower back muscles in your swing. When you do this, your pelvis will begin to twist in more of a level fashion sending your upper body too much away from the target. The fancy term for this is having too much anterior tilt at address. When you setup to more of a neutral position in regard to front to back tilting of the pelvis, you will engage your core and work your swing pressures between you feet more. This will help you feel more centered in you swing and help enormously with balance. I was inspired to write this piece because the recent winner of the Open Championship a model for this subtly but crucial pelvis condition in action, Francesco Molinari.
So now it's you're turn, grab a club and try swinging the club feeling like you're standing up. You'll be surprised because you'll still be able to get the club on the ground. Also remember this drill will only work if your pressure is also shifting correctly. If you haven't already please read my articles on ground reaction forces in the swing and get that down before trying this drill. If you're doing it right, you'll start gaining consistency, power and your golf swing will start looking better.