Is the Grip Really That Important? How About Interlock?
Let’s think about this. The grip is actually the only connection you have to the golf club face. The big difference in this game is that the golf club is further away from you. Moe Norman used to grip all his clubs at almost the same length. He would choke up on his longer clubs. I think it was the Tommy Armour company that tried to mimic Moe and built a set that was similar to how he held a golf club.
Another huge feature is that a golf club has the axis or shaft, on the bottom of the head. A tennis racket has the axis balanced in the center. This causes you to have to place extra effort to roll the golf club over through the impact area. The same way a tennis player puts top spin on a tennis ball.
If your left hand grip, (for right handers) is not STRONG enough, you will have trouble playing this game. What is considered in golf books as too strong a grip, television commentators on golf tournaments refer to as a “players grip.” Well, if most of the golfers on tour are using a strong grip there must be a reason.
Below I posted a video for you showing where the grip should be. Bottom line is, if you hold the golf club in front of you and grip it with your left hand, you should feel as though you have enough of your left hand on the right side of the shaft in order to have “leverage” to rotate the golf club counter clockwise. I like to think of the top of the shaft as 12 o’clock. Your left thumb should be at least at 2 o’clock on the shaft.
Take a look at this video and let me know if it helps.
Boy have I been running into some rotten grips lately! I’ve seen better grips on a Miller Lite!
The most important function of the grip is controlling club face angle. As you now know, this angle is a primary influence on ball flight. Also, the way you hold and control the club face position influences your overall swing motion.
You probably have seen illustrations of the Vardon grip, the most common modern golf grip. You may have focused on the overlapping pinkie as the most significant aspect of the grip. You would naturally assume that if you placed your hands and fingers in this approximate position, you would have a proper grip. You might have missed the most significant point: the positioning of the hands in relation to the club face angle. This relationship has surprising influence on your swing and, more importantly, on your ball flight.
Most golf books will tell you that the back of your left hand should be facing the target, yet I find that most tour players or good amateurs play from what is called a “stronger” grip position. The back of your left hand should be facing about 10 o’clock and the palm of your left hand at 4 o’clock. The club runs at an angle from the fleshy pad of the hand to the point where it runs across the top joint of the forefinger. As your left hand closes on the club, you should be able to see the knuckles of the forefinger and middle finger as you look straight down on the club. The thumb runs down at about 2 o’clock on the grip and the “V” formed by your thumb and hand will point somewhere between your right ear and right shoulder. Please refer to the illustrations for samples.
If the left hand is turned excessively in a clockwise direction, so the back of your hand points skyward or to the right of the target line, you have too “strong” a grip. The opposite is true for too “weak” a grip. With the left hand in good position, the right hand should fall in a naturally opposing position, so the palm of the right hand is pointed at about 10 o’clock. The “lifeline” of the lower hand fits over the thumb of the upper hand. The “V” formed by the thumb and hand should also point somewhere between the right ear and the right shoulder. With both hands in this position, you have a “neutral headed toward strong” grip. Professionals have had more success leaning toward a strong grip rather than a weak one.