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Using Your Fingers

This is written as for a right-handed player. I have had comments from some ‘lefties’ about discrimination and sympathise, but find trying to be more ‘politically correct’ in the language confuses the message. I hope the lefties can swap left for right etc more easily than I can find neutral words  that convey the message.

The common trait of good players is great clubface control. This comes from how they place their hands on the club. Their fingers caress the grip with the fingertips controlling the process. Most amateurs ‘palm’ the club with a death grip, not a caress, and as a consequence have little ability to manipulate the clubface.

If you wear a glove, put it on and study the palm. Most amateurs wear a hole in the heel of their glove. This shows that the club is being held in the palm and not in the fingers. It is not that much different to holding a pen. You get your kids to hold a pen in their fingertips so they can better control the point, don’t you? The same thing applies to your golf club. (photo 1904)

Most people have the club on the ground when they take their grip and this tends to magnify the problem. I suggest you try holding the club with your right hand below the grip and lift the club head up to eye level with the leading edge of the club vertical. (photo 1903)

Now place the fingers of your left hand around the grip and allow the hand to fold around the grip. The pad of the thumb will go on the grip slightly to the right of centre so that a line drawn straight up the thumb will point somewhere over the right shoulder. I use a felt tip pen to put large spots on the knuckles of my pupils and draw a line straight up the top of their thumbs. At this point you should be able to see at least two spots and for most people three spots are better. The finger tips should be touching the grip. (photo 1910)

Now slide your right hand down the grip till it butts up to the left hand. I don’t care (within reason) whether you use the overlap, interlock or baseball grip, so long as you are holding the club with your fingertips touching the grip. (photo 1905)

Now some checkpoints; if you can see three spots (knuckles) on your left hand you should only see one on your right hand and the lines on your thumbs should both point toward the tip of your right shoulder. If you can only see two knuckles on your left hand you should also see two on your right and the thumbs should be pointing just to the right of your chin. Last tip, find a picture in a book or a magazine of a good players grip. Stick it onto a mirror you can stand in front of while holding your club. 

If you can get the grip in your fingers in this way you may be amazed at the difference it makes to the contact with the ball. 

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