Saturday, February 20, 2010

Better Golf through Better Thinking

I like to think that golf is easier than most of us think it is. One thing that I find through years of teaching is most of my students over analyze things that are not that important and forget about the easy little things that make a huge difference. While most of us are busy thinking about more turn or keeping our left arm straight, we forget the simple things like; grip, ball placement, alignment and posture.

Correct ball placement, a good grip, alignment and posture will serve you so much better as a starting point for good golf. Great instructors will always tell you how important it is to get posture and set-up techniques down so that you can begin to see what may be wrong with your swing. Better golf through sound fundamentals is a great way to improve. If you begin your practice session with some set-up aids such as: laying some clubs down to be sure to get the alignment procedures and ball placement correct and then check your posture in a mirror, you have a far greater chance of getting the results you are looking for.

Let’s first examine the grip. To me the most important thing to focus on is placing the club in your hand properly. I use a baseball bat to get my students to realize that the club is held much more in the fingers then most people think. Rest your club over your shoulder like it was a baseball bat and feel how the club sinks down into the fingers of the hand. The grip feels fine up on your shoulder, but most of us will place it back into our palm when we put it down in the hitting zone and that is where we make the first mistake. Keep the club in the fingers more and under the meaty pad of the hand while it is in the playing zone, it will make your hands feel much lower than what you are use to, but that is where it belongs.

When the club is gripped properly, it enables you to use the hands effectively. The most common error I see is the club runs through the hands more vertically than it should and doesn’t allow a proper takeaway or release through the shot. Be sure to get the club under the meaty pad and in the fingers more and the club will naturally sink a little lower at address position and give you full use of the hand action. Most of us know that the V’s the thumb and forefinger make is suppose to point at our trailing shoulder, but this is not the main focus, for me it is having the club in the right plane with our grip.

As the illustration shows, the club runs through the hand more in the fingers and when you close on the grip the meaty pad rests on top of the club. Once you have the club running through the hand properly, it will be much easier to get your V’s to point to the trailing shoulder.

A proper grip is essential for you to have a chance at swinging the club effectively. A PGA Instructor like myself can get you tuned in easily within seconds, getting use to the grip takes time and patience, but the positive results you’ll experience are well worth the time and effort. I like to say that, “the result is well worth the adventure.”

Next month we will talk about set up, posture and ball position. Until next month good golfing and have a wonderful April. The Masters lays in wait.

Good Golfing


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