Tofino golf - Get a Better Grip!

Tofino Golf: Get a Better Grip!

by Chris Kennedy, Tofino


Typically, most golf instruction books start with precise directions on the proper grip. They usually talk about the overlapping, interlocking or the baseball grip. There are thousands of variations on these three basic grips, most of them are dreadfully wrong. As Ben Hogan once said "A player with a bad grip doesn't want a good swing." He would then demonstrate by putting the offender in a proper headlock and swinging him into a bunker.

Unfortunately, changing your grip will probably cause you discomfort and (initially) horrendous scoring. If only we could clasp the club in whatever weird contortion our body allows us and then lash wildly at the ball with Happy Gilmour's prodigious results. But we can't, because in reality that swing would cause you much ridicule and as much as a two stroke penalty. So we have no alternative but to change our grip. The good news is that if we persist in a grip change we will begin to feel that the club is set in the right position, we will feel comfortable and relaxed and we will lack on more excuse for our still terrible game.

Here's the way to form the perfect grip. (Keep in mind that this instruction is for a right handed golfer. If you are left handed, you'll come to the conclusion most left handers arrive at and give up the game entirely and start playing tennis.)

  • Line up the club face in the desired direction. Support the top of the club with your right hand. Hang the left hand down parallel with the shaft. Please try to pretend that this is natural.
  • Bring your left hand back to the shaft from its hanging position. Hold it against the grip so the shaft runs from the fleshy pad in your palm down diagonally to the middle joint of your index finger.
  • Now close the fingers of your hand around the club.
  • Your thumb should be flat on the grip, perhaps a little to the right as you look down on it.

• Now bring the right hand forward from its natural hanging position, and lay the club in the finger of that hand. Imagine that the palm is facing toward your target and square to the club face. Your right thumb and forefinger should form a kind of trigger around the grip, so that your could almost support the entire weight of the club in your thumb and forefinger. Now, move the little finger in whichever way you think is comfortable, bonding it to the left hand. You're done.

If at any time during the process, you feel or hear bones crunching, you're doing it wrong and should try again. Ideally, you should practice this proper grip setup until it becomes ingrained and habitual. Practice in the mirror, bathtub and while watching Joe Millionaire.

Chris Kennedy is a golf pro and instructor at the Long Beach Golf Course in Tofino. Visit the Long Beach Golfcourse website at Chris's can be reached by phone at 725-3332

Tofino golf articles

Tofino Time Magazine February 2003

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