I am often asked what is the most important fundamental in golf.
My answer always the same: it’s the grip.
The grip controls the face angle at the bottom of your swing. What else could be more important?
Grip types can be divided into three categories: strong, neutral, and weak. A strong grip would have the hands rotated slightly to the right (for a right-handed player). This grip would be well suited to women, juniors and anybody with small hands and fingers. Sometimes we might call this strong grip a “hook” grip because it does encourage a hooking ball in flight.
In taking a strong grip, the left thumb will rest down the right side of the shaft in an “extended” or “long” position and the right palm will face the left at address. A long left thumb that is positioned to the right side of the shaft will allow your hands to stay behind the shaft at impact.
Keeping your hands behind the shaft at impact is very important if you are to compress the ball at impact. With a stronger left hand and the longer left thumb, it is easier to hit that nice little right-to-left draw shot you envisioned.
The other two grip types, the weak and neutral, will find the hands placed more on the club in a way where the left thumb is at the 12 o’clock position. Due to the positioning of the hands, this grip can only be used by someone with very big, strong hands.
My thought is that the average golfer should never consider the neutral or weaker grip, I say this because a weaker grip encourages an earlier release of the club head with the hands and arms, and less body motion on the downswing.
In summary, if you really want to improve your golf swing and your ball striking, I would begin with to the grip. See the following photos to see how to manage your grip:
• Michael Camastro is a PGA Teaching Professional and operates the Michael Camastro Players Elite Golf Academy at Silver Lake Country Club in Orland Park, Ill. He’s been a PGA Professional for more than 30 years and was the 2017 Illinois PGA Senior Match Play champion. You can contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information visit IPGA.com
• With assistance from the Illinois PGA, the Daily Herald provides golf tips each Wednesday from a PGA Professional.