The fitting of the left hand is the key to a fluid action
Low in the fingers of the
left hand promotes the
vital wrist hinge
One of the biggest power sources in the
golf swing is a good wrist action.
Take a look at Ernie Els.
The Big Easy
generates tremendous clubhead speed
with seemingly little effort. How does he do
He combines a full shoulder turn with
a full 'loading’ of the wrists - energy that is
then stored deep into the downswing before finally being
unleashed as the wrists 'snap’ the clubhead on the ball.
If you want
to copy Ernie’s example, you first need to have a grip that allows you to fully cock and uncock your wrists in the course of making your swing. The way you place your left hand on the grip is critical to this - and here’s a useful tip that can help you get it right every time.
Stand up tall and let your arms hang naturally, as I am doing opposite. Notice the way the fingers want to curl inwards - a huge plus when it comes to placing the left hand on the grip.
With the left hand closed, the last three fingers squeeze the butt end of the grip, and these provide the security. The fingertips should just touch the pad at the base of the thumb - that's a sign your grips are the correct size
All you have to do is let the club fall into the fingers at a slight diagonal angle before then closing your hand around the grip.
You should then find that you have a left-hand grip that looks like this .
Placing the club too high in the palm of the left hand is a problem that many golfers suffer, one that stifles hand and wrist action and ultimately inhibits your ability to generate clubhead speed.
Make sure the butt-end of the grip protrudes by half an inch or so - that gives you absolute control
So use this routine to get the club fitted low and diagonally across the fingers of the left hand. Oh, and one more thing: don’t extend a 'long’ left thumb down the grip, but instead 'pinch’ it short - that further enhances the mobility of the left wrist. And check that the left thumb lies at a slight angle, across to the right.
A famous test for the left hand...and how to fit the right
Those of you familiar with Ben Hogan's seminal textbook, The Modern Fundamentals of Golf, will recognise this test of the left-hand grip: with your left arm out-stretched, you should be able to remove the last three fingers & thumb to support the club between the forefinger and the fleshy pad at the heel of the hand (the idea being that if the club is too high in the palm it will flip out).
Once you have your left hand fitted comfortably, the key is to introduce the right hand in such a way that the two hands complement one another on the grip, the palms parallel. And you need to be careful here. A lot of golfers put the club too much in the fingers of the right hand, which can cause the right wrist to arch at the set-up, making it impossible to get any back-cock in the swing.
So it's important that you place the grip diagonally through the fingers of the right hand in such a way that it is exiting across the right forefinger to the fleshy pad at the heel of the right hand. With the fingers on the right hand extended down towards the ground (below left), make sure the palm is square with the clubface as you bring the hand in to join the left.
Make sure that when you close your hand your left thumb disappears under the fleshy pad at the base of the right thumb. That way it will feel nice and 'snug'. Ideally, the left thumb sits on top of the shaft, angled slightly to the right. To take the V on the left hand to the right shoulder, the right thumb is slightly off centre, down the left side of the shaft.
What's the perfect grip pressure?
Tough to give a definitive answer to that particular question, but there is a way in which you can go out and establish just what a good pressure feels like.
All you have to do is find a patch of rough, take half-a dozen swings with a mid-iron, gradually picking up speed as you swish the grass. Pretty soon you'll figure out a grip pressure works.
Hold it too lightly and the club will turn in your hands. Hold it too tightly and you won't be able to generate significant speed.
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