The Golf Grip Myth: I have both read about and been told about grip techniques by countless Pros; and of course I have tried to listen and practice some of these methods of instructional information. Problem is…most of them are not fundamentally true or accurate and can produce bad golfing habits
Here are 2 fundamental secrets every golfer should know about regarding gripping your club:
1. Grip the club as if it were a small (baby) bird…
Tight enough so it can’t get away, but loose enough so you don’t kill the bird. (Sam Snead)
Now I would never disrespect the great Sam Snead, he was, and is still one of my golfing heroes…but what he said and what he did are two entirely different things.
First of all, a baby bird, or a small bird weighs almost nothing; it would take very little pressure to contain a small bird (the weight of your fingers and hands alone would do the job). Conversely: it would take very little added pressure from your fingers to overcome the bird and squeeze the life out of it.
A moving golf club-head, on the other hand – weighs a minimum of 10 pounds at the transition point (most weigh between 15 – 50 pounds through centrifugal force depending on the speed of the backswing at transition). There is absolutely no way to control a swinging club-head using the same pressure you would to contain a small bird!
Now…having said that, I do believe this statement from Sam Snead to be TRUE…for all fingers EXCEPT the BOSS fingers. The BOSS fingers can and will control the club-head in swing, and ensure the bottom of your swing falls consistently on your center of gravity (your sternum), and they must be very firm on the club, firm enough to be in control of 14 – 25 (or more) pounds.
The other 7 digits however… baby bird.
2. Use Equal Pressure On Both Hands
My Head Instructor and trainer recently had a debate over this issue with a long time Pro who truly believes this and has been teaching it for many years, Here’s my view on that…
-Maintaining equal grip pressure on both hands with a moving weight that increases and decreases as club-head speed increases and decreases, is virtually impossible. Everyone has a dominant hand and fingers that they used the most and therefore will (subconsciously) bear the majority of the weight throughout the swing.
-Consciously trying to maintain an equal pressure on both hands creates a power struggle between the hands and levers (arms) that will produce an inconsistent bottoming out point of the swing. In order to create a consistent bottoming out point of the swing, there must be a consistent lever in control of the golf club.
-When you always use the “Boss” Fingers to control the golf club, the controlling lever is consistent and a consistent bottoming out point can be achieved. Now we’re getting somewhere!
Rob Bernard | Center of Gravity Golf | Former PGA of Canada Professional