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A Good Grip

Greetings Golfers,

One of the prettiest sights in golf is a good grip. And, unfortunately, it’s a rare occurrence.

If you ever give golf lessons to beginners, you’ll see one of two swings. The first one is the caveman swing.The club is gripped in the palms, squeezed in a death grip, then lifted straight up in the air and then pounded down on the ball as if it’s a deadly snake.

Or, the goal being to get the ball airborne … they close the club face on the back swing while their weight shifts to their front foot so that they can use their wrists to scoop the ball up in the air as they shift their weight to their back foot.

Both are not good ways to use a golf club ( you notice that I didn’t say “swing”).

Ironically, if they used the snake killing method for iron shots … and the scooping method for drivers off a tee … they would be sort of ok. But, they do the opposite. Thus the snake killer breaks the tee and pops-up the ball … and the scooper hits the ball on the way up so that it’s topped and is a wicked grounder.

Both actions are usually performed with the grip of the club in the palms of the hands. The same way that you would grip the rope in a tug-of-war.

The club needs to be held in the fingers … of both hands.

And, the grip should be most felt between the thumb and forefinger of both hands. That’s the start of a good swing. It will feel weak and out of control at first. But, it needs to be learned in order to swing and not hit or scoop.

Here’s a good analogy. When I was a young boy, my stern Scottish grandfather took me to a steak house. I held my knife and fork like a caveman in the palms of my hands and my elbows stuck straight out. He insisted that I hold the silverware in my fingers and tuck in my elbows. I thought I was going to starve. It felt weak and terrible. I was not happy. But, he was right (as always).

I had to go through the same process with a golf club in my hands. Practice gripping the club in your fingers. I used to do it while watching tv – gave me the excuse that I was doing something useful.

Keep at it. Pretty shots will become more common. Pretty shots begin with a pretty grip.


Tom Abts
GM/Head PGA Professional
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Deer Run Golf Club
8661 Deer Run Drive
Victoria, MN 55386
(952) 443-2351

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