by Paul Jones
The grip is one of the key elements in playing the game of golf. The hands are the only part of the body that has any contact with the club, and therefore the correct grip is essential.
The following instructional tips assume you are a right-handed player (left-handed players, please reverse the instructions) and are intended to give you the fundamentals to a better grip.
THE LEFT HAND
The left hand is placed at the top end of the golf club. The left hand positioning is very important in determining a good golf grip. The grip position is such that it runs from the middle joint of the left index finger diagonally across the palm of the hand and is supported by the heel pad in a position on top of the grip.
The left thumb is positioned slightly down the right side of the grip’s center. (See photo 1)
THE RIGHT HAND
In achieving the correct right-hand position it is important to note there are two common grips. The “overlap” and “interlock” grips.
The right grip depends on your personal preference but is generally determined by one’s hand size and feel. For example, Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus both use the interlock grip due to their small hand size. However it is common practice for most golfers to use the overlap.
Having established the left-hand position, slide the right hand on the golf club so the little finger of the right hand overlaps the index finger of the left hand. This gives you the overlap grip. (See photo 2)
Place the right hand onto the grip below the left hand. Now slide the right hand up so the little finger of the right hand overlaps the index finger of the left hand. Once you get this position, release just the index finger of the left hand and the little finger of the right hand off the grip and, as the name suggests, interlock the two fingers. (See photo 3)
It is important, whether you have chosen the interlock or overlap grip, to observe the following key points for both the left and right hand.
❖ The grip for both hands should be more in the fingers than the palms.
❖ A “V” is formed between your right forefinger and the right thumb. This “V” should point at your right shoulder.
❖ When you look at your grip at chest level, two knuckles on the left hand should be visible.
❖ Be aware of grip pressure. Often many golfers hold the club too tightly and therefore limit both function and feel.
These are the key points to a good grip. Next column we will take a look at the posture and the importance of good body shape for consistent shot making.
HOW GOOD IS ANNIKA?
Annika Sorenstam over the past month has done as much for ladies golf as Billie Jean King did for ladies tennis in the early 1970s.
A lot has changed in sport in the past 30 years, but Annika’s performance, not only in the past few months but also throughout her career, will be looked back upon as a significant turning point in the game of golf.
I was fortunate to see Annika play at the Yomiuri Country Club here in Tokyo two weeks prior to the Colonial event in the U.S. She was not only the most impressive women golfer I have seen but also was able to create an interest and atmosphere worthy of a champion.
So the question is: How good is Annika? I think we all agree, no matter what your stance is, Annika Sorenstam could be the best woman golfer the game has ever seen. Her personal endeavors have not only silenced the critics but also have created a lot of fans for the game.