The Problem – Top Hand Placement on the Grip
Our topic today is probably the most common problem I see; the incorrect placement of the top hand on the golf club. Almost everyone who starts the game begins by holding the golf club too much in the palm of his or her top-hand (the left hand for right-handed golfers). This grip fault is often referred to as a “weak grip”. In most cases the club feels more secure in this position (see photos 1 and 2) but it is actually less stable and also leads to many other problems. The correct hand placement will put the handle of the club more into the fingers of the top hand and will position the heel pad on top of the handle rather than along side.
The Potential Effects
Placing the club too far into the palm can result in several less than desirable outcomes. First, because the club is resting in the palm, you will need to squeeze the club quite tightly to maintain control, creating tension in the forearms. This tension can inhibit the wrists from hinging correctly during the swing and cause a loss of power and control. This lack of wrist hinge can also result in the golfer hinging their elbow in an attempt to finish their back swing (NOT GOOD)! The incorrect hand placement causes the wrist joint of the top hand to be positioned to the side of the handle rather than the correct positioning over top of the handle. This inhibits the wrist’s ability to hinge correctly as opposed to the more desirable wrist action and also leads to a breakdown of the arm and/or miss-alignment of the clubface. There are several other potential problems associated with a poor top-hand grip but I won’t bore you with the nasty details!
The cure for this very common ailment is to place the club more into the fingers of the top hand. By doing so, the club will fit under the heel pad and will also allow the wrist to position itself correctly; directly over top of the handle of the club (see photos below). This will allow you to control the golf club without needing a “Death Grip”, allow the wrist to hinge correctly and will promote a square clubface at impact (REALLY GOOD). The easiest way to check how you have placed your hands on the club is to lift the club to vertical by simply hinging your wrists. This should be quite easy and you should not feel any need to bend your elbows.
Let me know if this article is helpful and if you would like to see a specific topic in future posts. Good luck with your golf!