By Doug Hammer, Golf Contributor - Archive - Email
Grip your way to straighter shots!
Three types of grips will help you improve your game.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - How many of you curve your golf shots? Or a better question, how many of you don?t hit your target as a result of unwanted curve? Most of the time our golf shots will have a bit of shape to them, especially if we generate any amount of clubhead speed. It is very difficult to hit a ball perfectly straight all the time, even the best players have a shot shape that they go to in pressure situations. So it is not bad to curve the golf ball as long as you know what direction the curve will be and how much it will curve. How many of us know that?? Sometimes the curve becomes unpredictable and that is when it causes problems. And not just problems from over curving, but problems from trying to fix the curve the wrong way.

Whenever I am with a client I always ask and observe the curve of their shots and usually I will ask what they are doing to fix that curve. I get many answers, and most are not ideal fixes to golf ball curve. What happens most often is a player?s shots will curve to the right or slice for a right handed player. This creates a response in the body to swing the club more left to reduce the curve to the right. This may not reduce curve, but it may start the ball more left for a while and create an accurate shot in terms of result. But the shot will still be curving right, so the root cause of the problem has not been fixed and now we have created an out to in swing path. Two wrongs trying to equal a right.

The next time you have unwanted curve in your ball flight, do not try to swing the club the opposite direction which is always our first instinct. Try turning your grip, both hands ideally, but glove hand at minimum in the direction of the curve you are trying to avoid. So in other words, if you are a right handed player and you are slicing the ball to the right, turn both hands (left hand at minimum) to the right slightly. This may feel a bit weird and cause you to want to grip harder on the club, please try to avoid this. Hit a shot, if the curve is still there, turn the hands slightly more right. Repeat this process until the curve is gone or you are curving the opposite direction. If you have gone to far and now have a curve to the left, turn the hands back to the left slightly.

This is the most consistent way to affect curve in your golf shots. You can use the information to work the ball right and left on the golf course. This is the Nicklaus method of curving your shots. Mr. Nicklaus used to make slight adjustments to his grip to affect curve. He would then aim where he wanted the ball to begin its flight and swing comfortably.

I have included three pictures of grip position. In each I have exaggerated the changes, but you can see what a "weak" grip, "neutral" grip, and "strong" grip look like. Try to experiment with this on the range prior to your round, but you should find this to be an easy and quick way to affect ball flight in your game. Good Luck, hope to see you all practicing the new grip at Troon North soon!

Doug Hammer * Director of Instruction * Troon North Golf Club
p 480-585-5300 ext. 251 * f 480-585-5161
10320 E Dynamite Blvd. * Scottsdale, AZ 85262 Managed by Troon Golf
The Sports Network, a STATS Company. All Rights Reserved.  home | terms of use | privacy policy | comments |