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Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Look at Brian’s Grip

(PAY ATTENTION, RIGHTHANDERS! Normally I describe things as a righthander, and lefties have to transpose it. But Brian is a lefty and this is his project, so you righties will have to substitute “right” for “left” and vice versa. It will give you an appreciation for what lefties have to go through when they learn the game. But here’s a hint that will help: View the photos as if you were looking in a mirror.)

I wanted to start by looking at Brian’s grip just because it’s so darn good! Here’s what Brian told me in an email:
One of the fixes was strengthening my grip which has really almost cured me of the slice. Now though, more often if I miss it's with the driver and it's a pull or straight duck hook.
Take a closer look at this grip:

Brian's grip from two angles

This is what is called a neutral grip. Since Brian says he strengthened it, that actually means he started with a weak grip. In a weak grip, the hands are turned so the thumbs are pointed more toward the target at setup. (In Brian’s case, that means his hands were turned more to the right. For you right-handers, that would be your left.) A weak grip requires a lot of forearm action to square up the club (BAD Brian, BAD!) and he couldn’t do it consistently, hence his persistent slice.

A neutral grip is what Carl taught me when he worked with me. (My grip was actually too strong.) A slightly strong grip works better for many people, but one advantage to a neutral grip is that it’s very easy to tell if it’s correct. The pics Brian sent are taken from directly in front of him. (Look at his stance in the 2nd photo. His target line runs straight across the picture from right to left.) Now, look at the Vs formed by his thumb and forefinger―see how they point straight up at where his chin should be? See how the pattern on the grip is centered in the V? This neutral grip is set up properly.

As I said, a slightly strong grip works better for many people, but a neutral grip allows you to hit the ball with extreme accuracy if you don’t rotate your forearms. His problem with duck hooks indicate that this bad habit has carried over from his original grip. (BAD Brian, BAD!)

We’ll talk about that forearm action in the next post.


  1. Guilty as charged on the forearm front!
    Sorry about the lousy pics in my living room folks!

  2. The pics are fine, Brian. They show your hand position clearly. If you'd been outside and your hands were blue from the cold, they wouldn't show up nearly as well against your jeans!