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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Final Driving Tip of 2014

Yes, it's only appropriate that we end 2014 with a driving tip. This golf.com article says it will give you 10 more yards with your driver -- indeed, that it will make you longer with every club in the bag.

I found this fascinating because it's a tip that goes against the advice you hear from most teachers... but it's actually a fundamental of the classic swing from a century ago!



As you can see from the article's photo, you're trying to get the club shaft parallel to the ground at waist high rather than taking the club back so sharply inside. I routinely recommend this move -- you can check out my now notorious article on how to make a relaxed one-piece takeaway if you need proof -- but what stands out in this article is how Brad Brewer recommends you do it. He says:
Take your normal grip with your driver and then let go with the last three fingers on each hand, leaving only your thumbs and index fingers on the handle.
Yes, he's suggesting that you do his drill while holding the club with the thumb and forefinger of each hand. Ever since Hogan became the yardstick for golf teachers, this has been a no-no! Such a grip supposedly tightens the wrist and limits the free cocking and uncocking of the wrists.

However, the great Harry Vardon -- you know, the guy they named the Vardon grip after! -- recommended exactly the same thing in his 1905 book The Complete Golfer. He specifically said that the grip should be concentrated in the forefinger and thumb of each hand to improve release. There are a variety of reasons why this makes sense, but let me suggest just one...

When you want to use a flyswatter or a tack hammer -- tools which require a lot of relaxed wrist action -- don't you grip them primarily with your thumb and forefinger?

While Brewer is merely suggesting this as a drill -- and he does point out that it will feel odd at first, so don't be surprised -- you might want to consider trying it on the course once you get used to it on the range. You might be surprised at how freely your wrists move when you focus your grip in those fingers.

And with that tip, we bid farewell to 2014. Remember not to drink and drive tonight... especially if you tend to hit wild slices or duckhooks. ;-)

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