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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Byron Nelson Talks About the Grip

Since it seems that I'm reviewing basics this week, I thought I'd post this old video of Byron Nelson talking about how to create a grip that helps you square the clubface. It has bits and pieces from several clips Lord Byron had done before, so it's a great look at how his grip evolved.

Watch the video, then I'll focus on a few things that will help you create your own grip -- even if you don't do it exactly like Nelson.

First, I've taken a still from the video and added a white line to emphasize something you should know, no matter whose grip advice you take. Take a look:

Byron Nelson's grip

Do you see that white curve I added near his lead hand? He has the club handle leaning very slightly forward but there's still a pronounced curve from his forearm to his wrist. Some teachers do this, some don't. Whether a teacher does this or not affects all the other advice he or she gives you, so make sure you know whether they 'curve' their lead wrist like this or not. It's super important to know that if you want to get the results that teacher wants you to get.

In this case, even though Nelson says that the back of his lead hand is pointing at his target, the same way the palm of his trail hand is, it doesn't look that way when you see this picture. You need to understand that when the back of your lead hand is 'square' to the target, it may actually look as if your hand is at a slight angle. That's because most of us, when we stand with our hands at our side, actually turn our hands inward at a slight angle. Stand in front of a mirror and take a good look; you probably do it too.

That means that 'square to the target' means that your lead hand is at the same angle as it is when your hands hang at your side. Again, that's super important to know that in order to get the results you expect.

Finally, please note that Lord Byron says that the lead hand guides the club and the trailing hand provides both power and feel. He also says that your trailing hand shouldn't swing past the lead hand -- or, if you prefer, the trail hand shouldn't swing FASTER than the lead hand -- or you'll end up mis-hitting the ball. You are using both hands together, and that's why teachers emphasize relaxed forearms and wrists. If they are relaxed, they will travel at about the same speed and you're unlikely to flip your hands at impact.

I hope you find the video helpful, and also that the tips in this post help you get better results from whatever grip your teacher is teaching to you.

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