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Friday, March 30, 2018

Xander Schauffele on Hitting It Long

Xander Schauffele did an article for Golf Digest on some of his tips for getting big distance when you're a smaller person. You can follow the link to learn some of his tips and feels, but I want to point out one specific thing he says which is different from what you may have heard most instructors say.

Xander Schauffele at address

Xander uses a neutral grip, which goes against the advice most instructors give -- that is, that a strong grip makes for a more powerful strike. But Xander's definition of a neutral grip is very interesting. Here's what he says:
One thing that will help you unleash that power at the right moment is your grip. Mine is neutral. For a stock shot, I see only one knuckle on my glove hand when I look down. This grip allows me to hit draws or fades when I want to. It also lets me release the clubhead into the ball like I’m hammering that nail. If your grip is too strong, you can’t fully release the clubhead, typically resulting in a loss of speed. And a grip that’s too weak makes it tough to square the clubface at impact, so you lose control.
You get that? He can only see ONE knuckle, not two or three. Take a good look at that photo above from the article. Xander also notes that he wants to club shaft almost vertical at address for a drive, not leaning forward. That's important because it works with the one-knuckle grip to get the hands in the proper position at impact. Make sure you read what he says about the one-knuckle grip, shaft lean and ball position at address so you don't turn your grip too weak.

He says these things will help you to get better hand action so you hit the ball farther. He certainly ought to know!

There are several interesting ideas in Xander's article, but this one about the grip really stood out to me. It's pretty clear that Xander is trying to move freely, not "hold" anything in an attempt to create some special position. That mindset change in and of itself might help you get more distance than you do now.


  1. Gary Player would use a strong grip with an open club face on bunker shots. Lexi and others have also adjusted their grips over time.