Saturday, January 15, 2011

Building A Better Swing Starts With Your Grip

Contrary to what some instructors teach, there's more than one way to swing a club. In fact, many people swing the club differently—all with good results. Some use the no backswing approach. Others use the stack and tilt method. Regardless of which you use, all approaches provide successful good results, if they adhere to certain key principles. Thus, finding an approach that cuts strokes from your golf handicap comes down to choosing one that meets your personal preferences and certain swing "musts."

But how you swing the club results from a natural expression of several fundamental mechanics. The most important of these mechanics is your grip. How you grip the club is a time-honored mechanic that helps achieve an on-plane swing. Watch any of the PGA pros on TV. Almost all of them adopt a neutral grip. In other words, neutral hands fuel an on place swing. Unfortunately, it's not easy to grip the club in this manner. Below are several exercises that help build a better swing.

A neutral grip gives you the best chance of swinging the club on plane from start to finish. If your grip is too strong (hands rotated to the right for right-handers), the natural tendency is too whip the club too far inside. If your grip is too weak (hands rotated to the left for right-handers) the natural move is to raise the club abruptly creating an overtly outside takeaway. Either way, you'll have to make adjustments to achieve solid impact. With a neutral grip, you don't have to make any adjustments.

So what is the proper swing plane and why is it so important? As I tell students in my golf instruction sessions, establishing an on-plane swing promotes accuracy, distance, and consistency. So if you want to build a better swing, you must employ a neutral grip to help you achieve an on-plane swing. The ideal swing plane is defined by the one in which the clubshaft rests at address. Obviously, then, how you position the club at address helps determine your ability to produce the proper swing plane.

Establishing the Correct Relationship

If you have a hard time establishing the correct relationships at address between your spine and the club, try this method. Stand with good posture and hold the club in front of your body. The club's butt end should be pointing directly at your belt buckle. Bend from the hips and sole the club while maintaining the same relationships between the club and your belt buckle.

Having done this, we can now turn to the grip. Make sure it is neutral at set up and throughout the takeaway. This is critical to producing consistently solid shots, as I tell students in golf lessons. To learn to develop a neutral grip at address, try holding a yardstick with your palms with neither side dominating.

To maintain this neutral grip throughout the takeaway, hold a book between your palms and move it with your body not your hands.

* When the book is below your waist (use your belt for reference), it should be perpendicular to your spine.

* When the book is above your waist, it should be parallel to your spine.

Hold these two keys in mind as you make mock swings. Keep working at it whenever you get chance. Soon you'll be grooving a smooth, on-plane motion. Then substitute a club for the book.

Prevent Your Clubs From Getting Slick

Speaking of grips, here's another thought: Don't let the grips on your clubs get worn. They can become hard and slick. To prevent the handle from slipping during a swing, you'll have to grip the clubs tightly, causing tension in your hands and arms. Tension in your hands is the death grip of a swing because it promotes tightness throughout your body, slowing your swing down.

Extend the life of your grips by; (1) washing them periodically in warm water, soap, and a brush; (2) toweling off your grips after each round; and (3) buffing slick grips with fine-grade sandpaper, until the surface is slightly abraded. If you use resin on your grips, or another chemical on your hands to improve your grip wash your grips more frequently to prevent build up. Better yet, replace your grips each year.

(ArticlesBase SC #1015380)

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  2. Golf is a game of skill more than power. To excel in the game, one has to be mentally strong and also know about the golf swing training equipment