Get a grip, duffers

I am writing my next four articles on the basic fundamentals that I believe are necessary to make a proper swing.

I hear a lot of golfers say that they don't care about swinging properly. They just want to have fun playing golf without too much trouble concentrating on things.

Well, let me say this: One will have a great deal more enjoyment shooting in 70s than over 100. Self gratification that comes from a well-struck golf shot is fun!

Ben Hogan once said that a well-struck ball with a perfectly timed swing had a sensation that went up the shaft, through the hands and arms right into your heart.

The club should be placed diagonally across the palm and under the pad in your left hand. You should be able to pick up the club with just the base of your forefinger and the club lying under the pad. Your thumb should be in the 2 o'clock position on the shaft and the shaft should point up your forearm. Now that you have a proper hold of the club, you should check to see if your grips are the proper size.

The tips of your fingers on the left hand should just graze the other side of your hand. If they dig into it, they are too small and if they don't touch it they are too large.

Now regarding grip pressure: It has been written that one's grip pressure should be the same as when holding a bird in your hand. Ridiculous! Your club would twist in your hand and you cannot control it while swinging with a sloppy hold.

I maintain the pressure should be the same as a confident hand shake. Firm fingers and relaxed wrists and arms are the way to go. The pressure should be only from the last three fingers in each hand though, with the thumbs and forefingers relaxed.

Try this exercise: Squeeze firmly the last three fingers of your hands and you will sense that the inside of your forearm muscles flex.

Now tighten your thumbs and forefingers and notice that just the top muscles flex. Not good!

Rules teaser:

A player took relief from a water hazard and dropped his ball, but the ball came to rest more than two club lengths away. They player played it anyway. Ruling?

Answer to last column's teaser:

In Match and Stroke play, a player accidentally touches his ball. Ruling? No penalty.

John Lucas is the golf professional at Sky Ridge Golf Course and can be reached at

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