“Matched hands” has never really felt comfortable to me whether the grip was strong or weak.
Lately I have been hitting it pretty well, but my grip feels awful…and has throughout my struggles. It is still affecting my chipping, as chipping is all about feel.
To me, grip is not about what’s right in a textbook, but what gets your hands on the club in a way that allows you to have good posture at address and allows you to release the club without grabbing it.
On Sunday I decided to practice chipping and pitching and experiment with grip until I got one that felt good and produced good results.
What I ended up with is something that sounded weird at first, then made perfect sense in the end.
A strong left hand and a weak right hand.
“WHAT THE HELL????!!!!”…is probably what most of you are thinking right now. “Monte has lost his mind!”
I would have reacted the same way to someone else suggesting this just a few days ago. Let’s forget everything we have been told and know about golf for a second and just look at it from a common sense angle.
Stand straight up and down with no club and just let your arms hang at your sides. You get “matched hands” where the back of your left hand points toward the target and the palm of your right hand points at the target.
If you put your hands on either side of a golf shaft flat like that, and just closed your hands around the grip…that is the way I was taught to grip it. I never liked the feel of that, but that is the way I was taught, so that is what I did most of my career.
I listened to a few others and did a few experiments with strong grips so I could get my hands out of it and “hold off the release.”
LOL, I know, I know, but I was ignorant.
Anyways, gripping the club like I described above creates a supposedly neutral grip, which makes it hard to release it without the hands taking over big time. So that is bad…and never mind a weak grip.
Remember, the worst hooks are not created by a club that is too closed coming into impact but one that is way too open coming into impact…necessitating a flip to prevent it from going right.
A strong grip never allows the right hand to get on top of the shaft until really late (will probably do a video at some point to explain this) coming into impact without creating a massively shut club.
So what the heck are we supposed to do?
Get back in the same straight up and down stance with your hands at your sides and no club. Start to bend at the waist and knees, while letting your hands hang straight down and start bringing them around to the place where you would grip the club and see what happens.
Low and behold the hands start to turn in…and the result is the thumbs face each other producing a strong left hand and a weak right hand.
That is the way natural body mechanics set the hands when your hands are in a position to grip a golf club.
So my question…
WHY IN THE WORLD DON’T WE GRIP THE CLUB THAT WAY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
I am sure there are all sorts of golf theorists who will have all sorts of reasons why this won’t work…but there are probably the same ones that say hold the lag.
It creates square shoulders at address makes it difficult to whip it too far inside…both of which will go a long way to avoiding over the top for the higher handicappers.
For better players, it makes it less likely to get the right elbow stuck behind the right hip coming into the ball.
So it helps eliminate the worst issues of bad golfers, the biggest issue good golfers face and lines up the hands the way they would hang naturally.
What’s the down side?
Keep an open mind, try it on some short shots and tell me what you think.
Again, grip can be very individual, I am just suggesting a way not too many have…and a way that actually makes some sense when you put aside what we have been told was correct.