Lesson Two

‘There is no such thing as a good player with a bad grip and no such thing as a bad player with a good grip.’ Remember this. To hold the club correctly you will first need a Texta Colour. Use it to draw diagonal straight lines across the palm of your hands as shown in diagram 1.

Next, draw a straight line down the sides of both index fingers with a dot at the end as in diagram 2.Then circle and number the first three knuckles of your top hand and the first knuckle on your bottom hand (diagram 2). Now you are ready to grip the club.

Place the target side of the grip across the line on the palm of your top hand and wrap your fingers around ( diagram 3 and 4). The thumb will sit to the trail side of the grip. Place the clubhead behind the ball.

If you look straight down at your grip without tilting your head to one side you should see three knuckles of the top hand and a backhand-to-front question mark formed by your index finger (diagram 5).

If you don’t see these things, keep the clubhead position behind the ball and adjust your hand until it looks like the view in diagram 6.

You can hold the butt end of the club with your spare hand while you make these adjustments. Once the top hand is correctly on the grip, place the line on the palm of the other hand on the trailside of the grip (diagram 7).

When it is in place, wrap your fingers around the grip ( diagram 8).

The thumb pad of your bottom hand will sit snugly against the thumb of your top hand. You should now see one knuckle on the bottom hand and a question mark. If not, adjust your bottom hand while the clubhead rests behind the ball. Diagram 9 shows the finished product.

Now you have a grip.

While you are taking your grip, keep the clubhead on the ground with the face pointing to the target. Squeeze the club only as tightly as you could squeeze and egg without breaking it. Your new grip will feel a bit funny at first. Practise gripping every day for three weeks and you will feel you have had this marvelous grip all your life.

If your grip does not feel comfortable or natural at first, don’t worry but work on getting it right. More problems in golf come from a poor grip than from any other cause. Whenever you get a chance, ask a pro to check the way you hold the club. He’ll be able to spot in an instant if it is correct. Apart from placing your hands on the club in the correct way, remember not to squeeze the grip too tightly. Greg Norman says he did not really learn to grip the club correctly until 19th July 1986. He remembers the exact date because “it was one of the truly special experiences of my life”. He was playing in the British Open at Turnberry in Scotland and Jack Nicklaus, the greatest player of all time, asked him if he wanted some advice. Naturally, Greg said yes. So Jack told him he was gripping his clubs too tightly. The next day Greg followed his advice. It may seem just a small thing but he says he went out and won the Open by five shots because of it. By this stage, Greg was 31 years old and had been a professional golfer for 10 years. Knowing this, you now have the chance to build a better grip than Greg Norman ever had as a kid.