The two most important and common errors associated with gripping the club are poor hand position and gripping force. The “baseball grip" is probably the most common flaw, especially among men. Gripping the golf club as one would grip a baseball bat places control of the club in the palm of the hand rather than the fingers. In many instances, the thumb of the lower hand will rest on the index finger rather than the shaft. This significantly reduces the “feel" of the club.
The second hand position flaw involves rotating the hands on the shaft. Occasionally the hands will be rotated across the top of the shaft but, more often, the hands are rotated under the shaft.
Especially for the beginning golfer, rotating the hands under the club gives a feeling of more control and power (particularly for people who have played baseball). However, poor hand position affects the whole swing.
Gripping force influences the ability to control the takeaway at the start of the back swing or the transition from the back swing to downswing at the top of the swing. Excessive force in the grip also causes the arms and shoulders to tighten up, interfering with the smooth takeaway and reducing the ability to generate clubhead speed - the primary source of distance.
Drill: Appropriate grip force can be gained by raising the club to the front of the body at shoulder level and holding the club still in that position. The feeling should be that of holding a bird, not too tight but just tight enough so that the bird can't escape.
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