Like all golf instruction, learning the “correct” way to grip the club depends on who is doing the instructing. There are three basic golf grips: The Overlapping (Vardon) Grip, The Interlocking Grip, and the 10-finger grip or Baseball grip. Great amateurs and top pros have had success with all of them.
Try each of these out after getting the basics as shown in the photos below and then go with what you feel you will be more confident with. You can always change and experiment later as many very good golfers do.
These photos and grip instructions are from one of the top teachers of all time:
J. Victor East. interlocking golf grip instruction:
The following grip advice is from a different instruction pro:
The proper grip has an infallible check point – the V’s made between the thumb and index finger of both hands. Pro golf teacher’s instruction says these V’s must point over the right shoulder at about the neckline. When these point correctly, the grip is ideal since neither hand can obtain too much control.
How one of golf’s greatest legends uses the driver
Golf DRIVING FOR DISTANCE
by Gary Player
Keeping in mind this American stress on the long ball, I hope my methods of adding distance will be helpful to the reader.
Longer clubs naturally give a longer swing arc. If you have a longer arc I golf you’re automatically going to hit the ball farther.
Also, with longer clubs it is possible to shorten your grip on the shaft if a shot calls for less distance; with a short club you don’t have enough shaft to grip farther up when you need extra length.
A word of warning: the prospective club buyer who wants more length should consult his professional for advice before investing in longer shafts.
A second factor that helped me hit the ball farther was improvement of my weight shift. Like many golfers, I had a problem shifting my weight to my left foot on the downswing. I frequently fell back on my right leg, pulling away from the ball. Your weight should move slightly to the right foot on the backswing and then shift to the left foot immediately at the start of the downswing.
***The one thing I concentrate on during my swing is shifting my weight to the left foot in returning the clubhead to the ball. ***
This weight shift to the left adds distance because it helps delay the uncocking of the wrists on the downswing. This delayed hit uncocks the wrists just before impact so that the speed of the clubhead really accelerates as it meets the ball.
Too many golfers feel they add distance by swinging harder with hands and arms. They start the downswing with their hands and arms before shifting their weight to the left foot. As a result, they uncock their wrists too early, wasting clubhead speed.
***Uncocking the wrists with a delayed hit is the real secret of long drives***, but you shouldn’t be conscious of hands and arms in the golf swing. By immediately shifting your weight forward on the downswing, you will automatically delay unlocking your wrists. Your hands and arms will follow your hip turn naturally and whip the club through.
A proper weight shift brings the big muscles into play and provides a delayed uncocking of the wrists on the downswing. You will find it can do wonders in adding distance.
Paul Harney is an excellent example of a golfer who uses the proper weight shift. Paul is slight, weighing about 140 pounds. Yet, he is one of the longest hitters in golf.
I close my stance, which means my right foot is pulled back farther than my left from along the target line. In this stance, it is easier for me to get a full body turn on the backswing. By taking a full windup and by using big muscles of my body and legs, I add both rhythm and power to my swing.
Golfers who start the club back with their hands and arms alone have a tendency to swing at the ball with their hands and arms before the weight has shifted forward. Thus, they never fully employ the back and leg muscles that provide maximum power in the golf swing. The legs are about four times as strong as the arms: why waste this potential by swinging solely with hands and arms?
The closed stance also helps me take the club back well inside the line to the target. This prevents me from returning the clubhead to the ball from the outside, thus creating a sliced shot and consequent loss of distance.
I also help my downswing weight shift to the left by addressing the ball with my left toe slightly pointed outward, toward the target. This makes it easier for me to turn my hips ahead of my hands on the downswing.
Several other features of my address foster this proper weight shift and resulting delayed hit.
I like to imagine my right elbow is against my side at address, although physically it isn’t. I want this elbow tucked into my side as soon as possible on the downswing so that what I’m doing at address is what I hope to duplicate at impact.
This is also true of my right leg, which I bow slightly forward at address, pointing the knee a bit toward the target. As with the right elbow, this merely advances the position I want to be in when I hit the ball.
These actions, the right elbow in tight, and kicking the right knee toward the target, help me transfer my weight to my left foot.
Being relaxed at the address position also makes it easier to shift the weight during my swing I like to take a deep breath and exhale before I start the action, as many baseball pitchers do before they throw. I then make my forward press, kick my right knee and hands a bit more toward target, and follow with the backswing.
Maintenance of good physical condition has helped me hit the ball farther. I watch my diet very closely and follow an exercise routine. Playing golf almost every day, year after year, keeping in shape both mentally and physically becomes not only important, it is essential. I really enjoy exercise. Sometimes after a bad day on the course I come home tired and discourage. But if I exercise before going to bed, I feel clean and strong again. This does wonders for me mentally, as well as physically.
A book on yoga has been a big help. It taught me the benefits of standing on my head at least tow minutes each day. This pumps blood to my brain (the most important organ in the body-even for a golfer!) and makes me more alert for the day ahead. I never sleep with a pillow. I believe a pillow only makes it more difficult for my heart to pump blood to my brain.
I refrain from sweets, pastries, and fried foods. On the course I like to eat dried fruits. Like Napoleon, I believe that an army marches on its stomach and that the fruits I eat during a round of golf help me build energy. They give the acids in my stomach something to work on.
Now that I’ve discussed things that have helped me hit the ball farther, I think I’d better point out a few dangers a golfer seeking greater distance must try to avoid.
First, you may find you are going too high on your left toe when you try a full windup on the backswing. I am somewhat guilty of this myself.
However, if you must lift your left heel high on the backswing, be certain you lower it immediately at the start of the downswing. If you don’t, your weight may remain on your right foot and you will automatically fall back, uncocking your wrists too early. You will find yourself throwing the club out with your hands as if you were casting a fly rod; instead of bringing them in close to your body in the delayed hit position.
Some people trying for extra distance have a tendency to overswing. They take the club back farther than they should. Guard against opening your left hand at the top of your backswing. You cannot overswing if this hand grips the club firmly throughout the swing. (Reverse for lefthander, of course).
In closing, I’d like to talk about hitting the ball hard. Watching me play, you might say I swing hard. This is true. Actually, I feel that I am swinging as hard as I can.A second pitfall in striving for length is a tendency to swing the shoulders on too level a plane. The left shoulder should tilt slightly on the backswing, and the right shoulder should swing well down and under on the downswing.
It’s a funny thing about golfers. Many won’t admit they swing as hard as they can, within reason. But the truth is that all the players on the pro tour hit that ball as hard as they can and still keep it in play.
But swinging hard at the ball doesn’t in itself provide distance. It is the proper weight shift and the delayed hit that gives results as I mentioned earlier.
You must also have good timing. To swing at the ball hard and still maintain good timing, take the club back from the ball slowly. Build your swing up slowly, with a full body turn, a firm grip, and then zoom into the ball. From the day I started golf, I’ve always tried to hit the ball as hard as I could; I would advise that any young boy or girl who is beginning golf do the same. It’s simple to go from a hard swing to an easier one. But, if you have been an easy swinger, it’s difficult to suddenly start hitting the ball hard. More often it goes the other way, and an easy swinger develops a lazy stroke when he gets older.
(end of Driving for Distance)
Hope you enjoyed the article above by Gary Player from his book.
Greens and fairways!
This is an excerpt from a book in the Online Classics Golf Library,
an ever-expanding collection of golf books. Membership and lifetime access to the OCG library can be yours with your purchase of Break 80 Without Practice, a complete guide to score improvement for those with little time to work on their game AND A TURBOCHARGE for those that do.
Using TIG routines during your round can prove to be tremendously beneficial to lowering your handicap.
Although some clients initially feel a little self conscious about it, most are soon tapping away proudly. Often times, those who do what I refer to as “Stealth TIG” are doing so not out of embarrassment, but rather to conceal their secret weapon.
It doesnt matter if you are a TIG extrovert, or more on the subtle side – just do it! The next three chapters will show you how to use TIG out on the links. But first, lets investigate some dirty little demons called “NOTs”. Negative Operating Thoughts (NOTS)
The vast majority of all self help techniques and philosophies are based on the following principle: “Your consistent thoughts become your reality.” Now stop and read that sentence again. It really is that important. Let it sink in.
Most people walk around the course (and life) with a constant barrage of Negative Operating Thoughts (NOTs) attacking their selt confidence and eroding their self esteem, and with it their ultimate potential.
These NOTs can be insidious and rather relentless.
The Tap in Golf System provides you with a tool to successfully “neutralize” or “clear” these NOTs. You will be hard pressed to find another technique that is so simple and so effective for this “mother-of-all-problems”.
However, the real dilemma is that we are so conditioned to the presence of these NOTs, that we hardly even notice them. For example, have you ever said or thought to yourself any of the following NOTs?
“Damn, how could I miss that putt? I always choke.”
“Im no good at this distance.”
“Why cant I just ____”
“Clear the water for once this time, pleasel”
“Come on, just follow through!”
“Why cant I just get this right?” Etc, etc, etc.
Think of it this way; suppose you hired a coach to help you improve your golf performance. What would you do if s/he spoke to you in this fashion? I sincerely hope you would fire their ass faster that you can say double bogie!
It is usually painfully obvious when someone else is saying this kind of garbage to us. Then why are we so willing to beat ourselves up and accept the internal abuse?
We all have what I call an “Inner Critic”.
One reason we listen to this Inner Critic is that we believe somehow it is trying to help us. We are under the delusion that such “advice” will actually “whip us into shape” and assist us in playing better golf.
Let me be very clear about this: The inner critic, the voice of your NOTs, is NOT on your side. It has absolutely nothing to offer you – Except evidence of what needs to be cleared with your TIG techniques.
The inner critic does not want you to succeed. Is that clear?!
If your goal is to play to your maximum potential (which I ll assume it is, if you ve read this far), then you must quiet your inner critic and the NOTs that it spews forth. The Tap In Golf System provides you with a simple way to do just that.
How to identify your NOTs:
During my one-on-one playing lessons, I will have my clients literally “think out loud.”
The idea is to get them to actually hear the stuff that is going on inside their heads. After a bit of practice, most clients become quite proficient at immediately speaking whatever thoughts come to mind.
The result- they are usually horrified at the internal self abuse and “negative framing” of their golf ability and chances of success.
Once a NOT has been identified, simply clear it with the TIG routine.
EFT for golf is a way to clear your interference patterns. Performance = Potential – Interference.
I mentioned in a previous article that as long as you don’t have any conflicting thoughts, that what you think about must become reality. Well, many of us are unaware of the unconscious thought processes that go along with us to the course. That’s your interference. You’ve got to clear them somehow or you will be in conflict and then your unconscious mind will not bother helping you with your silly golf game.
I use hypnosis and my friend Stephen Ladd has a pretty powerful process to do the same thing. Check it out.
Stephen Ladd is the founder of The Human Form, a Holistic Health, Fitness and Performance Institute. He has fast become a recognized expert as a Golf Performance Coach having taught successful Tour players his innovative Mental techniques. He is a widely sought-after speaker and trainer and was recently interviewed by “Golf Guru Secrets.” Tap in Golf is the wave of the future. Find out more by visiting Tap in Golf.
THE ability to adapt himself to changing circumstances is one of the most important skills any golfer can have.
I have realized this fact for a number of years, but it was never brought home to me so graphically as in the 1962 Professional Golfers’ Association championship on the Aroni-mink course in Newton Square, Pennsylvania. In the Western Open a few weeks before the PGA tournament, I had experimented with using a 4-wood off the tee on certain holes.
Previously, on the pro tour, I had very seldom replaced a driver with a 4-wood, believing that the fifteen yards difference in distance was too much to give up. But Aronimink is one of those courses where there is a tremendous premium on accuracy. The rough is thick and there are numerous trees and traps lining the fairways. And anyone knows that a straight ball is the hardest shot to hit in golf.
I figured that I could use the 4-wood to reach the green with my second shot, while the other fellows were hitting irons. If you’re playing well, there’s no reason you can’t do this.
I don’t mean to say that I’m not always striving for length. But many players forget that it is often more important to keep the ball in play. Chick Harbert says that every golfer must have one bread-and-butter shot, something that he can fall back on when nothing else will work.
I guess that my 4-wood falls into that category for me, although this may be only a phase. In another year it could be something entirely different. But in the PGA I used the 4-wood off the tee on 21 of the 72 holes. I made another alteration in my game at Aronimink.
A day or two before the tournament, I was watching Bill Casper practice on the putting green, paying particular attention to the way he broke his wrists.
I noticed he was employing a firmer stroke than me-a jab, with a short follow through. I had previously made a move in that direction, but my putting was still not going well, so I decided to adapt my style more closely to Casper’s. Putting is extremely important to the game of golf, and this fact is realized by the top pros.
I think the main difference between the tournament scores of today and 20 or 30 years ago is that the pros spend ever so much more time practicing on the greens. Anyway, the changes I made worked, and I was fortunate enough to win the PGA with a score of 278, although Bob Goalby made me sweat by coming close to a tie on the 72nd hole. I felt very lucky that, by the age of 26, I had won the Masters, the British Open and the PGA.
I would like to close with a story about a young man back in Johannesburg. We had an African shop boy at the Killarney Country Club named William. He couldn’t read or write when we hired him, but he was teaching himself how to read by poring over every golf book or magazine that came into the shop. Often I found him before a mirror practicing the strokes he had learned. He knew the records of almost every golfer in the world, much as a youngster in America can reel off the batting averages of all the baseball players.
Bobby Locke and I were scheduled to play a three-day, head-to-head challenge match. He had never been beaten in South Africa in this kind of match, and I was quite nervous. I asked William if he thought I’d beat Locke. “No,” he said, “you can never do that. You will be too frightened with such a great player.” “But I’m putting very well,” I said. “Especially the short putts.” “You’re putting very badly.
Bobby Locke will kill you on the greens. He is a wiz-ard with that putter. You are too young and you will be too scared.” The morning of the match I called the shop to see if anyone wanted a lesson. When William answered the phone, I thought I’d pull his leg.
He said, “This is William, the shop boy.” I disguised my voice and introduced myself as Bobby Locke. “Good morning, Mr. Locke.” “How’s Gary Player playing these days?” “Oh, very, very well,” said William. “How is he putting?” “He’s putting like a wiz- ard,” William said, using the same inflection in his voice as he had with me. “Thank you very much,” I said, changing my voice.
This is a perfect example of a hall-of-fame golfers explaining how he went with the conditions of the day and his swing in order to adjust to win. Don’t take this too literally for everyone because sometimes, it’s best to just play your game and work on being consistent with what you do best no matter the conditions. An example of this is Bruce Lietzke who almost always hit a fade even on dog leg left shots.
Gary Player’s stories here illustrate that golf is such an individual sport and that there is no perfect way to swing or play the game. You want to play it your way and commit to that. If you have the ability to adapt like a great player, then by all means, do it.
This is an excerpt from the book “Gary Player Golf Secrets” in the Online Classics Golf Library, an ever-expanding collection of golf books. Membership and lifetime access to the OCG library can be yours with your purchase of
A complete guide to score improvement for those with little time to work on their game AND A TURBOCHARGE for those that do. One payment, continuous books on golf sent to you to read on your computer or print out and read while sitting on your couch or easy chair.
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I hope the greens in your town are smooth, the rough short,
and the fairways wide… in your mind. Because they can be, no
matter what the consensus reality is of your partners or others.
Which brings me to today’s mental lesson. How to get creative in choosing how to play a golf shot.
Now, I know that you’ve probably played golf a long time and
maybe not. And I’m sure you know enough about the game by now
And by now, you probably are starting to see some common themes
from instructors and golf greats teachings…haven’t you?
So, along I come and start telling you all about how you don’t
have to practice to get good, and yet I still give you articles
by gurus that pretty much say you need to.
Who is right? Does anybody have to be right? You know, you can
either be right, or you can get results sometimes. Which do you
Today, I want you to learn to expand your creativity on the course and we’ll do that with a little personal story :
My 12 year old son was bugging me to go to his first NFL football game. We are diehard Minnesota Viking fans. Now, the closest NFL team to us is in Seattle, a 3-hour drive away. So, I went online and looked for tickets. I couldnt’ believe how expensive they were and told him we couldn’t afford it. Later, I felt really bad because the Vikings were coming to Seattle this year! I told him we would go down to the stadium on game day and see if we could get some tickets from someone last minute so maybe it wouldn’t be so expensive.
We had never been to the Qwest stadium area and had no idea where to go to park or anything. We followed a car with a Seahawks sticker on it into a side lot of an industrial building that wasn’t being used on Sunday. Great! Free parking.
We started walking toward the stadium and followed a line of folks that were forming. We arrived at a junction of 2 lines where there were scalpers selling tickets. They had some “standing room only” tickets which were still more expensive than I had to spend in my pocket.
We came prepared with our little cardboard sign that said “Need 2 tickets”.” And then went to stand a ways in front of the scalpers so that the crowds would see us first.
My son said he was going to do his best “poor me” routine. haha.
We weren’t there for 5 minutes when a nice couple came up to us and said they had 2 tickets. I told them how much I only had and they said they paid almost double for that but that their friends couldn’t make it. They thought about it for a moment and said o.k. as I flashed my green stuff to show em what I had.
We couldn’t believe our luck! They were great seats and we got them for face value as we at next to the couple in our Viking jerseys.
What a blast we had. The Vikings won and other Purple fans celebrated with us as I took a picture of my son on the shoulders of one of them. (Football fans are crazy I know, we were too)
What’s the point of telling you this. There was a lesson in it. I mentioned to some of my friends and family who said I was nuts to drive 3 hours there without tickets. I just told them that I knew we would get them! And I didn’t take the standard route, the norm, what everyone else does. I knew it would all work out and it did!
This was a big learning for me. I was introduced to this type of manifesting by a movie called “The Secret” a while ago. I’ve watched it about 4 times since and still keep learning from it. It has implications for golf and everything we do. Coincidence? Luck? Maybe. Did we get what we wanted? Yep, and then some. Looking back has this ever happened to you before? I bet it has. I look back on a number of events like this where I just “knew”
I think I’ll make some more things happen this way
Take a look at the picture of my son with the Viking fans
How can you be creative in getting your scores down? Do you always have to use your sand wedge around the greens?
Haven’t you seen Phil Mickelson hitting out of a tough spot turning his club over and hitting from the right side?
Can you run a ball all the way up the front of a green using your 3 wood or 4 iron?
Are there times when you can actually aim for the sand trap in order to play the odds and get some spin around the greens? Start thinking differently for a change. Go to the course and play a practice fun round and see how creative you can be. Take out clubs that you normally wouldn’t use for certain shots. You will develop a much better all-around game that holds up under pressure.
Tiger says that one of his biggest strengths is his creativity.
Start thinking outside of the box for everything in the rest of your life and see if you don’t bring some of that to the course and watch your scores go down as a result. I think you will like what you see on the scorecard.