Only ‘really terrible golfers’ do this, says Top 100 teacher

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The best players grab the club while swinging.

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Golf has been a difficult, confusing game for a long time, which means that bad advice, once it starts floating around, can linger for a frustratingly long time.

But in recent years, as the technology of golf has gotten better and better – and coaches have found innovative new ways to incorporate it into their teaching – they have exploded these myths as fast as they arise. The idea of ​​”keeping your head down” for example.

Or, as GOLF Top 100 teacher and GOLFTEC instruction director Nick Clearwater shared at the recent GOLF Top 100 Teachers Summit, the idea that golfers should “hold the club like a baby bird.”

“If the idea or teaching system involves trying to keep the club like a baby bird, I don’t think it holds up to any kind of scrutiny,” he says.

In his presentation, Clearwater highlighted a recent study he conducted on GOLFTEC students: He attached a grip pressure tracer to the grip of students’ clubs, which could track the amount of how firm or soft the club feels in their hand.

And what did he find? That lower handicap and pros really grips the club.

“It’s almost universal: Anyone who’s good at golf or hitting the ball far, that’s where they’ve had the most pressure on the grip,” he said. “You can feel like you’re holding the club very loosely, and that helps you hit the ball far, but that’s not really what’s going on.”

Why it’s a myth to grab the club light while swinging

You can see, the graph above, that during the turn, the pressure peaks midway in the downturn, as the club is parallel to the ground.

And as speed increases, so does grip pressure.

What about golfers who maintain a light grip pressure as if holding a baby bird?

“No one keeps it constantly lit unless you’re really awful at golf,” Clearwater says.

Clearwater concluded with a few tips:

  1. “You want the ability to push the club really close.”
  2. But, he adds, you always want to “hinge your wrists” along the way.
  3. Grabbing the club loose in your hands while swinging is not what happens when good players swing, so do not try to do it yourself.

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Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf.com contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role, he oversees all of the brand’s service journalism, which spans instruction, equipment, health and fitness across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina – Beaufort Golf Team, where he helped them to No. 1 on the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to take his master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and in 2017 was named News Media Alliances “Rising Star”. His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.