To improve iron play fast-and chop strokes off your golf handicap-look to your hands. It's hard to hit quality shots if you don't use your hands correctly. As a serious golfer looking to improve, you must learn what role your hands play in hitting iron shots. If you do, you'll boost your game to a new level and you'll whittle strokes from your golf handicap as well.
Many weekend golfers learn to hold a club either by taking golf lessons or reading golf tips in magazines or books. What they may not learn from this golf instruction is that the way you hold the club impacts on how you cock your wrists at the top of the swing. That in turn determines clubface position at impact. If your clubface isn't square at impact, you'll slice or pull your irons.
Weak Grip/Flat Wrist
If you're right-handed, a weak grip encourages a cocking mechanism that produces a flat left wrist at the top of the swing. A weak grip for a right-handed golfer features the back of the left-hand pointing to the target and the "V" formed by your thumb and forefinger pointing toward your left ear. With a weak grip, you must keep your left wrist from cupping to maintain the clubface on line during the swing.
If your left wrist cups, you're asking for trouble. You'll rotate the clubface too far open on the backswing and throw the clubface off the correct delivery path. Only players blessed with ultra-fast hand speed, like Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson can square up the clubface at impact from this position. Making adjustments like this for usually spells trouble for players of all golf handicaps.
Strong Grip/Cupped Wrist
If you're a right-handed player, a stronger grip accommodates more of a left wrist cup at the top. A stronger grip for a right handed golfer is one in which the back of the left hand for a right handed player points more toward the sky, and the target and the "V" formed by the thumb and forefinger points toward your shoulder. With this grip you must avoid flattening the left wrist too much as you hinge the iron to the top.
A stronger grip plus a flat left wrist at the top usually results in a laying off of the club or swinging too far inside. Either way, you must make adjustments to get the club back on plane and on the correct delivery path. If you don't, your clubface won't be square at impact. Again, making adjustments during your swing spells trouble for players of all golf handicaps, unless you have super fast hands.
Golf Instructors Favor Stronger Grip
Many golf instructors favor a stronger grip for weekend golfers. It's a little harder to learn to control, but when paired with a slight left wrist cup, it provides for better overall club control and allows for more hinge. That in turn creates more lag in the backswing to downswing transition, generating more clubhead speed and increasing power.
For even more power, grip the club with a slightly stronger grip. To do that, make the "V" created by the left thumb and foreigner point toward the right shoulder, with the palm of the right hand facing the target. Be careful though. Too strong a grip results in a hook.
Your grip is personal. You should adopt one that feels comfortable to you. There have been as many great players with weak grips as there have been with strong grips. The key is to match the right grip with the correct type of wrist cocking mechanism, making it easier to return the clubface to the ball square. Do that and you'll not only hit more solid irons, you'll do it more consistently and you'll chop strokes off your golf handicap.
Jack Moorehouse is the author of the best-selling book How To Break 80 And Shoot Like The Pros. He is NOT a golf pro, rather a working man that has helped thousands of golfers from all seven continents lower their handicap immediately. Free weekly newsletter available with the latest golf tips, lessons and instructions.
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