Golf: Simple advice from a golf coach, suitable for any player. Lesson 1:
The problem with most golf advice you read, be it in a book, magazine or online, is that it is not specific to you. As a qualified golf coach myself, and from the lessons I’ve given I can identify several pieces of advice that are generic and appropriate to every golfer. I also like to keep things as simple as possible, reminding my clients that they are simply trying to hit a ball with a stick.
Another thing I am wary of is overloading my clients with information, so I will deliver these pieces of advice is drip form, one article at a time, with a day or so between each article.
The first ‘lesson’ I’m going to give is about the grip. Don’t worry, I’m not going to mention anything about how many knuckles you can see, where the ‘vs’ should be pointing and just how ‘strong’ your left hand should be. All I’m going to write about is how tightly you hold the club. On a scale of 1-10, 1 being the club almost falling out of your hands and 10 being you virtually ringing the life out of the club. Have a think about where you are on this scale. Every single one of my clients have answered with either 7 or 8, some with a great sense of confidence and even pride. Actually it’s better to be more like 3 or 4. Much tighter and that tension creeps up you arms and into your shoulders and back. Muscles perform far better when they are relaxed. The other thing is to make sure that grip pressure is the same on all shots, every player looks for consistency in their swing, and it’s almost impossible to produce a consistent tempo if grip pressure is variable. It will be most likely to become tighter and a shot you are not confident on, maybe a tee shot at you home course that you often have trouble with, an awkward chip shot off a tricky lie, one of those half wedge shots you’re not comfortable with etc. Next time you find yourself in one of those situations be aware of your grip pressure and see if it gets any tighter. Awareness of something to improve is the first step to improving it.
So today’s lesson: Use a grip pressure of 3or4 out of 10 on all shots.