Keep It Simple Golf - the Grip and the Stance
Note: In this instruction booklet, I'm assuming that the player is right-handed and left-handed players should simply substitute the opposite side to the one mentioned in the instructions.
Like most sports, the more complicated you make golf, the more difficult it becomes. It is therefore most important that a golfer understands the underlying principles of the golf swing as well as what causes the behavior of the golf ball in flight so that he or she can eliminate all the unnecessary movements and thoughts that result from a lack of understanding of the golf swing. If a golfer pays attention to and perfects the correct grip, stance, position of the ball at address, alignment and the position of the hands at the top of the backswing then there is an excellent chance of that golfer playing consistently for most of his or her golfing career. All the above considerations can be perfected without hitting a single golf ball as all of them are visible to the golfer in one way or another. This visibility ensures that a good mental image of what the golfer's swing looks like is achieved. Once the mind has a strong picture of what the body needs to do to achieve a consistently good swing it is a great deal easier to carry out and duplicate these movements. For simplicity the instructions that follow assume that the golfer is right-handed.
The two most important things relating to the grip are:
1. Make sure that the grip of the club is firmly embedded in the roots of the fingers of the left hand so that the fingers wrap around the grip and don't merely press it against the palm of the hand.
2. At address make sure that the two "V's" made by the thumbs and the forefingers of your hands point to midway between your chin and your right shoulder. Whether you use a hammer grip, interlocking grip or overlapping grip is of little importance. What is important is the position of the hands at address.
The easiest way to obtain the correct grip is to stand facing the mirror with your left hand at your side and the palm facing inwards. Take the club in your right hand and place the grip in the roots of the fingers of your left hand. Fold the fingers of your left hand around the grip of the club and bring the club into the address position. You will immediately notice that the "V" between the left thumb and forefinger is pointing towards your right shoulder.
Now swing your right hand in front of you and grip the club firmly using whatever grip you favour i.e. interlocking, overlapping or hammer grip. Again you will see that the "V" between your right thumb and forefinger will also point towards your right shoulder.
Practice this routine as often as you can at home so that by the time you get to the range the grip feels comfortable. At the range go through this routine before you play each shot so that it eventually becomes a habit and a part of you routine each time you prepare to play a shot on the course.
Having taken up the above grip, move your hands around the grip of the club until the two "V's" made by your thumbs and your forefingers are pointing to your left shoulder. You will notice that your shoulders follow the movement of your hands and that they are now aligned well left of your target. Now rotate your hands in the opposite direction until the two "V's" face your right shoulder. You will notice that your shoulders follow the rotation of your hands and are now aligned to the right of your target. We will see later how this movement of the hands and consequently the shoulders will effect the direction of the club head before it strikes the golf ball and how this in turn effects the flight of the ball once it has been struck.
The stance should be comfortable with the feet not too far apart or too close together. The important thing about the stance is that you should stand far enough away from the ball so that 75% of your weight is on your heels. If you stand too far away from the ball too much of your weight will be on your toes and if you stand too close to the ball too much weight will be on your heels. Find a position where you can almost lift your toes off the ground without leaning backwards. By finding the correct distance from the ball at address you will insure that your weight distribution remains constant throughout the swing.
When addressing the ball with a driver stand with your feet close together directly opposite the ball and then move your right foot to your right until you have a comfortable distance between your feet.
To allow your hips to swivel comfortably during the follow-through swivel the toe of your left foot to your left.
THE POSITION OF THE HANDS AT ADDRESS
When you address the ball take time to check and see that the club shaft and your left arm form a straight line from the club head to your left shoulder. You can practice this in front of a mirror or a glass door that gives you a good reflection. In fact, all the tips given so far can be practiced and perfected by checking your reflection in a mirror.