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whichspread

Help with Ball Striking and Grip Obsession

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Long time lurker first time poster. I need help before I go get lessons in a couple of weeks.

I apologize ahead of time for the wall of text and no video. This is more of a stream of consciousness, and I want this to be a discussion rather than a diagnosis. Appreciate the help ahead of time.

I have been playing golf for about 2 years. I normally shoot between 100-90 with the occasional really good round where everything is clicking. I don't really have a problem with big misses, I consistently hit a pretty tight draw. The problem I have is striking, I have become obsessed with where I am striking the ball on the face. I can be playing well and the ball is being hit on target, but if I am striking the ball out the toe, my whole round falls apart from playing golf to trying to diagnose and fix this issue.

My thought process always goes back to, "your grip is wrong". I have learned that ball striking is a skill, and good players are able to dictate where on the face they are striking and then work backwards. If I can hit out the toe and I can hit out the heel when I want, then I can find the middle of the face. The thought that keeps coming into my head over and over is, if I can just find the right grip, it will allow me to feel where the club face is easier and toe striking will disappear.

It feels like at times I have 200 different grips. I watch videos on youtube and try to emulate the "right" grip, but it feels like I fall into the same patterns going in circles. I thought I could document some of my thoughts and hopefully someone here can give me a thought that will put an end to all the others.

I tried to find a picture online, and I think this illustrates it well:

golfgrip.jpg

Red dot we will call Grip 1
Yellow dot Grip 2
Green dot Grip 3

Here's some swing thoughts.

- Regripping. In the picture, I think if you threw a club at me and told me to grip it, it would be Grip 2 or even Grip 1. It can feel comfortable, but occasionally I find myself "regripping" while I swing. After I hit the ball and go into my follow thru, I can feel that the club has moved in my hand to Grip 1. Even if this happens once, my mind goes to "well that can't be the right grip then, that shouldn't happen".

- Grip 3 in the fingers is what a lot of videos talk about as the right grip. I have short fingers, which makes me think that this grip just isn't possible. When I try to grip the club in the fingers, it feels like there is a huge gap between the top of my wrist (also the thumb pad) and the club. Again, I feel like this causes me to regrip when I hit the ball at times. Maybe I need undersized grips that will make it easier for me to grip the club in the fingers?

- I bounce between the thought, is club in line with my left arm, or like an "L". I will try having the club in Grip 1 and the club feels in line with my left arm. I will then try having my hand more on top of the club so when I hold my arm straight out in front of me, the club is 90° with my arm. Then its these two thoughts, compounded with the three different grips.

- Club head speed. I go to the simulator often, and this gets me messed up as well. If I am hitting the ball pretty well, I start to look at what my club head speed/ball speeds are like. I will try different grips to see if it "effortlessly" increases my club head speed. Like, just getting the grip right will make it so that my speed will increase without me feeling like I have to crush the ball.

Welcome to my hell. What are everyone's thoughts? How crazy am I?

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Two quick thoughts:

  • I'd greatly prefer a grip in the green (grip 3) than anything in the red, and even anything in the yellow. Even with smaller hands you can grip it in the base of the fingers. In fact, the "gap" you talk about is smaller with smaller hands.
  • Your grip really shouldn't change where you strike the ball on the face too much. It's mostly about where the face is pointing at impact (and how you have to square the face, etc.). It generally doesn't have much effect on heel/toe hits.

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16 minutes ago, iacas said:

Two quick thoughts:

  • I'd greatly prefer a grip in the green (grip 3) than anything in the red, and even anything in the yellow. Even with smaller hands you can grip it in the base of the fingers. In fact, the "gap" you talk about is smaller with smaller hands.
  • Your grip really shouldn't change where you strike the ball on the face too much. It's mostly about where the face is pointing at impact (and how you have to square the face, etc.). It generally doesn't have much effect on heel/toe hits.

Thanks for the reply.  The big thing I notice when I try and grip it in my fingers is the club shifting through impact.  

Do you think it would be worth trying out undersized grips? When I'm sitting here at my desk trying it with a big sharpie for example, it feels like I am able to grip the club in my fingers alright.  When it comes to a golf club though, it really is a struggle.  Hence my obsession.

Appreciate the thought on the ball striking as well.  I think once I can get to a point where I have a grip and I don't need to think of that as a variable, I'll feel more confident to dive into trying to move my strike around.

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15 minutes ago, whichspread said:

Thanks for the reply.  The big thing I notice when I try and grip it in my fingers is the club shifting through impact.  

Do you think it would be worth trying out undersized grips? When I'm sitting here at my desk trying it with a big sharpie for example, it feels like I am able to grip the club in my fingers alright.  When it comes to a golf club though, it really is a struggle.  Hence my obsession.

Appreciate the thought on the ball striking as well.  I think once I can get to a point where I have a grip and I don't need to think of that as a variable, I'll feel more confident to dive into trying to move my strike around.

We have a whole thread on the grip below.

 

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2 hours ago, whichspread said:

I am striking the ball out the toe

Club swing path leads to poor strikes.
Possibly, spine angle erects a tad which bring the arms closer to the body and the club head inside.

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To the OP: I have very similar issues with my golf game, as well as the same handicap. I too feel like I am never holding the club correctly, and it seems every time i put a club in my hand, it is in a different manner. I try the technique mentioned in the video posted by dennyjones from the Annika academy by lifting all 4 fingers, except index and "6-th finger". What I find is, in order to keep the grip from sliding up my palm and losing control, is having to rotate my left wrist to a more parallel position to the ground, versus a nice vertical position. Almost like I am covering the grip with the palm of my hand. After placing my other hand on the club, and going to address, this translate to a very bowed lead wrist, or strong grip. I'm lost as to what I doing wrong. I currently have all my clubs fitted with the Golf Pride Align MCC +4 Mid Size grip, as I have larger hands with longer fingers. However, this doesn't seem to be helping with keeping the club resting under the pad on my palms.

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I was taught - place your palms together and pray to the golf gods you can hit a good shot.
Then slide your lower hand down the club and interlock your grip.

It made a believer out of me that miracles can happen...  :content:  

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35 minutes ago, Club Rat said:

I was taught - place your palms together and pray to the golf gods you can hit a good shot.
Then slide your lower hand down the club and interlock your grip.

It made a believer out of me that miracles can happen...  :content:  

I agree with this. I think a lot of folks get all hung up on the grip. Keep it as close to neutral as you can. If you're having trouble with your ball flight, tinker around with it a little, but don't make radical changes! That will only get you thoroughly lost! After all, you don't really know if your problem is from your grip, your swing path, or your club face at impact. 

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