My Golf Instructor

Get Connected With Success

Find the ideal grip for your golf swingYour Golf Grip is Crucial

In an era where the big buzzword seems to be "connected", it's interesting how few golfers actually are. I don't mean on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter, I mean to their golf club. Rarely does a student come to the lesson tee where I don't have to make some sort of adjustment to his or her grip. It is, in my opinion, the most difficult thing to get a golfer to change and to get a golfer accustomed to.

I usually will start the lesson by saying, "It's unfortunate, but we are going to have to change your grip." "We are going to do it first and get it out-of-the-way because it is going to make everything else you do feel awkward and you aren't going to like me for a while." It is sort of the standard reply I developed after years of having to overcome the resistance. I figured I might as well just tell them that it is going to be difficult up front. People are very resistant to change in general and seem to be very in love with what actually doesn't work.

There are Three Standard Grips

"Feel like you are holding a baby bird." "Grip it and rip it!" Are you kidding me? Wow! Could it get any more confusing? These are just two of the quotes about gripping the golf club that you often hear by well-meaning pros or those that think they are pros. Not to mention there are 3 standard styles of gripping the club for the full swing that are taught throughout the world. The Vardon grip or overlapping, the interlock and the 10 finger or baseball grip. No wonder it is a major source of frustration for both students and teachers.

If people gripped a knife the way they did a golf club, they'd starve. -Sam Snead

When a player's grip is poor he is setting himself up for failure before he even begins to swing. If he has a good grip it doesn't necessarily mean he will hit great shots or make perfect swings. There is plenty else he could do wrong. If the grip is bad though, it will lead to awkward moves and necessitate a lot of compensations so that he can find a way to get the club back to square at impact. A grip can be functional, but be too weak or too strong. I like to tell my students that if your grip is neutral, everything else in your swing can be neutral as well. If your grip is not neutral however, you will have to make other non-neutral moves (manipulations and extreme body movements) to work the club back to square. Paul Azinger and David Duval are great examples. Both play with extremely strong grips and have very different golf swings from those that start neutral. As a result of the super strong grips, they both have shut faces at the top requiring a very strong lower body move (a lot of hips) into the downswing. This is fine if you are super talented like these guys with strength, athleticism, and hoards of time to beat balls. For the average player however, I recommend keeping things easier. Plain and simple a good neutral grip requires a lot less effort.

The Grip is Your Only Connection to the Golf Club

Your grip is of course your only connection with the club and is in charge of speed and control of the club face. A good grip will allow you to transfer momentum into the golf club and as a result you will benefit from effortless distance. Your hands should react to your swing, being transported by your pivot. If your hands are reactive, you can achieve the speed, angle of attack, path and compression that you need to hit quality shots. I believe the grip is somewhat individual to each person, meaning I can help you find the best grip for your hands. I also believe however that there is one perfect grip for you.

I rarely have good players come to me in need of grip changes. This is because they perfected it long ago. Now is the time for you to do the same.!

Maria Palozola

Maria Palozola is a member of the LPGA and has participated in multiple LPGA Tour events. She has provided instruction to thousands of students in the past 20+ years and has won multiple teaching awards from the LPGA, Golf Digest, and Golf Magazine including being ranked as one of the top 50 female instructors in the world.

Who is Maria Palozola?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
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- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
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