One of the main issues with maintaining an effective golf club grip and keeping the club face square is your hands can turn freely and easily find themselves in all sorts of positions that over time can start to feel good. Once the habit of a bad grip starts setting in though it’s really hard to get back in to putting your hands on the club correctly, worsened by the lack of feedback offered by a round golf grip.
So how do you ensure you're putting your hands on the club correctly and keeping the club face square? One tried and tested method is to use a metre stick or yard stick, or more specifically use the flat edges of the yard stick to become more conscious of where your hands should be.
Note: the putting grip is a different beast entirely, check out this post discussing a PGA winning alternative putting grip that promotes the pendulum motion of putting.
Why the yard stick works to improve your club grip
- The flat edges clearly indicate when the clubface is square and when it isn't
- The corners help locate proper knuckle and grip alignment
Ok now onto the drill to keep your golf club grip correctly aligned:
Left hand position
To begin with make sure the pad of the left hand - that fleshy part at the base of your thumb - is on top of the yardstick, leveraged against that top left corner. From there you want your thumb along the right corner of the yardstick, and the base knuckle of your forefinger will pinch down on top of that left corner.
Whether your have a slightly weaker or stronger club grip it really doesn’t matter too much, you still want to be on those corners of the yardstick. If you can get your left hand into that position with the flat sides of the yardstick still being flat then you can be confident that’s the foundation of a solid, square grip.
Left hand grip checks
- Left thumb on right corner
- Forefinger knuckle on left corner
- Pad of your hand sitting on top
Right hand position
As you put your right hand on ensure the flat part of the yardstick sits right into the base knuckles of your fingers, so the knuckles on your middle and ring fingers are right alongside the yardstick. Then as you're closing down you want your right thumb to the left of that corner, and second forefinger knuckle just to the right corner of the yardstick.
Be sure not to put the grip too much into your palm as this leaves the right thumb alongside the yardstick.
Right hand grip checks
- Middle & ring finger base knuckle against the flat side
- Right thumb to the left of the corner
- Forefinger second knuckle to the right corner
If you're holding the yard stick correctly your hands will look like they match together, If the left hand gets alongside or rolled or your right hand gets too much into the palm you'll find it just doesn’t feel as good and you'll begin to correct this naturally.
Rinse and Repeat
If you repeat this drill enough times with a yardstick eventually your hands will just start feeling right when locked into that position. Then when you go back over to your club try to picture the two edges sitting right up on top of that grip and go through the same alignment process; pad of the left hand on top, thumb and forefinger knuckle on the corners, right hand also on the corners right there and that’s gonna square up your club face.
Feel where the pressure points are and address them on the yard stick. This will make your grip a little more square, squaring up your club face and helping you hit consistent, straighter shots to get you on the green sooner. Once you're on the green - have you seen this drill for for improving your putter release?