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Thread: Ben Hogan and his Three Right Hands

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    Senior Member tourdeep's Avatar
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    Default Ben Hogan and his Three Right Hands

    Below is an article which David Leadbetter wrote for Golf Digest in fall of 2000 summarizing Ben Hogan's fundamentals. Why did he prefer to have up to three hands? Does this not imply that arguably the most sought after swing is right side dominant? And could he possibly be classified as a switter?

    Over the years, it seems there has been discussion over semantics,,, what Ben Hogan said and did may have been different. David discusses this.


    TourDeep thoughts?...

    How does the principles of Tom Tomasello fit into Hogan's swing if at all? Both seem to favor the right side. Yet, a huge difference between the two happens to be what initiates the downswing. Hogan says hip turn (the masses say lateral slide), Tomasello says the arms. It seems both are at polar opposites of why they feel their move is essential to avoid the dreaded over the top move.

    TD on the hands...

    Brian has mentioned two wonderful tips that have worked for me. Dragging the knuckles of the left hand. At the same time, I also have practiced the right hand heel pad exerting the power. Now, putting it together is the challege without one overpowering the other. If I think dragging the knuckles, the swing feels left side, and the dirt seems to fly a bit more. If I think right heel pad, the swing feels right side, more of a switter, and appears to be more powerful. Putting the two together results in what I think Ben Hogan has achieved.



    All golfers need to be careful about what they take from their reading of Hogan, or anybody else. It is important to sift through the vast amount of information available so that you can discover what works best for you. Be discerning. Be discriminating. Use what you feel applies to your situation and discard the rest. Try something, and work at it deliberately. Be patient and enjoy your experimentation, because this is all part of the search and the journey. Be your own master, however, and let the strike and the ball flight be your ultimate guides. Let them tell you whether you need to change.

    Hogan gained deep satisfaction when he made flush contact with the ball, especially when it traveled on his intended line and trajectory. But Hogan himself acknowledged that he hit only one or two shots a round that came off exactly as he planned them. In reality, the best players build swings that produce playable misses--the fewer the misses, and the better the misses are, the more consistent a player becomes.

    Here we will discuss the part of the swing during which the player hits the ball: the downswing.

    Hogan on the hips
    The hips start the downswing by turning to the left, an idea that Hogan introduced in his book Power Golf. A slight lateral motion accompanies this turning of the hips back to the ball, so that the golfer can transfer weight to the left foot.

    The hip action starts a chain reaction. The weight moves smoothly to the left leg, and the right knee kicks in toward the target. The multiplying power generated by the synchronized motion of the torso, hips and shoulders transfers the power down through the arms, then into the hands, and finally it is multiplied again into the clubhead as it swings aggressively through the ball.

    The one sure way to destroy the powerful multiplying factor of the torso, Hogan believed, is to start the downswing with the hands. This forces the body out and over, which produces an outside-in swing. The results are all too apparent to golfers: They hit weak slices and pulls. To counteract this, Hogan cautioned novices and average golfers to keep conscious hand action out of the swing. He contended that the hands really do nothing on the downswing until the arms have dropped into a position just above hip height. The arms get there because the motion of the hips carries them down.

    Hogan liked to have his hips opening up toward the target with the left leg bowing outward and the weight moving to the outside of that foot. His final thought for the downswing was always to hit the ball hard. Hogan felt that many golfers tried to steer the ball on line and curtail their power, thinking that by doing so they are reducing any potential error. His opinion was--and he certainly demonstrated this--that with good fundamentals, the harder one hits the ball, the straighter it would go.

    In summary, Hogan said repeatedly that, while playing, he thought of only two things regarding the downswing: He thought of starting the hips first, and of hitting the ball as hard as possible with the body, arms and hands, in that sequence. He felt that not much could go wrong for the golfer who produced the correct sequence of events during the swing.

    Hogan on the hands
    To understand the correct motion of the right hand and arm, Hogan advised the golfer to think of a baseball infielder throwing the ball in an underhanded, sidearm fashion. As the arm swings forward, the right elbow is close to the hip and the elbow leads the arm. Eventually, the forearm and hand catch up with the elbow and the arm is fairly straight when it releases the ball. As the follow-through of the throw takes place, the wrist and hand rotate over and the palm points downward at the finish. This is a very similar motion to the one that occurs during the hitting segment in the golf swing.

    On full shots, Hogan wanted to hit the ball as hard as he could with his right hand, without it overpowering the left. He also paid attention to the fact that coming into impact, the left wrist and the back of the left hand began to gradually supinate--that is, they rotate from nearly a palm-down position at the top of the swing (knuckles pointing up), toward more of a palm-up position coming into the ball (knuckles beginning to point down). At impact, the back of the left hand faces toward the target. The wrist bone is raised, too, as shown in the illustration to the right; the result is that when the clubhead contacts the ball, the wrist bone is nearer the target than any other part of the hand. In this position, the left wrist won't interrupt the power flow and the right hand won't take over.
    Hogan wished he had as many as three right hands to pour on the power at this stage of the swing, as long as his left hand remained in control. According to him, every good golfer is in a supinating position at impact, while every poor golfer does just the opposite--pronates. That is, they flip the wrists in an attempt to manipulate the clubhead, believing this will square the clubface at impact. But in doing so, they scoop the ball in the air and lose power. Hogan wrote the following in an April 1956 article in Golf Digest: "I've noticed one thing that all good golfers do and all bad golfers do not. The good ones have their left wrist leading at impact. It seems a small thing, but I've found it to be universally true. At impact the left wrist of a good player is slightly convex, while that of a poor player is generally concave."

    My view: the hips
    Hogan was very progressive in his thinking, especially in the downswing area, where his general thoughts about the significant role of the lower body have been proved correct by teachers, players, and even biomechanical experts. I do think, however, that some of Hogan's thoughts have been misinterpreted over the years. But in offering some alternative ideas, I do not want in any way to diminish Hogan's superb ability to analyze how he struck the ball; he was years ahead of his time in thinking about the swing.

    Hogan wrote: "The hips initiate the downswing." He emphasized his point by making two pertinent comments: "To begin the downswing, turn your hips back to the left," and "The hips cannot go too fast." I think that these statements have been misinterpreted, and that many golfers have been confused by them. Although Hogan did qualify his assertions by stating that "there must be enough lateral motion forward to transfer the weight to the left foot," I feel that this lateral move has been overlooked, especially when, for example, Hogan in his book provided the image of an elastic strap pulling and spinning the hips left as if he were swinging in a barrel. It's clear on film of Hogan that he had a pronounced lateral move on his downswing before his hips really started to turn to the left.

    This move is important to appreciate, because Hogan was so emphatic in his advice about turning the hips back to the left to start the downswing. But the millions of golfers who fail to coil correctly on the backswing will run into serious problems when they try to turn their hips as Hogan advised. Turning the hips back to the left would force these players to heave and spin the upper body forward and over, resulting in the club swinging down on a steep plane and an outside-in path. The effect of this motion is that the player will chop down on the ball, producing slices, pulls, weak pop-ups with the driver, and divots looking to the left. This move represents a severe case of what the pros call "coming over the top," and it does not lead to effective golf. Hogan was evidently not conscious of his hip slide toward the target, which in slow-motion film can be seen to take place long before he has completed his backswing. It was a very powerful move in Hogan's case and it gave him a squatty, sit-down look with his legs. This look is there in many great ball-strikers.

    Hogan's sequence went like this: He made his initial lateral move, and after his arms started their downward movement he then fully rotated his entire torso at speed--not just his hips but also his upper body. I'm sure that Hogan's focus was on his strong glute and hip muscles clearing and opening up to the target. But I feel they got fully into the act much later than he thought; when he is halfway down, his hips are still square, not open. I've seen tremendous improvement in consistency in better players when they learn to develop a calmer, quieter lower-body and hip action.

    Further into the swing, I firmly believe that at impact the left leg is not totally locked, but should be straightening as it receives the full force of the hit. It has to resist as the arms and the club fly by; many better players over the years have thought about a braced left leg through impact, and I believe players should apply this thought today. Keeping the left leg too bent, in my opinion, doesn't supply the necessary resistance. Hogan in action did bow his left knee to some degree coming into the ball, but I'm absolutely sure that in the impact area it straightened earlier than he felt; his foot seems very well planted with only a little weight to its outside. It really is an unbelievably powerful, dynamic position, and offers a superb image for golfers to copy.

    My view: The hands
    Hogan talks in depth about supinating the left wrist, where the palm goes from being downward to upward through the impact area so that the wrist bone is raised--the left hand having the appearance of being bowed and arched. He, in effect, thought in terms of the back of the left hand being the clubface, and was then able to control the trajectory and shape of the shot through this supination.

    A couple of things to bear in mind regarding supination: It takes quite a bit of practice, and many better golfers who attempt it tend to initially hook or smother the ball. Golfers with stronger grips than Hogan's and squarer faces coming down will get the clubface very closed at impact if they try to get into the impact position that he is exaggeratedly posing for in the photos shown earlier.
    One further point regarding supination: It is easier and more desirable to supinate with the irons, where in order to take a divot it is crucial that you make a slight descending blow. However, as a general rule, when using the driver, it is preferable to imagine fully releasing the clubhead; the reasons are simply that you want to sweep the ball off the tee and not take a divot with a driver. Imagine that in the impact zone the top of the grip almost points backward, toward the navel, rather than leading the clubhead all the way through, as with an iron. In other words, the clubhead is being released and encouraged to swing past the hands as you try to hit the ball slightly on the upswing.

    In Five Lessons Hogan makes a very interesting statement about the hands, a comment to which I referred earlier. "As far as applying power goes, I wish that I had three right hands," he writes. His natural left-handedness enabled him to support the club through impact, and his open clubface coming into impact allowed him to hit as aggressively as possible with the right hand without fear of it taking over. Although Hogan may have felt it was his right hand, he was actually using his whole right side, and maybe the statement should have been "three right sides." Not only was his right hand involved with hitting the ball, but so were his right foot, knee, hip, arm and shoulder. This is a great thought, and for players in a good position halfway down, the right side should play a major role in the hit--just like throwing a ball, as Hogan describes.
    I like golfers to make practice swings and even hit balls with only the right hand to get the feel for the right side. Nick Price, like Hogan, is a natural left-hander, and his game really benefited when he learned to hit balls with his less dominant (that is, his right) side. Try it yourself with a 9-iron, initially, hitting off tees. In a short space of time, you'll be amazed at the good feelings that you begin to sense, and you'll realize that your right side really does have a big role to play in hitting the ball.

    How to become an 80-breaker or better
    I have always believed that when building a solid swing, one has to be aware of the various components involved and how they interact. Obviously, once you have established a good, solid setup (grip and posture), the two major components remaining are that of the body and that of the arms and hands. By working on them separately, then putting them together, you can achieve a comprehensive understanding of the parts and the whole.

    Here is a drill that gives you a good sense of how the body works on the downswing:

    Without a club, fold your arms across your midsection. Get into a good setup posture and make the backswing motion. Make a full turn, sensing the stability in the lower body as you wind up. Be aware of your stomach muscles tightening. As you are completing the motion back, and moving into your right side, start the motion forward simultaneously by a lateral move of the left knee toward the target, followed fractionally thereafter by the left hip. Feel some weight moving to the front of the left foot, and most importantly, feel pressure going down from the left foot into the ground. Almost at the same time, you should feel pressure and weight going down through the right foot into the ground. I call this sensation "being grounded." It is a strong move in which you are pushing your lower body down into the ground and using the ground to enhance your resistance and stability. The weight distribution at this stage feels about 50/50 between the left foot and the right foot.

    Many players go wrong in that they feel no downward pressure and try to slide too much weight over to the left side too early. The legs, and, more vitally, the ground, do not then provide the stability or resistance necessary to create speed or generate consistency on the downswing.

    You might wonder: What about the weight transfer to the left? This does occur, but it should be subtle and in conjunction with the slight lateral move forward. If you go overboard in thinking about weight transfer, it's easy to slide your body too far forward, compromising your stability and getting out of sync with your arm motion.

    You should really sense the "groundedness" you have created. Sense pressure being built up through your feet bearing down on the ground. This vital "sit-down" move, or bracing of the legs, provides balance and resistance; it adds further leverage to the swing.

    A particularly poetic observation that I once read about Hogan was that "he had a wonderful liaison with the turf." What an image! Hogan felt this contact with the turf was so important that he insisted an extra spike be placed in his right shoe under the ball of his foot.

    As you continue the arms-folded drill, try to keep your right foot on the turf as long as possible, until your rotating body pulls it off the ground. Hogan did this so well, especially with his middle and short irons. The longer you keep your right foot on the ground through impact, the more likely it is that you will retain your spine angle there. Golfers whose legs are too active often lose their spine angle.

    The golfer who maintains through impact the spine angle and posture formed at address will have gone a long way toward creating consistency, most particularly with the irons. Maintaining spine angle is a major factor in allowing the golfer to return the club into a repetitive "slot" at impact.

    Now let's move on to the other component of the downswing: the motion of the arms and hands.

    While supination is more a move for the better player, I also like it for less-accomplished golfers who tend to hit fat or thin iron shots, or whose ball flight has no penetration as a result of an open or scoopy clubface making contact with the ball. These players, as Hogan said earlier, get their hands behind the clubhead at impact, often resulting in a glancing blow and a weak hit. Supination will encourage the face to close through the ball, ensuring a more powerful square-face hit. It can help players who hit weak fades or slices, enabling them to hit solid draws. Rather than getting too technical with higher-handicappers, I try to limit them to the simple image of the watch face looking toward the ground at impact. To get the feel of this, practice making smooth half-swings holding the club with your left hand alone and swinging waist-high to waist-high. Focus on the face of your watch, trying to feel it going from looking at the sky from the top of your swing to looking toward the ground through impact.

    A closing thought on the downswing: There's no question about whether impact is the most important position in the swing. Of course it is. However, it is but the culmination of what has transpired before. Having an awareness of where you should be at impact and also at the finish can really help in building a swing.

    To this end, I suggest this two-part drill. First, with the aid of a mirror, looking at yourself face-on, adopt a perfect impact position (and Hogan wouldn't be a bad person to copy). Hogan's impact position looked like this: hands ahead of the clubhead; left arm extended and linked to the chest; right arm bent; right elbow adjacent to the right hip and the inner part of the elbow pointing to the sky; head behind the ball; right shoulder set lower than the left; right knee and right foot working inward toward the target; left leg braced, supporting the transfer of weight.

    Hold this position and repeat it a few times. Now go to the range and move into the second phase of the drill. With the ball in front of you, again assume your impact position. Remain in this spot for a few seconds, making it as dynamic as possible. Push the clubhead into the ground if necessary. Then, starting from this modified address, pause a couple of seconds, make your backswing, and then hit the ball. It might take you a few shots to get your timing right but it won't be long before you're hitting them solidly.

    Upon reverting to your normal address position, try to re-create the same impact sensations during your actual swing on the way to the finish. With his classic, balanced finish to a classic swing, Ben Hogan looked like he could hit a shot and hold his finish for an eternity.


    http://www.golfdigest.com/instructio..._1azaytec.html



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    Senior Member birdie_man's Avatar
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    I don't think Hogan was an all out Swinger i.e. Bobby Jones.....although in a few driver sequences it looks like he could have been.....

    I think he must've added some right arm...esp. with those short irons/knockdowns.
    "birdie_man" guy

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    Default Another Ben Hogan secret



    Hogan's Secret

    'Don't tell anybody I told you this,' the two-time Masters champion warned me. So for decades I kept it to myself ... until now

    By Jody Vasquez
    Golf Digest
    April 2004


    Editor's note: When Jack Nicklaus was asked recently whether Tiger Woods is the greatest ball-striker he's ever seen, he replied quickly, "No, no -- Ben Hogan, easily." Nicklaus has seen much of Woods over the last few years and last played with Hogan in the late 1960s -- almost 20 years after Hogan had left his prime. Still, Hogan's power, precision and control was such that it left an enduring impression on the greatest golfer of all time. It's well known that Hogan's record, which includes 63 PGA Tour victories and nine major championships -- including two Masters titles -- was attained largely through his superb game from tee to green. Despite revealing his "Secret" to Life magazine in 1955, Hogan is widely suspected to have kept the true key to his swing to himself. Here, one man who was close to Hogan sheds new light on the intricacies of his fantastic technique.


    In the spring of 1964, when I was 17 years old, I began shagging balls for Ben Hogan during his long, frequent practice sessions at Shady Oaks Country Club in Fort Worth. Out of this experience came a relationship that continued, with some interruption, until his death in 1997.

    Many times over the years, I've reflected on whether Hogan ever told anyone the same things he told me late one afternoon in 1967, when, for whatever reason, he decided to reveal to me his "Swing Secret." I've watched, read and listened, expecting to see somewhere the revelation of the Secret he explained to me. After 36 years of waiting, I am convinced he never did.

    The day he gave me that quick lesson, Hogan talked about the golf swing for half an hour. He explained to me what he did, and why he did it. He did not hit any balls. When I asked a question, he answered it fully and articulately. The Secret he revealed seems oversimplified at first glance, but becomes a bit more complex when you parse out its meaning.

    The Secret is the correct functioning of the right leg, with emphasis on maintaining the angle of the right knee on the back and forward swings. Combined with a slight cupping of the left wrist, it produces optimum balance and control and allows you to apply as much speed and power as you wish.

    Not knowing the implications of that statement, the first question I asked Hogan was why I didn't read about his right-knee position being such an important part of his swing in the Five Lessons book. He put his hands on his hips and said, "I'm not telling them this!" I could only guess that by "them" he was referring to his fellow-competitors. Hogan was still playing competitively at the time he wrote the book.

    My next question was about his famous cupped left wrist. Hogan had explained in Life magazine that his Secret was cupping his wrist at the top of the swing so the wrist joint was bent slightly inward. Hogan was truthful when he emphasized the importance of the cupped left wrist, but as he revealed to me that day, it was only part of the story. Hogan explained to me that the left wrist was cupped because it was the only position the wrist could assume based on the position of his right knee.

    To better illustrate all this, Hogan put me in his address position and then in his position at the top of his backswing. With a twinkle in his eye, he then asked me a simple question: Could I maintain the right-knee position I had at address when I reached the top of the backswing and feel totally comfortable without cupping my wrist? I couldn't. Hogan explained that he braced his right knee before and after he took the club away from the ball, thus allowing his takeaway to be made with perfect balance. He maintained that right-knee position from address all the way to the top of the backswing. This allowed him to set the club at the top of his backswing and control his transition from backswing to downswing, all the while maintaining his balance. He said the right knee could sway a bit from left to right, but it should never straighten, especially as you move to the top of the backswing.



    Illustrations Copyright by Paul Lipp


    That's the whole point, the first half of the Secret. If you hold the right knee in a flexed position, and your left wrist is straight or bowed outward so the wrist joint is exposed to the sky (the opposite of cupped inward), you will have the sensation you are leaning forward on your toes. You will have the distinct feeling of "coming over the top," even though you still are on your backswing. You have lost your balance. It's over, my friend.

    I should add, however, that for Hogan, the backswing was merely a preface to the real issue: the delivery of the club back to the ball. His entire goal was to return the club to the ball with balance and control so he could produce the type of ball flight he desired. The key to his downswing was that he "ran his right knee at the ball."

    What does this mean? On the downswing, Hogan's first movement was to push the knee inward to the left and toward the ball. This resulted in a lateral shifting and opening of the left hip. His only thought had to be the right knee dropping in at the ball. He referred to it that day as "running at the ball."




    Illustrations Copyright by Paul Lipp

    Hogan explained that the harder he wanted to hit the ball, the faster he ran his right knee at the ball. That's why his hips unwound so fast on the downswing. In his mind, he ran his right knee to the ball, while feeling a complete sense of balance and control. For him, the feeling of his knee was the only thing that mattered -- he forgot about everything else in his body during that part of the swing.

    By running the right knee at the ball, Hogan was able to generate terrific speed in his lower body. His right knee moved so emphatically to the left that on full shots, the knee would sometimes appear to overtake his left knee on the follow-through. The speed was adjustable, however. By running his knee at the ball at different speeds, he was able to control the amount of force he expended through impact. This was why he was able to control the ball's distance so precisely.

    When you attempt a swing using the Secret, key the downswing by pushing your right knee inward both to the left and toward the ball. You'll find that your upper body will follow the action of your lower body quite nicely. You should feel distinct pressure on the inside of your right foot, as though you are actually pushing off that foot. The rest should happen automatically, though I'd add one last note of caution. Make sure you monitor your left knee. You don't want to straighten it too soon; it will cause you to hang back on your right side, and the ball can go anywhere. You merely want to straighten your left leg sufficiently for it to absorb the transfer of weight from your right side. It should never be locked or rigid.

    Hogan's last words to me that afternoon were uttered sternly for emphasis. He held out his right index finger next to my face and said: "Don't tell anybody I told you this." So I kept the Secret a secret for 25 years, revealing it to no one except Nick Faldo (I rationalized I had to tell someone who would understand it). I think Hogan would be fine with that.


    http://www.golfdigest.com/majors/mas...gansecret.html
    Hogan and his three right hands!

    "I'm only scared of three things: lightning, a side-hill putt and Ben Hogan". Sam Snead

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    Senior Member Burner's Avatar
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    How anyone could make such a statement

    "Hogan explained to me that the left wrist was cupped because it was the only position the wrist could assume based on the position of his right knee."
    is totally beyond me, let alone have anyone believe it.

    You could put your knee in your arse pocket without it having any effect on either of your wrists.
    IB

    "My only handicap is me"!!!

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    We've been over this GD article...I think it says little, if anything.
    "birdie_man" guy

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    Hogan was a hands manipulated swinger who probably added some kind of right arm accleration in the swing which can be done but a little hard to do.

    Also, as long as the clubshaft and right shoulder move downplane and you have a flat left/bent right wrist at impact, you can basically hit the ball as hard as you want and it will go fairly straight.

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    bts
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    Default Keep pulling

    Yeah, pull as hard as you can with as many arms and hands as you could have (so the "lag" can be well sustained), left, right, both or beyond. That intent of pull (against the "lag" around the pivot) will tell the body what to do, which is pretty much what Mr. Hogan described.
    Last edited by bts; 05-20-2006 at 03:33 AM.
    People hack, just like they eat, have sex and sleep.
    Before getting it, the more it makes sense to you, the less it does to God; the more you learn, the less you know.
    Intention Golf: A hacking (golf) swing is the body reaction to the hacker's (golfer's) intention of moving the ball (club) through the club (ball) with the hands.
    How is it possible to play (and teach) golf well without knowing the answer of My 10 Questions?
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    Senior Member tourdeep's Avatar
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    Default ben hogan grip


    In the two photos of Hogan's grip, the one on the left depicts the usual "strong" grip with the left thumb on the (golfer's) righthanded side of the grip.




    The photo on the far right shows the "weakend" grip, with the left thumb ontop of the shaft, that Hogan employed.






    GOOD GOLF BEGINS WITH A GOOD GRIP. This statement, I realize, packs as much explosive punch as announcing the startling fact that the battery in baseball is composed of a pitcher and a catcher. Moreover, for most golfers the grip is the drabbest part of the swing. There's no glamour to it. They see it accomplishing nothing active, nothing decisive. On the other hand, for myself and other serious golfers there is an undeniable beauty in the way a fine player sets his hands on the club. Walter Hagen, for instance, had a beautiful grip, delicate and at the same time powerful. It always looked to me as if Hagen's hands had been especially designed to fit on a golf club. Of the younger players today, Jack Burke gets his hands on the club very handsomely. No doubt a professional golfer's admiration for an impressive grip comes from his knowledge that, far from being a static "still life" sort of thing, the grip is the heartbeat of the action of the golf swing.

    Logically, it has to be. The player's only contact with the ball is through the clubhead, and his only direct physical contact with the club is through his hands. In the golf swing, the power is originated and generated by the movements of the body. As this power builds up, it is transferred from the body to the arms, which in turn transfer it through the hands to the clubhead. It multiplies itself enormously with every transfer, like a chain action in physics. Or, to use a more familiar example, think of the children's game of snap-the-whip where the element at the end of the chain (in golf, the clubhead) is going thousands of times faster than the element which originated the velocity. This chain action depends on a proper grip. With a defective grip, a golfer cannot hold the club securely at the top of the backswing — the club will fly out of control every time. And if the club is not controlled by a proper grip, the power a golfer generates with his body never reaches the club through his hands on the downswing, and the clubhead cannot be accelerated to its maximum.

    The standard grip is the overlapping grip. It has been for over half a century now, ever since Harry Vardon popularized it both in Great Britain and here in America. Up to now we haven't found a grip that promotes as effective a union between the body and the club. One of these days a better one may come along, but until it does, we've got to stick with this one. In a good grip both hands act as ONE UNIT. They can't if you grip the club almost correctly — which really means partially incorrectly. To cite the most common illustration, a right-handed player (whose left hand naturally is much less powerful than his right) kills any chance for a cooperative union of both hands if his right hand is dominant from the start or if it can assume dominance in the middle of the swing and take the whole swing over. One essential, then, to insure yourself a firm two-handed grip is to get your left hand on the club absolutely correctly. Here's how I would advise you to do it:

    WITH THE BACK OF YOUR LEFT HAND FACING THE TARGET (AND THE CLUB IN THE GENERAL POSITION IT WOULD BE IN AT ADDRESS) PLACE THE CLUB IN THE LEFT HAND SO THAT 1) THE SHAFT IS PRESSED UP UNDER THE MUSCULAR PAD AT THE INSIDE HEEL OF THE PALM, AND 2) THE SHAFT ALSO LIES DIRECTLY ACROSS THE TOP JOINT OF THE FOREFINGER.

    CROOK THE FOREFINGER AROUND THE SHAFT AND YOU WILL DISCOVER THAT YOU CAN LIFT THE CLUB AND MAINTAIN A FAIRLY FIRM GRIP ON IT BY SUPPORTING IT JUST WITH THE MUSCLES OF THAT FINGER AND THE MUSCLES OF THE PAD OF THE PALM.

    NOW JUST CLOSE THE LEFT HAND — CLOSE THE FINGERS BEFORE YOU CLOSE THE THUMB — AND THE CLUB WILL BE JUST WHERE IT SHOULD BE.

    TO GAIN A REAL ACQUAINTANCE WITH THIS PREPARATORY GUIDE TO CORRECT GRIPPING, I WOULD SUGGEST PRACTICING IT FIVE OR 10 MINUTES A DAY FOR A WEEK UNTIL IT BEGINS TO BECOME SECOND NATURE.

    When a golfer has completed his left-hand grip, the V formed by the thumb and forefinger should point to his right eye. The total pressure of all the fingers should not be any stronger (and may even be a little less strong) than the pressure exerted by just the forefinger and the palm pad in the preparatory guiding action. In the completed grip, the main pressure points are the last three fingers, with the forefinger and the palm pad adding assisting pressure. The three fingers press up, the pad presses down, and the shaft is locked in between. Keeping pressure on the shaft with the palm pad does three things: it strengthens the left arm throughout the swing; at the top of the backswing, the pressure from this pad prevents the club from slipping from the player's grasp; and it acts as a firm reinforcement at impact.

    This pressure we are speaking of should be "active," the kind of pressure that makes your hand feel alive and ready for action. Some golfers grab hold of a club so ferociously they look like they're going to twist the grip right off it. There's no need for overdoing the strength of your grip. In fact, there's a positive harm in it: you automatically tighten the Cords in the left arm and render it so stiff, so deaf that it will be unable to hear your requests and give you a muscular response when you start your swing. Too tight a grip will also immobilize your wrist. A secure, alive, and comfortable grip is what you want, for, as the weighted clubhead is swung back, your fingers instinctively tighten their grasp on the shaft.

    The grip of the right hand, since it is the hand that does the overlapping, is more complicated. If setting up a strong, correct left hand is one half of the job of establishing a one-unit grip, the other half is getting your right hand in a position to perform its share of the work but no more than its equal share. This means, in effect, subduing the natural tendency of the right forefinger and thumb to take charge. If they do, they'll ruin you. The "pincer fingers," the forefinger and thumb, are wonderful for performing countless tasks in daily living such as opening doors and picking up coffee cups, but they are no good at all in helping you to build a good grip and a good swing. The explanation behind this is that the muscles of the right forefinger and thumb connect with the very powerful set of muscles that run along the outside of the right arm and elbow to the right shoulder. If you work the tips of the thumb and forefinger together and apply any considerable amount of pressure, you automatically activate those muscles of the right arm and shoulder-and those are not the muscles you want to use in the golf swing. Using them is what breeds so many golfers who never swing with both hands working together, who lurch back and then lurch into the ball, all right arm and right shoulder and all wrong.

    TO OBTAIN THE PROPER GRIP WITH THE RIGHT HAND, HOLD IT SOMEWHAT EXTENDED, WITH THE PALM FACING YOUR TARGET. NOW — YOUR LEFT HAND IS ALREADY CORRECTLY AFFIXED — PLACE THE CLUB IN YOUR RIGHT HAND SO THAT THE SHAFT LIES ACROSS THE TOP JOINT OF THE FOUR FINGERS AND DEFINITELY BELOW THE PALM.

    THE RIGHT-HAND GRIP IS A FINGER GRIP. THE TWO FINGERS WHICH SHOULD APPLY MOST OF THE PRESSURE ARE THE TWO MIDDLE FINGERS. As we have mentioned, the forefinger shouldn't be allowed to become too forceful. As for the little finger, it slides up and over the forefinger of the left hand and locks itself securely in the groove between the left forefinger and the big finger. NOW, WITH THE CLUB HELD FIRMLY IN THE FINGERS OF YOUR RIGHT HAND, SIMPLY FOLD YOUR RIGHT HAND OVER YOUR LEFT THUMB — that is how I like to think of it. When you have folded the right hand over, the right thumb should ride down the left side of the shaft, slightly.

    If there is one major consideration to keep uppermost in your mind about the right hand, it is that the club must be in the fingers and not in the palm.
    Last edited by tourdeep; 05-26-2006 at 02:32 PM.
    Hogan and his three right hands!

    "I'm only scared of three things: lightning, a side-hill putt and Ben Hogan". Sam Snead

  9. #9
    Senior Member tourdeep's Avatar
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    Default hmmmmm...?

    Hogan and his three right hands!

    "I'm only scared of three things: lightning, a side-hill putt and Ben Hogan". Sam Snead

  10. #10
    Senior Member birdie_man's Avatar
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    Off balance or trying to hit it high...?
    "birdie_man" guy

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