I’ve said that if you don’t implement all parts of a working model, it is bound to fall apart, but I’ve just discovered something in reverse – fix the issue and everything first unravels but then can be rearranged correctly.
You’ll note that, time and time again, I made changes to my setup and mechanics, only to say that while it was an improvement, there was still something off with the motion.
Well, I can say that it all began and ended with my grip on the club.
As soon as I began to look at the grip, I saw how inherently flawed it is to have a “strong grip,” especially the better one’s swing model is.
The greatest swingers in the game, more or less, had neutral-to-weak grips, and it may seem silly for me to say this, because it is self-evident – they were the best swingers because they didn’t have strong grips.
From left to right:
- Snead – very weak grip,
- Nicklaus – very weak grip,
- Hogan – all-universe weak grip,
- Nelson – also weak grip
I’m not saying you must have a weak grip to swing well, but here are the 4 greatest players of the Classic Golf Swing era, all with much weaker grips than you see these days.
I know many people will say that they need a strong grip because they’re prone to slicing the ball, however I would respond that the problem is probably to be found in their club path through impact – if it’s over the top and outside-in, you’re going to slice the ball even with a square face at impact.
Sure, Hogan had the world’s weakest grip because he was terrified of hitting a hook and his go-to ball shape was a pronounced fade.
Yes Nicklaus played with a fade, but he aimed and set up left of his actual target and swung square to his left target with a slightly opened club face to fade the ball from his left target to the actual desired target.
We also know that Byron hit the ball nearly dead straight with that weak grip, so we can no longer pretend that the weak grip is something harmful to the swing when the four greatest swingers ever in the Classic era played with weak grips.
Now that I’ve begun to look into the grip to see how much weaker than the standard neutral grip would be optimal (as I’m pretty sure now that the optimal grip will be weaker than standard neutral), I can see why this is the case.
I’ll have to do some lab work first before making it official for the model, but things are rapidly coalescing in every aspect (stance, ball position, balance at address, pivot action), all dependent upon the proper grip.
More to come!