Conclusion – The Weak Grip Was A Dead End

I reached this conclusion when I realized that the four gentlemen in this small study group of mine (only the four best players of all time) all had idiosyncratic moves that may have been caused or at least influenced by the weak grip.

Not to mention, all four leaned quite heavily into the left foot at address, even if they were properly positioned spine-tilt-wise, likely another artifact that has something to do with the grip.

It’s like this – the weaker your grip at a certain point, the more you have to lean into your left side at address – I couldn’t make the grip work because you will never catch me leaning into my left foot in this manner.

I want my setup to be as close to my impact position as possible.  That is optimal, for obvious reasons.

If you look at the four above, I mean you actually start leaning to your left looking at them all!

Not for me, and definitely not optimal, however great they all were as swingers – and that’s why I always say Jack Nicklaus was closest to optimal, but closest to doesn’t actually get the train into the terminal, does it?

Another reason for this conclusion is that my own issues with my current execution of the MCS Classic Golf Swing model, I am thinking after these days of contemplation following the last session, have to do with another facet of the setup.

It is definitely the setup, just not in the grip, I’m leaning now.

I am positive of this now because of the work I’m doing on another part of the setup procedure that doesn’t lead to the standard grip being an issue, meaning that if this is the area, the standard grip wasn’t an issue, just that mine was too strong for a long time.

Once I determine if my current avenue of investigation is the answer, I’ll know the exact nature of the grip simply by looking at my own in the setup.

I’m running out of puzzle pieces to exchange, but that’s actually a good thing – even blindfolded, when you find the right puzzle piece for the spot on which you’re working, it fits perfectly without forcing.

You can’t eliminate a possible piece until you’ve tried it (let’s say they’re all similarly shaped and are in a solid hued part, like open sky), but that will only frustrate someone who hasn’t got the patience to try them all until they get the right one.

I think my patience levels will hold up to the end.

More to come!

7 thoughts on “Conclusion – The Weak Grip Was A Dead End

  1. Mark

    I simply always liked a grip that didn’t feel overly contrived and allowed me to freely ‘swing’ the clubhead and release it through impact with a powerful, on-target hit. Too strong and I feel like I’ve got to hold on to prevent a snap hook. Too weak and I feel like I’m wiping a puny fade/slice. It just seems like there is a happy place in there somewhere where my stance, ball position, pivot, and grip all line up.

    1. DJ Watts Post author

      Exactly that, Mark – if I have to fight and struggle to even take a weak grip, let alone swing with it, then it’s not anywhere close to natural or optimal. My initial work thought it could be, but there is a big difference between swinging a training aid and an actual club, which is where the idea falls apart for me.

      Bottom line, it should be very easy to grip the club in the optimal manner, and that may vary slightly from person to person, but there will likely be an “in the ballpark” aspect to it.

  2. Walter

    check out what Mike Malaska(utube) had to say when they pushed him to weaken his grip while on the PGA tour. He said it was the biggest mistake of his career.

  3. Geoff Clark

    I have recently found that taking a right hand only grip, as if to make a right hand only swing, and then bringing my left hand into position, all happening while in a proper setup, brings balance. My dominant right hand is active. Following the Mike Austin method of left hand first and then right hand destroyed my swing – and when I say destroyed I’m not faszooling around. It seems to me if setup is the most important thing in the golf swing, as location location location is in the restaurant business, then get your grip from your setup, not vice versa. Worth a shot, no?

    1. DJ Watts Post author

      More than worth a shot, Geoff – in my “E = MCS” video from ‘17, I laid out exactly what you are describing. Right hand dominant setup as opposed to starting with the left hand:

      So, I’m not surprised it works for you 😁👏🏼👏🏼

      1. Geoff Clark

        So far it works great and many thanks to you. I was using the Austin left hand first setup routine since Covid began and my golf swing deteriorated over time and I did not know why. I was attributing it to a painful right hip. However the hip did not hurt when I made a good swing which became rarer and rarer. I found myself in the chicken or the egg situation. Then, when you wrote recently about the setup and grip and the impossibility of a good swing from a bad setup I had a lightbulb moment. At the range and a dozen balls left and still swinging miserable I did an old drill of right hand only swing. Eureka! No right hip pain and great ball strike and balance, and most important the semblance of good setup. Now, as soon as my ankle heals (power washer thing) I’ll be hitting balls with my feet together, kind of like playing music at a slower tempo in order to smooth things out, and getting into my set up right hand and then left hand.

        On a side note, it seems that the Austin Compound Pivot would be more easily understood if taught by doing the feet together drill. However neither he or Mike Dunaway ever mention it. Nor have I seen it on any of the numerous YouTube channels devoted to them. Do you have an opinion?

        All the best,m


    2. Mark

      That’s how I’ve worked my way into my setup since I was a kid. From behind the ball, I face my target and picture the shot as I hold the club lightly in my right hand, allowing it to gently swing back and forth on its own momentum.

      Then I approach and place the clubhead behind the ball, squared to my intended target line. Next, standing normally with my feet pretty close together, I set my left foot to match my desired ball position while I placing my left hand on the club before finally sliding my right foot out on my intended setup target line, at whatever width I deem appropriate.

      After that, everything goes to hell, but at least I look good before I pull the trigger. 😎

      If there is a flaw in that technique, I’m happy to learn the fix.


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