The tighter you hold the golf club, the less club head speed you create.
Golf is not a game of strength and power, but rather a game that relies on timing tempo and rhythm. PGA tour players like Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy are small of stature, but are near the top of the long driving list because of their timing, tempo and rhythm.
To establish these traits, begin with your grip, and how tightly you hold the club. Your arms should “hang” freely from your shoulders and be relaxed. Your left hand should grip the club with enough pressure, with just enough hold so you don’t let go of it (for right handed players). The accompanying hand should in turn be placed on the club gently.
A factor related to your grip and the pressure you apply is your posture. The grip and posture are extremely important because they enable our bodies to swing the club properly. The way we approach the ball is often the beginning of the problem. Many players stand up to the ball first, then try to set their posture without realizing that they are not the right distance from the ball. I see many people who look cramped over the ball or are reaching out too far for the ball. These positions do not allow the club to swing freely or comfortably. The proper posture will allow the arms to hang freely from the body. From this position, the arms can move freely throughout the swing.
Byron Nelson often said that 98% of amateurs set up with their hands to far from their body at address. At address your hands should be approximately one “fist” away from your thigh.
Think of relaxing the hold of the club with your hands, and by having the correct posture, and you will not only hit it farther, but straighter too!
Pat Livingston, CEO
National Golf School