According to my friend, colleague and PGA pro, Jon Manos, maintaining the proper level of tension on the golf club is one of the hardest skills for golfers to master.
High handicappers often have a tendency to have a death grip on the club, especially when hitting out of high rough, or a sand trap.
The right grip will allow you to generate more club speed and more centrifugal force when you swing the club.
Here are some tips to help golfer hold the club with the correct amount of tension.
1. Ben Hogan suggested that you hold the club as if you were holding a bird. You hold it firmly enough to protect it, but not so firmly that you would harm the bird. This is a great image and a lot of golfers seem to seem to find this metaphor to be quite helpful.
2. Jon Manos, who teaches in New Jersey, suggested to me that I hold the club like a tube of toothpaste without making an indentation in the tube.
3. Try holding the club very firmly and then dial down your grip to the proper intensity.
4. Remember that a good golf swing reflects relaxed aggression.
5. Your hands are the closest part of your body to the ball. Tension in your hands, shoulders and arms can really disrupt a golf swing.
6. Visual smooth and easy swings by players like Ernie Els, Fred Couples and Sam Snead. Their swings are all about the right tempo and relaxed aggression.
7. Notice how you really feel the ball on the club face when your hands are relaxed.
8. Before you practice and during practice, listen to music to promote relaxation and to find your ideal tempo.
9. Use proven sport psychology techniques like meditation, visualization and self-hypnosis to relax your hands, your mind and your body.
Jay P. Granat, Ph.D. is a Psychotherapist, Author and Founder of www.StayInTheZone.com. He was named one of America's Top Ten Mental Gurus by Golf Digest Magazine.
Dr. Granat is available for seminars and for coaching. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 888 580-ZONE.