All the good work a left handed golfer achieves throughout the back swing and down swing is transferred into the ball during the release.
Although power is built up through a complex combination of movements involving multiple levers and joints, using a stronger grip can create a ‘power release’. The release of the club face through impact occurs when the wrists begin to unhinge during the down swing and the hands and forearms begin to rotate. This rotation of the hands and arms not only squares up the club face at impact (pointing it at the target), but also increases club head speed; vital to achieve good distance.
At impact, the palms want to return to a point where they face each other. This is easier to achieve with a ‘neutral grip’. A stronger grip places the right hand more on top of the grip, with the right palm facing downward and the left hand more underneath, with the left palm facing upwards. This means that through impact, the hands need to rotate with more speed to ensure the club face is square.
Differences Between a Neutral and Strong Grip
First of all, left handed golfers need to ensure they understand how to achieve a neutral grip, which is considered the efficient way to grip the club and increase accuracy.
- Hold the club out in front of the body with the left hand. Make sure the toe of the club points straight up at the sky.
- Place the grip in the right hand so it runs from the base of the little finger up through the middle of the index finger.
- Wrap the right hand over the grip. Looking down, two and a half knuckles should be visible on the right hand with the V created by the thumb and index finger pointing up towards the left shoulder.
- Place the left hand on the grip with an interlocking/overlapping/ten fingered grip. The right thumb sits snugly under the base of the left thumb.
- The V created by left thumb and forefinger should also point up at the left shoulder.
To adapt this solid neutral grip to something stronger and more powerful, move both the hands around half an inch to the left. This will place the right hand more on top of the club and the left hand more underneath. The right hand should show three and a half knuckles, with the left hand showing only one. The V’s created by the thumbs and forefingers should point below the left shoulder.
Although placing the hands in this position will give more power during the release, the club face could also de-loft and close (point to the right at impact). The left handed golfer needs to take these two factors into consideration when deciding whether to adopt the stronger grip for the power release.