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Golf Question: Can I Alter My Grip To Master Speciality Golf Shots?As golfers, we often find ourselves needing to move the ball one way or another to allow for dog legs or trees, however, it takes a highly skilled and adaptable golfer to adjust their grip to suit different types of shots.

If a player needs to move the ball more from right to left then technically the club face needs to point left of the swing path to create this shape and without making any significant changes to the whole golf swing, the easiest adjustment to make would be the grip. The grip needs to be stronger.

To strengthen the grip in relation to a neutral grip, both hands needs to move about one inch around the shaft, causing the V between the index fingers and the thumbs on both hands to point at the right shoulder. This allows the hands to rotate faster and close the club face through impact because when we perform something at speed, our body returns to its natural form, which would therefore close the club face in relation to the path.

Because of the grip and the change in the club face alignment at impact, the trajectory of the shot would be expected to be lower which would cause much more roll once the ball has landed so be aware of the potential roll out of the shot and choose your club wisely.

If we needed to move the ball from left to right to create a certain shot then we will do the opposite and move the hands one inch left of a neutral grip to a weaker position. The checkpoints for this would be to have the V created between your index finger and right thumb pointing to your left shoulder and showing at least two knuckles depending on the severity of the expected fade/slice shot. This shot would come off the club face with a higher trajectory as the club face is open to the path which can increase the loft so club selection for this shot is vital to effectively pull off this speciality shot.

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A weak grip is ideal for a left to right shape shot as the release of the golf club is slowed down through impact. For many players past and present, this grip and feel creates and allows for much more control, however, in the instance of the speciality shots and adapting the ball flight to hit it right to left or with a lower trajectory, it suddenly becomes extremely difficult.

With the weak right hand, the club face tends to stay open to the club path and gets to impact with increased loft. If a player tries to release the hands faster through impact to shape the ball then the club face will not be able to react enough and will not shape as anticipated.

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A strong grip can work if all the specialty shots you require are to move the ball from right to left or to keep the ball low. However, having the ability to adapt at a moments notice will certainly help keep your scores lower, especially when changing your grip to encourage different ball trajectories or when playing a variety of shaped shots.

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Any adjustment to your grip on a round of golf will cause discomfort. Take the opportunity to practice on the driving range the different types of shots for all occasions. You need a variety of shots in your armoury - from getting the ball high in the air and fading it round a corner, to being in the trees and hitting a low punch draw underneath to get it running up the fairway towards the green. Forget the discomfort and make time to practise. These practise sessions will help you to lower your scores.