Questioning the Importance of a Proper Grip

Years ago, after finishing up an enjoyable round of golf at the old La Gorce Country Club on Miami Beach, me, my brother John and our two buddies Armand and Georgey G. alias, “The Rocket,” decided to continue the fun by talking things over in the locker room. After trading some lies, our lively discussion turned toward Georgey and how his powerful game would improve if he’d only make a few subtle changes to his grip. At that point, somebody handed him a club and we all began offering suggestions as to how our friend should hold it. Once we reached agreement and had his hands placed on the club just right, the three of us “experts” figured it was time to go outside and watch our pupil and the “improvements” we made in action. To be fair, before we convened, Georgey made it quite clear that he doubted he could hit the ball at all with the new grip.

With some trepidation poor Georgey fetched his driver and a ball from the bag room and joined us on the first tee. After teeing up his ball, we helped him “properly” fashion his hands on the club. Again, our friend was heard to say that the new grip “felt awful.” But, he was willing to give it his best shot. When the time came, we all stood back to watch our new creation cut loose. After taking a couple of waggles, “The Rocket” launched into his swing. I can tell you, he swung down hard and followed through high. Everyone looked up to watch the flight of his mighty blow but instead saw nothing! We glanced back down to the ground and there sat his ball. It lay 18 inches directly behind where it had been teed. Incredibly, Georgey’s ball had gone backwards! Needless to say, he was embarrassed and a bit angry, too. As I remember, he proceeded to make a hasty exit from the club.

Later, we theorized that his mighty downswing barely contacted the top of the ball. But, that he nicked it just enough to impart tremendous backspin causing the ball to go in reverse. For the record, Georgey never did make those changes to his grip.


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