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 the way he held the club. At some point, he was handed a club and we all began offering suggestions as to how our friend might improve his grip. Once we had his hands placed on the club just right, Georgey cried out, “You’ve got to be kidding. This feels awful!” With that, it was time to go out to the No. 1 tee and watch him in action.

With some trepidation our buddy Georgey fetched his driver and a ball from the club’s bag room and joined us on the first tee. After teeing up his ball, we helped him “properly” fashion his hands on the club. Once again, Georgey made it quite clear that he doubted he could hit the ball at all with the new grip. But, being a good sport, he was willing to give it a 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 out to watch the pure flight of his mighty blow. But, we saw nothing! Instead, after glancing 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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