Have you ever wondered why the end of your grip is tapered in the way that it is? It seems kind of strange given that your pinky on your left hand ... it's obviously the smallest finger on your hand and that's the fattest part of the grip. Why do you think they designed it that way? It's also interesting because there's some grips out there that are actually reverse tapered so that this part of the grip is actually the smallest part of the grip. It actually gets fatter as you go down the grip where your right hand would be. Who's right and who's wrong and why do they do this in the first place?
Well, it's a great question and incredibly enough it's an incredibly important part of your golf swing when you understand it. If you don't understand why this is tapered the way that it is and you don't feel like this tapered part is actually helping your golf swing, you're gonna start to understand why you probably can't get into those tour quality impact positions and why you can't pick up the club at speeds you think you should have. Even though you're swinging at it as hard as you can. Let's take a look at this. First thing I want you to understand is one simple piece of math that we're gonna work with.
For every half inch in club length that you go up ... so let's say from your seven iron to your six iron. Your six irons probably about a half inch longer than your seven iron. You're going to on average pick up about two miles an hour of club head, just for the sake of the club is a half inch longer. Simple enough, right? For every club in the bag that we go up for every half inch we can use that as some very simple, rough estimates as to how much club head speed you're gonna pick up. That's why the whole concept of a single length set of irons just simply can't work. By the time you get to your longer irons, you can't pick up enough club head speed to make up for the difference.
That's why your clubs all have to be a little bit longer than the other. That and the combination of the loft is what allows you to hit the ball further with a longer club. We need that extra half inch per club to help us hit the ball a long ways, but if you're not using the club correctly ... and I'm gonna show you why in a second, you're going to not take advantage of that extra half inch ... and you're gonna not be able to hit the ball as far as some skinny guy like myself who hits the ball a long ways without a lot of effort. That's because I'm using the club the way it was designed to be used, so let's take a look at this.
The one thing I want you to understand is that ... and I've talked about this in other videos, is that the golf swing is predominately left hand dominant, okay? When you start to think of it that way you're gonna start to understand how things fall into place the way that they do. The problem is most golfers are right handed and they're right hand dominant and they try to swing the golf club right handed, and stuff starts falling apart really fast when you do that. Here's what's gonna happen ... tell me if this is you. You come into impact and you look like this, where you're scooping and flipping it and your hand is causing your left wrist to break down.
As this happens, what you're essentially doing is your making the pivot point on your club, further down the shaft. Where as the way that I'm swinging using my left hand to control the club. I'm taking every inch of the shaft and utilizing it to generate speed cause my club is pivoting from up here instead of down here. Now you can imagine if I'm trying to force the club to release with my right hand, I have effectively made my iron four inches shorter. You're not going to be able to make up four inches of speed no matter how hard you flip it with your right hand. You have to use the taper of the grip and use the last three fingers in your left hand, to allow the club to release with a lot of speed.
The club should almost feel like it's trying to slip out of your hands and the taper is what's allowing you to hold onto it. If it wasn't tapered and you swung the club correctly, the club would actually fall out of your hands. It would be very hard to hold onto. That's why your grips are tapered. In the next part of this video, I'm gonna show you two simple drills that are going to help you learn how to understand and take advantage of this leverage piece of the swing, to get a lot more speed with a lot less effort. All right so now that we got the concept of why this grip is tapered this way, and why you need to use it the way that it was designed to get a lot of speed without a lot of effort, we give you the two drills that you need to work on.
The first one is, I want you to take the grip ... take the club and just grip it with your last three fingers. Literally just hold the club with your last three fingers. Take the thumb and fore finger off and what this is gonna do is it's gonna force you to stop pushing against the shaft with your left thumb ... cause again that's gonna move that pivot point down the shaft. We want that to be as far up the shaft as we can. Right at the very end is where the majority of our grip pressures gonna come from. What I want you to do ... last three fingers, start making little swings back and through. As you're doing this, keep the thumb and fore finger off the shaft and start seeing how the club wants to and needs to turn over and rotate. Kind of around the butt of the club.
As you're doing this, one of the things I talk about in the clinics in my lessons all the time ... a good way of thinking about it is rolling the knuckles under. So you're taking your knuckles on your left hand and as you're flattening out that wrist, you're rolling the knuckles under to exaggerate to where you can see your finger nails. That's gonna be a hook if you're doing it right, but it's a good exaggeration. Especially if you're used to flipping it with your right hand. This is gonna get you into a flat left wrist position. Rotating it so I can see my finger nails, and releasing it all the way around on the left hand side. That's the first drill and you need to practice this as much as humanly possible.
It looks incredibly simple but what you're gonna find is that you have very little coordination probably in your left hand. Especially when you take that thumb off of there. You may even have a little bit of a weak left hand, cause we don't use it all the time. Just keep working on this drill and just even hitting little half shots, back and through. This alone is gonna start giving you the feeling of how to get that club to work and release correctly. That's the first drill. The second drill is obviously you gotta put the right hand back on at some point right? We need the right hand on there, it does a lot of things for us but what I want you to do is put the right hand on there and we open palm it at first. What I want you to start doing is letting your hand come off.
Now as we're working through and we're releasing the club, my right hand is actually tracing along with the club, but I'm letting it come off. From face on, you can see that as my left hand is doing the work, and my right hand is releasing off. Now what we want to start doing is ... transferring this into is keeping that right hand on there longer, and longer, and longer. I call this the VJ drill. What we're gonna do ... You're gonna come into impact, now my fingers are on the club a little bit more. I'm gonna look like VJ or Phil Michelson or Freddy Couples. These guys all release the club really, really well with their lead hand and the trailing hand actually comes off and that's why VJ looks like this.
Hogan didn't understand this, that's why when they asked him about it he said, "Well I guess you just doesn't need it there." He had that part right but Hogan thought you really needed to push through with the right side and that's why he looked like this at impact. You look at the modern player who has a tremendous amount of club head speed these days. They release the club very aggressively and let that trailing hand come off because that's all it's gonna do with the trailing and is slow it down cause the tighter you hold on with the trailing hand, the more your body has to come through with the release. The club can't move independently of your body to speed up and it needs to. When we let the right hand start coming off like VJ.
Now all of a sudden the club can speed up really fast and you'll see my body is actually moving quite slow, but I've got a lot of speed. That drill as you start getting into this VJ position where you're letting that hand come off the club. Combined with the first drill of starting to learn to use the left hand ... the last three fingers in the left hand only. We'll start to get you into a perfect impact position and get you a tremendous amount of club head speed, with a very little effort.
-Dr. Jeffrey Broker, Assoc. Prof. in Biomechanics at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Former Senior Biomechanist for U.S. Olympics Committee
-Hub Orr - Happy PREMIUM MEMBER of RotarySwing.com
-Sam Jarman, PGA Golf Instructor in the UK