February Golf Tip
Thumbs Up, for you?
Golf is a lot about the little things and just as in life it’s the little things that often mean a lot. If you think about it, it usually isn’t something major you change with your swing to help you get better it is usually one or two small little changes that creates the change. One of these small changes that could have a significant impact on your game is your grip and whether you have a small thumb or a long thumb.
A long thumb is where your thumb on your upper hand of the grip (left hand for right handers and right hand for left handers), extends down the entire shaft from heel to tip. One way to see if you have a long thumb is by holding the club with your upper grip hand on the handle as you would normally hold it and then hold it out in front of you, does your thumb stick up as if you are hitch hiking or is the thumb up in a more compact position with the rest of the hand, short thumb. A lot of beginners tend to hold the club with a long thumb because they feel as if they have more power and control over the club. However, this is opposite the truth. When you hold the club with a long thumb it actually causes the grip to shift towards the palm of your hand, which in turn restricts hand action and the ability to generate clubhead speed.
A short thumb on the other hand is the more natural of the two styles. This grip allows the handle to rest more in the finger tips allowing the hand/wrist to hinge fully on the backswing and because your fingers are in position to control the club, you are capable of more clubhead speed coming down. You will also find that since you are able to control the clubhead more, you will start producing a more consistent swing and ball flight.
The next time you are at the range, try experimenting with the long and short thumb techniques. This is one way to see how a small change may have a significant impact to your game.
Yours in golf,
Head Golf Professional