There aren’t many quick-fixes in golf, but this setup tip from Adam Kolloff, one of our Golf Digest Best Young Teachers out of Liberty National G.C., is about as close as it gets. It’s all about your left thumb at setup (if you’re a righty), where your clubface is at the top, and the effect these two factors can have on your ball flight.
“Your grip has a substantial influence on the club face angle at the top of the swing,” says Kolloff, “especially where you position the left thumb. That’s because when you hinge correctly the left thumb supports the club underneath the grip.”
So, if your thumb is underneath the grip supporting it, that means whatever position your thumb is on the grip is going to affect the angle of the face. If you’ve never thought about the angle of your clubface at the top of the swing, you should.
“Adjusting the clubface position at the top is a great way to improve your existing ball flight or correct a big miss,” said Kolloff.
Kolloff suggests you start with the clubface square at setup, and think about the butt of your grip like a clock, focusing in on the positions 12:00, 1:30 and 3:00.
If you put your thumb at 1:30 at address, the clubface will be square at the top of your backswing. “This is a great for the majority of golfers because it will not require compensation on the downswing,” says Kolloff, “allowing you to hit a variety of shots.”
Put your thumb at 3:00 to have a closed clubface at the top. “This can help golfers that struggle with a slice because it will help prevent an open club face at impact,” says Kolloff.
The 12:00 position will leave the clubface open at the top of the backswing. “This can help golfers that struggle with a hook because it will help prevent a closed club face at impact,” says Kolloff.
We’re not saying this trick is going to fix your whole game, but it is a quick and easy way to improve your ball flight.