A husband attempting to teach his wife golf is not necessarily a good idea, but a good idea might have emerged from Chip Beck's efforts to assist his wife Karen with her golf.
"After 22 years of marriage, I said, 'Chip, I've been invited to play in a member guest. I don't know how to play. Can you show me how to play?'" she said at the recent PGA Expo in Las Vegas.
Chip, a winner of four PGA Tour events and now a Champions Tour member, gave her a lesson.
"I was hitting it great on the range," she said. "Then he went out of town for a few weeks. We ended up winning the member-guest. When he came back I said, 'there's only one problem. My thumb hurts.' He said, 'show me your grip.'"
Karen gripped a club for him. "What are you doing?" Beck said to her. She explained that her caddie had showed her the grip.
"Don't listen to the caddie, listen to me," he replied.
"I had forgotten what he had told me about the grip because it was so complicated," she said.
The upshot is Grip Guides, a training aid they developed together to help golfers "grip it like a pro."
It adhesively attaches to the grip of any golf club and features three lines -- in the 11, 12 and 1 o'clock positions, as well as a guide on where to place your hands. It uses the Vardon grip as its model.
In addition, the aid features interactive thermochromic ink that changes color. Thermochromic ink on Coors beer cans and botles features cold activation to demonstrate that the beer is cold. On Grip Guides, it uses warm activation. If the colors don't change while gripping the club, you're gripping it wrong.
"I wanted something on my grip that can remind me, to make it easy," Karen said. "My method is KISS -- Keep It Simple Silly."
Grip Guides was introduced at the PGA Expo and will go on sale later this month. Ten percent of the proceeds will benefit the renowned Evans Scholarship Foundation.
-- John Strege