February 13, 2008

Six steps to a perfect grip

Use a marker to ensure the correct position for each hand

LEFT HAND FIRST. . . 1. I actually draw lines on the glove, which is legal, by the way. 2. Side is a reminder to put the side of the grip against your fingers, with the toe up. 3. The handle rests just under your heel pad and runs to your index finger.

__LEFT HAND FIRST. . .

1.__ I actually draw lines on the glove, which is legal, by the way.

2. Side is a reminder to put the side of the grip against your fingers, with the toe up.

3. The handle rests just under your heel pad and runs to your index finger.

Many amateurs -- higher-handicappers and even really good players -- are not precise enough when they put their hands on the club. In a sound grip, your palms should face each other, and your wrists should be able to hinge up and down. You want your hands to work compatibly, so one doesn't override the other.

Place the club in your fingers to enhance your sensitivity for the weight and position of the club. For more feel, let your right index finger separate slightly from your other fingers.

4. The grip touches the middle joints of your middle two fingers.

5. Your right-hand lifeline fits over your left thumb.

6. Hold club at a 45-degree angle to feel wrist hinging and proper grip pressure.

Very few good players place the right hand on the club first. Always put your left hand on first, because it's your guide to sensing the alignment of the clubface, then add your right hand. As you look down at your grip, make sure your left thumb rests slightly to the right of the top-center of the shaft.

Follow my six steps to create your own grip. Placing your hands on the club the same way every time will make your shots longer and more reliable.

Ranked No. 5 by his peers among Golf Digest's 50 Greatest Teachers, Flick is based at the TaylorMade Performance and Research Lab in Carlsbad, Calif. View more tips from Jim Flick.