Mexico Open at Vidanta

Vidanta Vallarta


Let your hands work together

By Hank Haney Photos by J.D. Cuban
June 01, 2008

Left to right: Strong: If you tend to slice, turn both hands -- not just your left -- away from the target. Neutral: The V's between your thumbs and the sides of your hands point to your right ear. Weak: If you fight a hook, adjust both hands so that the V's

I see a lot of grip mistakes, and one of the most common is getting the hands situated on the club in a way that doesn't let them work together. For example, the left hand might be strong -- turned away from the target -- while the right hand is neutral or even weak.

A simple way to make sure your hands work together is to have your palms face each other on the grip. Once you get your palms aligned that way, you can adjust both hands depending on how your shots are curving. (A neutral grip is when the V's between your thumbs and forefingers point to your right ear.)

If you have a tendency to slice, you can adjust both hands to your right -- with your palms still facing each other -- so the V's point to your right armpit. To reduce a hook, make the opposite adjustment: Rotate both hands to your left, into a weaker position, so that the V's point to your chin.

Remember that no matter where the V's point, you need to keep your grip pressure the same in both hands. And it should stay the same throughout the swing.



Birkdale brings back great memories

The British Open is at Birkdale -- one of the best in the rotation and my favorite. I caddied for Mark O'Meara there in 1987, at the European tour's Lawrence Batley International. He holed out two 6-irons on the last nine holes, one on No. 11 and one on No. 16, and won the tournament. That was one of the coolest things I've experienced in golf.

Then, in 1998, Mark went back to Birkdale and won the British for his second major victory that year. It's a special place. Hopefully another one of my students can win there this year.

Whoever wins is going to have to be a great wind player and have a little bit of luck with the weather. The tee times stretch out for nine-plus hours, and the weather at Birkdale changes so fast. In your first two rounds, you could end up in bad weather in the morning one day, and in the afternoon the next.

Hank Haney runs the Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy on Hilton Head Island and owns four golf schools in Texas. Click here for more tips from Haney.