Duck Hooking with Driver & Fairway Woods

by Jim B
(London UK)

I am 75 years old and have played off 12-14 for a number of years. However, recently I find that after taking what appears to be my usual neutral grip at address, after one or two waggles my right hand grip gets under the club becoming very strong.

The back swing feels awkward and on the downswing the club head is in a very closed position. The result being a weak low shot straight to the left.

How do I ensure my grip remains in a neutral position throughout the swing.

Louis reply

Jim, thanks for a great question. I have seen many golfers with similar mannerisms, some of them get away with fidgeting the hands in the takeaway, while others interrupt their swing every time and their performance suffers.

This occurrence can be due to uncertainty and lack of confidence in your technique or it is a habit that creeps into your subconscious mind that gets worse over time.

Many golfers that make subconscious errors like you have, seldom notice or realize what they are doing wrong. You are obviously very observant and conscious of what is causing your ball flight, and have found the problem.

The best way for you to solve your right hand slipping under is to consciously grip tighter at address with the middle two fingers of the right hand.

This will keep your right hand pressed against the thumb of the left hand. Practice hitting balls feeling the pressure of those two fingers pressing your left hand thumb consistently throughout the swing.

How much pressure to apply is determined by your strength in your hands, but a good indication on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 is loose and 10 is the tightest you can hold) would be 5. Neither too tight nor too loose.

Your take away is going to feel different. The hands not moving after you have taken up your grip is going to feel strange to you.

Therefore the only thing for you to do is to replace your habit with a new one. I know is not as easy as telling you to change, so you need a different approach to your pre-shot-routine. Once you are comfortable with this change, start your swing by pushing the club back with the left arm and shoulder, feel both hands stay together on the club supporting the move of the arms and shoulder.

A good exercise is to get someone to push a tee peg between the base of your right thumb and the base of your left thumb while you have your grip on the club.

Take swings without letting the tee peg fall out from between your hands and feel the pressure in the middle two fingers only of the right hand.

I trust I have answered your problem and given you some thoughts on changing your bad habit!

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