Malaska Grip Series Part 1: The Importance of a Balanced Grip
If you’re having some trouble with your golf swing, you might want to take another look at your grip. Your ability to control the clubface is directly impacted by your grip, so it’s difficult to talk about the former without assessing the latter.
Rapsodo advisor Mike Malaska is one of the most respected teachers in the country with access to virtually every piece of technology imaginable. So how does he start almost every lesson? By looking at your grip.
“Grip plays the biggest role and biggest misinterpreted part of the golf swing relative to consistency,” says Malaska.
Part 1: Grip it to Rip it
Grip pressure and position can have a profound influence on speed. Holding the grip too tightly can create tension in your muscles which inhibits the fluidity you need. When you relax your grip, you free up your muscles to maximize your potential swing speed.
Malaska says the motions you make with your grip, i.e., the amount of extension and flexion, and how your wrist may lag, is what gives you your speed (or lack thereof).
Your wrist creates a kind of lever system which has the biggest impact on speed, ground forces and your body also makes an impact but not to the same extent.
How your hands hold your club is critical when it comes to speed. Malaska says the shaft of your club should be placed within the fingers and not in your palm. If it tilts into your palm, your wrist will lose its leverage, and its ability to create the speed you’re looking for. You want to make sure the club rests in your fingers, freeing up the wrist for the flexion it needs to create the speed you want. Malaka says you should fold your lead hand down on top of the club like you’re hitting a baseball. Essentially, the more the club rests in your finger, outside of the palm, the more motion and flexibility you will have allowing you to access your body’s natural lever system.
Malaska again advises against the popular neutral grip position, saying you lose speed and leverage. Again, your hands should work like you’re swinging a bat, with the lead palm down so your back arm can push and accelerate the face of the club.
Here’s how it works. If you hold your club in your fingers with a strong grip and swing, the club will pull on your arm, twisting your body in a swinging motion, and squaring-up. But, if you do the same thing, with your club in the palm of your hand in a neutral grip, the club will pull, opening up the club, and limiting your body’s range of motion, thus limiting your capacity for speed. So, the primary takeaway is: your club must be resting in your fingers, with the lead hand folding over the club as if holding a baseball bat, to access your body’s full capacity for flexion and speed.