Malaska Grip Series Part 3: How to Turn Your Best Golf Grip into Instinct
The ultimate goal when it comes to your golf grip is to learn what works and then turn it into a science, that way it will come naturally and won’t feel like work anymore.
“Grip and controlling the face is just instinct,” Rapsodo advisor, and former PGA Teacher Of the Year, Mike Malaska says. To achieve the correct grip, and to keep it, it takes practice. Malaska recommends using certain techniques and routines that can help you build-up that instinct you’re looking for.
To start, the method he advocates the most is the one-hand swing routine. Try taking a club and gripping it with your dominant hand only. Then practice swinging it, again only using that dominant hand, to catch the ball on the club’s face. Do this repeatedly, not overthinking it, using impulse as a guide.
Your body’s instinct is going to help you avoid some pitfalls, without you even having to try. For example, you’ll avoid turning your hand under the club because your body knows your wrist isn’t going to function correctly if you do that. You’re also going to avoid twisting your club face open and closed, because it’ll be too difficult to get the club face back in position to hit the ball, thus feeling out-of-whack and unnatural.
Practice listening to your body by simply swinging your dominant arm and letting your wrist naturally extend, running the club face into the ball. Pay attention to the feeling in your upper body when you do this.
Then, change to your less dominant hand, naturally your body (almost always) will strengthen its grip on the club, opening the wrist up to its most comfortable, and functionable, position.
Try swinging your club face into the ball again. If you do this on instinct, your body will avoid twisting the club. Instead guiding you to rest the handle in your fingers.
This will also encourage the use of your wrist’s lever system, your best natural resource when it comes to an effective swing.
Continue practicing this method: catching the ball on the club face, reverting back-and-forth between your right and left hands. Do this for an extended period of time to create your body’s natural grip. You’ll notice after a while gripping your clubs won’t take much thought, and this practice routine will help you produce more consistent and stable shots.
At the end of the day, your body knows what to do and you're going to hit the ball farther and more consistently if you lean into your natural resources to create smooth, reliable swings.
Studying your grip is one thing but overthinking it can cause choppy outcomes. Bottom line, practice what feels natural until it’s an instinct and, chances are, you’ll develop the established grip you need to make your golf game thrive.