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Squaring The Club Face Explained

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Can't I Just Strengthen My Grip?

Players that struggle with an open clubface and a "flip" or "scoop" release will sometimes ask, "Why should I train the "motorcycle" if I can just strengthen my grip?" While the "motorcycle" pattern (shaft rotation) may feel a bit uncomfortable at first, especially for those who are used to playing with an open face, it requires less compensation later on. That is, the "motorcycle" closes the face AND moves the low point forward. On the other hand, strengthening your grip simply closes the face and may exacerbate an already inefficient low-point pattern. Typically, players who rely on a stronger grip will have to default to an excessive in-to-out path or an over-rotation of the body, both of which can hurt consistency and accuracy. 

Tags: Fundamentals, Poor Contact, Not Straight Enough, Early Extension, Set Up, Release, Member Question

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This concept video is answering the member question, can't I just strengthen my grip?

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So many golfers who come into the ball with an overly open club face like this and

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they scoop patterned to close it, kind of like this, will invariably ask, can't I just

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strengthen my grip?

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I don't like feeling the motorcycle or the shaft rotation.

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I'm going to talk through a little bit of yes, you can just close the face with shaft

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rotation by changing your grip.

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But the problem is if you also struggle with low point control, the motorcycle does

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two helpful things for you.

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It closes the face and moves the low point forward.

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If you just change the grip, all you do is change the face, you don't really change the

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low point.

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So what can happen is if you strengthen your grip, but you don't have a pattern of shaft

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rotation coming into the ball, then what will tend to happen is with this strut

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stronger grip, you will tend to over close it because you'll also have the shaft fairly

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vertical and you'll start to hit some left shots.

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And so then you've got a few different options for holding off the left shot.

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The best option, which is where I say yes, you can if you do these other things, the best

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option is if I have a stronger grip, then all I have to do is keep my body rotating

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and leave the club more behind.

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The body rotation will change the low point, move it forward so I can hit the ball

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solidly and I don't necessarily have to do a whole lot of the motorcycle feeling because

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I'm going from extension to less extension, not getting all the way into a flexion.

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But unfortunately that's not what most golfers do.

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What most golfers do is one of two things.

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When they get the grip overly strong, they'll do one of two things.

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They'll either hold the face open by swinging the path a little bit more into out with

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the arms, more low to high kind of like this and now they start picking the ball.

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That swinging the arms in out helps prevent closing the club face too much but it moves

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the low point backward.

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I start hitting picky shots and what'll happen is if I start swinging hard, then the

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club will tend to pass and now I hit really kind of sweeping pull draws.

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It's a hard pattern to play.

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The other options, that's more of the arms swinging it or holding off the face.

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The other option is more what the body will do.

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In order to delay the closing of the club face or to prevent the club face closing,

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they'll tend to go into more early extension kind of like this.

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That can cause shanks off the hazele or it can cause best case scenario is some of the

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same low point control issues of trying to hold off the wrist.

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Basically both of them, I've rotated the face closed and then both of them are trying to hold

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the face open by pushing the shaft vertical like this as opposed to delaying the club face

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closing or holding it open by getting more body rotation.

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So if you just want to strengthen your grip and focus on getting body rotation while monitoring

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that the path doesn't get too far outside in, that can be a fine solution.

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But the reason I'm an advocate of the shaffer rotation and more the motorcycle and the good

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arm release mechanics is it does two things. It helps square the club face and it

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gets the low point forward with really good arm extension or really good arc width on the way through.

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And that combination seems to be what I see as one of the most common traits among elite ball

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strikers is that the club is moving away from their chest as they're going through impact.

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And in order to do that you need to have you need to be preventing the club from reaching

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its widest point and if the wrist is going more towards extension or this elbow is starting

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to bend sooner or the club is passing your sternum. That typically means that you've already

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reached your maximum and you're going to tend to struggle a little bit more with low point control.

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So you can just strengthen your grip if you also add body rotation but if you want the best

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long term solution working on better arm mechanics has a great combo effect that will have a bigger

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impact on your game than just strengthening your grip. So this would be with more of a neutral grip

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and good arm mechanics. Kind of like that.

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And then this would be my version of a stronger grip with more of a hold off or less motorcycle movement

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but more body rotation.

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