Last week at GOLF’s Top 100 Teachers Summit at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz., a few of us staffers spent entire days asking the game’s best minds for driving tips, putting fixes, mental cues and more.
The goal through it all is to make you, the weekend golfer, a better player. One question we liked to ask teachers was a softball: What’s one bad habit recreational golfers need to kick to shoot lower scores?
Don Sargent, the director of instruction at Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio, wasted no time answering.
“It’s very simple,” he said. “The grip.”
Luckily, he elaborated.
“I teach 1,800 to 2,000 lessons a year, and I fix 1,750 grips,” Sargent said. “Because the grip controls the club face. And if the club face is pointed in the wrong direction, especially an open position, which is what most weekend golfers have, they hit it short, and they hit it crooked, and that’s the worst combination you can have in golf.”
Here’s Sargent’s go-to fix for your grip.
“Your left hand should be able to see a minimum of two knuckles [when looking down at the club], and both these left and right hands (the two-plus visible knuckles and the V created by your right thumb and index finger) need to point somewhere near your right shoulder,” he said.
Here’s the left hand…
Then the right hand…
“This is strong, center hit, straights and draws.”
Don’t Do This
“This is open-faced or weak. You can’t see two knuckles and with this grip or you’ll hit weak slices.”