Or should I say “Never grip it in the Palms”? The old company Natural Golf made a big deal about holding the club in the palms of the hands. We occasionally run into golfers who are still convinced Moe held the club in the palms of his hands. The fact is that Moe did not hold the club in the palms of his hands, and used an overlapping pinky from the time he started playing until 1994 – his entire career. But there is more to understand about the grip and why the palms of the hands are the least of the issue.
First make sure you understand that the hands are simply “clamps” that hold the golf club. They alone can not move the club. What moves the golf club is the wrists and arms. Therefore, how you place your hands on the club is more relative to orientation, rotation and the ability to use the wrists. This is what we stess in our golf schools – that hand placement is a key component to using the wrists. If your hands are placed on top, the wrists and arms must rotate into the backswing – often opening the club face causing slices. If you hands are rotated too much below the club, the hands rotate – closing the club face causing hooks. These are just a few examples of grip problems.
What we observe in our schools are students who have their hands opposing each other where they simply can not function together. What this means is that the wrists can not hinge correctly due to improper hand placement. This was the problem with the “Palm” placement of the club – it inhibits wrist movement causing less club movement and slower swing speeds. Many who tried the palm grip of Natural Golf complained about how it shortened their distances. This makes complete sense since holding it in the palms of the hands stops hand movement and hand movement is key component to club speed.
Also, contrary to old Natural Golf beliefs, the palm grip does not constitute the single plane. Proper rotation (orientation) of the hands does. This means that you can overlap and easily address the club on the Single Plane – just as Moe did for 50 years.
The proper grip is to get both hand correctly oriented – so the wrists can work in harmony allowing the club and club face to move correctly where hand and arm speed can be produced. If you are having trouble with your speed, check your grip.