Matt Carrothers, Director of Training,
Big Sky Golf And Country Club
Squamish, British Columbia, Canada
One of the most difficult adjustments golfers must make is when changing from the grip they have been using to a more functional grip.
Once the correct positioning has been shown to them, the discomfort they experience is usually unbearable. Within days or even hours, the player has reverted back to what is more comfortable. This provides a common dilemma for instructors who are torn between changing someone's grip or leaving it as is.
The important element to overcome is not the new positioning of the fingers and palms, but the break-in period when the muscles are having to adjust to an unfamiliar feeling. This can be well-illustrated by holding an object such as a baseball bat, tennis racquet, or hockey stick.
If one of these objects is something you have rarely held before, try moving the positioning of your hands and fingers around them. Chances are it won't feel all that awkward no matter how you are holding them. However, when you do the same exercise with the familiar object of a golf club, you will notice even the most subtle changes.
Therefore, the greatest factor in making a change is the time factor. Try to hold the club with the new grip away from the golf course or diving range as often as possible. Hold the club while watching TV or on the phone and adjust to the new feeling gradually.
Forcing yourself to overcome discomfort while playing golf is the hardest time to achieve success because at that time your mind is so focussed on results.
Relax and give yourself a chance to grow into a grip change.