Split The Grip
We’ve all experienced this one time or another. Midway through the round, after hitting what seems to be a decent number of fairways, the ball starts to slice. And not only does the ball begin creeping to the right, the slice becomes more and more pronounced with each swing. This then causes the body to tense up and limit the needed rotation of the hands through the impact zone. Now that’s an awful thought, isn’t it?
Well, if you’ve suffered through a “slice attack,” here’s an immediate and simple remedy. To help diagram this simple drill, my daughter Carly Ray Goldstein has stepped in. Carly, who’s no stranger to winning her fair share of junior events (she’s won more than 40 junior tournaments at the age of 11!), isn’t immune to a slice, either. But with this simple drill, she’s found a way to get back on track and in the fairway in a hurry.
First, get a hold of your driver. Set up as if you’re going to make a normal practice swing, only lower your right hand on the grip, about two to three inches below your upper hand. This will cause you to have a split grip. Now, in a smooth and slow motion, simulate a three-quarter golf swing and pay attention to these three critical positions.
Position 1. On the backswing, once the arms reach chest high, the right arm should bend with the elbow pointing inward, and the left arm is to remain straight. The shaft should be pointing vertically. These three lines should form a triangle, between your left forearm, the shaft and your right forearm. See the photo for help.
Position 2. Through the impact zone, the hands should be rolling to a closed position. Because of the split grip, the closing of the clubface will feel more pronounced, which is the desired effect to counteract that slice! At impact, the lower hand (Carly’s right hand) is directly below her left, indicating her hands are in the process of closing the clubface through the hitting zone.
Position 3. About halfway through the followthrough, the hands should act as a mirror image of the hands in Position 1, where the forearms and shaft once again form a triangle. If they don’t, that means you’re not releasing and rolling the hands properly! Practice this drill as often as needed to counteract a slice, and don’t forget it come time to battle the effects of an unexpected banana ball.
Barry Goldstein is a professional golf teacher at Inverrary CC in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.