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Importance of thumb position?

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Wondering if anyone can answer my question about thumb position and what difference it makes. I was hitting my drives really well with good carry and accuracy and then it tanked. I had no idea what i was doing wrong and why I started topping and popping up my drives. I knew based on research and from the marks on the crown of my driver that I must be coming in over the top with a steep downward angle causing the misses. I just couldn't figure out what was wrong. Today i finally got some range time as the American Golf run course near my office started the Players Club up again. I warmed up on the range and couldn't fix it and no surprise I had trouble off the tee during the round. Not sure if it was related but my mid to long irons were also shanking alot. I hit a few good drives during the round but mostly again tops and high pulls left. After the round I got back on the range as I was determined to fix this. Then something miraculous happened. I figured it out. Maybe it is just in my head but i realized that when i was hitting bad shots, my right thumb was tucked against my index finger on top of the grip. When i moved my thumb to a position where it is more open and on the left side of the grip, i was back to hitting amazing drives again. Does anyone know if this actually made a difference in my swing? I am playing a round tomorrow so I will try to remember the learning from today and apply it tomorrow. Just thought I would share this in case there are others out there suddenly struggling with their swing. Could it be as simple as thumb placement on the grip?


Driver : :callaway-small: Rogue SZ Evenflow 6.0 Stiff

Hybrids: :callaway-small: XR Project X Stiff (3&4)

Irons : :callaway-small: Mavrik True Temper Elevate 95 Stiff Steel (5-PW,AW)

Wedges : Bombtech 52,56,60

Putter : :taylormade-small:Spider Red

Bag : Datrek lightweight cart bag

Ball : :callaway-small: Chromesoft Truvis / Taylormade TP5 Pix

Rangefinder : TecTecTec DXLS

SoCal, USA

Right handed HDCP 20

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It could be the location of where the thumb sits on the grip more so than space between the thumb and finger. If you good golf grips you will see a lot of that the thumb and finger pinched together and from on top of the shaft to the off to side. You will even see some grips that have the other hand with space between the thumb and finger with many others pinched together

 

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Driver: Titleist 917D3 9.5 with Graphite Design MAD Pro 65g S

Wood: Titleist 917F2 with UST Mamiya Helium 5F4

Hybrid: Titleist 816H1 21 with Atmos Blue 85 S

Irons: Titleist 718 AP3 4i, 718 CB 5-6, MB 7-9 with KBS $ Taper 125

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Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

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Well the swing starts with the grip, so finger placement is definitely important.

If I am reading your description correctly, it sounds like you weakened your right hand grip. Conventional wisdom says a weaker grip leads to more fades, a stronger grip to more draws. However, the arms play as big of a role as the hands and when weakening or strengthening the hands, some people will also change their forearm position...

image.png.5186c861ea05af6012e152309d0df15c.png

 

You need to be mindful not to rotate the arms to create the strength of your grip. You just want to turn the wrists to create the angles. If you look at a proper golf setup, the elbows should point back towards the body (Pic on lower left). Hogan said both elbows should point to the hip. Unfortunately, often times when trying to take a stronger grip people will turn the hand from the shoulder. This makes the lead elbow point towards the target instead of the hip. The trail elbow may point more toward the belt than the hip. From here it is really easy to get too inside on the takeaway and to have the club face wide open. An in to out swing creates a big push fade, which makes you think you need to grip even stronger. Or the counter move is the over the top, steep descending blow that is hard to time. You'll likely see a two way miss. Point being, pay attention to your grip and hands and thumbs and the strength, but also look at your elbows so that you do not rotate your arms from the shoulder incorrectly. Elbows pointing back to the hips. You should be able clearly see the "Elbow Pit" or opposite side of the elbow. That space should not be pointing inward on either arm.

image.png.ff5f76d2c44ce7f6644d6c9eb4abf601.png

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  • Driver: :ping-small: G410 Plus 9*, Tensei Orange 60X
  • Hybrids::adams-small:  Super XTD 17* Hybrid Fubuki AX:callaway-small:,  Apex 20* Hybrid, AD-DI 85S
  • Irons: :srixon-small: U85 4I AD DI 95S, Z585 5-6, Z785 7-PW, Modus 120s
  • Wedges: :ping-small:: Glide 3.0 52, Modus 120x:taylormade-small:, Hi Toe 56 & 60, Modus 120x
  • Putter: :EVNROLL:  ER3 @ 33"
  • RH in Phoenix, AZ

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On 6/11/2020 at 11:21 AM, scooterhd2 said:

Well the swing starts with the grip, so finger placement is definitely important.

If I am reading your description correctly, it sounds like you weakened your right hand grip. Conventional wisdom says a weaker grip leads to more fades, a stronger grip to more draws. However, the arms play as big of a role as the hands and when weakening or strengthening the hands, some people will also change their forearm position...

image.png.5186c861ea05af6012e152309d0df15c.png

 

You need to be mindful not to rotate the arms to create the strength of your grip. You just want to turn the wrists to create the angles. If you look at a proper golf setup, the elbows should point back towards the body (Pic on lower left). Hogan said both elbows should point to the hip. Unfortunately, often times when trying to take a stronger grip people will turn the hand from the shoulder. This makes the lead elbow point towards the target instead of the hip. The trail elbow may point more toward the belt than the hip. From here it is really easy to get too inside on the takeaway and to have the club face wide open. An in to out swing creates a big push fade, which makes you think you need to grip even stronger. Or the counter move is the over the top, steep descending blow that is hard to time. You'll likely see a two way miss. Point being, pay attention to your grip and hands and thumbs and the strength, but also look at your elbows so that you do not rotate your arms from the shoulder incorrectly. Elbows pointing back to the hips. You should be able clearly see the "Elbow Pit" or opposite side of the elbow. That space should not be pointing inward on either arm.

image.png.ff5f76d2c44ce7f6644d6c9eb4abf601.png

Thanks for this I think I may be turning my arm over a bit too much from the shoulder and swinging steep and over the top. 


Driver : :callaway-small: Rogue SZ Evenflow 6.0 Stiff

Hybrids: :callaway-small: XR Project X Stiff (3&4)

Irons : :callaway-small: Mavrik True Temper Elevate 95 Stiff Steel (5-PW,AW)

Wedges : Bombtech 52,56,60

Putter : :taylormade-small:Spider Red

Bag : Datrek lightweight cart bag

Ball : :callaway-small: Chromesoft Truvis / Taylormade TP5 Pix

Rangefinder : TecTecTec DXLS

SoCal, USA

Right handed HDCP 20

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If you read Hogan's Five Lessons he talks about the right thumb and index finger as they relate to the golf swing - specifically, that they should be inactive (may not be the best descriptor) during the swing except for specific shots requiring more touch. I'd argue it's more player dependent than that, but if you want to hear from one of the game's greatest ball strikers there you go.

I've played good golf with the thumb and index finger basically pressed together as well as keeping them separated with the thumb on the left side of the shaft. My preference however, is to keep the finger and thumb separated while maintaining a grip somewhere between neutral and strong. I've found that doing this allows the club to basically set itself at the top of the swing which gives me a good cue to start the downswing - this has been especially helpful with bunker shots and flops where soft hands are required.

Here's a look at each grip from a first-person perspective:

IMG_1734.jpg.c9d4fe75375b24e65f45518c6cf1f453.jpg

 

IMG_1735.jpg.1e11cc7e011f0361506cab034b50fe45.jpg

 

Seeing as I'm holding the club with one hand and taking a picture with the other, the angles may not be the best but you get the idea.


Driver: Mizuno ST190 9.5* Fujikura Atmos Blue 5S
Fairway Wood: Mizuno ST190 15* Fujikura Atmos Blue 6S
Hyrbrid: Mizuno CLK 19* Fujikura Speeder EVO HB
Irons: Nike Vapor Pro Combo (4-PW) Dynamic Gold Pro S300
Wedges: Bridgestone Tour B XW-1 50*, 54*, & 58* Nippon Modus 3 105
Putter: Scotty Cameron Futura 6m 33"
Ball: Bridgestone Tour B XS
Bag: 2017 Titleist Players 5 Stand Bag

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35 minutes ago, TR1PTIK said:

If you read Hogan's Five Lessons he talks about the right thumb and index finger as they relate to the golf swing - specifically, that they should be inactive (may not be the best descriptor) during the swing except for specific shots requiring more touch. I'd argue it's more player dependent than that, but if you want to hear from one of the game's greatest ball strikers there you go.

I've played good golf with the thumb and index finger basically pressed together as well as keeping them separated with the thumb on the left side of the shaft. My preference however, is to keep the finger and thumb separated while maintaining a grip somewhere between neutral and strong. I've found that doing this allows the club to basically set itself at the top of the swing which gives me a good cue to start the downswing - this has been especially helpful with bunker shots and flops where soft hands are required.

Here's a look at each grip from a first-person perspective:

IMG_1734.jpg.c9d4fe75375b24e65f45518c6cf1f453.jpg

 

IMG_1735.jpg.1e11cc7e011f0361506cab034b50fe45.jpg

 

Seeing as I'm holding the club with one hand and taking a picture with the other, the angles may not be the best but you get the idea.

He talks about using the last 3 fingers on the right hand and the middle two of the left hands (for rh golfers) and iirc he talked about hitting balls with thumbs and index finger not on the club. 


Driver: Titleist 917D3 9.5 with Graphite Design MAD Pro 65g S

Wood: Titleist 917F2 with UST Mamiya Helium 5F4

Hybrid: Titleist 816H1 21 with Atmos Blue 85 S

Irons: Titleist 718 AP3 4i, 718 CB 5-6, MB 7-9 with KBS $ Taper 125

Wedges: Vokey SM7 46/50/54/60 with DG s200

Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

Ball: Titleist Prov1

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12 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

He talks about using the last 3 fingers on the right hand and the middle two of the left hands (for rh golfers) and iirc he talked about hitting balls with thumbs and index finger not on the club. 

Unless my copy was revised from the original text (quite possible since I own the book, not the magazine articles), this is only mentioned as a "drill" to rehearse the proper grip (hitting balls is not discussed). 

"In this connection, an extremely beneficial exercise is to practice (perhaps five minutes daily for a week) is to grip the club and swing it with the right forefinger and thumb entirely off the shaft. This gives a golfer a wonderful sense of having just one corporate hand on the club. This, of course is the ideal. When you complete your grip, try to feel that the tips of the forefinger and thumb are hardly on the club..." (pg. 30)

"And a final word about those potential swing-wreckers, the right forefinger and thumb. While the tips of the forefinger and thumb do serve the advanced golfer as his finesse fingers, learning to use them only for touch in striking the ball requires some training." (pg. 29)

To the OP, if you do not currently own Hogan's Five Lessons I highly recommend it. I do not believe that there is one right grip for all golfers, but if you ever find yourself questioning your grip this is a great book to get you back on track. I have yet to read in any magazine article or see on any instructor's YouTube channel a more thorough description of the golf grip - quite simply, Hogan's words on the subject are borderline poetic.

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Driver: Mizuno ST190 9.5* Fujikura Atmos Blue 5S
Fairway Wood: Mizuno ST190 15* Fujikura Atmos Blue 6S
Hyrbrid: Mizuno CLK 19* Fujikura Speeder EVO HB
Irons: Nike Vapor Pro Combo (4-PW) Dynamic Gold Pro S300
Wedges: Bridgestone Tour B XW-1 50*, 54*, & 58* Nippon Modus 3 105
Putter: Scotty Cameron Futura 6m 33"
Ball: Bridgestone Tour B XS
Bag: 2017 Titleist Players 5 Stand Bag

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1 hour ago, TR1PTIK said:

Unless my copy was revised from the original text (quite possible since I own the book, not the magazine articles), this is only mentioned as a "drill" to rehearse the proper grip (hitting balls is not discussed). 

"In this connection, an extremely beneficial exercise is to practice (perhaps five minutes daily for a week) is to grip the club and swing it with the right forefinger and thumb entirely off the shaft. This gives a golfer a wonderful sense of having just one corporate hand on the club. This, of course is the ideal. When you complete your grip, try to feel that the tips of the forefinger and thumb are hardly on the club..." (pg. 30)

"And a final word about those potential swing-wreckers, the right forefinger and thumb. While the tips of the forefinger and thumb do serve the advanced golfer as his finesse fingers, learning to use them only for touch in striking the ball requires some training." (pg. 29)

To the OP, if you do not currently own Hogan's Five Lessons I highly recommend it. I do not believe that there is one right grip for all golfers, but if you ever find yourself questioning your grip this is a great book to get you back on track. I have yet to read in any magazine article or see on any instructor's YouTube channel a more thorough description of the golf grip - quite simply, Hogan's words on the subject are borderline poetic.

I maybe mis remembering who said it. I’ll go back to the book to see for sure. 

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Driver: Titleist 917D3 9.5 with Graphite Design MAD Pro 65g S

Wood: Titleist 917F2 with UST Mamiya Helium 5F4

Hybrid: Titleist 816H1 21 with Atmos Blue 85 S

Irons: Titleist 718 AP3 4i, 718 CB 5-6, MB 7-9 with KBS $ Taper 125

Wedges: Vokey SM7 46/50/54/60 with DG s200

Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

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9 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

I maybe mis remembering who said it. I’ll go back to the book to see for sure. 

It's possible he could have said something to the effect further on in the book. The grip portion is practically imprinted in my brain though, I've read that chapter numerous times as it is how I rebuilt my grip several years ago. I give a significant amount of credit to Hogan's description of the fundamentals for helping me break 80 for the first.

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Driver: Mizuno ST190 9.5* Fujikura Atmos Blue 5S
Fairway Wood: Mizuno ST190 15* Fujikura Atmos Blue 6S
Hyrbrid: Mizuno CLK 19* Fujikura Speeder EVO HB
Irons: Nike Vapor Pro Combo (4-PW) Dynamic Gold Pro S300
Wedges: Bridgestone Tour B XW-1 50*, 54*, & 58* Nippon Modus 3 105
Putter: Scotty Cameron Futura 6m 33"
Ball: Bridgestone Tour B XS
Bag: 2017 Titleist Players 5 Stand Bag

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I believe that placing the thumb of the lower hand on the top of the grip hinders the flexing of the wrist of the same hand, thus shortening the backswing to some degree. It affects people differently though and the feel is very different.

BT

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Well the swing starts with the grip, so finger placement is definitely important.
If I am reading your description correctly, it sounds like you weakened your right hand grip. Conventional wisdom says a weaker grip leads to more fades, a stronger grip to more draws. However, the arms play as big of a role as the hands and when weakening or strengthening the hands, some people will also change their forearm position...
image.png.5186c861ea05af6012e152309d0df15c.png
 
You need to be mindful not to rotate the arms to create the strength of your grip. You just want to turn the wrists to create the angles. If you look at a proper golf setup, the elbows should point back towards the body (Pic on lower left). Hogan said both elbows should point to the hip. Unfortunately, often times when trying to take a stronger grip people will turn the hand from the shoulder. This makes the lead elbow point towards the target instead of the hip. The trail elbow may point more toward the belt than the hip. From here it is really easy to get too inside on the takeaway and to have the club face wide open. An in to out swing creates a big push fade, which makes you think you need to grip even stronger. Or the counter move is the over the top, steep descending blow that is hard to time. You'll likely see a two way miss. Point being, pay attention to your grip and hands and thumbs and the strength, but also look at your elbows so that you do not rotate your arms from the shoulder incorrectly. Elbows pointing back to the hips. You should be able clearly see the "Elbow Pit" or opposite side of the elbow. That space should not be pointing inward on either arm.
image.png.ff5f76d2c44ce7f6644d6c9eb4abf601.png


I suffered from this for almost a year: kept making my grip stronger, and hitting bigger push fades. Went to another instructor for lessons and he spotted my elbow immediately.
It still amazes me how ill revert back the instant I’m not paying attention to it...


Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

 

24CC2B3B-0E46-4165-97D1-F1CA4C5041C8.png

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