While straying from the main topic for just a moment, I wish to touch a bit more on one specific feature of one’s gripping style in continuation of my last post. The farther apart one’s hands are placed on an object when swinging it, the more one’s hands will work independently of one another and the more active one’s hands can be during the swing. Given swinging the exact same implement, it might be swung with more speed when the hands are separated a little more, but better coordination and skill among those hands are required in order to accomplish that. For a golf grip, an overlapping style will generally result in the hands being closest together on a golf club, an interlocking-style will place them just a bit further apart, and a ten-fingered baseball grip will separate them still more. The gripping length difference between the shortest of these hand positions (Vardon grip) and the longest (baseball grip) is only equal to about the width of one’s pinkie finger. Yet at the speeds with which golf clubs are swung (even for most slower-swinging golfers), such seemingly small differences can still result in substantial swing and/or ball travel changes. This can easily require the same golfer to need a different grip size depending on what gripping style is used. (When utilizing the prevailing and static [but convenient] grip-on-a-stick or equivalent method [like a hand-sizing chart] to fit one’s grip size, the identical size would be chosen).
This same phenomenon is also related to why so many players coming from other sports often comment about how small golf grips generally seem to them. I was no exception when first switching from baseball. This especially happens when such players are not skilled at taking a “traditional” golf grip and instead take the more natural baseball-style grip they are commonly used to. With a ten-fingered gripping style, a standard size golf grip typically is markedly too small for most players. However, the identical size would generally immediately be a better fit for those same players if they were skilled at taking an overlapping golf grip. And there are also other highly relevant factors going into the best “customized” grip size choice for any given player that I will discuss in the future. Given the extreme importance of grip size (in any activity), if you still do not recognize that the golf clubfitting industry as a whole is the worst in all of sports partly because of superficially applied, uneducated concepts like the infamous grip-on-a-stick method, you will soon. Additional, often right-in-front-of-one’s-nose details that most past clubfitting (and swing) advisors either chose not to disclose or were not capable of disclosing, will be revealed here before long. Concepts that have been preposterously “complexitized” due to a presumptuous and often elitist attitude of golf swing difficulty will be rectified so that golfers, swing teachers, clubfitters, and their teachers might comprehend better. This will help end a decades-long, rather embarrassing performance streak, particularly by the clubfitting trade, of not being able to acceptably improve golfers’ scores.
To that end, back to determining the true DNA of one’s swing, thus far I have primarily discussed removing all golf clubs from one’s hands during the process, which is fine as far as it goes. But in probing deeper into the theory of determining one’s true root golf swing, not only do the clubs or substitute devices have to be unconditionally eliminated, but all of one’s clothes (another aspect of one’s “equipment”) must be discarded as well. Now try to hold off laughing too much until we first take look at this issue in a serious, scientific manner. Starting with a foundational element influencing the way one takes a stance and/or swings, suppose for a moment that you are required to change your golf shoes for every stroke you make. Even if they happen to be the identical styles and sizes, I am sure you have experienced that no two pairs of shoes are ever constructed identically and/or perfectly and fit exactly the same when new. Then from there, each pair breaks in and wears differently depending upon the particular conditions each pair is subjected to. Whenever I practice or play and decide to change shoes during the session for whatever reason(s), I ordinarily need to swing multiple times before becoming fully acclimated to change that is virtually always noted, even if apparently minor. This alone would cause distinguishable swing consistency problems if I were required to change my golf shoes every stroke (even when making one or two practice swings beforehand and even when swinging without any clubs).
And golf shoes are just the beginning. Whether it is pants, shirts, sweaters, etc., where one garment might be a little tighter or baggier, sewn differently in any given location(s), layered on top of one another, etc., there is essentially no limit to the number of effects that can occur due to the result(s) of the apparel one wears. An imagination is not even needed when contemplating the potential difference(s) in one’s setup and/or swing when wearing just short pants and a short-sleeved shirt for one swing, then putting on multiple layers of clothes including two pairs of socks and a windbreaker only for the following stroke, then next changing into a newer, stiffer pair of golf shoes for just a single swing, and so on. Critically needed details of what one’s root golf swing truly comprises, and consequently crucial clubfitting particulars based on one’s root swing, would be all but impossible to acquire under such circumstances. Yet somehow, an essentially identical situation has always existed when continually switching between individual golf clubs. Because of this highly unique but “conventional” characteristic of golfing, it is routinely accepted as an unwritten regulation that inescapably-inconsistent and/or ill-fitting clubs must always be present and considered an inseparable part of one’s inherent golf swing, no matter how such clubs affect one’s true swing DNA. Decoding One’s True Golf Swing DNA continues next time.