As paradoxical as it may sound, relaxed, well-played golf is a "pressure game!" Pressure, as properly applied by the fingers as they grip the club shaft, is in my opinion one of the fundamental factors underlying good golf. In fact, the position of the hands on the club is the principal key to control, and only through control can a golfer rise above the dub stage.
How much pressure? How applied? Well, the pressure should be that amount that provides a "feel" of the club without producing tenseness. It should be applied by the last three fingers of the left hand. Or to put it another way, the hands are not supposed to be limp on the club but in a position where they feel ready to do their work: to act as the swivel of the swing, to control the takeaway as the club starts on its backswing, to start the downmove on the downswing.
The proper grip—meaning that the pressure of the fingers is right as well as the position they occupy on the shaft—permits the all-important cocking of the wrists at the top of the swing, eliminating tenseness in the wrists and forearms. It also tends to produce a straight but not unnaturally stiff left arm. It is worth your while to get this grip fundamental right, for it is the foundation on which all the other actions are built.
from ED DUDLEY, Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Ga.
NEXT WEEK'S PRO: SHELLEY MAYFIELD ON THE RIGHT SIDE