A golf coach I know of once said, “Don’t let an instructor change just one thing. Everything we do is a compensation for something else so if you change one thing, then there must be at least one more thing you change.”
Which brings me to a recent Mark Crossfield video blog titled “Over Drawing Get Me Out of Here,” in which he analyzes an unidentified player’s swing in order to stop him from over-hooking the ball.
Crossfield, the YourGolfGuru.com guy with an active channel on YouTube, has a television-style show that airs on his page.
At the three-minute mark, Crossfield begins his assessment and diagnosis of the player’s swing that results in all too frequent hooks. Since he’s addressing the anonymous player he says, “Let’s start by talking about your grip.”
While the player’s grip is hard to see in the phone video of his swing, Crossfield is certain that’s where the root of the problem lies. “Look down at your hand and I reckon you see four knuckles,” he begins. “What I want you to see is three knuckles or even two-and-a-half knuckles with the right hand sitting on top of the club rather than underneath.”
But simply changing the grip, Crossfield says, won’t make you play better golf. “It will make you play worse golf unless you do some other things as well.”
“What I want you to see is three knuckles or even two-and-a-half knuckles with the right hand sitting on top of the club rather than underneath.” —Mark Crossfield
That’s because changing the grip changes the angle of the clubface which means the player has to make adjustments in his swing path as he comes through the hitting area otherwise he’ll continue to have problems with ball flight.
“If I change the grip but continue to deliver the handle high and push it forward, the clubface will be starting the ball out to the right and you’ll hit blocked cuts; you’re going to hit worse shots.”
When the player corrects the grip then, he or she isn’t making a swing change. Really, they’re completing phase one of a three-part golf swing make-over.
For this particular swing problem, the uncontrollable hook, Crossfield says, “You have to do three things: change the grip, change the swing path so you feel like you’re hitting it left, and feel like you’re flicking the club head forward so that you’re getting it to catch up to the handle at impact.” Do those three things correctly and in sequence as he demonstrates and Crossfield says, “You will hit very different golf shots.”
3 Keys to Fixing the Hook (according to Crossfield):
- Change the grip
- Change the swing path
- Change the release pattern
At that point of the video, Crossfield takes a three-minute digression to go to the bank on a rainy day and answer a couple of viewer questions unrelated to over-hooking. At the eight-minute mark, he comes back to the topic du jour with an option most golfers with a bad grip would happily consider.
“If you want to keep your grip the way it is, and there are world class players who grip it that way, but they often choose to play it this way…” and he begins another demonstration, this time using an upstairs banister railing as a teaching aid of how to hit a good shot with a bad grip.
“If I had to play golf with your grip, I’d do this,” he explains. “I would aim a little bit left and open up my stance. I would know my [club] face has a tendency to point a little bit left so I’d try to get my [swing] path to go a fraction left of it.”
Here he demonstrates the swing and how he brings his hands in lower – below the banister railing – then turns his body to the left on the follow through, almost like he’s throwing a heavy medicine ball.
“It will be a very different feeling. It will get rid of the over-turns because in effect you want a feeling of holding that left wrist in it’s cupped position. It’s more of a Zack Johnson way of hitting the golf ball.”
Crossfield takes questions from Twitter so if you want his take on your golf swing, try reaching him at @4golfonline.