Thursday, July 31, 2014

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Power Thumb Grip

by Joe Davidson

Power Thumb Grip

Top Hand Grip (The Left Hand Grip for Right Handed Golfers.)
The top hand PowerThumb Grip is a key element of the Symple Swing because it allows you to keep your club on-plane with the clubface square all through the swing. The top hand grip is significantly different from a traditional grip. It does not hold the club in all the fingers. The top hand and forearm are in a completely different orientation from that of a traditional golf grip. It is NOT a strong grip. It is a completely different way of gripping the club. We call it the “PowerThumb Grip.” It is a flat wrested grip. The “flat wrist” refers to the back of the hand being flat (or aligned) with the wrist throughout the swing)

Advantages of the Power Thumb grip

Keeping the club face square to the swing plane is a huge improvement over the traditional grip. When you use the Power Thumb grip you don’t have to open the club on the backswing and then struggle to get the club face back to square again on the downswing. Correctly opening and closing the club face requires great timing and coordination. That’ s fine one day when “you’re one” then then terrible the next day when your coordination is not so sharp and the ball is flying off in all directions. The Power Thumb is a much simple grip which keeps the club face square to the swing plane on the backswing and the downswing. Our simulator testing has shown the Simple Swing reduces your shot dispersion pattern by 50%. That means if you normally spray the ball between 30 yards right and 30 yards left then with Simple Swing your balls will only be going between 15 yards right and 15 yards left. That alone will pretty much keep you out of the woods and mostly in the short grass. No other golf swing’s grip including grips of the traditional golf swing, natural golf grip, heard grip, graves golf grip or any other grip can keep the club face square like we do.

How To Do The Power Thumb Grip

1. Extend your left arm down again with your elbow joint on-plane. Grab the club in a pinching motion between your thumb and index finger. The back of your hand (near your index finger) will point almost straight up (12 o’clock position).

Power Thumb grip

Power Thumb Grip - Thumb At 3 o'clock

Club in middle of palm up against the thumb and thumb pad

Club in middle of palm up against the thumb and thumb pad

2. You should feel a slight groove forming at the base of your thumb, where your palm joins your wrist. The grip of your club will go in that groove

The club goes right up the middle of the palm with the grip pressing against the whole thumb (thumb and thumb pad)

The club goes right up the middle of the palm with the grip pressing against the whole thumb (thumb and thumb pad)

The hand is turned here showing the whole thumb (thumb and thumb pad at the base of the thumb) positioned up against the grip

The hand is turned here showing the whole thumb (thumb and thumb pad at the base of the thumb) positioned up against the grip

Your thumb and the large pad at the base of your thumb should be against the grip at the 2 o’clock to 3 o’clock position
(for a right handed golfer) on the back side (away from the target) of the grip. The pad at the base of your top hand index
finger should be right on the top of the shaft.

The top thumb fits in the groove of the bottom hand

The top thumb fits in the groove of the bottom hand

Then you let your fingers grab the club to hold it securely. It’s okay to have a small gap between the base of your little
finger of your top hand and the grip.

3. The left thumb (for a right handed player) and the golf club travel back “on-plane” during the backswing and it is also
“on-plane” during the downswing.

BOTTOM HAND Grip (The Right Hand Grip for Right Handed Golfers)

A two finger overlap grip is strongly recommended although other bottom grips can be used if used with the “pinch”
modification.

The “Pinch”
With all the grips it is very important that the thumb and index finger of the bottom hand are “pinched” together. The
fingerprint pad (opposite the thumb nail) of your bottom hand thumb should be resting against the fingerprint pad of the
bottom hand index finger. You are in effect pinching your thumb and first finger together around the club. The purpose of
this “pinch” modification is to slightly weaken the tendency of the bottom hand to tense up and overpower the top hand
and roll it over closing the clubface at impact.

The top thumb fits in the groove of the bottom hand

The top thumb fits in the groove of the bottom hand and the beginning of "the pinch"

Note The "Pinch" With The Two Fingered Overlap Grip

Note The "Pinch" With The Two Fingered Overlap Grip

Put your top hand on the club first.

When you take your grip the club is directly in-line with your forearm

When you take your grip the club is directly in-line with your forearm

Both hands on the club.

Both hands on the club with the Power Thumb grip

Both hands on the club with the Power Thumb grip

If you have any questions about the Power Thumb grip please feel free to submit the questions through our Simple Golf helpdesk system at http://www.SimpleGolf.com/helpdesk That’s actually the quickest way to ask a question and get a  prompt response because everything is tracked. We get so much e-mail (most of it spam) that sometimes I can miss an e-mail but that doesn’t happen with the helpdesk. You can also call us directly at 203-794-4900.

The History Of The Power Thumb Grip

When developing Simple Swing we tested all kinds of different ways to grip the club. We were looking for something simple yet powerful. One of the things I noticed was that when I asked a student to do the old drill where you turn the club upside down grab the shaft just under the club head with your leading (or front) hand and swing the shaft with one hand, that they often grabbed the club with their thumb in the 2 o’clock to 3 o’clock position behind the club. They did this despite the fact their normal grip position was keeping their thumb up near the 12 o’clock position.

I repeated testing this many times with students using an upside down club or a 36 inch dowel rod. At this point I noticed that the students kept the whole length of their thumb, from the top of the thumb right down to the pad at the base of the thumb, in contact with the rod/shaft.  Traditional golf thinking always suggested that keeping the club in the fingers (rather than the palm) was the best way to generate club head speed. Yet our testing was finding that holding the club  or the dowel in their palm with the whole thumb against the shaft repeatedly give faster swing times. When we asked the students to put their thumb in the traditional golf grip position with their thumbs near 12 o’clock they found they couldn’t swing the club anywhere near as fast.

Doing some quick testing indicated that everyone was putting their thumb in this unusual position because it allowed them to swing the club much faster.  Next we had them try swinging a club and hitting a rubber tee (club right side up now) with just their lead hand with the thumb in the 2 o’clock to three o’clock position. Again they could swing the club significantly faster with their thumb in a 2 o’clock to 3 o’clock position. (Note: The ideal thumb position for an individual can vary from 2 o’clock to 3 o’clock because of differences in anatomy and flexibility.

When we continued having students swinging the club with their thumbs in the 2 o’clock to 3 o’clock position with one arm and then putting the bottom hand on the grip we discovered something amazing. The students didn’t need to open the club face on the backswing and close it on the downswing. That made the whole swing much simpler because it eliminated all the timing and coordination necessary to open the club face on the backswing and then try to close the club face and square the club face up at impact.

With the whole thumb (thumb and thumb pad) up against the grip and the thumb in the 2 o’clock to 3 o’clock position (now referred to as the Power Thumb position) the club face stayed square to the swing plane on the backswing and the downswing. This made the swing much simpler. It took much less timing and coordination to make a good swing.

Next, we tested this on the range and with swing analyzers. The first thing we found was that the student’s shot dispersion patterns shrunk by 50%. We checked that about a dozen times before we believed it. Then the students noticed they weren’t slicing anymore. This was because the Power Thumb grip prevents the club from opening through impact.

After some range practice the students next took the Power Thumb Grip to the course. The results held true. They sprayed the ball much, much less and they pretty much never sliced so they were delighted as their scores started dropping. That also started reporting that they were losing many fewer golf balls. At that point it was obvious to all that the Power Thumb Grip was something important that really helped golfers.

If you’d like to make any comments about the Power Thumb grip you can do that below in the comment section.

Joe Davidson
Simple Golf

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Robert

I like that you did a observation in how people did things and the story.
I cant do the thumbgrip with the thumb on the shaft, as this hurts my thumb so I just put it on the side a little and that works well for me.

Just have to make sure I dont rotate the left hand but that havent been any concern for me as far.

Reply

Joe Davidson

Hi Robert,

On the side a little is fine. Moving from the 2 o’clock to 3 o’clock position towards the top does lose a little of the Power Thumb Grip advantage but it definitely still does work. We’re all a little different and sometimes because of anatomy or injuries we do have to make compensations.

Joe Davidson
Simple Golf

Reply

John

I have near-zero mobility in the thumb joints nearest the palms, so I’m interested in seeing how the power thumb grip would work for me.

Reply

Joe Davidson

Hi John,

I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised that the Power Thumb Grip will work with very little thumb cock. Everyone is different but I think you will find that it works well for you.

Joe Davidson
Simple Golf

Reply

Tom

Can you give a little more detail on how to put your lead arm elbow joint on-plane. Thanks.

Reply

Joe Davidson

Here are the directions for pointing your elbow at the target so it will “hinge on-plane”:

Square the club face first. The shaft of the club shouldn’t change when you turn your elbow.

To practice the rotation of your elbow before you grab the club try this: Stand in front of a kitchen counter or desk. Put your palm flat on the counter top. Then not moving your shoulder and not moving your palm rotate your elbow to the left so it would be facing the target. This should teach you that your elbow can be rotated independently of your shoulder or your hand.

When you actually are going to rotate your elbow in your stance you may find it helpful to just hold your left hand a little tighter in your right hand kind bracing it to make it easier to rotate the elbow. Also when you rotate your elbow it will be much easier if you pre-bend your elbow just a little bit first.

The goal is to rotate you elbow so if it does bend (or hinge) it will bend on the swing plane AND THEREFORE THE CLUB WILL STAY ON-PLANE. If you bend your elbow and your elbow is NOT oriented to bend on-plane then bending it will take your club off-plane on the backswing and you will have to manipulate on the downswing to get it back on-plane. Now that can be done but it (many of the pros do it) but it takes a lot of coordination and timing to do it consistently If you’re a pro and you’ve practice this move for decades (think Jim Furyk) that fine. The average golfer doesn’t have a prayer of coordinating those manipulations on the downswing consistently.

I hope this answers your question. If it doesn’t please feel free to ask again.

Joe Davidson
Simple Golf
203-794-4900

Reply

esmoon

Hi Joe, can you explain any of the other bottom grips that can be used. The two finger overlap grip hurts my fingers.

Thanks,
Eddie

Reply

Joe Davidson

Hi Eddie.

Next I’d suggest trying the one fingered interlock grip. Interlock the little finger of the bottom hand in between the index finger and middle finger of the top hand. Try that grip and let me know the results.

Joe Davidson
Simple Golf

Reply

esmoon

Hi Joe, this worked perfect. Felt very comfortable and my finger didn’t get sore after hitting a bucket of balls. Plus with the 2 finger overlap grip it felt like the club was going to fly out of my hand. This caused me to tighten up my hands. With the interlock I have a lot less tension in my hands and arms. Results were very good.

Thanks,
Eddie

Reply

roy mcdaniel

i have been using a “square to square” for a long time(about 2 years)..im a single digit handicapper..but i tend to hook or hit tremendous draws from time to time..almost like Billy Casper used to do(i think it was him)…..im thinking because my right hand is probably too strong,,,, or ive always gripped the club in my fingers..maybe both….my left hand has always shown at least 5 fingers if not all….lol

Reply

Joe Davidson

Hi Roy,

It’s very common especially for better golfers to “hand hook”. (Hooks can also be caused by incorrect body rotation most often by over rotation of the body) Most golfers want to hit with their bottom hands to add extra power. However, with traditional grips adding power to the bottom hand makes the club face close through impact. You can reduce that tendency to roll the hands over closing the club face through impact by taking the little finger and ring finger of the bottom hand right off the club and just let them dangle in the air. That drill will help you learn to reduce the tendency to close the club face.

We have developed a new grip method we call the Straight Lock Grip to solve that specific problem. You can see more info about he Straight Lock Grip here http://simplegolf.com/blog/simple-golf-products-services/straight-lock-grip/

The Straight Lock Stance balances the forces of both hands so the club stays square through impact. The top hand with the Straight Lock Stance keeps the club face square to the swing plane on the backswing and on the downswing until well after impact. This means you don’t have to open the club face on the backswing and then struggle to close the club face on the downswing.

The bottom hand is positioned so you can flex or hit with the bottom wrist however the club face will still stay square right through impact because the force is balanced with the top hand.

Joe Davidson
Simple Golf

Reply

roy mcdaniel

meant to say 3 fingers in my last post not 5…lol

Reply

edd miller

I really enjoy your way of holding w/ the lead hand. My question’s do you swing out, thru the ball w/ power thumb grip? Can you feel the thumb into play on backswing and push out thru the ball? !’m 71 but i’m still trying to get better! Thx…..E

Reply

Joe Davidson

Hi Ed,

Sorry I missed this question when you submitted it. The key to the .Power Thumb Grip is really keeping the pad at the base of the thumb in firm contact with the grip of the club. The ring finger and middle finger help keep the thumb pad up against the grip. As long as you keep that thumb pad in firm contact everything else will happen naturally. BTW, if you have questions about your grip it’s fastest to ask your question through our HelpDesk at http://www.simplegolf.com/helpdesk/

Joe Davidson
Simple Golf

Reply

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