The most common fault I've noticed among high-handicap golfers is the placement of the right hand on the shaft. We all know that for right-hand players the right hand is much stronger than the left. Consequently, if the right hand is not positioned correctly, it will overpower the left. Too many golfers ruin their chances of playing the game well right off the reel when they "palm" the club in the right hand, tipping that hand under the shaft. This makes the strong hand even stronger, wipes out the left almost completely, and produces a great number of errors of all kinds.
When you take your overlapping grip, affix the right hand on the club so that the shaft does not lodge in the palm but is gripped by the fingers. (If you opened your hand, you would see the club lying diagonally across the fingers.) As for the right thumb, fold it over to the left side of the shaft so that it touches the middle finger and the forefinger lightly. Almost immediately you will sense that the right hand feels different, that it feels weaker, and that the left feels stronger.
This stronger left hand will help you avoid picking the club up quickly on the backswing with a dominant right hand. The stronger left will not only stop your tendency to be an all right-hand golfer but it will allow you to develop a new and more correct overall swing pattern. And then you have a chance to improve.
from JOE LA MACHIA, Locust Hill Country Club, Pittsford, N.Y.
Above: the correct position of the right hand. At right: club is held incorrectly in palm, thumb is incorrectly placed
NEXT WEEK'S PRO: ARNOLD BROWNING ON READING THE GRAIN