Women can get more distance off the tee—10 to 15 more yards—by making a small alteration of the left-hand grip. The conventional grip for men calls for the left thumb to be set down the middle of the shaft, with the V pointing to the chin. The grip change for women which I advocate consists of turning the left hand farther to the right. The thumb rides down the side of the shaft and the V points to your right shoulder.
Women are not as strong as men, and we can't fly the ball as far in the air simply by applying arm and hand power. Getting out a good distance means getting as much roll as possible on the tee-shot. This slight alteration of the grip gives you this added roll, for your hands come into the ball in such a way as to impart right-to-left draw to the shot—a slight, controlled hook. Most women have good timing and I think it will take the majority of them very little time to adjust to this changed grip and the different hitting action.
In this general connection, let me add that the spot in the swing where most women lose their power is at the top of the backswing. They let the left wrist sag and break down, toward the ground. Regardless of what grip you use, be sure you keep the left hand strong and keep it under the shaft at the top of the backswing.
from KATHY CORNELIUS Miami Valley Golf Club, Dayton, Ohio
Conventional left-hand grip
Keep left hand strong at top of swing
revised for greater distance
NEXT WEEK: BOBBY CRUICKSHANK ON AIMING THE SHOT