Change Grip Gradually If It Causes Trouble – John Hayes Golf Dec. 2017 Tip Newsletter Golf Tip – December 2017

***HOLIDAY LESSON GIFT CERTIFICATE SPECIAL – buy a lesson series gift certificate (4 one-hour lessons – $210 OR 6 half-hour lessons – $200) before December 25th and receive my golf instruction book, Learning Golf with Manuel, FOR FREE!!! You can stop by the Chi Chi Golf Range or you can mail a check (3241 Ayr Dr., Palm Harbor, FL 34684) payable to: John Hayes. And I will mail you the gift certificate and the book.
For your golf game: In a neutral golf grip, the “V’s formed by the thumb and index fingers will point up at the player’s center (midpoint between the shoulders). A neutral grip means that the centrifugal force created during the swinging motion of the golf club does not cause the clubface to change in relation to the player. The golfer can and should stay very flexible in all muscles and joints during the swing and the clubface will return to square at impact without any manipulations or compensations if the grip is neutral.
If you have been playing for a while and you hit the ball straight and with a good trajectory then you should not change your grip even if you discover that it is not in the neutral position. You have built in some compensations that are now a habit and you want to leave this alone.
However, if your grip is causing you some serious ball-flight problems, then you should move to change this. As Manuel de la Torre, legendary PGA of America and World Golf Teachers Hall of Famer, recommends you may want to change this gradually over several months.
I have a student who battled this for a while and came up with a clever solution to get this grip change done. The grip with her bottom hand was way under the club, the “V” formed by the thumb and index finger pointing backward and not up at her center, which caused the club face to close dramatically during the backswing. The result was that it was almost impossible to get any height on the less-lofted clubs like the driver. She had white grips on her clubs and she drew a red line on the grip to show her where the “V” on the bottom hand should be so that the position of her bottom hand was moved just slightly more toward the neutral position. After some practice and rounds of golf she drew a new red line on the grip to a slightly more improved position. She continued this procedure a few more times and now the bottom hand grip is essentially in a neutral position!
The change in the clubface at the end of the backswing is quite dramatic! And the change in the ball flight with all clubs is much improved. I don’t want to overdo the use of exclamation points but I should have put another one at the end of the last sentence also! If you have a grip change that you need to make to improve your shots then you may want to get white grips installed and start drawing lines. Remember what Manuel de la Torre would say to any long-time golfer who would say that he cannot change – “You can change anything you WANT to.”
Upcoming clinics and events: My next LADIES-ONLY GOLF CLINIC will be held on 2 consecutive Weekends – DECEMBER 2, 3, 9 and 10 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on all 4 Weekend days. Cost is only $40 total for all 4 hours! It is good for beginners or newly dedicated golfers.
I will conduct a GET GOLF READY LADIES BOOT CAMP from Thur., JANUARY 11th through Sunday, JANUARY 14th. There will be 4 hours of golf clinics (Thur. & Fri. from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Sat. from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.) and then we will finish on the golf course on Sun. from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. This is perfect for beginners who want to feel comfortable on the golf course in a short time. Total cost is only $99 and includes everything!
My next specialty clinic will be a SHORT GAME BOOT CAMP for 2 hours held on Saturday, JANUARY 20th from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. I will cover pitching/chipping, bunker play, putting, and fun games to practice effectively! Men or Ladies welcome. This is NOT for new beginners. There is a limit of only 3 students so call or email to sign up. Total cost is only $55.
Please call/text (727) 692-4679 or email,, to sign up as space is limited for all clinics. Go to for more details.
** I will be conducting the Adult Golf Clinics every week on Friday mornings at 9:30 a.m. and on Saturday afternoons at 12:30 p.m. There is no sign up, just show up and cost is only $20 which includes a large bucket of range balls.
As always, please contact me with any questions or comments and I hope to see you soon on the lesson tee at the Chi Chi Golf Range & Sports Complex in beautiful Clearwater in the Tampa, FL area.