It was very sad news last Friday that John had passed away, I feel very fortunate to have played golf with John and to learn from his coaching.
John is the worlds most famous teacher and well known coaches learnt from John when he had his golf schools in America, one of them Butch Harman has even quote,
"John Jacobs wrote the book on coaching. There is not a teacher out here who does not owe him something."
Its was always nice to sit down with John and hear stories of his career. The one story that always amazed me was that in January 1957 he received a gilted envelope inviting him to play in the Masters in April, at the time he was the Professional at Sandy Lodge GC so he opened his teaching diary and he was fully booked up until May that year, so he wrote back thanking them for the invite but had to decline, I'm sure you like me you would be shocked that someone would do that, but he then went on to say he was invited again in 1958 and he again declined due to his lesson commitments, he explained that it he never liked to let people down and it would have been 2/3 weeks away due to the travelling time.
John will be sadly missed by me and many people a Bramshaw GC, for those of you who want to know more about John please google him, he is a true Legend of Golf.
Coaching Article 1: The Grip
How to Hold a Golf Club:
A good grip is the foundation for a good golf game. When you grip the golf club correctly, you set yourself up to execute and get everything else right. When you grip the club incorrectly, you make the game harder than it needs to be.
Many golfers don’t understand the full importance of the grip. Too often we find players trying to solve a ball flight problem by trying to manipulate a movement or change the path they swing the club on to try and get the ball starting in a certain direction and taking a path to the target that they expect to see, which for many players is that ever illusive soft draw.
Over the next few articles, we hope to help you all understand your own game a little bit more and understand how changing the correct swing principle can make big differences, with a small amount of attention.
So let’s start by understanding how the grip plays it part in your swing.
A players grip is the player’s direct point of contact with the club, so it is pros the most important factor to determine where the ball will start in relation to your target and fly through the air. Yes swing path is also a big influence to the ball flight but it is the angle of the face that will result in where that little white ball begins its journey, and our grip controls this factor of the golf swing. So to begin here are two ratios to get you focused and want to control that clubface. ·
When using a driver the clubface is 85% responsible for the starting direction and flight of the ball. ·
When using an iron the clubface is 75% responsible for the starting direction and flight of the ball.
Knowing these stats a player with a perfect swing but a poor grip will struggle to shoot good scores. The grip is referred to in three different positions, and they are; strong, weak and neutral, and depending on how you want to hit the golf ball will decide how you should be holding the club.
Which of these grips look like yours??
If you play with a strong grip this will encourage the clubface to close pointing left of target which will encourage shots to start low and left or curve left in flight. Resulting in a Pull, pull hook, draw or hook
If you play with a neutral grip this will give you the best opportunity of getting the clubface square at impact, influencing your straightest shots.
If you play with a weak grip this will encourage the clubface to open pointing right of target which will encourage shots to be higher and start right or curve right in flight. Resulting in a Push, push slice, fade or slice
So if you consistently find yourself on the left hand side of the golf course try and weaken that grip for more consistency and vice versa, if you favour the right side of the course, strengthen that grip a little.Now we have made you aware of a key factor to your golf shots, try and relate this in your next round. Our next few articles will look to optimise your game according to your grip. Through grip pressure and swing path.