Know  Your Knuckle Count to Control Your Ball Flight and Distance By Jimmy Damiano, PGA

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Do you struggle with distance loss or shots that fly offline? More than likely your club face is out of position.

One of the most critical attachments in golf is your grip. Your hands are the only part of your body that touch the golf club. So it is important to get them to work properly. An old reliable test I give my players to monitor club face position I learned from one of my mentors Jim McLean.

To begin the test apply your grip to the club. While in your address position look down and note how may knuckles you see on your top hand. Generally speaking of course and not including what your lower hand grip position is:  if you see 0 to 1 knuckles on your top hand then you have an open face grip. If you see 1 to 2 knuckles you have a square face grip and if you see 3 or more then you have closed face grip.

Now the the most important part of the test. After you are in your address position and have your knuckle count.

1.    Close your eyes

2.    Make a backswing to where your lead arm is roughly parallel to the ground. Short of a full swing.

3.    Open your eyes and count the knuckles you see on your top hand.

Ok now what? The number knuckles you see can have a direct affect on your ball flight and distance output.

1.    See more knuckles- club face open.

2.    See the same- club face square.

3.    See less- club face closed..

An overwhelmingly majority of the players that I coach at the club level SEE MORE knuckles at the lead arm parallel position than they did at address. An indication that they have rolled or twisted the club into an open face position. This can be deadly to both distance and direction. Remember this position is short of a full backswing which means if you have opened the club from address to here you inevitably will open it even more as you swing back further to the top.

This puts the player’s club face in a precarious position having to make some sizable compensations coming into impact.

One move or feel that I advocate often to combat the rolling or opening of the club face on the takeaway is to “Hide the Knuckles”. Hiding them from your perspective as the golfer helps keep the club face from getting too open. The number one cause of weak offline shots.

Do you struggle with distance loss? And shots that go to the right (or

slice)? Chances are your club face is open.

Here’s a great way to check in and see if your club face is opening on the backswing.

Tip # 1 Square Club Face

First you want to put your left hand grip on the club and check to see how many knuckles you see. The golfer should see 1 to 2 knuckles from their perspective. Put your right hand on the club and make a half way back swing.

By doing this you’ll see less shots to the right and your shots should fly the appropriate distance.

Tip # 2. Open Club Face  

Golfers that see more knuckles( 3 to 4) from their perspective are more likely to slice (and go right) resulting in a loss of distance

To control the curve you want to monitor your knuckle count and wrist position on backswing. This needs to be done long before the follow through.

So many of my students see more knuckles and as a result they slice!

Jimmy was recently named 2019 NEPGA Cape Cod Chapter Teacher of the Year. He has served as Lead Instructor at the McLean School at The Doral Resort in Miami, Florida, and spent countless hours honing his craft under the watchful eye of Jim McLean.  As a longtime owner and advocate of Trackman, Damiano utilizes state-of-the-art technology to deliver an understandable message to his wide range of players.

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Jimmy was recently named 2019 NEPGA Cape Cod Chapter Teacher of the Year. He has served as Lead Instructor at the McLean School at The Doral Resort in Miami, Florida, and spent countless hours honing his craft under the watchful eye of Jim McLean. As a longtime owner and advocate of Trackman, Damiano utilizes state-of-the-art technology to deliver an understandable message to his wide range of players. Jimmy Damiano, PGA Director of Instruction The Club at New Seabury Mashpee, MA 508-539-8320 JDamiano@NewSeabury.com