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Paul Wilson is the creator of Swing Machine Golf and founder of Ignition Golf. Paul's golf swing technique is based on the Iron Byron swing machine.
Paul Wilson Golf and
Ignition Golf Tips.
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December 9, 2012
I have a problem with my left thumb.
I try to keep a short thumb, but it is hard to keep it throughout the swing.
Also, on the top of the back swing, the club sits on my left thumb, pushing my thumb down and separating it from my palm.
when I try to keep the short thumb and keep my thumb together with my palm, I get really tight in my arms.
1. what’s the left thumb position at the top?
2. Should I keep short thumb position throughout the swing?
2. Should I keep my left thumb and palm together throughout the swing?
I want the thumb against the side of the hand so the grip sits across the palm. If this tightens your arms I am okay with this at first until you loose the wrists. Doing the perfect grip is important and takes time. If you are placing the left hand on the club as I suggest then keep doing it. While on work on the hinging the wrists going back.
Left Hand: https://ignitiongolf.com/left-hand-grip
3 Ways to Set The Top of the Backswing: https://ignitiongolf.com/backswing-top-3-ways
1. The left thumb is pointing toward your right ear at and approximate angle of 90 degrees to your forearm.
2. I don’t refer to it a short or long thumb. A short thumb creates too much curvature of the thumb. The long thumb creates the gap between the thumb and side of the hand. Take the back off your left hand. Have it facing up. Move the thumb against the side of the hand. Move onto the grip of the club with the thumb slightly right of center. Then wrap your fingers around the grip. If your thumb is slightly right of center and you see 2 knuckles it is in perfect position. I shot a tip on this that I will be posting soon.
3. The left thumb stays against the side of the hand throughout the swing. I am certainly not squeezing it hard. Just feel it against the side of the hand. Place the hand on as I suggest. Then work on the top of the backswing wrist hinge.
Keep at it. The grip is tricky but if you keep working on it it gets easier.
December 1, 2013
It’s been about 4 months since I started listening to your tips, and my game has been improving significantly.
for the past couple of weeks in particular, i’ve been hitting longer, straighter than ever.
But then a few days ago, my grip started to feel a bit weird. a little off place.
To be more specific, it was in the area of my left hand, around the area below my little finger. it felt as if the grip on my club just could not find the right spot. as if …there was a small gap there that began to show up, causing my wrist to cup quite a bit at the top of the backswing.
anyways, my question is,
1. does something like this happen? i mean, is it possible that a player can ‘lose’ his grip? even though he practices everyday?
2. i feel quite secure with my other fingers/palm, but for some reason, the grip in the area below my little finger feels very insecure. shaky even. am i doing something wrong?
Glad you are improving. That’s great news.
Right now you are having a minor set back. You should be checking the grip daily. If your grip is getting into this position with this gap you need to understand the grip a little more because this should never happen.
The gap is telling you that you are not holding the club across your palm as I suggest. Your club is too much in the palm so the pad of the top hand is not on the club. In other words it is running along your lifeline too much. The lifeline splits the pad and the fleshy part of the thumb. If you hold it on this line it will not be secure. Now, I don’t want you holding it in your fingers either. I want it from your first knuckle across the pad. You should be getting this by squeezing the thumb against the side of your hand then placing it on the club. I don’t want people looking under trying to figure out where this hand runs. If the gap is squeezed and you see 2 knuckles it should be perfect. If not, make sure the pad of the left hand is on the club.
You can also try eliminating the gap between the thumb and side of the hand then placing the thumb on the club straight down the grip. Then gently turn it right until you can see the 2 knuckles. In doing so there should be some of the pad of the left hand on the grip of the club.
May 6, 2014
Do you have a clip that shows were the club rests in the palm from the top of the shaft?
Also is the grip the same for someone who has bigger hands than most?
September 22, 2014
If you have a gap between the thumb and hand during your swing what effect does it have?
This is a serious grip flaw. It puts the rubber grip parallel to the knuckles. If so, it can cause you to over-cup it at the top of the backswing. With my grip it is next to impossible to over-cup at the top so please try to do my grip:
How To Stop Over-Cupping At The Top of the Backswing: https://ignitiongolf.com/stop-over-cupping-at-top/
December 20, 2014
I’ve been using the new grip for about a month now and I am developing a callus at the bottom of my pinky finger. I feel that there is too much wiggle room when I’m at the top of my back swing. Should there be a gap at the opening? or should the pinky finger be wrapped around the club with zero gap?
March 11, 2015
I just started going through the tips starting from Grip. I have noticed that on my glove there is always a hole on thumb after one two months of using new glove.
Is it because I am doing something wrong such as putting too much pressure on thumb?
March 12, 2015
This may be a wrong grip or gripping to tight. If you grip too tight and hit the ball off center it may cause the club to twist thus rubbing your glove. If your wrists are tight and your hands are tight there is nothing to absorb the shock of a mishit so again, it will twist. You need to make sure your top hand is in perfect position then work on loosening your wrists. As you do the glove should stop wearing out.
Secure Grip Loose Wrists: https://ignitiongolf.com/secure-grip-loose-wrists/
Easy Way to Master the Top Hand Position: https://ignitiongolf.com/easy-master-top-hand-position/
The Top Hand Determines the Position of the Bottom Hand: https://ignitiongolf.com/top-hand-bottom-hand/
Right Hand: https://ignitiongolf.com/right-hand-grip
How The Trigger Finger Helps Create A Solid Backswing Position: https://ignitiongolf.com/trigger-finger/
Different Grips: https://ignitiongolf.com/golf-grips
September 21, 2016
Hi Paul, my hands are small so Im struggling to get my left thumb at 1o’clock and having the grip run through the palm of my left hand. Any suggestions? Can I grip it more towards the fingers as you suggest with the right hand?
Its not 90 degrees between the knockles and grip as you takker about in the over-cupping tip but running more through my fingers
I tried again and can sort of get it but feels very tight.
I have never met anyone who couldn’t do the grip. Do not grip towards the fingers. You are working with Pete. Send him a pic of your grip or discuss it with him so he can make sure you are doing it right.
September 22, 2016
Yes thanks. Pete’s comments and guidelines are very good and in my resent analysis it was clear my grip was off. Needs more focus:)
March 14, 2019
I did go from strong to neutral per your teachings (and love it BTW!). I thought I could check “Yes” on the grip. However, “upon further review…” I found my top hand too much in the fingers.
Some years ago I remember a golf mag tip telling me to put the top hand in my fingers and that has now become “natural” to me. I have tried your method (more in the palm) in practice swings and found it is much easier to hold on to the club at the top and I don’t have my old problem of letting go of it.
Do you find other students have less problem letting the club go when they switch to your grip?
ps. I have been with you for over a year and I have yet to find a single Wilson-ism that does not prove correct! Thanks for correcting my grip.
March 17, 2019
Glad you are working on the neutral grip. Yes, you can wrap it too much on top. This is why you need to check the line created on the right hand and match it to the line on the left.
I’m not sure they have less of a problem letting go because so many let go thinking this is loose wrists but the grip I teach gets them hitting it way, way, way better than the other.
I’m glad you are checking me. I have thought long and hard, every day for now into 27 years about the golf swing (this is just me teaching it) another bunch of years before I started teaching it. So in all almost 40 years of thinking about it almost daily. If you do catch something please let me know so I can investigate it further.
April 19, 2020
Whats the difference / benefit between of having the grip in the palm of the left hand as opposed to being in the fingers?
If you grip it in the fingers of your top hand, left hand for a right handed golfer, then you can overcup your wrists when into the top of your backswing and this can get the clubface into an open position. Plus in your weaker hannd this is a dominant postion.
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