The ‘Side On’ Player Nicholas (Nick) Li will be playing in his senior season on the golf team at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., this fall. He can really crank it off the tee with a swing speed up to 130 mph.
Nick’s grip style is called “side on” because his right hand is just that—to the side of the handle. If he opened that hand, his palm would be facing the target. With this grip, the toe of the club will tend to point toward the sky when the shaft is roughly parallel with the ground.
With this grip, the toe of the club will tend to point toward the sky when the shaft is roughly parallel with the ground (left). If your grip looks like Nick’s, you can correct those mistakes by taking the club back so that when it’s parallel to the ground, the shaft should be roughly parallel to your toe line.
USE AN ALIGNMENT ROD TO GLIDE INTO THE PERFECT SLOT
Grab an alignment rod and stick it in the turf on a 45-degree angle with the ground. It should point at your trail hip and be planted about a foot behind where you should play a ball with an iron, which is roughly centered in your stance. Once you have the drill station set up, make some slow rehearsal swings so that the club swings back along that alignment rod. Let it glide along the rod and feel how this takeaway is not too far inside or outside the target line. Keep rehearsing it until you can remove the rod and re-create that path when you start hitting shots on the range and back out on the course.
The ‘On Top’ Player Danny Harcourt played golf at Gettysburg (Pa.) College and was the first two-time All-American in the program’s history.
Danny sets his trail hand “on top” of the club, meaning that palm would face the ground if he opened it. This influences the club to move outside the target line on the takeaway.
You can see how Danny’s trail elbow juts, Jack Nicklaus style, and the club goes across the target line. Even though Danny is slender, he doesn’t have a ton of flexibility, so the club goes back to roughly a three-quarter length, and that’s perfectly acceptable. He can still hit his 7-iron 190 yards. Your first reaction to these pictures might be to think Danny’s swing looks unorthodox. It isn’t. It fits him and works very well.
YOU MUST START THE SWING OUTSIDE THE TARGET LINE
Here’s another take away drill, like Nick’s, that requires an alignment rod or similar. With Danny, or any of you out there that grip the club with your trail hand more on top of the shaft, the first few feet of the backswing are crucial to get right. You have to make sure the club head stays outside of your hand path. I know that might sound confusing, so let’s get back to the drill that reinforces this move. Grab an alignment rod and stick it in the ground on your target line about two feet behind your normal ball position with an iron.You want it on a 45-degree angle and pointing away from the target. I think you know what to do from here: Start back so the club doesn’t hit the rod.
Original article by Mike Adams on GolfDigest