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A teaching session with two top teachers of the 1960s?- Don Fischesser and Irv Schloss.Part 1

A set of four short films of Don Fischesser demonstrating the swing accompanied by Irv Schloss writings. - part one

The best way to teach grip according to Irv Schloss

Irv Schloss, Horton Smith award winner and candidate for the teaching hall of fame

Using Irv`s words- a shortened version from an article printed in the late sixties.

If you are inclined to think you have read all you need to know about the grip, may I ask for your indulgence for a few minutes? Some of the things you are about to read may seem contrary to what others have said.

Actually, I turn rather pale when I see some photographs or drawings of how hands should be placed on the club.

Always place the left hand on the grip of the club as you see in the photo. By that I mean put the hand in this position even before putting it on the club so that it will be over the shaft and your awareness will be of the shaft and clubface wanting to rotate counter-clockwise. That is, the club will want to "close."

Of course, you will resist this but, resisting, you will feel a "winding" in the lower-left arm and hand.

Another very important principle is that the grip should be in your fingers, which will happen when the club lays across the pad of your hand.

The hand will be "full of grip" with no looseness, and firm, but not rigid.

Note the left wrist is above the shaft and there is a "dog leg" between the arm and the back of the hand.

Note also that the "web" between the thumb and the hand is closed.

Yet, because the wrist is concave, or, more exactly, "hyperextended", the thumb is slightly on the right side of the shaft.

The added emphasis will be on the back two fingers.

Finally, your wrist joint will be firm, not relaxed. This will keep your forearm at attention.

The same grip can be used with an extra twist to the right. Note how the wrist is actually to the right of the shaft.

This slightly exaggerated position should be used if you have a tendency to fade or slice.

I also suggest trying this if you want to gain more distance ( a commonly accepted advice now, seen as a mistake in teaching before 2010).

I consider the left-hand grip to be a Variable. It is possible to adjust the grip more left or right on a day-to-day basis, or even shot to shot.

But the right-hand grip is a constant, which means it should always be placed as shown in the next picture.

The function of the right hand is primarily to support the shaft at impact. The thumb and forefinger act to keep the club from retarding as contact with the ball is made. The right hand increases the force of the blow, through this support, by keeping the "slowing down" action to a minimum.

The grip of the right hand is in the finger side of the pad. The little finger, in the Vardon or overlapping grip, plays no useful part.

The most important statement I can make about the right-hand position is this:


While the control of the right hand SEEMS to be in the thumb and forefinger joint and knuckle, surprisingly there is firm control in the second and third finger.

Irv wrote this article in response to a phase in teaching where it was fashionable to use a "weak" left grip as a normal position. Most teachers today take it for granted that a slight twist to the right is good for length, and prefer to teach it.

Donald Fischesser was awarded the Horton Smith award in 1967 while teaching at Evansville country club in Indiana. His son Doug played in the Walker Cup and competed in the Masters two times but never turned Professional.

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