Golf Lesson #2 – The Grip and Backswing

Beth and I were at it again today at the Calgary Golf and Country Club. We had our second session of a series of golf lessons planned with Fred Teno and it was another productive session for both of us and a good way to stay warm on a chilly Calgary Sunday!

We put in a few practice sessions between lessons and the changes I had been working on from Lesson #1 were sinking in nicely. The new setup is feeling more and more comfortable and Fred validated that things were looking better in that department. Phew!

We tackled two things today. First, my grip. My grip was a bit weak for Fred’s liking, so he got me to strengthen it up so that when I look down I can see two knuckles on my top hand. This should help get my club face square at impact more consistently as my miss was generally an open club face. The only open face I want to see from now on is on a sandwich. Changing your grip can be a pretty big change, but he said it is absolutely necessary to take my game to the next level over the long haul. I’m in!

The second focus today was to shorten up my backswing, particularly with my irons. I was starting to get the club to parallel or even slightly past parallel at the top of my backswing with my short irons. He felt that long of a backswing was an unnecessary compromise of consistency, especially since I am still able to generate a lot of club head speed with a shorter swing. It will also help me keep my spine angle which I sometimes lost with a long backswing.

These changes felt a bit awkward at first. I had to consciously think about my grip at address on every shot, but like anything, it takes reps to get comfortable. My swing thought to shorten up my swing was to hit three-quarter shots. We were using a TrackMan to get shot feedback and my first few attempts at hitting shots with the new grip and shortened backswing weren’t very good, but I wasn’t very surprised. Sometimes things get a bit worse before they get better. As I continued to work on it and get more comfortable the results came around and I finished off on a very strong note.

I’m really appreciating the value of a good coach and regular golf lessons. Fred has a great knack for pushing you just the right amount with things to work on to feel like you’re getting a lot out of the lesson, but not so much to overwhelm you. All while remembering to validate the things you’re doing well. Now the ball is in my court until the next lesson, so I better get practicing!

Our trip to Palm Springs on February 19 can’t come soon enough, stoked!

Happy golfing!


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