Dustin Johnson has found his match play mojo playing in the windy conditions of Whistling Straits in this his fifth Ryder Cup appearance.
The only American player to be chosen for all four match sessions so far, why has Captain Stricker shown Dustin so much favor?
Steve Stricker grew up playing in these conditions and knows what it takes to play successful golf in the upper Midwest. Much like other windswept areas of the country, alongside the Great Lakes Stricker knew DJ’s game would excel. The secret that Steve knew about Johnson had everything to do with how he holds the club.
Dustin Johnsons utilizes a strong grip. A neutral grip is when the lead hand and trail hand evenly meet on each side of the club. A weak grip is when the lead hand is turned away from the trail hand. When the golfer looks down at this style of golf grip, they may see one or barely two knuckles on that lead hand. A strong grip is when the lead hand is turned toward the trail hand. In this case the player will see three knuckles as they look down at the lead hand.
The strong grip that DJ employs gives him tremendous control of the low point and trajectory of each shot. Whether it is a clever chip or a ripped fairway wood, Johnson’s grip gives him killer confidence over the ball. The advantages of implementing a strong grip aren’t limited to the former No. 1 player in the world. Every golfer could benefit from strengthening their grip.
Get to the range and start to experiment. Pick a pitching wedge out of your bag and take your normal grip. Hit a couple of shots and feel the contact at impact. If you already employ a strong grip, keep reading to ensure you are maximizing your benefits. If you don’t, it’s time to turn the lead hand toward the center.
You should start to see more knuckles on that lead hand as you turn it. After each slight turn, hit a shot or two. Feel the difference in the contact and watch where the ball goes. Once you start to get comfortable with the new connection to the club, keep hitting shots.
A stronger grip closes the clubface with relation to your previous hold on the club. A good solid strong grip is easy to maintain throughout the entire swing. This is Dustin’s secret weapon. A solid connection to the club allows him to rotate through the ball freely and confidently. Once you strengthen your grip, increase the speed and aggressiveness of your turn through the shot. This will straighten the ball flight.
Knowing where you will contact the ball and the ground is the most wonderful feeling you can create for yourself in golf. Solid consistent hands maintain a repeatable arc. DJ may be the oldest member of the American side, but to the Captain, he’s definitely proven to be the most reliable.
Make your impact more reliable by strengthening that grip. The new control you will exhibit might just have you playing a new tune on the course like Team USA’s DJ.
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