Dustin Johnson found his matchplay mojo on his fifth Ryder Cup appearance in the windy conditions of the Whistling Straits.
Why has Captain Stricker Dustin as the only American player shown so much favor for all four match sessions so far?
Steve Stricker grew up in these conditions and knows what it takes to play golf successfully in the upper Midwest. Much like other windswept areas of the country, Stricker knew besides the Great Lakes that DJ’s game would be excellent. The secret Steve knew about Johnson had everything to do with how he runs the club.
Dustin Johnson’s uses a strong grip. A neutral grip is when the lead hand and trail hand meet evenly on each side of the club. A weak grip is when the lead hand is twisted away from the trail hand. When the golfer looks down on this type of golf grip, he can see a knuckle or barely two knuckles on his guiding hand. A strong grip is when the lead hand is rotated towards the trail hand. In this case, the player will see three knuckles when looking at the leading hand.
The strong grip DJ uses gives him tremendous control over the bottom and trajectory of each beat. Whether it’s a clever chip or a cracked fairway wood, Johnson’s grip gives him incredible confidence over the ball. The benefits of implementing a strong grip aren’t limited to the former No. 1 in the world. Any golfer could benefit from strengthening their grip.
Go to the range and start experimenting. Take a pitching wedge out of your pocket and use your normal grip. Hit a few shots and feel the contact on impact. If you’re already using a strong grip, read on to make sure you are maximizing your benefits. If you don’t, it is time to rotate the guide hand toward the center.
You should start to see more knuckles on that guide hand as you twist it. Hit a shot or two after every slight turn. Feel the difference in contact and watch where the ball goes. Once you are comfortable with the new connection to the club, keep hitting.
A stronger grip closes the clubface relative to your previous grip on the club. A good, solid, strong grip is easy to hold throughout the swing. This is Dustin’s secret weapon. A firm connection to the racket allows it to spin freely and safely through the ball. Once you have strengthened your grip, increase the speed and aggressiveness of your swing from the shot. This makes the ball flight straight.
Knowing where to touch the ball and the ground is the best feeling you can get while golfing. Solid, consistent pointers maintain a repeatable arc. DJ may be the oldest member of the American team, but for the captain he has definitely proven to be the most reliable.
Make your impact more reliable by strengthening this grip. The new controls you are about to show off may just let you play a new tune on the court like Team USA’s DJ.
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