With the mysteries of the five key elements in the set-up now revealed, the grip is commutual. Holding a club like you would an axe is not a good way to start off. A sound grip is the foundation of a sound swing. “Grip it and rip it,” is the oldest cliché in golf.
Those of you who play cricket or tennis will understand that you need to keep the bat or the racquet square to the “ball to target line”. A good grip in golf will allow the clubface to come back square on impact. While an orthodox grip will take some time to master, for beginners and juniors a 10-finger grip will help.
The game of golf has become an aspirational sport in India. If you can afford to take up the game, do remember that money alone does not matter,etiquette does. As a practitioner of the Rules, charged with the task of implementing them in India, this is one aspect that is close to my heart.
The noun “Etiquette” is defined as “manners” and has several synonyms and for the game of golf, I find the most apt one to be “courtesy” undoubtedly, the singular, most lacking of all social mores in our country.
While the modern day Rules permit the Committee to take appropriate disciplinary action against offending players for breaches of etiquette, our “antient” forefathers of golf had in their wisdom anticipated such issues and a peek at the genesis of the modern Rules will hopefully; drive home the point.
The Society of Golfers at Aberdeen, in 1783, decreed “While a stroke is playing none of the Party shall walk about, make any motion, or attempt to take off the Player’s attention, by speaking or otherwise”.
The Edinburgh Burgess Golfers adopted six rules in 1802 and the 19th century legalese translates to “No player should play until the players in front are out of range”.
When you decide to get on a golf course, beware, big brother could be watching and you might, just might, find yourself cooling your heels if you don’t abide by “the Spirit of the Game”.