Golf Tips Library
How to Achieve Longer Straighter Drives & Lower Golf Scores
The Trilap™ Unified Hands Grip System A New Golf Swing Method for increased distance.
First a special thanks to my loving wife Linda, who as a non-golfer has not only tolerated but has supported my pursuit of golf happiness during our wonderful marriage of more than 45 years.
I was introduced to the great game of golf at age thirteen when the city of Ocala, Florida offered a free youth golf lesson program instructed by golf professional Lou Bateman. He and the caddy master, Rudy Johnson, not only taught me how to play golf, they taught me about the honorable game of golf. They taught me why sportsmanship and honesty were fundamentals for our day to day lives. Principles that have stayed with me for more than fifty years.
During my early golf grip experimentation which led to the development of the Trilap™ Grip and the writing of this book,, my regular golfing friends Wally, Craig,, Lynwood, Gary, and Jeff were consistent supporters and constructive critics.
My younger son, John, and my brother, Kelly, served as field test guinea pigs for some of the swing research. They both helped develop some of the concepts written about in this Instruction Book. Their feedback , encouragement, and help meant a great deal to me in completing my research and deciding to write this book.
Finally, this article is dedicated to my mom and dad who enthusiastically supported my brother and me in our involvement with golf since those early days.
|Table of Contents|
|2.0||Putting Improvements through use of the Long Putter|
|3.0||Ball Striking Improvements|
|4.0||For Play or Practice?|
|5.0||What is the Trilap™ Grip Method?|
|6.0||Unified vs Non-Unified Hands|
|7.0||A Swing for All Technology Equipment|
|8.0||Why You Can Gain More Distance|
|9.0||Why You Can Improve Consistency|
|10.0||Swing Analyzer Test Data|
|11.0||How Does it Feel to Hit the Ball?|
|12.0||Summary of Trilap™ Grip Advantages|
|Trilap™ Grip User Survey|
Introduction- A New Golf Swing Breakthrough
This article is a story about an exciting golf breakthrough discovered by a senior golfer during his quest to reclaim the golf game of his earlier years.
The senior golfer was a semi-retired aerospace engineer who was able to drop his handicap from 12 to 5 over a twelve month period while developing the amazing new Trilap™ Unified Hands golf grip system for swinging a golf club.
This Article includes the story of his activities and how they led to the development of this new golf swing breakthrough.
This exciting new golf grip system has the potential to help nearly all golfers improve their games and to help beginners learn the game faster and easier.
Section One - The Quest for Lower Golf Scores
As an avid golfer for over 50 years, I have enjoyed many rounds of golf at courses from coast to coast, from Pebble Beach to Bay Hill. During my college golf days on the University of Florida golf team in the late 50's and early 60's I was very competitive and maintained a low handicap. Up until my marriage and the birth of our first child in 1966 I was able to maintain a handicap of 5 or less. A growing family and engineering career responsibilities took their toll. As I became a weekend golfer, my handicap climbed into the 7 to 9 range by the time I reached my mid fifties. Over that time, I made three holes in one, was a city club champion, and won a wide range of prizes in both individual and team competitions. I even won the Senior Division Long Drive Contest at the Dupont World Amateur golf tournament in 1993 with a drive of 300 yards at age 54. But by the time I reached my late fifties my handicap had climbed to the 10 to 12 range and it became increasingly frustrating to accept shooting in the mid to upper eighties in local golf tournaments. To say it another way, my golfing buddies were starting to beat me like a drum!
Being trained as an engineer, I've always experimented with golf swing mechanics to determine causes and effects of various types of shots, good and bad. As my game continued to fall off, my search for ways to improve took on a new importance-my enjoyment of this life long game was really at risk. It was becoming too frustrating to accept performance so far from what I had been able to do earlier in my golf life.
My good shots were still enjoyable; but they came less and less frequently. And, my bad shots got worse and worse. My putting had gone from being an asset to becoming a liability.
In my case, I always had a better than average short game but poor putting and poor ball striking was too much to consistently recover from. It was putting and my ball striking measured by the number of fairways hit with the tee shot and number of greens hit in regulation that offered the most room for improvement.
My types of bad shots were pulls & pull hooks, pushes and block slices, and irons heavy with too deep of a divot. The majority of times I would hit a poor shot, my sensation was that my right hand had taken over either in picking the club up on the backswing or starting the downswing with a hit from the top or both.
Everyone has seen some of the top pro's let go of the club with their right hand at impact and finish the shot with just their left hand holding onto the club. This occurs when they have sensed the right hand "taking over" and are trying to minimize its bad effects.
Section Two - Golf Putting Improvements Through Use of the Long Putter
Since putting is such a dominant factor in the game for everyone, I attacked my putting problems first. My putting problems all arose from a lack of confidence in making three to four foot length putts. I had become so "handsy" that a full case of the "yips" had to be right around the corner.
First I obtained a putter with good alignment marks on the top of the putter to help ensure that I was properly aligning the putter face with my target line. Second I made sure the putter had a soft feel. Third, I made sure the putter was face balanced. Fourth, I made sure the putter was center shafted. Fifth, I changed my set up such that my eyes were directly over the ball. Sixth, I obtained and read the book "Putting Out of Your Mind" by Dr. Bob Rotella. in order to become a "positive putter".
All of the above steps combined to really help my putting improve, but I was still not yet completely comfortable under competitive situations on three to four foot putts.
Scientifically, I understood the principle of the pendulum and became intrigued by the long putter concept. After a few months of experimentation I was able to get a setup that I liked and boy did my putting improve even more. My test indicator was a plastic pipe about 2 inches in diameter that I would set up on a piece of carpet used for a test green in my garage. With a standard length putter from four feet away, I could only consistently putt five out of ten balls into the pipe opening when I began my efforts to improve my putting. After the five steps above I was able to consistently putt seven out of ten balls into the pipe opening. With the long putter, I was able to consistently make nine out of ten and have a personal record of 32 in a row.
The single biggest advantage of the long putter was that it smoothed out my putting stroke on all putts, especially those in the three to four foot range. Just the inertia of the long putter makes it harder to move quickly. With my confidence restored on the shorter putts, there was less pressure to get every long putt within a foot or two of the hole.
The first month, it seemed like judging distance was going to be a problem with the long putter. However, once I concentrated on keeping my head perfectly still during the putting stroke and NOT rocking my shoulders, then my touch on long putts actually improved over what I had been used to with the standard length putter. Finally, the more upright stance required to use the long putter made it easier to visualize the "line" to the hole and I became more consistent in reading greens.
After six months of using the long putter, I had again become a very good putter. The ability to practice putting for extended periods of time without my back hurting was also an added benefit.
In summary then, in addition to the ability to read the slope of the greens you are putting on, there are five putting basics that can really help you become an improved putter. 1)You must have good distance control otherwise on breaking putts you can not possibly select the correct line to start your ball on. 2)You must adopt a basic distance expectation for your putts to travel 12-18 inches past the cup if they don't go in. 3)You must keep your head steady during the putting stroke and especially right after impact. Listen for the putt to drop, do not peak. 4)You must try to make all putts; no more putting for a "x" foot circle. 5) You must become a "positive putter"; only talk about the putts you make, NOT the ones you miss.
Section Three - Golf Ball Striking Improvements
Next I took stock of my golf ball striking in light of my age at the time. At age 59, I realized that there were some physical limitations I would have to accept, like some loss of flexibility and strength. However, the facts that I was overweight and in "desk jockey" condition were self created limitations under my control that I did not have to accept. A six-month exercise program at a local gym, a daily nutritional supplementation program and some sensible eating made a marked difference in my physical condition and how I felt. Relative to my golf swing, my putting and my short game touch improved noticeably. My flexibility and strength improvements definitely started to help my ball striking and stamina during the latter part of a round. Now all I needed was a repeating golf swing!
I began to experiment with different swing approaches in hopes of finding a method that was more consistent and less susceptible to my tendencies of right hand / right shoulder domination. Nothing I tried made a significant enough difference to warrant the relearning curve involved to fully incorporate it as my regular swing.
Then one day, I was experimenting with my grip on some short wedge shots trying to make a smoother swing and eliminate a tendency to over hit with the right hand. I had gotten so tense with these shots that I almost had the yips at sixty yards.
First, I tried overlapping two fingers instead of the conventional one finger and there was definitely some improvement. Next I tried overlapping three fingers, nearly placing my right hand completely on top of my left, to create the Trilap™grip. Wow, was I amazed at the change in the swing feel. The hitting sensation was gone and the feel was much smoother. Everything felt like swinging and not hitting. The unhinging of my left wrist seemed to naturally occur at the bottom of the swing.
The first few full wedge shots I tried were understandably inconsistent. After hitting about 10 shots by concentrating on just swinging my shoulders and arms, the shot flight patterns were quite consistent but went a little to the right. The tendency for my shots to fall off to the right was caused by the club face being slightly open at impact. I strengthened my left hand grip by moving it such that my left thumb was at a 1:00 to 1:30 position on the club shaft and then the shots went straight at my target. The free-swinging sensation was unlike anything I had ever experienced in a golf swing before. (And remember, I had made a lot of golf swings over the previous 46 years).
Needless to say, I was anxious to try the Trilap™grip on longer clubs. So, I went to the far end of the driving range where no one could see my experimentation and began to hit increasingly longer clubs. Much to my amazement the free-swinging sensation was there for all the clubs including the driver.
Section Four - New Golf Grip Method For Play or Practice?
The Trilap™ grip can be used to play or as a practice method to improve your use of your left arm and hand to control the the club during your swing.
Many right-handed golfers have so much more strength in their right arm and hand than their left that their right arm and hand dominate their swing. The converse is true of course for left-handed golfers playing left-handed.
Not everyone will have enough strength in their left arm and left hand to completely control the club during their swing using the Trilap™ grip, but most golfers will.
With most golfers there will be a tendency for the ball to fade (go slightly to the right for a right handed golfer) until they develop the proper use of the left arm and hand in the swing. For some, they may continue to play with the fade as a very controllable shot flight.
The Trilap™ grip may be used just for short shots under 100 yards if that part of your game has become a problem due to inconsistent contact and poor tempo. I have seen golfers with a very "herky-jerky" short iron swing really smooth out their swing by using the Trilap™ grip.
Or, it may be used for all of your shots up to and including the driver.
You may even find that it will smooth out your putting stroke.
Section Five - What is the Trilap™ Golf Grip Method?
The Trilap™ golf grip is a unified hands method of holding the golf club during the swing. During the modern golf era, there have only been three grips in common use: The overlap or Vardon, the interlocking and the full hands or baseball grip. All three of these grips are non-unified hands methods. These three grips are shown for comparison with the Trilap™ grip below.
Vardon or Overlap
Unlap or Baseball
Trilap™ or Triple Overlap Grip
For a right hand swing, the left hand is nearer to the butt of the club than the right hand. The left hand is placed on the grip in a normal fashion but turned slightly more to the right (stronger) such that the left thumb is positioned on the club shaft between the one and two o'clock positions as if the butt end of the club were a clock face. The following sequence of photographs shows how the grip is then completed:
- Step One - Start with the little finger of the right hand being placed on top of the left hand in the space between the little finger and ring finger of the left hand.
- Step Two - Place the ring finger of the right hand on top of the left hand in the space between the ring finger and middle finger of the left hand.
- Step Three - Place the middle finger of the right hand on top of the left hand in the space between the index finger and middle finger of the left hand.
- Step Four - Wrap the index finger of the right hand around the shaft just below and adjacent to the index finger of the left hand and the right thumb is placed across and over the top of the left thumb such that it touches the tip of the right index finger or it may be placed right on top of the shaft. The exact positions of the little, middle and ring fingers of the right hand are not critical, just what ever is most comfortable as long as the right index finger and right thumb positions are maintained.
Section Six - Unified versus Non-Unified Hands in the Golf Grip
Conventionally, golf swings are implemented with the hands gripping the club in a non-unified inline fashion. For right-handed golfers, this places the right hand below the left hand in holding the club and vice versa for left handed golfers. Thus, the conventional methods of gripping the golf club cause an uneven positioning of the shoulders which makes alignment a compromise.
Shoulder Alignment Angle Comparison
Top View of Shoulders
The conventional, non-unified hands methods of holding the golf club make it difficult to coordinate and swing both hands together in a smooth fashion, create tension in both the hands and arms because of their natural opposition throughout the swing and encourage the lower hand to dominate the other (due to greater mechanical leverage).
The conventional methods of gripping the golf club encourage applying full power and hitting the ball using the force applied by the right hand (for right handed golfers) while still holding onto the club with the left hand during a rather violent physical hitting and swinging action.
The conventional methods of gripping the club have made it difficult to learn how to swing the golf club with maximum club head speed (for distance) while maintaining accurate alignment and while staying free from tension during competitive situations.
With the exception of putting methods, there have been no significant changes in the method of the hands gripping the golf club during the past fifty years.
Section Seven - A Swing for All Technology Golf Equipment
With the recent major impacts of technology on the game, it was time that an improved method for holding the golf club was developed to take maximum advantage of technological changes by allowing golfers to swing their clubs rather than hit the ball.
The Trilap™ grip places one hand essentially on top of the other such that the application of power is accomplished by a natural hinging of the wrists during a full shoulder and arm rotating swing.
Over the past few years, golf club and golf ball design and manufacturing technology have made incredible advances to the stage where the sheer hand strength and power previously needed by golfers are no longer necessary to achieve high ball flight and realistic distances from the club striking the golf ball.
These technologies have been so effective that new advanced technology drivers have been able to command prices unheard of ten years ago and in fact prices comparable to what an entire set of used clubs could have been purchased for ten years ago.
Golf clubs are significantly lighter due to use of new metal alloys like titanium, new composite graphite shaft materials and new varying diameter shaft configurations. The lighter club heads and shafts have allowed shafts to be made longer. Improved heel-toe weighting, much larger club heads and low torque shafts have made clubs more forgiving on off center hits. Sharper (square) grooves, lower club head center of gravity weight distribution, and variable shaft "kick points" produce higher trajectory shots than previous club designs.
Golf ball materials and methods of construction, and aerodynamic design have produced golf balls which go farther and straighter than previous ball designs with less effort. Different dimple patterns change the aerodynamic performance such that the basic trajectory (high or low) can be affected by which ball is used. The cover materials selected, whether the core is solid or has windings and whether the ball is two, three or more piece construction can affect amounts of spin produced.
The conventional inline gripping methods for holding the golf club rely on a hitting action to apply power for distance and to get the ball up in the air.
Section Eight - Why You Can Gain More Distance
There are several key factors at play: Angle of Attack - The more level position of the right shoulder promotes a more shallow angle of attack which produces a more upward impact force which is more in line with the desired direction of the ball thereby increasing energy transfer efficiency.
Right Shoulder Alignment Angle Comparison
Front View of Shoulders
The more level position of the right shoulder also promotes a more rotational and less up and down movement of the hands and arms on the swing path. This reduces the tendency to dig the club into the ground with the irons. This more shallow angle of attack at impact is especially helpful on fairway woods and long irons.
Another way to visualize the benefit of a more shallow angle of attack is that less backspin is produced therefore allowing more of the club head's energy to be converted into forward velocity.
The lower picture shows the more shallow angle of attack possible with the Trilap™ grip as compared with the Conventional grip upper picture.
Since the angle of attack is less, it produces less backspin which results in a hotter trajectory which means the ball will penetrate the wind better and roll farther after it hits the ground. It is worth noting that at least one major club manufacturer has recently introduced a specially fabricated club shaft which reduces the club head angle of attack at impact in the quest for more distance.
- Setting and Releasing Hands - By having the right hand essentially on top of the left hand, the potentially conflicting movements of the right versus the left hand during the backswing and downswing through impact are greatly reduced. Thus allowing a more fluid setting of the hands on the backswing and more energy efficient "release" of the hands through impact. The swing feels more like a slinging action than the hitting action with conventional gripping methods.
- Muscle Tension - With the right hand more even with the left, there is less difference in their positions to cause muscle tension in the left arm and wrist from the right hand pulling in on the left hand. This reduction in muscle tension allows increased club head speeds to be obtained.
- Increased Arc - The reduction of tension mentioned above actually allows for a slightly increased extension of the left arm and hand thus producing a slightly wider swing arc.
Section Nine - Why You Can Improve Your Golf Ball Stricking Consistency
There are several key factors at play here also:
- Accuracy - With the right hand essentially on top of the left, the right shoulder is more in line with the left, which helps, improve alignment. And, with the right hand moved from a "power" position to more of a stabilizing position it is more difficult to hook or slice the golf ball. Both of these effects reduce the tendency to steer the ball. This allows the golfer to "swing away" naturally with more confidence.
- Rotation - The swing becomes more rotational with fewer tendencies to dip or sway.
- Big muscle control - Bigger muscles are in control, which improves control, especially under competitive situations.
- Angle of Attack - The more shallow angle of attack reduces the tendency to dig in and catch shots fat. Also, the more shallow angle of attack reduces sidespin.
- Timing and Tempo - Timing of release of the hands at impact is more automatic and more at the peak speed point in the swing. This results from the sling like hinging action of the left wrist as a result of the shoulders and arms rotating around the body as they follow a level rotation of the hips. Lateral body movement and resultant inaccuracies are greatly reduced without any loss of distance.
Section Ten - Golf Swing Analyzer Test Data
Comparing the conventional interlocking grip with the Trilap™, swings with a five iron consistently showed a modest increase in club head speed with the Trilap™. And, the Trilap™ achieved a slightly tighter shot pattern as calculated by the analyzer.
The analyzer tests could not take into account the more shallow angle of attack created by the Trilap™ grip and the resulting reduction in spin, so the overall distance and accuracy advantage was not fully captured with the simple tests performed by the author.
Section Eleven How Does it Feel to Hit the Ball with the Trilap™ Grip?
With the Trilap™ grip it is almost effortless. You will be amazed at how far the ball goes for such little effort. There is a smoothness and fluidness that most golfers have rarely experienced. Consistently solid contact is the other big difference people have commented favorably about.
Most golfers will begin hitting good shots after only 10 - 20 practice shots. Especially if they swing slowly and let their arms naturally do the work. The only real adjustments required are:
- Stance / Posture - Stand slightly (one to two inches) farther from the ball or stand a little more upright which ever feels most comfortable.
- Left hand grip - Make sure to rotate the left hand slightly to the right, i.e., stronger.(You may have to experiment a little to find the best position for your swing.) Otherwise the club head will probably be slightly open at impact and the shots will consistently go to the right of your target line.
- Club face alignment - The club face must be square to the intended target line. This may even look a little closed since most golfers address the ball with the face a little open as insurance against closing the face with the right hand too quickly at impact.
As a reminder, you should strive to minimize tension at address and throughout your swing. You should be especially conscious of any tightness in your left forearm or left wrist. Your left hand grip should be soft, not tight around the club. A good sensation to think about is soft and rubbery.
Section Twelve - Summary of Trilap™ Grip Grip Advantages
The following significant advantages which lead to lower scores, less fatigue, less physical stress, and more enjoyment of the golf game are provided by the Trilap™ grip:
- There is no longer a dominant right hand position which has to be controlled to maintain accuracy and consistency; both hands are fully coupled and work in unison.
- Swing plane is more shallow and reduces excess backspin (hence providing more distance) since both hands are essentially in the same location on the golf club. When one hand is below the other in an inline fashion it pulls one shoulder forward and down relative to the other.
- Shoulder alignment is improved (ball goes more toward target) since both hands are essentially in the same location on the golf club. Rather than one below the other in an inline fashion which pulls one shoulder forward and down relative to the other.
- Club head speed is increased (hence more distance) due to the reduction of muscle tension from eliminating two hands being in opposition.
- The golf swing is now more dependent on using the larger muscle groups of the arms and shoulders in a more rotational manner resulting in less stress on back and leg muscles.
- A more controlled, smoother swing is achieved since less physical force has to be applied to achieve a comparable distance. This reduces muscle fatigue and results in a swing better suited for competitive circumstances.
- The swing plane and club head path through impact with the golf ball are more consistently controlled by one arm which can now lead throughout the swing; this reduces slices and hooks.
- The golf swing is easier to teach and will be easier to learn by beginners since the complex relationship of the two hands working in different roles no longer needs to be taught and the lower body and leg actions are simplified.
- The golf swing feels more relaxed and fluid which is comforting and reassuring such that a smoother, more consistent tempo is achieved and maintained even under competitive circumstances.
When you first begin to hit some golf shots using the Trilap grip, just enjoy it as a new experience -- after a few, possibly wild or topped shots, you will be amazed at how quickly you adjust and begin hitting really good shots.
Don't worry about what someone else may think or say, they probably won't even notice your new grip unless you say something to them. As a final note you might also want to experiment with just a double overlap instead of the full triple overlap(Trilap) grip. Jim Furyk , a regular on the PGA tour, uses the double overlap grip for all of his playing.
Trilap™ Grip User Survey
Thank you for reading our Trilap™Grip Article. We hope you enjoyed reading it.
We expect you to really enjoy your experience and that you will gain a better understanding of the golf swing from the various sections.
If you have any questions and/or would like to share your experiences with us, please contact us by using our Feedback/Questions form.
Copyright © 1998-2010 1st Edition 1998, 2nd Edition 2003 3rd Edition 2004, 4th Edition 2006 5th Edition 2008, 6th Edition 2010
Golf Lab | REESO Putters
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Researched by: John S. Reese, John M. Reese & Kelly L. Reese
Written by: John S. Reese with Kelly L. Reese
All product and brand names included in this manual are trademarks, registered trademarks, or trade names of their respective holders. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval systems, without express written permission from the publisher, except for the inclusion of quotations in a review.
While this article is designed to provide accurate information in regards to the subject matter covered, it is provided with the understanding that the author or publisher is not engaged in rendering professional advice. If expert advice is required, the services of a competent golf teaching or playing professional should be sought.
The publisher/author does not assume and hereby disclaims any liability to any party for any loss or damage caused by use of the information contained in this publication or errors or omissions in this publication, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident or any other cause. The information contained in this publication discusses a new system for swinging a golf club which may or may not improve the swing of every individual who tries it. Such is the elusive nature of the golf swing.