On Injury, Grip Change, and Setbacks
It will hurt if I swa... swing
My right pinkie looks like it has gigantism. Not quite as grotesque as Ken Griffey Jr.’s head in the Simpson’s famous baseball episode, but it is about three times larger than my left. It’s noticeable, it’s unsightly, and it hurts.
Apparently, due to my interlock grip and hitting a LOT of balls this year, my knuckles have been rubbing together, and it caused the knuckle on my right pinkie to become massively inflamed. I asked a PT on my hockey team what he thought, and he basically told me it would probably take 2-3 months to heal, and I should probably stop doing whatever it was I was doing to cause this.
So I was at a crossroads, I could take the rest of the summer off golf, let it heal up, and then when it felt better, start back in and maintain my health a little better by applying tape, and ice after rounds, and perhaps use various creams, gels, or ointments.
I could change my grip while continuing to work on swing changes in the middle of golf season while using various creams, gels, or ointments. (Okay, I was told to use Voltaren, an arthritis relief cream… I don’t have arthritis per se, but whatever… I’M NOT OLD.)
Neither sounded overly appealing, but between golfing and not golfing, it was an easy choice.
I went to my instructor and showed him my fingers, and told him I wanted to switch to an overlap grip. We worked on it during a lesson, and then he instructed me to grab a club whenever I could and just hold it because it was going to feel very uncomfortable for a while. To say it has been in my head for about a month was an understatement. My scores shot back through the roof, I just never felt comfortable standing over the ball, and I had approximately 34 swing thoughts.
I stayed committed to the change, though, my knuckle is only two times bigger than the one on my left, and I started to shoot in the 80s again. It’s also not painful to grip the club. What stuck out to me doing this change versus other changes I have attempted to do in my swing is that I got through the other side of this with it only being in my head temporarily. I feel like other swing changes, specifically my wrist hinge, are changes I have a hard time implementing and getting over. With this change, I think the idea was that I didn’t have a choice, so I had to stick with it and get over it. Also, when I occasionally interlock because I wasn’t thinking about it, I got a painful reminder of why I was doing the change.
So, this has made me rethink how I implement other swing changes, sometimes I toy with it on the range and attempt to bring it out onto the course and then shy away when I hit a bad shot. If I treat every change like I HAVE to implement it perhaps, the results will be better.
Do you interlock or overlap?