The Perfect Grip

At the Bishops Gate Golf Academy we are changing the game by only dealing in facts, proven data, education and inspiration. This is why when we evaluated the assessment process our students pass through we decided to call in not only an expert, but the man who is an educator of experts.

World-renowned hand and wrist surgeon, Dr. Doug Campbell from the Leeds Teaching Hospital in England sits on nearly as many advisory boards as Tiger Woods has won majors. Most recently he has expanded his hand and wrist expertise into the sporting arena, working with the likes of the Great Britain Olympic diving team, numerous high-profile rugby and soccer players. In the golf world, he holds a position on the European Tour medical advisory board where his role entails attending tournaments such as the Portugal Masters, BMW PGA Championship and this year’s Ryder Cup to assess the hand and wrist issues of elite golfers and judge the potential for injury, as well as advise on preventative treatment.

Doug educated our team about the workings of the hand and wrist throughout the golf swing. We were able to enter into some great conversations regarding what some self-proclaimed experts call the perfect grip and what Doug has found based on countless hours of specific study and surgical procedures. The conclusions we drew from listening to both perspectives were that there is a perfect grip, but it must be based on the needs of the individual. The hand positioning and placement that is required from a golfer needs to match movement patterns and physical capabilities of that individual in order to be classified as perfect.

We also discussed injury prevention with Doug. He presented data suggesting that a quarter of students that we send to college may encounter wrist problems down the line. Doug discussed that players currently playing with wrist injuries will create psychological impendence when trying to obtain peak performance levels. This was of great concern to myself as the Director of Mental Training and Zach as the Director of Performance and furthers our belief that an interdependent multidisciplinary team of experts is needed to create elite athletes.

Doug spent the other half of his visit with us interacting with our players on the range and sharing how his experiences on the European Tour could apply to our players. Our passion and belief in practical application, (see one, do one, teach one) led us to watching Doug evolve into our personal trackman for the hand and wrist eliminating myths and guess work by sharing his radar-like eye.

In order to take Doug’s expertise to the next level we intend to use his radar-like eye in our technology room that will contain 3D full range motion capture as part of our standard screening process for every student athlete that attends the academy. This will give us, as coaches, the peace of mind that we are doing everything in our power to prevent injury and get our students gripping the club in a way that will create a fit and enabled college golfer well on the road to a life of Mastery, Autonomy and Purpose.

We would like to extend a huge thank you to Mr. Campbell for not only squeezing a visit to Bishops Gate Golf Academy into his very busy schedule (on this trip between book publishers and the Ryder Cup), but for sharing his knowledge and passion in a way that educated and empowered us all to learn and grow to truly change the game.

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