The Importance of a Square Clubface | Swing Surgeon - Don Trahan Peak Performance Golf Swing

The Importance of a Square Clubface

Mon, 06/01/2015 - 12:00 -- Don Trahan

Do you check your clubface before you set up to the ball? A square clubface is critical to hitting the ball at your intended target. It's very easy to overlook the position of the clubface, especially because it only needs to be open or shut a tiny amount in order to have a negative effect on your ball flight.

There's a few different reasons why your clubface may not be square. If you waggle the club a lot before you settle into the shot, the club cluld be moving in your hand without you realizing it. Another likely culprit is alignment. I would say that almost all the golfers I see with a shut clubface do so because of their alignment. They are self correcting for the fact that they are misaligned.

Watch today's video for some tips on how you can always make sure your clubface is square to the target.

Keep it vertical!

The Surge


Rich Ficken's picture

Submitted by Rich Ficken on

Surge's daily on the shut clubface comes at a great time. I normally hit a nice little draw, very consistently from tee to green (and yes, I am certain I do that by being a bit closed at address with a clubface slightly closed), but lately I have had a couple horrendous outings plagued by hard low hooks with my driver and longer clubs. My normal on-course corrections were not working, as I found that even after carefully improving my alignment and weakening my grip, there seemed to be nothing I could do the stop the toe from turning over too early. It definitely got in my head. Strangely, I found that, after swinging and returning the club to address for inspection, the face was closed. One little thing I discovered this weekend was that I normally take my grip with relaxed arms with slightly bent elbow, but then when I prepare to swing the arms get a bit straighter at the elbow. That little action seems to close the face, along with a little milking/regripping. When you KNOW you are going to snap hook the ball, it all feels so uncomfortable... So, I tinkered with taking my grip with a bit more firmness (my feeling was to draw the elbows in, then grip), and I found I could address without milking. And then upon swinging I could return the club to address and it was square. I think this is similar to Surge's approach of holding the club out in front while getting the grip square - to do that you would have your arms a bit firm and straight. Anyway, although I still hit a couple shots that bothered me, for the most part my ball-striking was much improved. Surge is 100% on the money with this instruction - thank you!

Dave Everitt's picture

Submitted by Dave Everitt on

I have a test that I do automatically in my setup routine to ensure a consistent relationship between the grip and the clubface. After assuming the grip with both hands,in front of my body, and the club face square, I check my grip's neutrality by extending the right index finger, with the hands still together,straight out and flush down the right middle side (equator) of the grip. If the extended finger tip sits below the equator my grip is too strong and above too weak. Hopefully, this will make sense if you try it with a club.

NeilofOZ's picture

Submitted by NeilofOZ on

Dave, just had a go on a club shaft in my office and found my RH index finger was pointing down to the ground and found it resting on the "equator" about half way up my finger, so not too sure if I'm reading your method correctly, am I correct.

I still have a problem of pulling balls to the left and it doesn't matter what steps i take, the result has always been the same. Had a session with Surge in OZ at the beginning of this year and we put it down to the big A and posture, but only improved marginally, he even checked my club face when holding it horizontal and it was OK. In the past i even tweaked with a weaker grip, but this just produced slices.

Dave Everitt's picture

Submitted by Dave Everitt on

Sorry Neil. I should put this in better context. Your description sounds correct to me. I haven't been able to find the video link reference for this but the idea is that the meat of the index finger should feel squarely behind the grip similar to the way a lot of people grip their putters with the index finger down the back of the grip.

This year I made a grip change taught by fellow Canadian " Shawn Foley", that has given me back the draws and power fades and virtually eliminated weak shots to the right. For the grip change to work, the right hand has to be weaker than the left. In other words , I forget about having the V's of the two hands match up .

The following link will show you the grip change and why my right index finger check is useful. I think that the test also helps to keep me from overdoing it and getting the left hand grip too strong. ( about 2 knuckles works for me)

This grip change, combined with improved foot work ( another big change for me this year), has reduced any pull shots to the point that they are playable most of the time.'s picture

Submitted by ebesset1@roches... on

I find that my pulls are usually due to me coming OTT because I started my downswing
with my arms rather than with the slight bump of my hips....

Robert Fleck's picture

Submitted by Robert Fleck on

Dave, I'm pretty sure I recall Surge saying similar stuff about not having the two Vs point the same way. It's an unnatural way to hold your hands. A true neutral grip has the thumbs pointing up the forearms, which pretty much has the Vs pointing the same way. To get them to both point the same way you either have to unnaturally turn the left hand more to the right or the right hand more to the left. Neither would be good for your golf swing.

And, in news not to do with the swing, I'll be a walking scorer at this week's Tour event here in Dallas. I don't get to score DJ's group either day I've volunteered for, but I hope to get a little time after my shift tomorrow to watch him for a few holes and cheer him on from the Surge Nation. :)