In the Congressional Country Club clubhouse a couple weeks ago, Puyallup’s Ryan Moore had just finished up as missed-cut outing at the U.S. Open.
When asked about his ball-striking issues, he was despondent – a very rare occurence these days, because Moore is usually one who has an answer for everything concerning golf, especially his own game.
The following week, Moore went 19-under 261 to finish second at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut.
Moore got a grip on things – literally.
“Typical him,” said Troy Denton, one of Moore’s swing coaches based out of Dallas. “His swing is better than it’s ever been.”
Let’s retrace the past month or so:
Back in early May, Moore was shipped a new set of irons by Adams Golf, with whom he inked a two-year deal late in 2010. They were the 2011 MB2 irons with a muscleback design.
As has been the case throughout much of his career, Moore had Ribbed/Reminder grips, made by Golf Pride, put on his irons.
“There is a fish line down the seam (of the grip) … that cradles in your palm,” said Mike Moore, Ryan’s father. “I’d say 50 percent of golfers play them.”
Given much of the work Ryan Moore and Denton had put in before the U.S. Open was on alignment and clubface position, when the former star from UNLV started missing shots left, the head-scratching began.
Other issues were considered. Denton said the times that Moore gets really aggressive with his lower body, he comes too far underneath the ball (instead of over the top, which is a common average-golfer flaw) at impact.
With his golf ball spraying left and right, Moore thought old habits had crept back into his swing from when he had the hamate bone in his left hand broken (2005) and removed (2006).
So no wonder when Moore had the off-week at Congressional Country Club – he hit 17 of 28 fairways, and 17 of 36 greens in regulation on a soft course – he was perturbed. He had no solution.
When he and Denton discussed the missed shots, they came up with a possible answer – could there be something different with the grips?
Come to find out – yes.
With the way the grips were installed, Moore’s clubface lined up closed at address.
“Every time he set down the club down,” Mike Moore said, “it would want to rock shut 2 or 3 degrees.”
In Connecticut, Moore ripped off the grips and put new ones on, this time set ideally aligned. Bingo!
“It was like old times,” Mike said.