I once had the privilege of a golf lesson with Bernhard Langer, later to be a double US Masters champion and victorious Ryder Cup captain and I asked him what was the best tip he'd ever been given.
"Two words, "he said "grip pressure."
Can you expand on that, I asked him.
"There's not much else to say other than that it's something I always remember before I hit a shot. Never grip the club too hard. Feel it in your fingers,grip it lightly, don't strange it. You will have better control of the clubhead."
It's a lesson I often recall - though not often enough - and brought it to mind when I heard this week about a new product, the SensoGlove, appropriately developed in Germany, Langer's native country.
The computerised golf glove looks and feels like a regular golf glove, made of cabretta leather, but includes highly responsive and strategically-placed sensors which measure grip pressure 80 times per second. The sensors then feed the data into a small computer attached to the back of the glove.
If the golfer grips the club too tightly, the computer emits a loud audio signal, warning the player to ease off. The 3cm wide screen also provides an instant visual readout to indicate to what extent too much grip pressure is being applied.
David Bauer from SensoSolutions, said: "Gripping the club too tightly is one of the most destructive flaws in a golfer's technique because it causes muscle tension, which itself leads to poor rhythm and jerky movement. With the SensoGlove, golfers of all levels can experience exactly what the correct grip pressure feels like. The results are improved rhythm and timing, higher club head speed and a more efficient and repeatable golf swing."
The SensoGlove, he says, helps golfers understand and feel the proven physiological fact that tight muscles are 'slow muscles' and therefore inhibit natural, smooth body movements.
During practice, golfers pre-set the computer to 'low' or 'high' sensitivity. The highest settings (13-18) are most sensitive and encourage a very light grip pressure, particularly useful when practising putting and chipping. The lowest settings (1-12) are less sensitive and are designed to help golfers develop a lighter grip stage-by-stage.
Adds Bauer: "Many golfers who use the SensoGlove are surprised by how much pressure they really apply unconsciously during their swing. By starting on a low setting and moving through to the higher settings, they are able to modify their grip pressure over a short period until they reach the ultimate, light grip.
"They then use a sensitive setting for short-game practice, on the driving-range or even during an actual round, though it's not legal to use the glove in competition. While the SensoGlove is proven to add distance, it claims to help generate more feel in short shots.
When the glove gets worn out, a replacement can be obtained from www.SensoGlove.com and the battery-operated minicomputer can be easily snapped into place on the back of the new glove.
Available in mens and womens left-hand only (sizes S-XL) the SenoGlove costs £49.95 until September 21 to be extended by four weeks if the Europeans team win the Ryder Cup. Replacement gloves cost around £12.
Computerised glove gets to grips with pressure