How the left thumb should be placed on top of the shaft does not seem a likely subject of controversy, but golf pros—teachers and tournament players alike—have varying views on the matter. Should the thumb be pressed down firmly? Should it be loose? Should it lie full length along the top of the shaft? If you want a good, solid grip the answer to those questions is surprisingly important. The weekend golfer tends simply to grasp the club with the left hand, wrap the right hand over it and call it a day. This is regrettable, because the thumb can be one of the anchors of a good grip. My feeling is that the more thumb touching the shaft, the more solid the grip is likely to be. This is especially true in the case of golfers like myself, who have relatively small hands and need all the actual contact with the club that they can get. So I push my left thumb as far down the shaft as it will comfortably go and thus obtain additional control of the club and a little extra feel, which I need. There is one exception to this rule. A player with very long fingers already has sufficient hand control. If he stretches the thumb down the shaft he may interfere with the grip of the right hand. But the rest of us should not just let that left thumb sit there like a useless hunk of putty. So stretch it out and use it.