The Golf Grip…

Author: The Golf Sherpa  |  Category: Key Golf Fundamentals

Golf grip pressure is an issue that virtually every renowned golf instructor and published professional golfer has written about.  Why?  Because it has a very basic and powerful affect on how fast the end of your golf club moves.  Don’ t think so?

Imagine you have a mint 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback with a 4:11 gear ratio, traction bars, cool mags with centerline racing rims, and a 25 coat candy apple red paint job (or anything you think is supremely awesome).

Next, visualize that a scary and very jeleous person with a gun forces you to hit your supremely awesome car with a two iron.  If you wanted him to think you were taking a whack but wanted to minimize damage to your car,  you would instictively grip the club like you were trying to choke it to death.  This would enable you to use your wrists to slow the club head.

The same hand and wrist leverage you create to save your sweet ride in this nightmare scenario also robs your game of power and distance. 

So what is the proper grip pressure?

Here is where the debate takes many forks.

  • “Slammin” Sammy Snead was fond of saying he held the club as light as he would a baby bird.  He was also very fond of saying he never developed calluses because of his light pressure.
  • Tiger Woods tends to hold his clubs a bit firmer.
  • Most advocates say, depending on the shot, pressure should range between 5 and 7 on a scale of ten.
  • I have only read one article on a shot that required very firm grip pressure…hitting out of heavy rough.  This shot requires strong grip pressure to keep the club from shutting down when the hosel gets stuck in heavy grass.

“So”, you ask, “what is the anwer Sherpa?  Guide me please”!

The best drill I have ever used was one I read in an article by  Jim Flick.

  1. Take the golf club and hold it parallel to the ground at waist height.  Notice that this is where the club is heaviest in your hands and requires the firmest grip.
  2. Next pivot the end of the golf club upward until it is straight up and down.  Notice that this is when the club feels the lighest and requires the lightest grip.
  3. Finally, slowly lower the club head 45 degrees  (half way between the previous two positions).  Take note of how the club becomes slightly heavier and your grip pressure is slightly firmer.  This is the grip pressure he recommends and the one I use religiously.

An easy way to practice this feel is to try it a few times when you are practicing.  Simply take your grip when the club is at the 45 degree position (step 3 above) then set the club behind the ball, (taking special care not to change your grip pressure) and take your normal swing. 

Bottom line: “Lighter” is more powerful than “too firm”.  There is no perfect pressure, but this one has worked great for me.  Try it and tell me how it works for you.

Special shout out to GiGi’s comment for inspiring this post.

Play on..

The Golf Sherpa

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