The golf grip is the singularly most important choice any amateur golfer makes. The slightest change to the position of the hands has a tremendous impact on whether the ball finishes in the woods or in the middle of the fairway. Focusing on how to hold a golf club is the first step to developing a great golf swing. After choosing how to hold your hands on the club, it is now time to experiment with your hand position to decide if you need to use a strong, weak or neutral grip.
Determining if you naturally hold the club in a strong or weak way is determined by the thumb and index finger of each hand (Vs). A strong grip, the Vs are right of the centre of the shaft. As a visual cue, you can see the knuckles of your left hand. A neutral grip, the Vs are down the center line of the shaft and you can see three knuckles on each hand. A weak grip, the Vs are left of center and you can see the knuckles of your right had. (The above description is for a right-handed player; the opposite is true for a left-handed player)
A strong grip has several benefits: it closes the club face on impact, helps players draw the ball and can help players with an inside-out swing. Golf Magazine’s “The Best Driving Instruction Book Ever” recommends the strong grip for amateurs with fast hips. Fast hips force the club head to lag behind on contact resulting in an open face. Using a strong grip reduces the tendency to push or slice the ball. The club face will close with a strong grip and allows for a natural draw.
A neutral grip is generally used by players who have all aspects of their swing in order. The neutral grip helps a player to ‘shape the ball’ easier, but it takes practice to find the proper technique to make that happen. Golf Magazine recommends players with medium hip speed to use the neutral grip.
A weak grip has its benefits as well. It produces a natural fade and recomended for players with an out to inside swing plane. Golf Magazine recommends that players with slow hips use a weak grip to center the club face being closed on impact. Slow hips force the club head in front of your body on contact and by using a weak grip, it reduces the tendency to pull or hook the ball.
Choosing how to hold a golf club that best suits your swing is important to success on the links. Employing a strong, neutral, or weak grip is an important step to building a strong swing foundation. Determining which grip is best for you will require some effort on the practice range. Once you have found what works best for your, lower scores will in your future.
I use a neutral grip. Through the years of trial and error, the neutral grip continues to make its way back into my swing. This year, however, I am going to experiment with a strong grip. It might increase my distance off the tee, but more importantly to increase my course management options.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links.