Golf Grip Tension is Important

How tight do you hold your golf club? Do you grip it like you are climbing a rope or holding precious glass treasure? This is a question that I ask myself routinely as I make different shots during any given round. After thinking about it lately, I have decided that adjusting my grip tension for different shots is a natural act and not something I need to consciously think about. However, a different grip tension is important to successful golf and lower golf scores.

Not to delve too deeply in the types of grips, it is important to understand that each grip I tried naturally lent to different grip pressure. Here are the three grips used by the majority of golfers:

My view of grip pressure breaks down as follows:

The Ten Finger Grip – leans towards greater tension in the grip. I found that I had a tendency to grip the club the tightest. In my early years, this was not a bad thing, but as my skill improved, I found that gripping the club too tight limited the fluidity of my swing. Looking back, the tension in my grip was like holding a shovel while digging a hole. I am not suggesting that everyone should stop using this grip, but be aware you will have greater tension in your hands and wrists because of the tension applied based by this grip.

The Overlapping Grip – I never mastered this grip. I tried it many times, but found that the tension of my grip was a limiter to my success. I found that this grip had the propensity to lean towards a very loose grip. I equate this grip tension as holding a fresh piece of bread while applying cold butter. It was something I found challenging and did not really commit too so that I could use grip. I found that this grip naturally guides the player to the loosest tension when holding a golf club.

The Interlocking Grip – This is the middle of the road grip with respect to tension. With this grip, you receive immediate feed back if there is too much tension in my grip. Additionally, I can tell during set up when I am gripping my club too tight and thus causing challenges during my swing. The tension for my interlocking grip is akin to holding a knife while cutting a well cooked steak – the tension adjusts according to how deep the cut.

Does tension or grip pressure really matter? The short is answer is definitely! I will adjust my grip pressure from shot to shot depending on the requirements. First, when hitting a full swing with my driver, woods or irons, I try to keep my grip pressure light and consistent. I am confident that a gentle grip pressure will naturally adjust and tighten enough to ensure I have full control during my entire swing. It is something that I do not think about, but naturally happens. I will mention that from time to time I do notice that I am gripping the club too tight due to the pressure of the round, but adjust to normal as needed.

However, when chipping I will adjust my grip pressure from time to time. Generally, when the ball is in deepish grass or I need to make solid contact during a chip, I will tighten my lead hand to ensure the club head does not rotate upon contact. However, this is not the only time I will intentionally tighten my grip.

When putting, if I am hitting a very long putt (50+ feet) I will increase my grip pressure on my lead hand. I developed this technique years ago and found it successful for lag putting. I would suggest that I increase the pressure tow fold on these putts.

As you can see, grip pressure is important. I do adjust mine as required, and wonder if you adjust yours during the round?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!


8 thoughts on “Golf Grip Tension is Important

  1. In a dark golfer place…I use to be an avid golfer with a 6 or 7 index and would play $100 Nassau without thought…lowest round 69 from back tees.
    I was in a bad auto accident Aug 2018 heading to Kohler for a golf trip. My right leg has nerve damage, pain 24/7 but I am grateful to be here. For some reason I cant pull the club back now without crazy tension in my arms so bad sometimes my leg shakes. I always had a beautiful golf swing and guys on the range would be jealous…
    Now I am embarrassed and hide in the corner of the range trying to fix it.
    I would quit b/c it’s so frustrating and embarrassing but I have a 15 yr old son who loves to play and could be really good.
    Any thoughts would be gratefully appreciated…
    Broken golfer

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael,

      That is a tragic story. I applaud you trying to play because of your son. Finding the right teacher and coach for your son would likely be a course of action worth checking out. Obviously you are trying to support him as best you can and I applaud your efforts. I wish I had other advice, but I do not. I can send positive thoughts and hope things work out best for your son and you.

      Cheers Jim


  2. I’m not normal. I write, bowl, play pool and do most things left handed. But I golf and throw righty. When gripping my putter, I set it in my right hand, then add my left. I grip lightly with both hands, but since I support the weight of the putter with my right hand, my grip is slightly tighter with it. And my hands are at the bottom of the grip which helps me feel more under control.

    As for grip tension in the rest of my game, it’s not something I think about much. I’d say the only time I consciencely grip tighter is when hitting from a fairway bunker. From there I both grip down and tighten my grip a bit on purpose.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jim, very astute observations regarding grip pressure. I have noticed almost the exact same aspect with the putter. When I putt my best, I find myself firming up my lead hand and using it like a rudder to guide the stroke. My trailing hand pressure is softer and powers the stroke, like an engine. The softer pressure provides a better feel for distance, for some reason.

    On the grip typing, I can’t comment since I’ve been an overlapper since day one, but softer is generally better than firm because of the tension release.

    Good read; thanks!


    Liked by 1 person

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