The golf grip is the fundamental skill that every golf must know and understand. The slightest change in a players grip can make the difference between hitting straight or wayward; long or short; consistent or inconsistent. I often wondered why professional golfers today hit the ball so much farther than players like Jack Nicklaus and Johnny Miller. Of course technology has helped, but Miller explains how the evolution of the golf grip has really impacted the game.
The basic gist behind Miller’s view is that transition of professional golfers from a neutral to strong grip. Take a look:
I have watched some video from years past and present day players and Miller is spot on. Virtually all professional golfers use a stronger grip and as a result can hit the ball much farther than in years past. This does not mean they are more accurate, just that they can hit a long ball…..just watch Bryson Dechambeau, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Brookes Keopka.
When I first started to play golf, I was taught to use a neutral setting when gripping the golf club. Because of this, I have adjusted my entire posture and ball position to fit this fundamental technique. As a result, I have never hit the ball long, but have would be considered very straight. This is skill is laudable, however, as I enter the senior category I wonder if my neutral grip is starting to hinder my game.
I have tinkered with a strong grip in the past, but I have never really dedicated my efforts to making the grip change. I found that the domino affect throughout the rest of my golf swing was very frustrating and I was not patient enough to follow it through.
I think it might be time to reevaluate my grip; however, I am sticking with my interlocking grip for sure. I might adopt a slightly stronger grip, not as dramatic as professionals, but slightly stronger. I will play with this concept over the winter in my indoor practice area. Of course, I will have to adjust other aspects of my swing, but I think if I approach this change slowly, I might see some positive results next year on the course.
Do you use a strong golf grip?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
8 thoughts on “Changes In The Golf Grip”
Jim, I used to play with my left thumb straight down the shaft. Couldn’t hit it long but man, was I straight. I changed to a two knuckle grip and added distance with the obvious cost to accuracy. My right hand grip hasn’t changed over time. Nowadays, I don’t tinker with it, just everything else 🙂
I need to try some things, but I am not hard bent on making changes. It will take some time to check things out, but it will be a slow process for sure. I will keep you posted.
LikeLiked by 1 person
At the beginning of the year, I changed my grip on the advice that it would create a freer swing. For years, I have used an interlocking and I changed to overlap.
In September, (after missing 90% of my fairways this summer) I switched back to interlocking and my accuracy came back. In my case, it didn’t seem to affect the distance as much as the accuracy.
The strong, neutral and weak don’t have as much impact on my swing as the type of grip did. It may have caused me to squeeze harder, due to lack of faith, but the overlap is out of my life forever.
As I age, it’s really more important to make the second shot easier. If I must sacrifice distance for accuracy, I’ll work harder on my short game to make up the shots!
Thank you for your gratitude and daily ponderings!
Thanks for sharing your experiences. I think many amateurs feel the same way, they need to sacrifice something to something to improve their golf game. I to give up distance of for accuracy, but I am going to try to improve the first without hurting the second. I am grateful for the kind words.
As someone who has made the opposite switch, I’d caution against attempting that kind of change in your basement over your winter break. Though you’ll have more than enough time what you won’t have is the proper feedback. That net is great for working on ball contact and chipping/pitching, but not so great at a major change like a new grip. Consider that a 2 inch miss (right of left of the target line) is hard for your eye to identify in the net. It’s only 6 feet or so away, but it happens in a blink. That same miss is over 20 feet at 200 yards. And side spin numbers are really impossible to judge in the net. Your natural draw could become a monster hook like mine did (before I changed to a neutral grip) and in the net, you couldn’t tell.
The video below is about impact. It’s the 2nd lesson with these two so far. The first you might remember was on chipping/pitching. This is the next step and while the instructor changed this guys grip from weak to neutral in the last video, he’s getting the student to impact with the same hands forward look Mr. Miller was saying came from a strong grip. I’m not saying Miller is wrong of course. A stronger grip will do that to you more naturally. I know, because I played for years with a strong grip. But, you don’t have to have a strong grip to make impact with hands forward and a strong grip might just make you over do it like it did me. But that’s something I’d be discussing with a pro. Anyway, the video is interesting and I think, insightful. I love how this instructor works WITH the students flaws and helps him feel what’s right.
Thanks for the sage advice! I will definitely keep that in mind as I work through my off-season hitting balls. I agree with your assessment and do not plan to make any major changes hitting into a net. But, tweaking might be fun.
Tweaking can be loads of fun. You can judge for yourself where it might suit you best. If I had nothing but a basement net to work with, I’d come out of my winter break with the best ball striking I ever had. And I’d likely have foot powder spread all over my basement from hitting the lines I’d make in the mat to judge my club strike. 😂
We had another early perfect day today (the high was 75 degrees) and I walked 27 holes. My game wasn’t the best, but I played 3 over through all 27 so my scrambling was on point. And I noticed 3 things during the day that I think will help in the future. The first is on at least two holes which happen to be consecutive I wasn’t taking a specific aiming point. On both holes I’ve been missing right off the tee more often than not and having to go into scramble mode. Today I lost a ball to the right rough on the first one and when I hit my provisional it dawned on me what I’d not been doing and I found a proper aim point. I hit that ball center fairway. The next hole is a par three I’ve been making the same mistake on. My tee shot rolled off the back left today and left me an easy up and down and a thought on a slightly better aiming point for next time.
I also noticed afterwards that I was hitting greens easily when I was choking down a little more on the club. I do that when I’m scrambling quite often I guess, but for some reason not often when I’m hitting my normal shot. The length of the shots I’m hitting are practically the same so that tells me my contact is better when I choke down a little so I need to do that by default for awhile to test that out more.
And this last one is something I became conscience of today. When I wanted to hit a draw lately, I’ve really had to prep myself. Today I noticed that when I placed the ball just a little back and just a little farther away from my feet, I’m talking a ball or less, I’d automatically push out and hit a low draw. It worked today on my 5,6, and 7 irons really well.
Oh, and I got another one of those not really eagles today on number 6. Today with a 6 iron instead of a 5. I was still pretty pumped about being out on such a nice day I think. I planned to be just short and chip on, but I had hit one of those little draws and I was almost flag high and 12 feet left. Nailed the cup dead center. This new putter is working really well. There are only two issues. Both minor. Unlike my blade, I have to take the time to set up to hit even a short 1 foot putt. The alignment of this putter throws me off at any other angle than dead behind it. And I can’t pick up a ball with it.
C’est la vie
Sounds like you had an awesome time on the links yesterday. You “a-ha” moments are awesome. I specifically like the aim small miss small epiphany. I hope you can carry those onto the next round.