Choking Down On Your Golf Club

I have read many articles about choking down on a golf club to adjust distances to the green. This maneuver is often used in the professional rank and players who understand their normal yardages. I suppose it could be used by us regular players, but I think that just moving our hands without understanding what the results will be to the your ball’s distance and flight.

I actually use this technique, but generally to adjust to the ball being above my feet. I find that when I choke down my clubs, it hurts my normal rhythm and tempo. I am not sure why this happens, but it does except…… first lets see what the teaching professionals have to say about choking down on your golf club:

Now that I have you on the hook, I do use this technique in one situation every time; in fairway bunkers. I find that when I squish my feet into the sand I need to grip down my club about an inch in order keep my swing plane the same. This allows me to make ball contact first before the sand. Hence great contact and acceptable distance.

I am not suggesting that choking down on your golf club is a bad idea, actually, I see the science behind the process and think it does work. I just have not practiced it enough to get a handle on whether it would be good for my game. Like the instructors in the video suggest, it is time to hit the range.

Do you choke down on your club to adjust distances on 3/4 or full shots?

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


8 thoughts on “Choking Down On Your Golf Club

  1. I frequently choke down on the short irons and always when the ball is above my feet. I find half to two thirds shots work very well and I can use my trajectory.

    Playing hickory clubs 70% of the time has reinforced the value of gripping down to control trajectory and rollout where the pin placement allows it. I find a half to three quarter swing very effective at keeping the club on target. I made two birdies today by using a Jigger (35 degrees) from 80 yards. Both putts were inside six feet.

    I rely very much on feel. I typically play three or four different sets of clubs each week as I love using all my vintage clubs. My creativity has increased and have learned to rely on feel and finesse. I shape my shots better and the old hickory clubs are very effective swing trainers. I use the same techniques when I play with modern and classic clubs.

    I am very satisfied with my game over the last three years. My appreciation of what can be done with what most people consider outdated equipment has made me question much of today’s golf hype. The game has always been one of skill and technique, today’s topic is one of these. I am not sure that much of the emphasis on increased forgiveness has made most players better golfers.

    I realize that I am in a lunatic fringe minority. A friend and I were paired today with two gentlemen that were surprised to see us playing “ancient equipment “. I think they were worried that we might hold them up. We played from the same tees and after my 81 and Mike’s 83, they now have a different attitude,

    Well, tomorrow will be a different day. I am playing Heron Point with a friend that is a new hickory player. Even from the forward tee, the slope rating is 131. I love a challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lorne

      I think that you use the old technology so much that your game, swing and course management is affected less because you understand their benefits and limitations. New technology is better, but to what degree. If we could go back in time, I wonder how the players like Harry Vardon would perform using modern clubs. The best thing is that you are having fun and loving golf.

      Cheers Jim


  2. Jim, been experimenting with choked shots around the green. Last season was coming down about halfway on chips and pitches. But after some skinny contact on a few, am now favoring no choke. Ah, the journey continues.



    Liked by 1 person

    • Brian,

      I choke down on my clubs around the green. I guess I did not think about that when I wrote my article. I was focused on hitting from the fairway. From that distance, I have had little success. It seems that my journey continues as well.

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I call it essential learning. For fine tuning distance control and trajectory, and also for more confidence and even better ball striking. I also call it easy. Or rather easier. Yeah, that’s more accurate. lol

    The only thing about it for beginners I think is worth mentioning is when we set up for a choked up shot, the ball won’t be in the same position it normally would for that iron. Ball position and your stance width will change to match the path needed to get the club head level at impact. You can’t just step in closer or you’ll be hitting toe down and that won’t go well. But that should come pretty naturally. Just be sure to check it and ball position with your practice swing and set up accordingly and you should be good to go. It should be easier and a confidence booster. You’ve made the club shorter. And shorter is easier almost everywhere in this game.

    And for you, I don’t quite get the rhythm thing. I mean, that too should just be natural. An 8 iron choked up to wedge length is going to have a wedge rhythm pretty much. Again, path will be a little different, but it should just be there naturally. We’re not really doing anything different than we already do. At least, we’re supposed to be. We’re just taking a swing. With a slightly shorter club for the number it’s got engraved on it.

    Now, as for that 5% thing. That’s more for the pro’s I think. For us amateurs, it’s more like a range unfortunately. We just aren’t as consistent or near as good. The general rule I learned that has worked pretty well for me is take off 5 yards per inch. Maybe a little more or less depending on the wind and the person. It’s not perfect of course, but it’s always a little guesswork when trying to get a specific distance. We learn a feel for it eventually just like everything else in golf. We may not have as much loss as the pro’s simply because we may hit it better when it’s shorter than we do when it’s longer where the pro’s just won’t.

    For me, I pride myself on days where I hit the ball at full club length as well as I hit them choked up. That’s a good day. I don’t look at it the other way because that never seems to crop up.

    I hit a few today where I choked up. A couple because I had to because the ball was higher than my feet. I pulled one a little which was disappointing because I ended flag high and could have had an eagle chance. But some good luck too. I pushed faded a drive into a ditch but not into the water and hit a choked up 7 iron out. It landed on top of one of the carts for the group in front of us. They’d left it dead center in the fairway 40 yards back which was more or less where I wanted to lay up to. The bounce off the carts roof almost got me on the green. I thanked them of course. lol

    And I choked up a 4 iron on the last hole after pulling one into the tree line. That one I played off the back of myself. Hand my hands all the way at the bottom of the grip to help give me room to swing. Punched that one out from 160 yards through a small opening, over a pond that stuck out between me and the green and landed it just short and got up and down to finish with a par. I love choking up. Full swings. Anywhere on the clock. Any club in the bag and any shot shape except high. And I include the driver. The confidence I get choking up on a driver when looking down a tight fairway is a big help.

    Liked by 1 person

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