Top 5 Tips on Grip Pressure
We are moving in to uncharted territory for many of you following along. I would bet a nice amount that most of you have never been coached on your grip pressure, and I bet it has not even come up if you have received a lesson. Most teachers stick to the basics – swing plane, tempo, knee bend, all that good stuff… but with that said, grip pressure is highly important to your golf swing. If you are applying too much pressure – look for calluses for this one, then you are going to cause a world of trouble for yourself. The same applies for those of you not applying enough pressure. During this section, we will cover the ideal grip pressure you want to apply, as well as correcting the other two flaws I just mentioned. I have struggled with gripping the club too tight for a long time, and I have all kinds of calluses to show it… but I have also battled through this and found many ways to fix this issue and keep it away moving forward. I get it, everyone claims to have the “cure-all” but I am not here to fill you with the text book answers, I am simply here to provide you with the tips and drills I have applied to my game throughout the years. If you can dedicate the correct amount of time to each step, you will see the improvements you are seeking.
The first thing I want to cover is the tight grip pressure. This is quite easy for me to address, because this was a flaw in my game for so long. When you grip the club too tight, it actually tightens the rest of your arms (yes – your wrists, forearms, and bicep all tighten) and this causes a world of trouble in your swing. If you have stumbled upon my previous articles regarding swing tempo, then some of this may sound familiar. When you grip the club too tight, you are actually putting too much pressure on the rest of your arm muscles – causing you to swing the club too quickly throughout… and we know this is not a good motion. The results will vary, from a hook to a slice, to even the good old fashion chunk shot. To correct this motion, simply set up with your normal address, but from here stand up straight. Take the club in your hands and hold it just like you normally do… how does the pressure feel? Wiggle your hands around slowly and pay attention to the pressure your hands have on the club. If you are putting too much pressure on the grip, the club will barely move at all – if any. So, to correct this, I want you to relax the body until the club is wiggling around. You feel the difference now? Of good. So from here, set back up to the ball. The first thing you will probably notice is that you are standing too far away from the ball… this is because you were gripping too tight – which effects the rest of your upper body, remember? Now, step close to the ball and keep the same relaxed setup… then swing away. I realize this may feel weird at first, so as I usually do, I will challenge you: Really invest the time into this new motion. It is going to feel a lot different, mainly because your arms are more relaxed and you are standing closer to the ball. It will take some time to get used to the new setup, so invest the time until you are comfortable with this new setup. Spend at least week before you go take to the course, you need to really ensure you are able to apply the new approach before putting it to the real test.
On the flip side, there are those of you that are not gripping the club tight enough… and this will cause a lot of trouble as well. When you grip the club too loose, you are also relaxing the body too much. Yes, this is possible. To correct this, take the same drill from the previous paragraph and pay attention to what the club is doing when you are standing up straight. Is it falling out of your hands, or wiggling too much? If so, then tighten the grip up just a bit. Be careful, you don’t want to over correct and end up gripping the club too tight. Ideally, you will grip the club close to the base of your fingers – which does help you to generate more power… but that is a different article for a different time. Now that you have corrected your grip pressure, it is time for my challenge to you: As with any of my drills, you need to invest the time on the range to ensure you are comfortable with the new motion prior to taking to the course. You can’t correct any motion in the golf swing with just two minutes of tweaks. Really take the time to make sure you are comfortable with the new grip pressure, and relish in your hard work prior to hitting the links. Once you are 100% comfortable, that you can apply your new approach to the course, but don’t play prior to feeling comfortable.