Grip Pressure Techniques in the Short Game

    It is just as important to maintain a light grip pressure in the short game as it is with the full swing. In fact, you could even argue that it is more important to have a light touch on and around the greens, as you need your feel to be at its best when playing these types of shots. Fortunately, it should be easier to put your light grip to use in the short game than it was in the long game.

    When putting, you should be using the lightest grip possible while still keeping the club in your hands. Most likely, your putting grip is going to be significantly lighter than your full swing grip, because the club is not moving very fast at all when putting. It doesn’t take much to keep the putter in your hands, and a loose grip is going to help you control the distance of your putts nicely. You should feel like the putter is just hanging down from your hands at address. If there is any tension at all in your hands or wrists when you are getting ready to putt, your grip is too tight. When you notice that tension, take a step back and relax your hands before resetting. The goal here is to keep tension away while allowing yourself to rock the putter back and through with ease.

    The grip pressure you use when stepping off the green to hit a chip or pitch is going to depend on the lie of the ball. If you have a clean lie on the fairway for a short chip shot, you can again use a very light grip. However, if the ball is down in a bunker, you will need to tighten your hands up in order to hand on when the club head slams into the sand. Likewise, when playing from the deep rough, as you will again need a tight grip to keep the club head from twisting at the bottom of the swing. As is usually the case in golf, you are going to need to practice your short game from a variety of lies in order to determine just how much grip pressure will be needed in each case.

    Grip pressure is a tricky topic to teach, and many golf instructors will shy away from this fundamental just because it is hard to explain clearly to students. We hope the conversation in the article above will help you get on the right track with regard to your grip pressure. To review, you always want to hold onto the club tight enough to keep it in your hands, but you don’t want to hold any tighter than necessary. Excess tension in your grip is only going to hold you back from reaching your potential on the course. Spend some time in practice working on finding the right grip pressure, starting with short shots and working your way up from there. In time, you’ll settle on a perfect grip pressure that allows you to play your best golf. Good luck!