Because the hands are the only point of contact a player has with the club, there must be a right and constant grip pressure applied for the best results.
This sounds simple enough but every left handed golfer is different and therefore their grip pressure will also be different. As a general rule, players need to apply a grip pressure which will maintain control over the club face without introducing tension into the hands. For specialist shots such as a flop shot, the grip pressure may have to be reduced.
For most full swing shots from the tee or fairway, a standardized grip pressure is normally the most consistent way to produce solid ball striking.
Players need to toe the line between keeping the grip pressure relaxed whilst maintaining control. The most common fault with amateur players is to grip on to the club too tightly. If the grip pressure becomes too tight, tension will spread from the hands to the arms up through the shoulders and then to the upper body; this results in a jerky and awkward swing. A more uncommon fault is when players hold the club too lightly and lose control over the club face through the swing and impact.
An easy way to understand and control grip pressure is to use a sliding scale. At one end of the scale is the tightest grip pressure a left handed golfer can muster; number 10. The other end of the scale represents the lightest grip pressure possible without letting go of the club; number 1. On a normal shot, the grip pressure should be maintained at the 4 or 5 mark, smack bang in the middle of the scale; this will give the most consistent results. To practice, players can go through the scale, 1 to 10, hitting shots with the different grip pressures. Some players will find more consistent results at number 3, others at number 6. The key is to experiment and find the perfect grip pressure for you.
Some shots, such as the flop shot, require the club head to slide underneath the ball, lifting it skyward and landing it softly on the green. This type of shot is helped by a very relaxed grip as are other delicate shots around the green.
When the ball lands in heavy rough, however, a tighter grip may have to be employed to ensure the club’s hosel doesn’t get snagged and turn over sending the ball low and left. A tighter grip can also be used in fairway bunker shots to ensure the club doesn’t catch the ground before the ball.
For most shots in golf, a consistent grip pressure is needed to produce the best results, a grip pressure which is neither too light or too tense. However, the left handed golfer needs to experiment and then adapt to changing circumstances they find during a round of golf.