While it’s true that using the entire length of a golf club produces longer shots, this also hinders control. Gripping down on the golf club an inch or more from the butt of the shaft – called “choking up” or “gripping down” — can greatly improve your accuracy.
Several prominent pros, including Anthony Kim and Sergio Garcia, choke up on almost every shot, even with the driver. Of course, they generate tremendous clubhead speed, so losing a few yards isn’t a big deal.
In fact, choking up can actually help non-pros gain distance. How? Having better control of the club makes it easier to hit the sweet spot, negating the small loss in clubhead speed.
Choking up on iron shots can boost your greens-in-regulation percentage (GIR) – a great way to lower your scores. You’ll make better contact, of course, and your misses won’t sail as far off line. You may also achieve a lower ball flight, a big advantage in windy conditions.
Consider choking up on the golf club if you struggle with accuracy, or if the club feels difficult to control during the swing. Experiment by gripping the club at different lengths from the top until you feel comfortable and hit straighter, more solid shots.