The grip is without doubt the most important aspect of the golfing technique but is often overlooked by amateur and even elite golfers.
Your hands are the only part of the body which are in contact with the club throughout the swing and therefore must be as close to perfect as possible. A golfer could have a picture perfect swing with a stunning set up, but if the grip is incorrect the chances of pulling off a successful shot are diminished. One type of grip many golfers struggle to eradicate is a weak one.
A weak grip describes the club face position often produced when holding the club in this way. Golfers deliberately or subconsciously using a weak grip will tend to open up the club face throughout the swing and impact. This opening of the club face can result in a high, short shot which finishes to the right of a target (for the right handed golfer).
A strong grip is the reverse and sees the club face closing throughout the swing and impact, sending the ball left of the target. Both are undesirable and players are generally, but not exclusively, better using a ‘neutral’ grip which is widely considered the most consistent way to hit straight shots.
With a neutral grip, the club face rotates away with the swing staying square to the club path. A weak grip tends to make the face over rotate and open up the club. This open club face causes a shot to the right of the target. The open club face also adds extra loft creating unwanted height on shots. These two things can join together to cause a dramatic high, right and short shot putting the golfer in trouble.
Players with weak grips often struggle for distance but can become very accurate. Ben Hogan, Corey Pavin and Curtis Strange are all players who deployed a weak grip to fantastic effect; however for most people a neutral grip is better.
Create a solid grip
To ensure you have a solid, neutral grip follow these simple steps:
- Hold the club by the shaft out in front of the body with the right hand (for right handed golfers). Make sure the toe of the club points directly up at the sky.
- Place the grip in the left hand so it runs from the base of the little finger up through the middle of the index finger.
- From this point, wrap the left hand over the grip. Looking down, two and a half knuckles should be visible on the left hand with the V created by the thumb and index finger pointing up towards the right shoulder.
- Place the right hand on the grip with an interlocking/overlapping/ten fingered grip. Whichever type of grip is deployed, players should ensure the left thumb sits snugly under the base of the right thumb.
- The V created by right thumb and forefinger should also point up at the right shoulder.
This neutral grip will tend to serve most golfers better than a weak one, however experiment and see what works best for your game.