How often do you pay attention to your grip while practicing your golf game?

Why The Grip is an Incredibly Important Piece of the Puzzle for Every Golfer

Most likely, the answer to that question is ‘not very often’. Most golfers seem to ignore the importance of their grip while practicing their swing (or their short game) and that is a mistake.

The grip is an incredibly important piece of the puzzle for every golfer, so you can’t afford to overlook this aspect of your technique. Get your grip right and you may be surprised to see how quickly everything else falls into place.

While both of your hands have a role to play in the swing, it is really the left hand grip that you want to focus on first and foremost. The positioning of your left hand is going to strongly influence the type of swing you are able to make. Once the left hand finds a comfortable home on the grip, you can simply add your right hand to match (more on that later) and you’ll be ready to make a swing.

In this article, we are going to talk about the idea of using a strong left hand grip. What does that even mean? Is it a good idea for your game? We’ll cover these questions and more as we move through the content below. Plenty of golfers do use strong left hand grips, so you can be sure that this style of grip has the potential to work nicely. But that doesn’t mean it is going to work well for you.

The key to building a successful grip is placing your hands in a position that will allow your grip to compliment the rest of the dynamics in your swing. This topic can get a bit complicated, but we’ll do our best to work through the techniques clearly.

All of the content below is based on a right-handed golfer. If you happen to play left-handed, please take a moment to reverse the directions as necessary.

Understanding the Strong Left Hand Grip

Understanding the Strong Left Hand Grip

We want to make sure by the end of this section you have a clear understanding of what it means to use a strong left hand grip. Getting your grip right is all about paying attention to details, so think this information through carefully. When you head out to the range to try a strong left hand grip for yourself, you should have a clear picture of what you are trying to accomplish.

First, we need to explain that the strength of your grip has nothing to do with how tightly you are holding onto the club. Some golfers may mistake the term ‘strong’ grip for having something to do with squeezing tightly during the swing, but that isn’t it at all.

We are talking about the positioning of your hand on the grip, not the amount of squeezing force you apply. Yes, grip pressure is an important topic in golf, but that is a subject for another article.

For a right-handed golfer, the grip is going to get stronger the more it is turned to the right on the handle of the club (as you are looking down from address). If that sounds a be murky, don’t worry – we’ll keep clarifying it as we go.

So, if you were to just grab the club with whatever grip comes natural to you, and then you turned your hands slightly to the right, you would have made your grip stronger. By the same token, if you turned your hands a bit to the left, you would have made your grip weaker.

But how do you know what counts as a strong grip, and what falls into the weak category? The easiest way to analyze the position of your left hand on the grip of the golf club is to count the knuckles visible on the back of your left hand at address. Walk through the following steps to figure out what kind of position your left hand is in currently.

  • Take one of your clubs from your golf bag and prepare to take a stance. You don’t need to be at the course or driving range to go through this exercise. Just find a safe place around your house to stand while holding a golf club. You won’t be making a swing.
  • Take your grip as you would for any regular shot you’d hit during a round of golf. Try not to think much about what you are doing with your grip – just grab onto the club as you would any other time. Place both your left and right hands onto the club, get comfortable, and settle into your stance.
  • Once you have your stance set and the club head is down in position behind the (imaginary) ball, you will be ready to analyze your grip.
  • Without moving your hands or the club, look down at the back of your left hand and count the number of knuckles you can see. This number is going to be the main indicator of the type of grip you are using.
  • If you can see more than two and a half knuckles, most golfers would agree that you are using a strong grip. In other words, if you can see three, or even all four, of the knuckles on the back of your left hand at address, you can place yourself in the strong grip category. If you see two or two and a half knuckles, you are using what most would consider to be a neutral grip. Players who can only see one knuckle, or even no knuckles at all, are using a weak grip.

Just that like, you have a good indication of the type of grip you are using in your game. Going through the process above should only have taken a minute or two, but the information you gathered is extremely valuable. Now that you know whether or not you are using a strong grip, you can move on to decide whether or not a strong grip is the right option for your swing.

What This Type of Grip Can Do for You

What This Type of Grip Can Do for You

We are going to step back for a moment in this section to talk about why a player might want to use a strong left hand grip in the first place. What benefits do you stand to enjoy when you keep your left hand in a strong position? Are there any drawbacks? Let’s get started by listing out a few of the main ‘selling points’ of a left hand grip.


  • Setting the club with ease. At some point during the backswing, you are going to need to ‘set’ the club in order to prepare for the downswing. To set the club simply means to hinge your wrists and establish roughly a right angle between your left arm and the shaft of the club.
  • If you are having trouble with the task of setting your club on the way back, consider the possibility of strengthening your grip. A stronger grip is going to place more control over the club in your left hand, and you should be able to set the club without any trouble as a result. You’ll still need to practice the actually act of setting the club, of course, but a stronger grip is likely to make it an easier task.
  • A great release. Perhaps the biggest motivation to use a strong left hand grip is the way your release through the hitting area can improve. As you swing down through impact, your strong left hand grip should help you propel the club head through the ball with impressive force.
  • Some golfers feel like they struggle with the release, and those struggles may be alleviated when the grip is strengthened. To test how this new and improved release will feel, try hitting some pitch shots on the range with a stronger grip. You should feel that the club head is whipping through the ball with a newfound speed, and the ball will feel like it is jumping off the club face.
  • Getting away from the slice. As you already know, countless amateur golfers struggle with the slice. If that sounds like you, and you currently use a weak grip, switching to a strong grip may go a long way toward straightening your ball flight out once and for all.
  • A couple of things are likely to happen when you move to a stronger grip, both of which can help you get rid of your slice. The first is the same point we mentioned above – the improved release. Your ability to get the club into a square or closed position is going to go a long way toward eliminating the left-to-right spin that leads to your slice.
  • The other improvement you may see will take place in your takeaway. Rather than taking the club back to the outside of the target line, which is common with a weak grip, you may be able to trace a straighter line back away from the ball. Doing so will put you in a good position to swing back down on a nice path, another big step in getting away from the slice.


So far, the strong grip sounds pretty good. You get the advantage of setting the club easily, you are able to release the club through the hitting area with plenty of power, and you may even be able to get rid of your slice. What’s not to like? Well, at this point, we do need to talk quickly about the potential drawbacks of the grip. Picking a technique in golf is always a matter of weighing pros and cons, as there is no such thing as a perfect way to play the game. Let’s quickly walk through three possible drawbacks.

  • Inconsistency in your face angle. The improved release that we talked about above can come at a cost. If the club is whipping through the hitting area and moving quickly from open to closed, you’ll have to time your swing just right in order to hit your target. A more aggressive release is always going to mean that more timing is required to be successful.
  • Players who use a weaker grip are able to hold the face square a bit longer through the hitting area, and they may be more consistent as a result. Of course, it needs to be said that your results may vary, so don’t let this one point scare you away. Plenty of golfers find that they are consistent with a strong grip, perhaps even more than they were with a weak grip.
  • A bit of lost feel. Again here, we find a drawback which won’t actually be a drawback at all for many players. Some golfers feel the club just fine when using a strong grip, but others feel that they don’t have the same control over the movement of the club as when using a weaker grip.
  • This point is nothing more than a matter of personal preference. You’ll never know until you try it for yourself, so test out a strong grip and see how the club feels in your hands.
  • The possibility of a hook. Remember how we said that you may be able to get rid of your slice by switching to a stronger grip? That is still true but using a strong grip does leave you open to an increased likelihood of a hook. Hitting a slice is a frustrating experience but hitting a hook doesn’t feel any better.
  • The way the club can whip close with a strong grip makes it possible that your club face will be dramatically closed at impact – and a hook is the only result from that point. You’ll have to keep the timing of your swing on track in order to prevent an ugly hook from popping up from time to time.

In the end, you’ll have to try out a stronger grip for yourself to decide whether the pros outweigh the cons in your game. Try to keep an open mind going into this experiment and let the results lead you to the right decision regarding the future of your grip.

Matching Your Grip to Your Swing

Matching Your Grip to Your Swing

One of the biggest considerations you need to make when forming the grip you are going to use is making sure that the grip matches up with your swing technique. If your swing mechanics are calling for a weak grip and you are using a strong one, things aren’t going to work out – no matter what it is about the strong grip that you may happen to like. The grip and the swing need to work together, not against each other, in order to find success.

What kinds of swing characteristics are typical of players who find success with a strong grip? Take a look at the list below.

  • Strong lower body rotation in the downswing. This one is non-negotiable. If you don’t do a good job of getting your lower body through the downswing you may as well not bother with a strong grip. Lower body rotation is important because it will help you hold the face roughly square to the line for just a bit longer.
  • If you don’t turn your legs through the shot, your strong grip is likely going to cause the club to close down prematurely, and a hook will be the result. If you have switched to a strong grip and you seem to be hitting one hook after the next, it’s likely that your legs are not doing their job.
  • From this point, you have two options – you can work on improving your lower body rotation, or you can move your grip back to a weaker position in order to slow down the rotation of the club head through the hitting area.
  • Prefer to play a draw. Most golfers who use a strong grip favor a draw as opposed to a fade. This makes sense, of course, since the club face is turning down through the hitting area when you use a strong grip. This is not a hard and fast rule, however, as it is possible to produce a fade with a strong grip, depending on the way your swing works.
  • Generally speaking, a strong grip is going to be more successful for a player wanting to turn the ball over from right to left as compared to a player who’d like to fade the ball.
  • Active hands. A strong grip is going to make it easier to use your hands actively in the swing. On the other hand, a weak grip is going to naturally take hand action out of the swing – so which category appeals to you? If your swing seems to work best with plenty of hand action, lean toward the stronger side so you can make that happen. If you think that hand action is getting your swing in trouble, try turning your left hand a bit to the left and see what happens.

It’s relatively common for golfers to have swings and grips which don’t match up, and the results are rarely pretty. Think about your overall swing technique and how it is that you move the club back and through. Then, think about what kind of grip is going to support that swing properly. After some careful thinking and plenty of practice, you will hopefully arrive at a perfect combination of grip and swing.

Strong Grip in the Short Game

Strong Grip in the Short Game

It’s been pretty well established by this point that using a strong grip is something that is a matter of personal preference. There are plenty of reasons to consider this type of grip, but there are clearly some drawbacks, as well. What about the short game? If you do decide to use a strong grip with your full swing, should you stick with it when you transition into the short game? Let’s tackle that question in this last section.

First, we need to stay that putting is an entirely different topic from full swings, chip shots, pitch shots, or bunker shots. When on the greens, you are going to use a specific grip that has been designed to move the putter properly back and through the stroke. Most golfers find it best to use a relatively weak grip when putting, but we don’t need to get into that here. The grip you use when putting is simply a topic for another time and another article.

It is when you are chipping or pitching the ball, or hitting from a bunker, that you need to think about how your grip will relate to the grip that you use on your full shots. For the most part, the best plan is to keep your grip as similar to your full swing grip as possible when chipping or pitching. If you make too many changes on the fly, you’ll lose your feel for the club and your game will become more complicated than it needs to be.

There is nothing about the strong grip that should stand in your way when playing short game shots, so don’t overthink this part of your technique. If you find that you like the strong grip for your full swings, you should be able to find success with it on short shots just the same.

Using a strong left hand grip could be a great thing for your game. Or, it could prove to be an idea which is not going to pay dividends for you. In the end, the only way to know whether or not a strong grip can benefit your game is to try it out for yourself. We hope the information in this article has cleared up any confusion you had on this topic. Whether you decide to go with a strong grip, a weak grip, or one that falls in between, we wish you the best of luck with your game moving forward.


Why The Grip is an Incredibly Important Piece of the Puzzle for Every Golfer:

  1. Connection to the Club:
    • The grip is the golfer's direct connection to the club. A proper grip ensures a secure and controlled hold on the club throughout the swing.
  2. Club Face Control:
    • The grip influences the position of the club face. A correct grip helps control the club face, preventing unwanted slices or hooks and promoting straighter shots.
  3. Consistent Shot Shape:
    • A consistent grip leads to a consistent shot shape. Golfers can develop a reliable ball flight by maintaining a standardized grip across different clubs.
  4. Power and Distance:
    • The grip affects power and distance. A secure and balanced grip allows for a more efficient transfer of energy from the body to the club, maximizing swing power.
  5. Wrist Action:
    • Proper grip facilitates correct wrist action in the swing. It allows for a controlled hinge and release, contributing to accurate and well-timed shots.
  6. Comfort and Confidence:
    • A comfortable and confident grip promotes a positive mindset. Golfers with a secure grip are more likely to swing freely without unnecessary tension.
  7. Feedback Mechanism:
    • The grip serves as a feedback mechanism. Sensations in the hands provide information about the swing and contact, allowing golfers to make real-time adjustments.
  8. Prevention of Tension:
    • An appropriate grip helps prevent tension in the hands and forearms. Tension can hinder the fluidity of the swing and lead to inconsistent ball striking.
  9. Adaptability to Conditions:
    • A versatile grip allows golfers to adapt to various course conditions and shot requirements. Adjustments in grip pressure or positioning can be made for different shots.
  10. Foundation for Learning:
    • The grip is fundamental for beginners learning the game. Establishing a correct grip early sets the foundation for developing other aspects of the golf swing.

Q&A On Why The Grip is an Incredibly Important Piece of the Puzzle for Every Golfer:

  1. Q: Can I change my grip to fix a persistent slice or hook?
    • A: Yes, adjusting your grip can help correct a slice or hook. Consult with a golf professional to ensure the changes are appropriate for your swing.
  2. Q: How tight should my grip be on the club?
    • A: Maintain a firm but relaxed grip. Avoid excessive tension, as it can hinder your swing. Experiment to find a grip pressure that feels comfortable yet secure.
  3. Q: Is there a standard grip for all golfers, or can it vary?
    • A: While there are fundamentals, grips can vary based on individual preferences and playing styles. The key is to ensure a secure and consistent hold.
  4. Q: Can a poor grip cause hand or wrist injuries?
    • A: Yes, an improper grip can contribute to injuries. Tension or awkward wrist positions may lead to strain. Consult a professional if you experience discomfort.
  5. Q: How often should I check and adjust my grip?
    • A: Regularly check your grip during practice sessions. If you notice inconsistencies in your shots, revisit your grip and make adjustments as needed.
  6. Q: Should I use the same grip for all clubs in my bag?
    • A: While the fundamentals remain consistent, some golfers make slight adjustments for different clubs. Experiment to find what works best for you.
  7. Q: Can a good grip compensate for other swing flaws?
    • A: A good grip is crucial, but it won't completely compensate for major swing flaws. Seek comprehensive instruction to address swing mechanics along with grip.
  8. Q: How do I grip the club for a fade or draw shot?
    • A: Adjusting your grip can influence shot shape. Experiment with grip modifications under the guidance of a professional to develop control over fades and draws.
  9. Q: Can a too-strong or too-weak grip affect my short game?
    • A: Yes, an extreme grip can impact the short game. Find a balanced grip that allows for control and feel in delicate shots around the green.
  10. Q: Is it advisable to change my grip mid-season?
    • A: Changes to your grip can take time to adapt. If considering changes, do so during a period of practice and gradually integrate them into your game.