How Firmly Should You Hold A Golf Club golf tip

When holding the golf club, there is often a fine balance to be struck between too firm or too weak a grip.

Golfers need to hold on to the club tightly enough so it doesn't fly out of their hands but soft enough so no tension is felt throughout the hands, arms and body. There are a couple of popular maxims that players could keep in mind when trying to get the feeling of how tightly they are holding the club.

  • Imagine you are clutching a live bird in your hands. You have to hold the bird so it doesn't fly away but not too tightly as you don't want to hurt it. Try picking up and holding the club with the same force and tenderness.
  • Imagine you are holding an open tube of toothpaste with the cap facing down. Adopt your golfing posture as if you are about to hit a shot. Grip the tube tight enough so it doesn't come loose from the hands but soft enough so the toothpaste doesn't spurt out. Try to keep this feeling during the swing.

These are two great ways for golfers to better feel how tightly to grip on to the club. However, during a round of golf there are occasions when different shots will require different grip pressure.

Heavy Rough

When players are faced with either a long or short shot from heavy rough, they must be careful. When coming through impact, the long grass will wrap around the club's neck and twist the club face closed. Because of this, players are better suited adopting a very firm grip to stop the face twisting closed.

High Flop Shot

To hit a high floating flop shot when close to the green takes skill and a sound technique. It also requires a very delicate and light grip. The lighter a player holds on to the club, the more feel they will have. For a high floating shot over a bunker or obstacle, players should be holding the club as they would a butterfly and hopefully the resulting shot will land as softly.


Putting is a skill that requires a high amount of feel in the hands. It is almost impossible to achieve consistent distance control in putting if the grip becomes too firm. This is because the extra tension created by a firm grip not only resides in the hands but travels up the arms and into the shoulders. To better understand the delicate nature of the putting grip, imagine a scale from 1-10 with 1 being the lightest possible grip and 10 being the strongest. Aim to have a grip pressure no tighter than 3 or four. Ben Crenshaw, one of the game's greatest ever putters, held the short stick so lightly it almost fell from his hands.

How Firmly Should You Hold a Golf Club?

How Firmly Should You Hold a Golf Club?

When first getting started in the game of golf, you may worry that the club is going to fly right out of your hands during the swing. Obviously, that would be embarrassing – and potentially dangerous – so you hold on tight while making your swings to keep the club safely in your hands. This probably seems like the best way to go. It is not. In order to make a relaxed, flowing golf swing which results in a powerful strike at the moment of impact, you need to use light grip pressure. We are going to cover this topic extensively in the article below.

First, let's get back to the idea of the club flying out of your hands. It is absolutely true that you never want to let go of the club during a swing. You could hit someone standing nearby, you could break the club, or you could fling it so high up in a tree that you can't get it back down again. Whatever happens, it is not going to be good. Keeping the club in your hands from the start of the swing to the finish is a prerequisite for playing golf.

But here's the thing – you actually don't need to hold on that tightly in order to maintain control over the club. Even modest grip pressure should be plenty to keep the club in your hands, as long as you use proper grip technique (and the grips on your clubs are in decent condition). Squeezing tighter is going to inhibit the rhythm of your swing, and it won't really do anything to help keep the club in your hands. In the end, the challenge is to strike a balance with your grip pressure so that the club stays in place while you are still able to make a great swing.

As you work on learning how to hold the club with the proper amount of pressure, it is a good idea to start small and work your way up. Hit some chip and pitch shots with a light grip, so you can feel what it is like to swing the club this way. By starting with small little swings, you won't have to worry about the club flying out of your hands. Then, as you gain comfort and confidence, work your way up to bigger and bigger swings. By the time you get up to the driver, you should feel comfortable with your new grip pressure, and you should be able to hold onto the club without any trouble.

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.

The Importance of Light Grip Pressure

The Importance of Light Grip Pressure

If you are currently holding the golf club too tightly, your game stands to improve dramatically if you can learn how to play with light grip pressure. The improvement that is possible based on this seemingly minor point is surprising to some golfers. It wouldn't seem like adjusting your grip pressure could have that much of an impact on your play, but the grip is the only point of contact you have with the club. If your grip is faulty, the actions you take in the golf swing won't be translated to the club properly. Fixing your grip can go a long way toward helping you reach your goals in this game.

    The list below includes a few of the ways you stand to improve when you learn how to use light grip pressure in your game.
  • Added distance. That's right – you should be able to hit the ball farther when you learn how to swing without a tight grip. The key here is the way the club head performs through the hitting area. With a tight grip, the action of the club head through impact is going to be restricted, and you won't get a full release. In the end, there will be less energy transferred from the club to the ball. On the other hand, a light grip is going to let the club rip through the ball without holding anything back. You'll get a great release, and all of the power from your swing will be sent into the back of the ball. Simply relaxing your grip pressure isn't going to add 30 yards to your drives, but you do stand to pick up a few yards by improving on this fundamental.
  • Improved consistency. Golfers who play with a light grip pressure will typically strike the ball more consistently than those who hold on too tight. This again comes down to the release. In order to allow the sweet spot of your club to find the back of the ball, you need to execute the release correctly. However, that isn't going to happen if you have a tight grip, and it will be tough to strike the sweet spot with any degree of consistency. This is one of those points that will gradually improve as you get more and more comfortable with a light grip. You might not notice an immediate improvement, but you should see that your ball striking gradually improves over time as you keep working on your grip pressure.
  • Better feel for the club. It is important to have a good feel for the golf club during your swing. Having good feel is what will allow you to hit the variety of shots that you need to produce in order to make your way through a round of golf. This game would be pretty easy if you could just hit the same kinds of shots over and over again, but that isn't how golf works. Instead, you have to create many different shots, depending on the design of the course and the conditions you are dealing with. By using a relaxed grip, you should have better feel for the club, and you should have an easier time producing a variety of shots as a result.

Needless to say, using light grip pressure is something that should be near the top of your golf priority list. If you still aren't sure about the importance of this tip, consider the fact that nearly every professional golfer in the world uses a light grip pressure when swinging the club. Pros know that they will only be able to achieve the necessary levels of consistency to play at the top of the game when they use a relaxed grip.

As you get started learning how to play with a lighter grip, remember that nothing ever comes easy when you make a change to your grip. It is hard to play at your usual level when you aren't comfortable with your grip, so you should expect your performance to dip for a period of time. This is okay. Don't give up on using a lighter grip just because you struggle for a few rounds. Stick with it, keep your eyes on the big picture, and know that your game will come around in the long run thanks to the benefits offered by a light grip pressure.

Striking a Perfect Balance

Striking a Perfect Balance

The key to having success with your grip is managing to find just the right amount of pressure to use as you swing. Too much grip pressure is no good, but too little grip pressure isn't going to work either. The challenge you face is finding a way to land perfectly in the middle of those two extremes. This is not an impossible task, but it might take some time until you are happy with where you have landed.

To help you discover the right amount of grip pressure for your game, we have listed a few helpful tips below.

  • Use a glove. You will always feel like you need to hold the club tighter than you do when not wearing a golf glove. Of course, there are some players who manage to play the game well without a glove, but they are the exception, not the rule. For the most part, amateur golfers are going to be better served to wear a golf glove when hitting full shots. The glove is going to offer you an extra degree of friction which will make it easier to hold onto the club. If you play without a glove, even just a little bit of sweat – or a little bit of rain – can quickly create a slippery situation. Golf gloves are not expensive, and they can go a long way toward helping you become a better player.
  • Create a cohesive grip. One of the keys to using light grip pressure successfully is holding onto the club in the right manner. By connecting your hands effectively when you first form your grip, it will be easier to keep them in place on the club throughout the swing. There are two general methods used for connecting the hands in the grip. The first is called the 'interlocking' grip, where the pointer finger of the left hand is interlaced with the pinky finger on the right hand. The other commonly used option is the overlapping grip, where the pinky finger of the right hand sits on top of the left hand, in the crevice between the pointer and middle fingers. Both of these grips can work beautifully, and the right one for you is going to come down to nothing more than personal preference. Try them both on the range and see which gives you more confidence, and a greater sense of control, during the swing.
  • Work your way up with short shots. As mentioned earlier in the article, starting out with short shots is a great idea when working on your grip pressure. You can learn what it feels like to hold and swing the club without committing to a full swing where the club may fly out of your hands. Hit some chip and pitch shots with a very light grip pressure, and see how it feels. If you think the grip is simply too loose, add a bit of pressure and try again. Experimentation is the best way to settle on the right grip pressure for you. Take your time to find the right grip pressure on shorter shots before gradually working your way up through the bag.

The process of finding the right grip pressure probably won't be completed during your first practice session. And, even if you do find the right grip pressure rather quickly, it is still going to take some time to get comfortable with that grip. It is important that you are just as patient with this fundamental as you are the other parts of your game. As a golfer, you should already know that it takes a while to make any kind of meaningful progress with your game. Keep the big picture in mind and celebrate your small successes along the way.