Your grip is the only contact that you have with your golf club and can have a major impact on the quality of strikes. Weak grips generally lead to a loss of distance and direction. In this piece, we will look at a strong golf grip, advantages thereof, and provide some tips to strengthen your grip.
While many golfers do well with a relatively weak grip, there is much to be said about a strong grip. Read on to see if it is for you.
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What Is A Strong Grip In Golf?
A strong grip requires both hands to rotate to the trailing side of your body. The V-shaped crease between your thumb on both hands should point to your trailing shoulder, somewhere between your neck and the end of the shoulder. The farther away from your neck, the stronger the grip is.
With a strong grip, you will generally see at least three knuckles as you address the ball.
Advantages Of Strong Golf Grip
- The most significant advantage of a strong grip is that you are less reliant on the timing of the release after impact. The momentum built up during your swing will result in a natural release of the clubhead through the ball and reduce the role that your hands play.
- A strong grip creates a more natural feel at setup and during the backswing. The setup and takeaway are crucial as any defect in these areas will create a bigger problem later in the swing process.
The stronger grip places the clubhead in a powerful position at the top of the swing. It also reduces the amount that your wrist “cups” at the top of your swing and promotes wrist rotation and hinging, the hallmarks of a good backswing.
- It promotes a strong body turn through the ball during the downswing and a smooth release. The stronger grip enables you to release through the ball making it smoother and stronger as your arm and hand muscles are more passive.
This results in more power and should lead to longer shots.
- A strong grip normally results in less rotation which improves accuracy and consistancy.
- Strong grips tend to create draws whereas a weak grip tends to slice the ball.
Are There Disadvantages Of Strong Golf Grip?
- Strong grips often get your hand too far under the grip of the golf club resulting in you turning your hands over during the downswing and hooking your shots. A strong golf grip hook is one of the disadvantages of a strong grip.
- The strong grip can often result in you turning your hands over and involving the hands and wrists too much thus reducing the control over the shot.
- Grips that are too strong often rely too much on the large muscles to create power resulting in a loss of power and distance.
Does A Strong Grip Fix A Slice?
The dreaded slice is generally caused by a weak grip that results in an open clubface and an out-to-in swing path. A strong left-hand grip is likely to results in a closed face at impact and tends to draw or hook rather than ending up in a wayward slice.
Strong Versus Weak Golf Grip
The grip can be extremely confusing to many golfers. Are we looking at the Vardon grip, interlocking grip, or baseball grip? Or are we looking at something different? The strong, neutral, or weak grip?
For the purposes of this article, we will concentrate on the strong vs weak grip.
A strong grip has many advantages and is likely to counter a slice to a major extent. It may still be possible to slice the ball but will require your swing to be terribly out of sync to achieve that.
To create a strong grip your hand will lean more to the trailing side of your grip with the V-shapes formed between your thumb and index finger pointing towards the trailing shoulder, somewhere between the neck or side of the head and the edge of your shoulder. The farther towards the shoulder they point, the stronger your grip is.
Swinging over the top is extremely uncomfortable with a strong grip thus it promotes an in-to-out swing and is easier to hit a draw.
Does a strong grip promote a draw? Yes, indeed it does. It promotes an out-to-in swing path pushing the ball to the right and curving back to the center of the fairway.
A neutral grip points the ‘V’ shapes formed between your thumb and index finger towards the center of your head or slightly towards the trailing side just off-center from your nose.
Many professional golfers use the neutral grip as it enables them to hit the ball straight, draw the ball, and hit fades.
To be successful with a neutral grip your swing mechanics must be sound, and the majority of your shots should go straight.
The opposite of a strong grip is a weak grip. This means the ‘V’ shapes formed between your thumb and index finger are pointed to the lead side of your head. This generally leads to an open clubface at impact. Furthermore, it is more likely to promote an outside-in swing path and weak shots that lack distance.
If you tend to hook your shots, you may want to weaken your grip to present a less closed clubface at impact.
If you want to know more about the difference between a weak and a strong grip, check out this video.
There is no perfect solution and the grip you use needs to work with your swing style and speed. In most instances, a neuteral ar strong grip is advisable. Very few players can pulloff a weak grip.
Do Pros Use A Strong Grip In Golf?
This by no means indicates that a strong grip is a prerequisite for becoming a good golfer, but it goes a long way towards better strikes. Most professional golfers use a neutral grip.
Tips To Implement A Strong Golf Grip
The ball position with a strong golf grip plays a significant role in your ability to play straight shots. A ball that is too far back in your stance is likely to be struck before the clubface has closed sufficiently resulting in a push. A ball placed too far forward will be struck with a clubface that is too closed and result in a hooked shot.
Below are some tips to guide you to a strong grip for more consistency and better ball flight.
Tip 1 - Grip It In The Fingers
A mistake that many golfers make is placing the grip of the club in the palms of their hands. This leads to a loss of flexibility in the wrist preventing a proper position of the club at the top of the backswing.
Start by placing the grip of the club in your leading hand (right hand for left-handed golfers) and position it diagonally along the base of your fingers. Ensure that it is below the bulky part on the opposite side of your thumb.
Wrap the fingers of the leading hand around the grip then place your thumb on the trailing side of the grip. You should have sufficient control to lift the club to at least parallel.
Place the grip along the base of the fingers on your trailing hand and wrap your hand over until your trailing thumb covers your lead thumb.
The V-shaped creases between your thumbs and forefingers should point to your trail shoulder.
Tip 2 - Knuckle Visibility
Looking down on your leading hand you should see between two and three knuckles. Fewer knuckles visible means that your grip is too weak while more indicates a grip that is too strong. Fixing a strong golf grip requires you to turn your hand slightly towards the leading side showing fewer knuckles.
Tip 3 - Shaft Lean To The Target
A strong grip tends to push your hands towards the trailing side. Push your shaft forward until t is ahead of your belt buckle to create that much-needed shaft lean to compress the ball at impact for a great trajectory and distance. A strong grip will assist you in squaring the clubface at address and impact.
Strong Golf Grip Summary: Is It For You?
After playing with a weak grip for several years I recently converted to a neutral to strong grip with unbelievable results. Squaring the clubhead is much simpler and compressing the ball now comes naturally.
To implement a strong grip, it is advisable to strengthen your forearms and core for better rotation. Regular practice on the range will make it much easier to implement during your next round.
It may not suit all golfers but is definitely worth a try. You need to find the ideal grip that works for your style of golfing.
Your experience with a strong grip and other feedback will be highly appreciated in the comments section below.
The Editorial Staff at Golfible is a team of golfing geeks and enthusiasts led by founder Alec Rose. All have the same obsession with golf tech, equipment updates and avoiding rain on the course.