Easily, the most overlooked aspect of the game is the grip. As beginners of all ages first get started, it’s very simple to find oneself in the “grip-it and rip-it” type mentality. Here at USGolfTV, we would like to take this chance to emphasize the vital essence of your connection to the game…the grip.
For those of our readers who aren’t familiar with this term “strong grip”, it very simple. With any type of grip, the hands will be placed on the club in basically the same position relative to each other.
To relate to both right and left handed golfers, a “strong grip” occurs when both hands are rotated on the club away from the target, thereby promoting a closed club face at impact. For example, a right-handed golfer would have a strong grip if both hands are more to the right and a “weak grip” is exactly the opposite.
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1. Your Ball Flight is Suffering
Traditionally, it has been taught that a strong grip on the club is a great way to reduce the chances of ball trajectory moving away from the golfer during its flight, called slice or fade.
With the advancements in technology, we are learning more about how the path of the club and the face angle at impact are affecting the way the ball leaves the impact area and moves through the air. With this relatively new information, we now have the ability to isolate the different elements of the swing for each respective outcome.
The grip is the most fundamental contributor to an undesirable ball flight.
For more on how to turn your weak slice into a power fade, check out our article on the “Tour Draw.”
2. Your Chipping is Suffering
Eventually, every golfer is going to end up on, or around, the green. This is where the strokes really start to count.
That strong grip we have been discussing, is going to change the natural angle of the club at impact, called loft. To get achieve a different loft, its much too easy to simply change clubs for a more desirable ball flight, rather then altering the angle of the shaft.
The significance of the design of the clubs used around the greens is often misunderstood.
Wedges are designed to help and not hinder the golfer. A main design feature we are dancing around here is the bounce angle and it prevents the club from digging into the sod or sand creating that all-too-famous “duff”, “chunk” or “flub”.
The strong grip deters the natural design of the clubs used in the short game from doing what they are designed to do, get the ball in the air and land it softly.
— USGolfTV (@usgolftv) January 12, 2017
3. Your Direction is WAY OFF (and suffering…)
The final issue that a strong grip can lead to is very general directional problems.
The theory is, that this strong grip correlates to a strong or power “mentality” and leads to handle drag. When this happens, the club head lags behind the hands and has a very short distance to square itself to the ball. Obviously here at USgolfTV, we don’t recommend making huge changes in one’s game without direct supervision from adults (we also have a sense of humor), however, making slight alterations to that strong grip can reduce the overall direction issues that a golfer might be experiencing.
So, take this information to the tee, watch that ball fly straighter and lose those extra strokes around the green.
Be sure to check out Todd elaborate on these concepts in this brief video.
To learn more about the different types of grips, check out this “article” by our friends at The Grateful Golfer.