In this guide we are going to review the differences between a strong golf grip, a neutral golf grip, and a weak golf grip. Many beginners who are just learning to play golf, make the mistake of not having a correct grip while holding the golf club.
The grip is one of the elementary things that a golfer is taught. The first step in learning the swing is learning how to hold the club.
It is important to know what is a grip and why it’s important to the golf swing. This will set the foundation to your golf swing’s success on the course.
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What Does It Mean to Grip the Golf Club?
In the simplest of words, grip is the way you place your hands on the golf club that enables you to perform the golf swing (or golf stroke) without losing control of the golf club. The posture that you adopt also helps you execute the stroke better, thanks to a good grip.
The grip is important in golf because the positioning of your hands on the club allows the control of the direction of its face at the moment of impact when the face meets ball.
This also permits you to have more fluid movement in your wrists, and as a result will give you better strength in moving the club. A poor grip can make the club feel unstable during the golf swing motion or limit your swing speed, costing you distance.
It is best that you stand in front of the ball with your arms and hands relaxed. Doing this helps you to hold the club in your fingers and gives you better fluidity and motion when you swing.
If you stand in front of the ball in tension, then you will end up holding the club in your palms, which will give you almost no mobility in your swing. Gripping a golf club too tight can also cause poor results and could cost you distance as well.
A grip with little pressure in the fingers will result in losing precision in the stroke, and as a result will not help you to make accurate strokes.
But with a correct amount of pressure, you can increase the power and precision of your strokes.
How to Develop the Correct Grip?
Having a good grip is a very precise and subtle thing which you cannot learn from books or verbally from someone else.
You develop a good grip through practice and following instructions of a coach or a good professional golfer.
The advice and monitoring of your golf grip by a professional instructor is key to developing solid habits and muscle memory. With time and practice your stroke will improve as you develop your grip like the pro’s.
Without having a proper grip, making consistent golf shots becomes much more difficult.
Many people do not understand how important the grip is and continue to operate with a defective grip, simply because they have always done it that way and it feels more comfortable to them.
The grip allows you to maintain control of the golf club. You should keep in mind that your hands should not slip down the grip while swinging, and you should not let go of the club with either hand.
Primary grip pressure should be supplied by the last three fingers of the left hand and the ring and middle fingers of the right hand. If you have a bad grip then you will need to have a bad swing too in order to make compensations to a golf swing due to the poor grip.
When building a golf swing, no other part of the swing is more important than the grip.
3 Ways to Grip a Golf Club
There is not just one correct grip for everyone to follow. In fact, there are different variations on how to hold the golf club – strong grip, weak grip & neutral grip.
Learning how to hold a golf club is the first step to developing a great golf swing. After deciding how to hold your hands on the club, you need to experiment with your hand position to determine if you need to use a strong, weak or neutral grip.
Remember, grip controls the club face at impact. If you’re leaving the face open, you may need a strong grip to help shut the face at impact.
Whether you hold your club in a strong or weak way is determined by the thumb and index finger of each hand (Vs). Here’s the correct ways to grip a golf club based on which type of grip your golf swing needs.
In a strong grip, the Vs are right of the center of the shaft. The visual cue for a strong grip is that you can see the knuckles of your left hand (considering that you are a right-handed player).
In a weak grip, the Vs are left of center and the visual cue is that you can see the knuckles of your right hand.
And in a neutral grip, the Vs are down the center line of the shaft and the visual cue is that you can see three knuckles in each hand.
Differences in Golf Grips (Strong vs Weak vs Neutral)
Strong Grip Differences
A strong grip encourages the ball to go further and it closes the club face on impact.
This creates less of a tendency to flip the club faced closed. Strong grip also helps players draw the ball and can help players with an inside-out swing.
If you are someone who likes to hook the ball, a stronger grip would help you reduce those dreaded left shots. It is essential for someone with a strong grip to have quiet hands through impact, as quiet hands are eventually more consistent than active hands.
A strong grip also helps if you are someone with fast hips. Fast hips force the club head to lag behind on contact which leads to an open face.
A strong grip reduces the tendency to push or slice the ball. The face of the club closes with a strong grip and allows for a natural draw.
It is believed that a vast majority of the greatest golfers of all time used a strong grip. The greatest woman golfer of all time, Patty Berg, had an exceedingly strong grip.
Weak Grip Differences
On the other hand, in a weak grip is one where both hands are rotated towards the target. It produces a natural fade and is recommended for players with an out to inside swing plane since this swing path motion causes pulled golf shots that start inside of the target line.
A weak grip promotes a lazy release of the hands at impact, which means that the hands are restricted from fully rolling on impact.
This difficulty in releasing favors a club face that is more open than usual, and eventually an open club face at impact will transfer left to right sidespin on to the ball, which results in a ball that will fade or slice.
Weak grip is also recommended for with slow hips. Slow hips force the club head in front of your body on contact, and by using a weak grip, it reduces the impulse to pull or hook the ball.
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Neutral Grip Differences
A neutral grip is normally used by players who have all aspects of their swing sorted. Neutral grip is useful for players with medium hip speed.
A neutral grip doesn’t favor one side of the target line or the other, but rather helps in a straight ball flight. The combination of a sound swing and a neutral grip has a natural tendency to reach the impact point in a square position.
Neutral grip helps a player shape the ball easier, but it is essential for the player to practice a lot to find the proper technique to make that happen.
Choosing how to grip your golf club that best suits your swing is important to your success. Using a strong, weak or neutral grip is an important aspect in building a strong swing foundation. But to understand which grip is best for you will require a lot of practice and some analysis from a swing coach.