A Strong Grip

In studying the top golfers of all time it has become apparent to me that the grip plays a big role in a golfer's ability to achieve a proper impact position. 

The majority of major winners have a grip that favors the strong end of the spectrum. In fact, the only two golfers I can think of that have had a noticeably weak grip and managed to win a major are Ben Hogan and Jose-Maria Olazabal - all the rest have been neutral to strong.

Patty Berg, the winner of more majors than any other woman, had a grip that would rival that of Paul Azinger, David Duval and Boo Weekley, who are all notoriously strong grippers. This isn't by accident.

The primary reason why a strong grip is more consistent, and thus more successful than a weaker grip, is because it allows the golfer to lead with the handle into impact without concern for squaring the clubface. 

Try this: take an iron and set up. Now push your hands forward, paying attention to what happens to the clubface. Two things should have occurred; firstly, the face should have been delofted. Check...we want that.

Secondly, the face should have rotated slightly open...we don't want that.

This is where a strong grip serves to keep the face square while the handle leads the clubhead into impact. A player who utilizes a weak grip is prone to active hands and that decreases the player's ability to lead with the handle and ultimately compress the golf ball.

A secondary reason why a strong grip proves to be more successful is due to the fact that now in order to hit a straight shot, the hands must remain quiet through the hit. We all know that quiet hands are ultimately more consistent than active hands. It is certainly easier to keep the hands passive than to attempt to time a flip through the impact zone.

A strong grip

  A neutral grip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try to get your grip to fit in between the two options pictured above; essentially anything from neutral to strong should serve you well. Try a stronger grip - it should ultimately allow you to hit crisp and penetrating golf shots.

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a four-part series addressing all the primary elements that are integral to a sound impact position.

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