The Ugly Truths About a Strong Golf Grip

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Strong Grip, Weak Grip, Neutral Grip: What is your grip doing to your ball flight and golf swing?

Understanding the ramifications of using a strong grip can be the difference in fixing your golf slice and worsening it. Golfers who play successfully with a strong grip do exist, but for the vast majority of amateur golfers and weekend warriors, using a strong grip probably results in more headaches and missed fairways, lost balls and further frustration. In this video, PGA Professional Todd Kolb explains how a strong grip can be the cause of a nasty golf slice, the reason why you can’t seem to improve your chipping game, and maybe even why you have problems with accuracy off the tee box.

From our article on Grips:

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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Sean M says:

I'm a big fan of your videos, but not this one. Club face at address has NOTHING to do with grip, as the grip is positioned after, and independent of, the club face setting. If you're suggesting that the forward swing is affected by a certain type of grip, I would agree. But you never really address that in this lesson.

Efrain Castillo says:

people have told me that by putting the ball further up in my stance gives me a tendency to hit the ball to my left is that true

grazer770 says:

I have a theory. the longer the club the stronger the grip?

Golf lover 1107 says:

Depends on the shot , bounce is good for flop and bunker shots not for spinning shots into the green from seventy meters

gunslingergg78 says:

This is a very specific issue that most amateur golfers will not be able to do anything with an will have to invent even more flaws into their swing to use.
The reference that the club is always pointed to the left with a strong grip is a falsity in itself. Swing path, club angle of attack, squared or rotating through impact all affect this.
I used to play with a weaker grip and struggled with consistency. Once it I rotated my hands back (solid 3 knuckle showing) and a slight swing plain adjustment I got my HC down below 4.

Otto Kriete says:

Just a note here…… a "high , soft chip shot is called a pitch. Chipping is defined by low loft and a lot of run out…….. I get a little annoyed by instructors referring to small pitches as chipping.

Rene Tolen says:

why don't you first point out what a strong grip is…..

Richard J says:

Would you agree that every person's neutral grip is found by hanging the arms from setup and letting hands hang naturally. You then place the left hand to the club to find what is the neutral grip for your particular body. If this is the case, I agree that a strong grip or weak grip is bad. You want a neutral grip to the way your arms hang.

Old 'N West Design says:

Watched a video some time ago where the instructor said a strong grip might hold a player back from their full potential. I've always had a strong grip so experimented with a weaker grip that flat out ruined my ball-striking. Have since returned to a stronger left hand grip with a neutral right hand grip (right handed player). Not saying this particular grip is best suited for one player or another, but rather, no single grip is best from one player to the next.

Simply find the grip that works best for the player.

Matt C says:

My grip tends to be on the stronger side. Club head speed is about 100 and have been struggling with direction. Excellent ball contact but producing a shot that leaks right to 1st cut of rough. Neutralizing grip gets me back on target.

PACKN HEAT12 says:

The struggle with a closed club face is REAL for me as well! If the average golfer saw my misses to the left they would most likely say "that I came over the top with a slightly closed club face". Once we took it to the simulator my club path was in the 0.8> range, either slightly in to out or out to in "shorter clubs in to out and longer clubs out to in"? The main factor was the club face angle!!!!!! The real surprise was that my grip wasn't that strong only slightly. I should have noticed this earlier since my chips and pitches were all going slightly left. I think that the reason why most people chose a stronger grip is for more wrist cock or hinge. Great Video!

Bob A Booey says:

I use a strong grip, but I don't hood the club at set up as shown in this video.

e james says:

no teacher should be using D johnson as a swing model, with that quirky shut face at the top, and yet I see it all over the internet because…….let's face it, johnson is world number 1 and teachers have their own "bottom line" to think about. But that doesn't mean it's ethical.

Scott Stewart says:

I still don't see how a closed clubface would promote more of a slice than an open clubface. Maybe I'm misunderstanding but with the same path a closed courage will always put less slice spin than open…I think.

E.L.Dorado says:

I figured this out at the range after hitting thousands of balls last season.
A very strong grip can be used to hit a fade or slice or draw or hook depending on if you hold the release or let it go.
I myself have been using a 2 1/2 knuckle left hand grip which was causing me to hold off the release so I wouldn't hook it and when I did that I would hit a weak fade instead.I played that weak fade all last year and played well with it and got my handicap down to a 6.1 but I feel holding off the release and just turning the body robs you of swing speed and accuracy.
I now use a 1 1/2 – 2 knuckle grip and I don't feel like I have to hold back and I can still hit it straight,a small fade or a small draw with simple setup changes.
I could not do that with any of the strong grip variations and I tried them all.( 2 1/2,3,3 1/2,and 4 knuckle grips)
With all the strong grip variations I would either hook it if I released the club or hit slices and fades if I held it off.
Those variation might work for some because of their swing style but I don't think it's a very natural way to hold the club.
Judging by the down votes many people don't agree with you but I think you are exactly right on the money with this video.

Chris Dufeck says:

wouldn't the bottom of the club face rotate down when you're swinging correctly? since the shaft is more forward from the lag created in the swing? I'm only a novice at best but love the science of the game.

Don Kirk says:

A good video with sound advice, and the best part is the honesty that the advice could be wrong and not for everyone. A really good counter-argument is offered by Shawn Clement's videos illustrating that the 'feel' of extra power in a strong grip comes from the alignment of the two bones in the trailing forearm. For example, to hammer a nail down into a board, the two forearm bones are vertical and the palm holding the hammer is vertical; but to hammer a nail sideways into an upright board (as in the golf swing), the two bones are horizontal and the palm is upward. We do this forearm rotation quite naturally when delivering a hammer blow from right to left without even thinking about it, in order to obtain both maximum power and accuracy in the blow. So, because the two different forearm alignments are entirely natural (the first is up-to-down and the second is right-to-left), learning to control a strong grip is neither harder nor easier than learning to control the 'weak' and 'neutral' grips. The key, as the video mentions, is how best to deliver a square club-face at impact, and it is neither harder nor easier to deliver a square face with a 'weak' or 'neutral' grip than a strong grip. Learning the 'D'-plane relationships between face and swing paths at impact and employing a Square-to-Square swing could be more influential in obtaining a square face at impact than which kind of grip to use. As for chipping and bunker play, again, the natural instinctive forearm alignment in the motion of delivering a stronger blow from right to left than from up to down results in a strike which actually makes it easier to bring the bounce on the bottom of the club into play. A simple test any golfer can do: With your dominant hand holding the handle of any golf-club, nail a tee straight down into the grass or sand. Then, holding the handle exactly the same, try to 'nail' the tee down the fairway at your target. You'll instinctively feel that the power is now much less; this is why it is called a "weak" or "neutral" grip. Finally, hold the handle after rotating the forearm bones of your dominant arm in order to drive the tee down the fairway, just like hammering a nail into a wall with the palm facing up. The feel of extra power and efficiency is why this grip is called "strong," and it is entirely natural to the human body when delivering a more effective blow by moving from right to left. Which grip to use to deliver a square face at impact is entirely a personal preference; they all work, once they are learned, and they all suck, if none is learned.

rello829 says:

I won't disagree with any of this as I'm sure you've put in a lot of thought and practice your theories. I just find that a stronger grip allows me to get a lot more torque because my forearms can handle the load better. And then I notice my body opens a bit as I activate my hips and the club face is actually open at address without me having to consciously make an effort to open it.

Matt Bonneville says:

There are 4 ways to square up the clubface to the intended target line, left wrist supination, body rotation, palmer flexion, and tilting the plane to the left. Good players employ a mixture of the first three with plenty of body rotation through impact used to reduce the need for supination and palmer flexion. Tilting the plane being essentially a hackers remedy. Strengthening the grip is just a way to employ more palmer flexion to square the face when good body rotation is lacking and/or supination is inhibited. Therefore, it's a bandaid for most players.

Wayne Kettle says:

hi is there a preferred stance whether it be narrow / wide that goes with the swing you talk about ?

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