Determining the proper grip pressure for your swing
- By Kevin Sprecher, SwingFix Instructor
- Feb 6, 2013 12:00 PM ET
Many right-handed golfers are taught to hold the club tighter in their left hand and let the right hand go along for the ride. This results in swinging the club more with the left hand.
Often, then, the golfer swings the club back with the left hand and pulls it down with the left hand. My experience with players who do this is that they have slower swing speeds, hit to the right, top the ball, scoop the ball, or hit it “fat.”
The reason is that the left hand, forearm or wrist is not strong enough to perform the necessary pronating motion. In other words, the player cannot release his hands, and therefore the club properly, because of left-hand tension.
Another problem that results from a light right-hand grip is that the right hand often comes off the club somewhere in the backswing. This causes the left hand to increase its pressure, creating a number of downswing errors.
Your optimum grip pressure is one that allows you to maintain control of the club but that also lets your arms swing freely.• Kevin Sprecher
For example, a quick jerk or pulling of the club in the swing transition, or a blocked release through impact.
Try these drills to help maintain consistent grip pressure from the beginning to the end of your swing:
• 1. Make one arm only swings, using this drill to feel what your grip pressure would be if you were to swing with just one arm. Swing the club back and forth several times with each arm. Pay attention to the amount of pressure throughout the entire swing. Make sure you do not open your hand at the top of the swing.
• 2. Hold the club above the ground. This forces you to maintain pressure in both hands. Many players will let go of the club at address, because the ground is supporting the weight of the club. Then, when they start the backswing, they quickly grab the club, increasing grip pressure, which results in a compensating loosening of the grip at the top.
• 3. Take practice swings with different grip pressures. Do this to find your optimum pressure. Your optimum grip pressure is one that allows you to maintain control of the club but that also lets your arms swing freely.
Keeping your hands on the club at all times will make you a better ball striker and a more consistent player.
Kevin Sprecher is a PGA professional and has been rated by Golf Digest as the sixth-best instructor in New York.
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