One of the most important things a new golfer can do to ensure they get started on their golf
journey correctly is to learn how to properly hold the club. Golfers of all abilities can have issues
around a proper grip but it is much easier to learn how to grip the club rather than having to
unlearn a poor grip and then relearn the correct one. Changing habits can be hard, so learning
the proper grip from the beginning is a big head start to playing better golf.
So what does the grip influence and how do you know you are holding the grip correctly? When
a coach is working with a player on grip they will often refer to the position of the grip as “weak”,
“neutral”, or “strong”. These descriptions are referring to placement of the club in the hands and
not the actual amount of effort the player is exerting to hold the club. The images below are for
a right handed golfer which would have the left hand on the top of the club.
Why is the proper grip important? The grip is what controls the position of the clubface and the
clubface is what determines the direction the ball is going to travel. The grip IS the one thing
that controls where the ball is going to go in relation to where our body is aimed. For a right
handed player with a weak grip the club face tends to be open at impact and will cause the ball
to fly to the right. This is one of the major causes of the dreaded slice. For right handers with
an overly strong grip the clubface will tend to close at impact and will cause the ball to fly to the
left. The major cause of the uncontrollable hook.
A player that learns to hold and grip the club properly will have much more consistency in their
ability to have the ball fly straight and to the target. Understanding that all players will adjust
and react to how the ball flies, having a proper grip is critical for good golf. For those players
who slice the ball we see a tendency to aim to the left to offset that. For those with a string grip
the opposite holds true. When these compensating moves become a habit and players adapt
that as their normal routine, it becomes even harder to work out of those habits.
Whether you are about to embark on your golf journey or an experienced player who struggles
with hitting a straight shot, do not overlook the grip. So many players are searching for the
solution in other areas of their golf swing or even blaming it on equipment. They do not
consider how they hold the club as a potential solution. If you need a grip check up, request a
lesson from a Golf Live Coach and start playing better golf immediately.