The golf grip is talked about a lot in golf instruction. Every instructor says you should grip the club this way or that way, but few can tell you "Why?" you need a proper golf grip. In this golf instruction video, I demonstrate why the proper golf grip is so important and worth achieving to help you in getting into the ideal golf impact position with little manipulation of the club.
Many golfers, especially higher handicappers, seem to feel that that is no right way on how to grip the golf club. Of course, this simply isn't true. In fact, in this golf lesson I show you just how important knowing how to grip a golf club properly is.
You will find out that even if you do everything in the golf swing perfectly, if you do not know how to grip the golf club properly, the ball can still fly way off line. There is no point in working hard on your golf swing only to have a perfect swing ruined by a faulty golf grip.
In the image below, you can see me in a good impact position, but this ball would slice off the planet. Not because something I did in my golf swing, but all because of my overly weak golf grip. The best golf grip would be one that allows me to comfortably hold on to the golf club with light pressure and would allow the golf club to easily square up at impact.
But Ben Hogan had a weak golf grip, that must make it ok, right? NO! Ben Hogan spent the better part of his career learning to fight a hook and built in numerous compensations in his golf swing to combat this ball flight tendency - having a super weak grip was one of them.
Sure, you can do as Hogan did - hit thousands of balls, dig it out of the dirt, experiment and tinker with different golf swing compensations and you may eventually find a way. Or, you could simply learn the fundamentals of the perfect golf swing step by step - the choice is yours! Here's a tip - it's a lot easier to learn by starting out with a proper golf grip!
Either way, a good golf swing starts with learning how to grip the golf club properly!
The proper impact position with a weak grip will leave the clubface open at impact if no manipulation of the club and hands occur.
If you're looking for a video on how to grip the golf club, click here.
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Importance of a Proper Golf Grip – Video Transcript
There are lots of resources on HOW to grip the golf club, but there aren’t very many how WHY to grip the club a certain way. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today.
The importance of a proper grip is a well known fact. When most golf instructors talk about the grip they typically prefer a neutral to slightly stronger than neutral grip. However, there are some instructors who think you should have a weaker grip. These instructors tend to be a bit more “old school” and follow some of the golfers from previous era’s who had weaker golf grips, Ben Hogan being a prime example. If Hogan had a weaker grip, why shouldn’t everyone?
With a weaker golf grip, as you’re coming down into impact with the ideal impact position, the clubface will tend to be open. That worked great for Ben Hogan as he wanted to hit a fade, but most amateurs already fade or slice the ball way too much, so why would you want a weaker grip?
This weaker grip requires that you do some extra work with your hands to square the clubface at impact. Hogan made the term “suppination” famous in the golf instruction world specifically for this reason. He externally rotated that left arm aggressively to help square the face back enough to hit the shot shape he desired. If he didn’t suppinate his left wrist in this way, he would have hit a big old slice just like most amateur golfers.
Hogan grooved this impact position by hitting thousands and thousands of golf balls. Most golfers don’t have that kind of time to dedicate to their golf swings, so a simpler solution is required. Having a slightly stronger golf grip like I advocated in this golf instruction video on how to grip a golf club allows you to much more easily square the club face coming into impact without any manipulation.
Now, let me show you why this slightly stronger grip is ideal. As I go to the top of my backswing and then work the golf club back down into impact, you can see that with the stronger grip, the club face is perfectly square without me having to add any extra rotation to my forearms. Most important of all, is the fact that having your hands in a desirable impact position (learn more) with the hands further ahead of the ball at impact than where they were at address naturally opens the clubface. So, by getting into the ideal impact position, you’ll still slice the golf ball if you have a weak grip.
That’s the reason you want a more “modern golf grip” rather than a weaker, more “old school” grip. It’s not that you can’t play with a weaker grip, but it requires more practice to learn to control and more manipulation to square the club face at impact. If you tired of slicing the ball, check your grip and see if it’s too weak.
Video Transcription: Importance of the Proper Golf Grip
The importance of a proper grip is discussed all the time, but one of the things that's lacking in golf instruction is the explanation of why the proper grip is so important.
Hogan used a weak grip
That's what we're going to talk about today. This is a continuing piece of the Impact series that we're doing in the Members Vault.
The importance of a proper grip is really, really simple, but it's not really understood.
When we talk about discussing the golf grip, what's often discussed is a neutral to slightly stronger grip. A lot of golf instructors advocate that, but then there are also golf instructors, or previous golfers who were very successful, who had weaker grips.
There's always a question of, "Well, if Hogan had a weaker grip then why shouldn't I use a weaker grip? Is that the ideal grip? Why? What are the positives and the downsides of that?" I'm going to explain that to you.
With a weaker grip such as the one that Hogan had, as you're coming down into impact, if you were to do nothing with your hands and just simply keep turning into impact, that club face would come into the ball open.
Rotation through impact
One of the key elements that Hogan discussed in his book, and that he did in his golf swing, was he talked about supinating that left wrist, rotating it counter clockwise through impact, in order to square the club face back up.
Of course, Hogan often played a little bit of a fade. That was kind of a stock shot for him, so that supination with an open club face coming into impact allowed him to hit a little bit of a fade because if he released it really, really aggressively he would still be able to keep the club face pretty well open or square because he had it so open and such a weak grip that he had to do that to get it at least somewhat close to square.
If he didn't supinate his left wrist coming in, the club face would be left wide open, but of course he grooved this move by hitting thousands and thousands of golf balls so he got comfortable with coming into impact, rotating that left wrist and rotating his body through the impact area to square the club face.
Do nothing with the hands to square the club face with a stronger grip
That move takes a lot of timing and a lot of practice to hone in on. Obviously, the average guy doesn't have the kind of time that Hogan did to hit thousands and thousands of golf balls. I don't have that kind of time, and I'm sure you don't either.
What has been advocated over time is a slightly stronger grip than neutral. Hogan had a neutral to slightly weaker grip.
As we talked about in the Grip video, getting that grip is pretty simple, but now I'm going to explain to you exactly why that's so important.
As we take our setup, take our swing, come back into impact, if I just keep turning and do nothing with my hands, that club face is coming in very square. I don't have to do anything to square the club face because my grip is slightly stronger than neutral; neutral to slightly strong.
Here's the other kicker to it. Because one of the most important aspects of impact is getting our hands leading the club head into impact - as you can see here my hands are definitely ahead of the club head at impact - if I were to do that and not do anything with my hands, no manipulation whatsoever, and I just came into impact with this position but my grip just slightly weak...
Weak grip leaves club face open at impact
If I took a weak grip, that club face is going to come in wide open to impact. That's going to cause me to slice the ball, or require that I use a lot of hands into impact to square the face. Again, something we're trying to avoid.
As I'm coming into impact what I want to do is have that slightly neutral to slightly stronger grip. As I come into impact all I have to do is get my hands leading the club head into impact. Do nothing with my hands and the club face comes in dead square, as you can see.
That's the reason for having this grip. Really, really key in on your grip. It's one of the most important fundamentals of the golf swing. It's a simple thing to do.
Making grip changes is one of the most painful experiences you'll ever go through in golf. It's just something that you have to persist through and have the discipline to stick with it even when you're not hitting the shots that you want, but when you get comfortable with that grip it'll pay off in straighter shots and more consistent golf shots with that proper forward shaft lean at impact, without you having to do anything with your hands to square the club face at impact.
You'll certainly see the results in the long run.