The Grip

I’m often asked why I don’t talk much about the grip, or start there with my students as most instructors do…

From all the years I played on tour, I saw a lot of strange grips make a lot of money. Therefore, having a perfect grip
is not an imperative of the golf swing. My old teammate from college Kevin Sutherland had cosmetically one of the worst
grips you could imagine. It still looks the same 12 million dollars later.

Strong left strong right …. yep
Strong left week right… yep
week left strong right… yep
week left week right… yep

I teach my students how to put pressure in their hands. Once the pressure is there, the hands will inevitably move to the right place.
I do have my preferences of course, and if a student is willing and committed to making a change we can do that, but rarely is it

Lag, what is your preference for the grip? It seems like everyone has their idea of the perfect grip.

I’ve seen a lot of golf swings and grips over the years win a lot of tour events and money.

This is what I have seen win…

Strong left- strong right
weak left- strong right
strong left- weak right

but I have never seen
weak left- weak right win anything… and I mean extremely weak … not Corey Pavin weak…
he’s probably the best player I know of with the weakest grip…

Now as far as my personal preference?

I grip the club straight across the fingers like a fist in the left hand… with the little pockets in the wrist bones
right above the shaft… so pretty neutral… I might like to go weaker with my right hand, but grip changes are really
tough for me… so I don’t do it … my whole feel for the game is in my hands and to make changes there is not something
I would do unless I felt it was extremely necessary… but you never know! :slight_smile:

I was reading today Sam Snead’s “The Driver Book” from the early 1960’s.

Sam said that “your grip pressure should be the same as if you were hammering a nail with a hammer”.
To me that is pretty firm. The key is a firmness in the fingers but a flexibility within the wrists.

With the golf club moving near of above 100 MPH, we better be holding onto the golf club firmly.
As hitters, we are taking control of the club with our hands very deliberately, therefore I suppose we can get away with a larger variety of hand positions. Swingers on the other hand, are more at the mercy of CF with things flying into line with a passive hand approach, so hand positions are more likely to be seeking some kind of neutral alignment.

Not nearly as critical for hitters. However, proper support and structure are. We learn a lot from our bag work.

I think the grip is a highly individual thing and grip pressure especially very subjective. If I say to you “I grip very firmly”, what does it tell you? Absolutely nothing, thats what!

Hogan devotees will tell you how he gripped lightly but firmly. I read a book on Hogan and one man commented after shaking the Hawk’s hand that the man had “blacksmith’s arms and a grip of iron”.

How can what Hogan says felt firm but soft be replicated unless you have the same arms as him?

With a hitting procedure, you have to grip the club very firm. We can certainly feel this with our one handed bag drills. If you are firing the hands with any force the firmness of the grip takes care of itself.

A light grip is for those who have not learned to separate firmness in the fingers from freedom and flexibility of the wrists.

We can be sure that there is a certain firmness in the grip at impact for both hitters and swingers. If we set up with a grip that is much lighter in pressure than we are at impact, we are introducing a tightening of the grip at some point in our swing. This tightening then must have a timing element… in other words when does it tighten? and how much? and can we do this the same every time?

If we learn the proper attitude of the hands, then these type of pressure changes are not necessary. I would suggest that it is more likely to create problems than to create benefits.

The key lies in the realization that finger pressures and wrist pressures use different muscles groups.

Ratter Vance here…While cousin Range is away, I’ll share one of his grip secrets.

Look at your left palm and fingers closely. The middle finger is longer than the ring finger, and the ring finger is longer than the baby finger. A definite step pattern to how the fingers are attached to the hand.

Grip the club with the L hand only and now look at your fingers. Range will bet that now your ring finger is even with, or longer, than the middle finger. Hmmmm…how can that be with a grip that tapers from larger to smaller.

There’s is a way to get your fingers properly stepped in the L hand while holding the club. :slight_smile: RV

Tell us about the “way”.

Hey Macs…

Not for the timid, or for those who freak out about grip differences. Just a different look at the holding strength of the L hand, and it is a refreshing change sometimes. I like to use it for chips and pitches, but works for full action too as it puts the fingers and part of the palm in firm lock-down, while keeping the wrist flexible.

Always kinda thought that the middle finger is the “support finger”. We use it when holding a pencil, coffee cup, drum stick, etc… although me thinks that you may be an expert on this assumption. But I thought it might be wise to explore ways to maximize it’s benefit.

Anyway…try this.

Middle finger under the shaft and parallel to 4:30 :astonished: …wrist will be arched at that point. Close middle finger first. Takes some fiddling at first.

That’s it…RR

I know that we don’t talk about the grip much on here but I thought I would throw something out there!

I personally think that it is crazy how every instructor tells you to hold the club in the fingers! Hogan, Snead, and Knudson emphatically say that the left hand grip is primarily in the palm. As one of the many professional amateur experimenters :stuck_out_tongue: , the left hand finger grip provides no stability in my hands and will shift. the primarily palm grip advised by the greats allows me to have great lag and the clubface will not shift or turn over. I was wondering what all of you thought about this great contradiction in instruction.