How To Fix A Weak Grip
by Robert Partain
For the average golfer, the grip is probably the most overlooked
fundamental, yet it's one of the most important techniques
to good golf.
An incorrect grip, especially one that's too weak, sets up
a chain reaction that makes it difficult (if not impossible)
to hit the ball straight and with any reasonable distance.
A weak grip is created when your hands are turned too far
to the left on the club, and the club sits too high in the
palm of your left hand. You'll know your grip is too weak
when your thumbs align straight down the shaft and the "V"s
created by your thumbs and index fingers point directly up
at your chin.
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to know if you have a weak
grip or not is if it only takes a few rounds to wear a hole
in your glove on the fleshy pad on the heel, you're holding
the club too high in your palm. If you're going through gloves
as quickly as you're probably going through balls, better
take a close look at how you're holding the club.
A weak grip creates an open clubface throughout the swing,
further compounded by the tendency to roll the clubface open
during the takeaway when the hands are turned too far to the
left. More often than not, golfers will try to compensate
for this move instinctually by altering their downswing path
to the left to get back to the target. What you get is a glancing
blow and a nasty slice or a pull, depending on the position
of the clubface at impact.
In addition, you'll lose distance when the grip is too high
in the palm of the left hand because your wrists aren't allowed
to hinge properly, which, in turn, reduces the leverage that
creates club speed at the bottom of your swing.
So how do you fix this problem?
Try this. Stand up straight with your arms hanging comfortably
at your sides. Notice how your hands naturally turn in so
that the palms point more behind you and your thumbs touch
your sides? Take your club in your left hand and allow the
grip to rest down in the fingers. Create a stronger grip by
making sure that your left hand remains turned slightly to
the right, just as it was before you gripped the club.
As you position your left hand onto the club, check the clubface
to make sure the leading edge remains in a square position.
Once you've done that, match your right hand to the left by
fitting the left thumb snugly underneath the lifeline of your
right palm. When you close your hand, the heel pad should
rest on top of the grip.
Now take a stance where you are addressing the ball. If all
is well, you should see two to three knuckles when you look
down at your grip and the "V"s created by your thumbs and
index fingers should point toward your right shoulder. Make
sure your grip isn't too strong. You'll know if it's too strong
if you can see three or more knuckles at address or if the
"V"s point right of your shoulder, turn your hands to the
left until you get the proper alignment.
Here's a little practice drill that can help--try this on
the practice tee.
Start by strengthen your grip by turning your hands more
to the right as we discussed above, but also close your stance
slightly by dropping your right foot behind the left. Once
you are in this "incorrect" position, swing along your body
line back and through to encourage the proper swing path.
Do not try and hold the club through the impact area. Be sure
to rotate your right arm over your left once contact is made
to close the face through the hitting area. When you start
hooking the ball, square your stance and hit a few more balls.
You should see a dramatic improvment.
About the Author
Robert Partain has been an avid golfer for over 40 years.
He publishes a golf blog that is updated 4 times a week with
golfing tips, techniques, and information.