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Golf Grip Influences Swing Plane, Path, Arc, Backswing, and Downswing
The golf swing is a chain reaction, and it starts at the address with the grip. Follow this explanation of how the golf swing works to fully understand how to grip the golf club correctly for a more secure swing technique.
Three Different Types of Golf Grip
- There are fundamentally three ways a golfer can grip the club. They are commonly referred to as a ‘strong grip,’ a ‘neutral’ grip, and a ‘weak’ grip. The terms weak and strong do not refer to the physical power of the grip but rather the position of the hands.
- A weak grip is most often responsible for a slice, whereas a strong grip is responsible for most hooks. Professionals, who try to swing the club as well as possible, most often use a neutral grip.
- Unless a golfer has an injury that prohibits a neutral grip, all golfers can learn to grip the club correctly. A good grip directly influences the overall swing shape, including the takeaway, the swing path, the plane of the backswing and downswing, and, ultimately, the impact position.
How the Grip Influences Golf Swing Technique
- The way a golfer grips the club is responsible for the success or failure of the first movement of the golf swing, the one-piece takeaway.
- With a weak grip, the right hand is too far over with the’V’ created by the thumb and forefinger pointing to the left shoulder. This grip pulls the right arm away from the body and means the club will be taken on the outside at the beginning of the swing. From this position, in most cases, it leads to a swing plane that is too upright or steep. A steep swing normally slices the ball.
- A neutral grip, where both arms hang down naturally from the shoulders without distortion, allows the club to be swept away on the correct swing path or arc. A neutral grip is the only way a golfer can learn a perfect swing.
- A strong grip, where the right hand is too much underneath, pulling the right arm too close to the body, encourages a takeaway that is too far inside which will lead to a backswing plane that is often too flat.
Why Most Golfers Grip the Club Badly
- With this explanation of why the grip is so important, it would be logical to assume that most golfers would spend time perfecting the grip. Not just the right hand but the left hand as well – but in reality, very few do. The reason is that changing from a bad grip to a good golf grip can sometimes feel uncomfortable, and as humans, we like familiarity – even though it doesn’t work.
- Most golf professionals who give lessons and try to change a golfer’s grip know that within a matter of days, the golfer will usually revert to the old method.
- Changing the grip requires patience until the alteration has an effect on the swing. It needs the commitment to persevere with the change while the body adapts.
- Changing the grip to alter the swing path, arc, backswing, and downswing plane, which in turn will lead to a more secure impact position, is a case of one step back to make two steps forward.
- Let the arms hang naturally from the shoulders, and make sure the ‘V’s created by the thumb and forefinger of the right-hand point to the right shoulder, as in the photo below.