Benefits of a Weak Grip in Golf

by Robert Preston

    Overview

    The standard grip of a golf club ifeatures the thumbs of both hands aligned down the shaft of the club. By changing the relative position of the lower hand, you can strengthen or weaken the grip, with each providing its own benefits and weaknesses. To weaken a grip, the bottom hand is rotated around the grip slightly so that the thumb of the bottom hand is turned toward the rear foot.

    Ball Flight

    Grip strength adjustments can be used to alter the flight of the ball, allowing a player to put more or less loft onto the ball as desired. When playing with a weaker grip, the ball is more likely to leave the club face in a higher flight path than a standard or strong grip. This can be used to get the ball over an obstacle, or to help players suffering from low, driving strikes with all of their clubs. When hitting the ball higher, it is important to remember that balls that are hit higher are more affected by wind, as they spend more time in the air, and are less likely to travel as far after landing. This is because much of the force on landing is directed down into the ground, instead of forward down the fairway or green.

    Spin

    Strengthening and weakening a grip have the effect of putting spin on the golf ball that is different than that of a standard shot, however the way that spin affects the ball is vastly different. A strong grip will put spin that causes the ball to skid along the ground, adding distance. A weak grip will provide your ball with extra back spin, reducing the distance that it travels upon landing. While this would seem a disadvantage, and can be for some, there is extra control to be had in knowing your ball will not travel as far along the ground, where the shape of the ground will affect it. In addition, the ability to stop the ball quickly becomes very valuable around the green, when stopping the ball on a dime is essential to hitting tight flag positions.

    Shot Correction

    Weakening a grip is also a potential solution to incorrect ball flight patterns that are plaguing a golfers shots. A weakening of the grip has the tendency to put a spin on the ball that causes it to bend away from the golfer when it is in the air. For this reason, a golfer struggling with shots that hook, meaning they bend in the direction from which the golfer addressed the ball in the air, or are pulling shots, meaning they immediately leave the target line in the direction of the player, a weaker grip may correct the problem.

    About the Author

    Robert Preston is a professional writer who majored in journalism at The College of New Jersey. In addition to work for various websites, Preston has done public relations with Major League Lacrosse's New Jersey Pride organization, where he served as the team's beat reporter.