What Is a Strong Golf Grip?

by Brian Hill

    Your hands' position on the clubs determines whether your golf grip is strong or weak. This is a different concept than the type of grip employed such a overlapping grip--the little finger of the right hand overlaps the space between the left index and middle fingers--or the interlocking grip, where the left index finger and right little finger are interwoven.

    Hand Position

    The key to knowing whether your grip is strong or weak is to look down at the Vs formed by the thumb and index finger of each hand. With a strong grip, the Vs are turned toward the right so you can see three knuckles of your left hand. A grip in a neutral position features the right V pointing just slightly to the left, and the left V pointing just slightly right of center.

    Shaping Shots

    Adjusting your grip to a stronger position can help you hit a shot that curves from right to left. A slight right-to-left curve is a draw shot, while a more dramatic curve is a hook. Being able to curve the ball can be useful when the shape of the hole is right to left, a dogleg. Many golfers find that a draw shot adds distance to their drives because the right-to-left spin causes it to roll farther down the fairway than a straight shot normally would.

    Fixing Swing Problems

    Many golfers find they have a tendency to slice the ball, meaning their normal shot curves from left to right. If this problem is severe, it can greatly reduce shot accuracy. Golfers who slice the ball dramatically generally encounter more trouble such as hitting into the rough, and they may lose distance as well. Adjusting the grip to a stronger position can curb this problem because it promotes a fuller release of the hands through impact, and the club arrives at the ball in a square rather than open--aimed to the right--position.

    Use by Professionals

    The strong grip is sometimes criticized for causing shots that hook wildly to the left. Major championship winner Fred Couples has consistently employed a strong grip in his career. He says in his book “Total Shotmaking” that he believes he gains a lot of club head speed with this grip. He says it does not cause him to close the club face too much as it nears impact with the ball.

    Individual Choice

    The best grip for each golfer is a matter of choice. The grip should feel comfortable and give the golfer confidence when he is ready to swing. Golfers who want to try a strong grip should experiment with different positions of the Vs until they get the ball flight they want. Sometimes just a small adjustment from the neutral position to a slightly strong grip can reduce the tendency to slice the ball without causing shots to hook.

    References

    • "Total Shotmaking"; Fred Couples; 1994

    About the Author

    Brian Hill is the author of four popular business and finance books: "The Making of a Bestseller," "Inside Secrets to Venture Capital," "Attracting Capital from Angels" and his latest book, published in 2013, "The Pocket Small Business Owner's Guide to Business Plans."