Swing Basics: Grip Pressure

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Swing Basics: Grip Pressure
Category: Grip
Sub-Category: Hands, Wrist, Pre-Shot Routine, Arms
Other videos in the series Swing Basics with Laird Small:

Video Transcript

Video Golf Tip | Swing Basics: Grip Pressure

Benchmarking the basics. Finding the right grip pressure. You know you can place your hands on the correctly but if your hands and arms are too tight you are never going to allow the golf club to swing, you are never going to feel the weight of the club and you will have a very difficult time having a consistent tempo and rhythm to your golf swing. My good friend Jim Flick helped me understand this. The correct grip pressure starts from distinguishing when it is too light or too heavy and finding something in the middle that would be correct. If I hold the club with the vertical to the ground with the clubhead on top the weight of the clubhead is being distributed to the club shaft below it so you can not really feel the weight of the clubhead it is too light. If I hold the club horizontal to the ground with the clubhead in front of me then gravity is pulling down and the weight is too great, it is too heavy. You want to hold the club half way between those two points, about a 40 five degree angle, and you can start to feel the weight at the end of the golf club. To be able to get a really good feel for this allow the club to swing around in a tiny circle and you will feel how supple your wrists will start to be. If I tighten my hands up I feel more grip and less clubhead, you can see how I was able to turn over control to the clubhead and it is critical for you as a player to feel the weight of the clubhead through the entire swing. You can start with it but if you do not maintain it throughout the entire swing you have lost the awareness of what is actually striking the ball and propelling it to the target, which is the clubhead. As well look at the different golf clubs that we use they all have a different weight to them. When we ask most people what is the heaviest club in their bag do you know what they say, they think it is the driver. It is actually the lightest club, the heaviest club is your putter. So try the same routine with your driver, you will really feel how light this is. Even though it is the longest club it is hollow inside, made with graphite, built for speed. Since you have to be able to feel the weight of the driver head you have to be even more sensitive to it. In terms of the swinging clubs your sand wedge is going to be your heaviest golf club. Your sensitivity and your grip is going to change on several factors. One is the golf club that you are using. So your grip pressure changes based on the club you are using. The other way that it changes is based on the lie of the golf ball. Here is have a pretty good lie, I am going to have a pretty nice grip pressure. How about over here where the ball is sitting in a divot? I really need to that club come down on the golf ball and I have to hang on to the club pretty tightly so that it can get the ball out of that divot. How about right over here on the rough? My hands and arms need to be a little bit tighter to get that ball out of there. I am going to hit a shot for you and it is not going to be either of the latter two, I am going to hit the good lie and show you that I will maintain my grip pressure and I want you to notice what I do. A lot of the best ball strikers on the tour or who have ever played the game do something similar to this. What they will do is they will either approach the ball with their club in the 40 five degree position we described earlier and what they are doing is they are getting a feel for the weight of the golf club. Freddy Couples and Jack Nicklaus sort of toss the club up from the ground to that 40 five degree position before they every strike the golf ball and they do that to get an intuitive feel for what they are swinging. Here is a wonderful drill that you can practice. Check it out in the finish. This is called the twirl, slide, swing finish and you can only do it if your hands and arms are relaxed. See if you can spot it. Boy that shot came out ok. Grip pressure is a critical part of your golf swing. It allows the music to your swing to come out because you are in contact and have an feeling of awareness for what you are swinging, which is the clubhead. Give it a try, it will make a huge difference in your game.

About the Instructor
Laird Small
Laird Small
Pebble Beach Golf Academy
1700 17-Mile Drive
Pebble Beach, CA 93953
Tel: 831-622-8650

Laird Small is Director of The Pebble Beach Golf Academy and is listed as one of Golf Magazine's Top 100 Teachers and Golf Digest's #23 instructor in the world.

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