How tight should your grip be? Does it change based on the club you're using?

6 Professionals Contributed |
You’ve always heard that you should grip the golf club like you’re holding a baby bird. We’re not sure who made that up, but it can't be right! So we asked our professionals exactly how tight you should hold a golf club - and does it vary depending on the shot or club?

Grip it With Impact Force

Just before impact, a golf club can pull with over 100 pounds of force. You’ve gotta hold onto the club pretty firmly or it will slip from your hands. I’m a fan of gripping the club the same level of firmness throughout the swing, which means gripping it fairly firmly at setup and throughout, so you can maintain a fairly consistent grip pressure throughout.

The only real trick? Don’t let the tension from a firm grip go beyond your wrists. Your arms, your shoulders, etc. shouldn’t be “firm” or tense, just your fingers.

PGA Professional
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Grip pressure 101

We have all heard it said and we have all said it: Starting with a good grip is the foundation of a good swing.
Subsequently, how tight or loose you hold the club can have a huge impact on your swing. We have heard “grip it like a little bird” or “grip it like a tube of toothpaste”. On the other hand, Bryson DeChambeau says he grips it very firmly. Of course, he swings very, very hard.

In my 40 years, I see people struggle with getting the club properly in the left hand and then this is compounded by gripping it way too tightly. If you believe that the club should be swung and not a series of complicated body movements, then good grip pressure should be similar to holding a steering wheel of your car, not in rush hour but on a pleasant drive.

Ultimately, we are looking for effortless power and not powerless effort!

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Soft Grip When You Chip

Successful short game shots around the green start with the proper fundamentals. Always use a soft grip, when you chip. Hold the golf club with the same amount of pressure that you would use holding a brand new tube of toothpaste. Imagine squeezing just a little bit of toothpaste out, onto a toothbrush, using both hands with equal pressure. The softer, the better. Too much grip pressure makes your muscles tense and your chipping stroke too jerky. Your chipping stroke needs to be smooth, like your putting stroke and soft hands are the key.

The Country Club of Virginia
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Grip pressure

I try to have all my students relax their grips a bit as most instructors get too many players gripping the club way to tight. Think of a scale of 1-10 and start at 5-6, as the club swings faster the player will instinctively grip it tighter than what they started at. Ideally moving into a 6-7 pressure range vs a 9-10 like most men for sure want to do.

CUW Head Golf Coach
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Hold Your Club Like A Bird??

Gripping your golf club correctly means the club is held in your fingers and not your palms for all shots except putting. The fingers are the grippers of your golf club and really for most all daily activities. That being said try not to strangle the club at address so that the wrists can cock correctly. During the course of a full swing by the time you contact the ball, your grip will have naturally become tighter preparing for impact. The old adage hold the club like a small bird might hold true at the beginning of your swing but by impact that little bird would explode with proper technique. Vary your initial grip pressure as you work on this but be firm and aggressive by impact. Tell that ball where it’s going and enjoy the ride!!

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Grip It Lighter for more distance

On a scale of 1-10, (1 being the lightest and 10 being the tightest) Your grip pressure should be around 3. It remains the same pressure throughout the entire swing thru impact. From the driver to the putter your pressure should not change. Your swing speed will increase the lighter the pressure.
Enjoy the distance.

Delray Dunes Golf & Country Club
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TLDR: A quick summary of what our Backswing professionals have to say on the topic “How Tight Should Your Grip Be? Does It Change Based on the Club You’re Using?”:

  1. “Your grip should be firm but not overly tight, allowing for proper control and feel during your swing.”
  2. “For full shots, maintain a consistent grip pressure that promotes a relaxed and fluid swing.”
  3. “With shorter clubs and delicate shots, slightly lighten your grip pressure to enhance touch and finesse.”
  4. “Avoid gripping the club too tightly, as it can lead to tension, restricted wrist action, and diminished clubhead speed.”
  5. “Experiment with grip pressure during practice to find the balance that works best for you.”

Finding the right grip pressure is essential for a successful golf swing. By maintaining a firm yet relaxed grip, adjusting pressure for different shots, and avoiding excessive tension, you can improve control, feel, and overall performance on the course.

The Professionals in this Roundup

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