There are a number of strong grip advantages when playing golf, including being less reliant on timing, feeling more natural throuout the swing, allowing you a smoother release, easier draws, and helping with a strong body rotation through the ball.
When we talk about strong grip, that does NOT mean how hard you grip the club. A strong grip means that a right handed golfer would turn their left hand clockwise (when looking down at the handle) and then re-grip the club. For a left hander, it would mean rotating the right hand counter-clockwise and regriping.
You can experiment with varyng degrees of “strength” when it comes to your golf swing. But keep in mind that any change will feel foreign and strange at first, but give it a try over a few trips to the range and maybe even a month or two and you might see some nice improvements in your swing.
Advantages Of A Strong Golf Grip
1. Less Reliant On Release Timing
This might be the most significant one on this list. By taking a stronger grip on the club, the momentum of your swing will more naturally release the club head through the ball. This means that your swing requires less (or maybe even zero) active hand rotation through the swing.
By allowing your hands to release naturally through the ball, you don’t have to time the release to hit the ball straight. In fact, if you let your natural momentum release the hands, then the club head itself rotates slower (the rotation slows, not necessarily the swing speed). So that means that your margin for error of having the clubface facing the target when it makes contact with the ball is much larger.
Another benefit of minimizing your reliance on a timed release is that you can more easily hit a fade or draw simply by making small adjustments in your grip. Since you’re able to be more consistent with the club face, making the adjustments are easier as well.
2. Feels More Natural At Setup And Takeaway
I am a little biased here but I think that a stronger grip simply feels more natural at setup and during the takeaway.
One aspect of the swing that many people forget is creating a good setup and takeaway. The downswing get’s all the attention. But if you can put yourself into the right position, then all you need to do is unwind aggressively through the ball.
On the setup, the stronger grip feels more powerful and comfortable. It gives you that mental image of backhanding the ball with your leading hand. I’ve always found that to be a good mental image for a solid strike.
On the takeaway, a stronger grip helps you to get the club in a powerful position at the top of the swing. It is still necessary and important to utilize drills and a mirror to see where the club is and refine your swing, but the strong grip naturally promotes the wrist rotation and hinging that are the hallmarks of a good backswing.
3. Promotes A Smooth Powerful Release Through The Ball
When you have a strong grip on the club, you release through the ball will automatically get smoother and stronger. The reason for this is that the release is more passive as far as your arm and hand muscles are involved.
Centrifugal force does most of the work, which allows you to swing smoother and more aggressively without having to worry about the timing of the release.
4. Makes It Easier To Hit Draws
This one can be overdone, but a strong grip does make it easier to close the clubface in the downswing and hit draws. You just have to be careful to avoid closing the face too much and hooking the ball off the course!
5. Promotes A Strong Body Turn Through The Ball
Finally, a strong grip almost requires a strong body rotation through the ball. Stall out your body turn when using a strong grip and the club face will close up much too fast and cause a hook.
After a handful of these, you’ll figure out how important the body rotation is and you’ll start doing it more and more. With the negative feedback of a bad shot, you’ll learn to rotate your body through the shot every time.
Should You Use A Stronger Golf Grip?
In short, probably.
If you never tried it and are struggling with your swing, then it’s a good idea to give it a shot. It helped my game a lot and it could make a big difference for you.
But there is no one size fits all answer to swinging a golf club. Everyone has different needs and different strengths and weaknesses.
So get out there and see what works for you AND take a lesson from a PGA certified instructor. They’ll be able to look at your swing in person and help guide you in the right direction.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a strong grip in golf?
A strong grip in golf refers to the hand position with which a golfer grips the golf club. If a right handed golfer rotates their left hand clockwise on the grip, they are making it stronger. Generally speaking, if the crease between the thumb and forefinger points to your right shoulder (for a right handed golfer) then that is considered a strong grip. There are advantages of a strong golf grip.
Do pros use a strong grip?
Yes. Many pros use a strong grip on the PGA Tour. Dustin Johnson, Tiger Woods, Zach Johnson, and Bubba Watson are all known to use a strong grip. Compare this to the time of Jack Nicklaus when a more neutral grip was the predominant grip style on tour.