Grip Pressure

Modern day science is amazing, we have 2D video which analyses the players style of swing, 3D biomechanics which is like the MRI of a golf swing telling you whether it works or not, force plates which can tell you to the entire weight distribution and transfer in the golf swing, and Trackman which can tell every conceivable piece of data that you would never see with the human eye.


Yet with all of this science available in amazing but highly frustrating sport we are only human.  We will inevitably make mistakes and one of the biggest most overlooked aspects is grip pressure.

Often people will hold the golf club too hard, this can lead to a knock on effect of swing faults and result in tension throughout.  Of course we need to hold onto the golf club with enough pressure to control it but think about the 100m sprinter.  Possible the most explosive sports discipline in the world, when you see these super powerful athletes flying down the track you can see in slow motion how relaxed their faces are.  So even in one of the most powerful explosive sports in the world there is an element of calm.

Of course there will always be an exception, Tiger Woods has gone on record as saying that he grips the golf club firmly, but this is designed to help Tiger hit a fade.  So by holding the club harder he is able to limit the clubface rotation thus making it easier to hit the fade and not hit the hook.

So imagine this scenario;  A golfer holds on to the club to tightly, because of the heavy grip pressure they then find it difficult to set the wrists correctly in the back swing.  This causes the arms to collapse at the top of the back swing because the mind is aware that the club has to get to the top of the back swing but it can’t be set correctly because of the lack of wrist set.  By now the whole upper body is tight as well as being out of sequence with the lower body.  This then results in the down swing be started by the upper body resulting in an outside in swing path, this results in the dreaded SLICE.

This sounds like a very grand imaginative story but I see this scenario several times a week and the catalyst is the grip pressure.

Grip pressure tension can often creep in under pressure, as soon as the hands become too tight it takes a very skilled golfer to be tension free in the rest of the body.

There are so many methods on how to ease grip pressure whether it be the great Sam Sneads analogy of holding a bird so it doesn’t escape but isn’t harmed or whether you use a scale of 1-10, 10 being the hardest and looking for a 4 or 5, all I would say is give yourself some feedback and assess your own grip pressure.

If you are someone who slices the ball especially I would look at the grip pressure first of all.

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  1. IamIzik

    Man what a great tip i bet that’s why i feel stiff when i swing my drivers!!! Love it you guys rock!!!

    1. Piers Ward

      Thank you. It is so easy to tense up as the round goes on. Next time you play just before you play each shot with your driver say to your self “stay loose” Keep posting comments and help us spread the…

  2. peter Guildford

    Great article Piers. Yet another one of my failings highlighted. Are you guys using my swing analysis as a guide for all bad habits? Haha. I naturally have a very strong grip, and find it hard to rela…

  3. Piers Ward

    Hello Peter, your absolutely right! the harder you try to relax the harder it is to relax. Controlling your breathing making sure you have deep breaths is a great way to relax. Keep up the good work …

  4. Alex Muller

    I’ll definitely take a look at my grip pressure today, since I’m struggling with starting the downswing with the lower body. I already did a lot of drills this week to train my hips to fire first. I t…

    1. Piers Ward

      Hello Alex it would definitely be a good idea to get your grip more in the fingers, as it will help you control the club a lot more. Your ability to control and create wrist set in the back swing and…

  5. Kevin Evans

    Hi Piers, Thanks for the tip on grip pressure. I would just like to add that I was suffering with the same Problem of my wrists not cocking properly on my backswing and some of it was down to my grip …

    1. Piers Ward

      Yes definitely Kevin when we go to hit the ball harder our arms usually tense up and we lose that feel and weight of the club and the ability to sequence the timing in our down swing properly. A good…

  6. Mira

    bookmarked!!, ӏ love your weЬsite!

    1. Piers Ward

      Thanks Mira, it means a lot to know that we are helping. Keep up the good work. #TakeCharge

  7. James

    These two guys are the best. They explain complicated things in a simple easy to understand way. I really love the drills they provide to correct specific flaws. Great job guys. Peace

    1. Piers Ward

      Thank you James your comments are very much appreciated. It’s nice to know we are making a difference. #TakeCharge

  8. Hans

    hello, I am a starting golfer and have had a lot of movies to you.
    is it true that I have to keep holding my club as a whip.
    ps. sorry for my bad english

    1. Piers Ward

      Hello Hans, thank you for your comment, when you hold the club it is important that you have full control of the club head and to do this you need to be able to feel it. Pick up a golf club and experi…

  9. Taylor

    I was wondering if light grip pressure will help with lag does it help create lag in the golf swing I’ve been wondering about it for wile does it help

    1. Andy Proudman

      Hi Taylor. Yes your grip pressure will definitely help lag. You need to allow the wrists to set in the back swing and be free. Tension will only limit lag.

  10. Martin

    i often try and grip with a very relaxed grip i.e. 2-3/10 amnd the result is nearly always a good strike but often a horrible pull left obviously caused by an over the top swing. how do i best practic…

    1. Andy Proudman

      Hi Martin. If you go tot he “Swing Faults” section in our Video Vaults click on the “over the top” swing fault and there are lots of ways to fix this fault in there. Please let us know if you have any…