Written by Nick Panebianco, Assistant GM and Assistant Pro at Westchase Golf Club
Grip pressure is one of the most overlooked fundamentals in golf. Most amateurs just “grip it and rip it” without knowing that improper grip pressure can wreck a golf swing. What amateurs need to do is find their “grab point.” This means simply identifying where in the swing do you increase your grip pressure.
The area where this is most critical is in the change of direction from back-swing to downswing. The pros let the arms drop into the downswing with no increase in grip pressure. Amateurs lock down on the club with their hands and pull the club down triggering their “grab point.” At this point the increase in grip pressure causes two things to happen. First, the club jumps off plane and over the top causing a pull or a pull-slice. Second, the increase in grip pressure inhibits the wrists from an unrestricted release of the club-head through impact. The result is a shot hit off line with no power.
The next time your on the practice tee try this; take practice swings paying very close attention to your grip pressure. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being a death grip and 1 being too loose, hold the club at a 4 or 5 grip pressure. Make practice swings, without a ball, maintaining that grip pressure. While doing this try to use your hips for power as you unwind in the downswing instead of “pulling down” with your arms to strike the ball. You will find that to maintain your grip pressure you will have to get power from the lower body instead of the hands, arms, and shoulders. Whenever Alex starts loosing that “effortless feeling” I encourage her to identify her grab point and turn her hips through the shot. If you watch her swing she does this very well. Good luck and swing easy!