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Grip Change Problems

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi all,


I have been an occasional weekend player for the last couple of years and have always managed to play to a reasonable enough standard (for me) to at least enjoy the game. Over the last 3 months or so I have really begun taking the game more seriously and have cranked up my practice and playing time. I seem to have reached a plateau and if anything am getting worse. I have developed a tendency to hook (sometimes wildly!)


I am 99% certain my lack of progress and tendency to hook is being cause by my strong grip. I don't just mean a usual strong grip either, it's the most extreme strong grip I have seen, my left hand is way way over the top of the club (if I had 7 knuckles I would see all of them) and my right way underneath the club.


Anyway for the last 3 trips to the driving range I have forced myself to use a neutral grip. It feels SO unnatural and awkward, I can with no consistency whatsoever make solid contact with the ball (it literally could go anywhere, with a slight tendency towards slice/push) BUT on the occasional shot where I do make good contact the ball flies much higher and longer than my 'old' grip. It's such a lottery though and I can't even think about going anywhere near a course and attempting to play with this grip at the moment.


Sorry for the long essay, my real question is what can I do to help me through this process? Is it just a case of sticking with it until it feels right or are there any drills/tips to help. 


Also I would be really interested to know if anyone else has been through this process and what the results were? Did you stick with the new grip and improve your game eventually? How long did it take? Or did you go back to your old grip?


Thanks for reading, look forward to hearing any comments.



post #2 of 7

I have made a similar grip change about 6 months ago, it is certainly not an easy change; however I would encourage you to stick with it. It may take you a while before it feels normal, I hate to say it but I think it took me about 4 months.

I have no idea of your swing faults so I will just mention a few keys that were important for me and maybe they will help you out. One of the things I didn’t understand was how a grip “should” generally speaking affect your natural shot shape. I used to have a very strong grip which is not always a bad thing except I was not hitting a consistent draw, just general poor contact. So when I did switch to a neutral grip as you mentioned above I started hitting the ball all over the place. So for me what was happening is that since my grip was strong and I didn’t hit a consistent draw I was introducing a few faults into my swing to try and compensate in order to hit the ball straight.

What took me a long while to figure out was with my new neutral grip is that I don’t have to make any more compensation type moves to square up the club face. I think of my wrists and forearms as almost weightless and let my body do all the work of squaring up the club face which will happen almost natural.

I do a 9 to 3 drill where I try and hit shots relatively hard but think of the weightless feeling and almost “letting go” of my arms and wrists.

Hope that helps.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your advice and encouragement, it is very much appreciated.


It is starting to feel slightly (very slightly!) easier as I use it more and I am using this as an opportunity to really think about my swing and 'relearn' it the correct way. I've never really thought about it too much before and ended up with the super strong grip and (as you mentioned) have developed a number of compensatory 'faults' to be able to make contact.


Hopefully it will pay off in the long run, if nothing else I have turned my sometimes enormous hook into a fairly consistent slice!!


Thanks again

post #4 of 7

I agree with most of what the previous poster said and would add the following.


Grip is the hardest thing to change.  It takes lots of time to be comfortable it took me 3-4 months to get comfortable with a stronger grip from a weak grip. .  I would get a lesson to make sure you change to a correct grip.  You don't want to do it twice.  I think the benefit is there, your grip sounds like a friend of mine and it is a limit on how good you would be able to get.  


I think the best drill is a 9 to three drill as mentioned.  Small swings going for good contact and direction.  Once you can find the center of the clubface you can grow the swing.  The small swing will let you get comfortable with the grip with less moving parts.


Good luck!  Plunk down the $ on a lesson, a golf swing is not intuitive. 

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks I am certainly going to look into the 9 to 3 drill you have both mentioned and will give it a go.


As per the suggestion to get a lesson. Have you ever used an online instructor? I've found a couple of (what look like) good sites where you can submit your swing videos to a pro who will return a video analysis of your swing etc. I've always been a bit hesitant when it comes to getting a 'real' lesson. I know it sounds stupid but I feel awkward as a grown man stood with another grown man watching me and teaching me to play a game I play for fun (sounds even more stupid now I've put it down in writing!).


Thanks guys

post #6 of 7

I have taken lessons from an instructor and also online and would say that both were positive. One thing about an online lesson though is you cant really ask questions so it might make it hard to "discuss" the proper grip.


Also I wouldn't be intimidated by an in person lesson with an instructor, they teach all levels of players especially high handicaps.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks, I think I'm going to give the online swing analysis a chance first and see what the results are after a few weeks. If I'm not making the progress I want to I will bite the bullet and get a real lesson.

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