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mdouet

Neutral Grip vs Strong Grip

71 posts in this topic

I recently got a lesson from my course's pro to get my swing back on track after taking a year off (swing was a wreck when I quit last year and wasn't much better this year). The first thing he changed was my grip, he said my grip was too strong and that I need to adopt a neutral grip. This felt horribly unnatural, but I stuck with it as I saw good results at first. Then out of the blue I became a pusher of the ball, I'm talking 45 degree pushes out to the right. I also started severly slicing my long irons and woods, badly, can't keep anything on the fairway now.

I read some books and they all mentioned that a slice can be cured by adopting a strong grip, so I went back to my old comfortable strong grip and now my pushes and slices are gone. I've been fighting with my swing for a week, going to the range every night and getting horribly frustrated at the results, and it was all because of a change my instructor forced me to do.

I know if I go back to the same instructor with a strong grip he will spend our whole $60 session telling me to switch back to a neutral grip, should I find myself a new instructor, or am I getting a false positive my switching back to my strong grip? Is it possible that the strong grip is just better suited for my swing or is my instructor right and I need to change my swing to resolve the pushes and slices (if this is the case I give up because I've been trying to do this for a week and my swing has just gotten worse)?
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I was in a similar situation also. One thing I found that contributed to a "power fade" lol was a cupping of the left wrist at the top of the backswing. If I can avoid the cupping I can use a neutral grip. When I find myself starting to use a stronger grip, I can pretty much tell that the cupping has worked its way back in to my backswing. Something you might want to check.
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Changing your swing takes time and you have to be committed. One week of practice, even every night, is not a lot of time gone by at this point. I'm sure once you get the grip down the instructor would then work on your swing path.

The question would be; What is your goal?
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I recently got a lesson from my course's pro to get my swing back on track after taking a year off (swing was a wreck when I quit last year and wasn't much better this year). The first thing he changed was my grip, he said my grip was too strong and that I need to adopt a neutral grip. This felt horribly unnatural, but I stuck with it as I saw good results at first. Then out of the blue I became a pusher of the ball, I'm talking 45 degree pushes out to the right. I also started severly slicing my long irons and woods, badly, can't keep anything on the fairway now.

I think you need to let the changes marinate for a little while, they take time to really set in, and it is unbelievably frustrating. Trust me, I know. I went from neutral to strong, and then last week I went back to neutral. Friday, I hit the range and it was horrible, but my good ones were REALLY good. Went again Saturday and everything was amazing, I couldnt hit a bad shot. Then, yesterday, I played 18, and it was hit or miss all day long. Some shots would slice right, and others were absolutely beautiful, the kind that I'd want to put on a highlight reel. I knew what my problem was, and why my release wasnt correct, which pissed me off even more when I'd hit a bad one. It's an infuriating cycle

The thing is, you gotta dedicate to the change, and if you're taking a neutral grip, and still slicing, maybe it's time to look at other aspects of your swing. Making positive changes have an amazing way at revealing other problems that were hidden before, but the more problems you get worked out, the easier it becomes to get a more consistent shot.
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Changing your swing takes time and you have to be committed. One week of practice, even every night, is not a lot of time gone by at this point. I'm sure once you get the grip down the instructor would then work on your swing path.

My goal is to be able to consistantly hit the ball a reasonable distance and keep it in play so I can actually play the game instead of play "golf swing" on the range (been playing that game for over a year now).

My question is, what is so bad about a strong grip, if it's working for me, why would I want to use a neutral grip? To me it's better to use something that's comfortable to you so you will be able to use it easier under pressure. My swing has absolutely no feel at all when I use a neutral grip, when I use a strong grip I know exactly where the club is and feel the slot as I make my downswing.
I was in a similar situation also. One thing I found that contributed to a "power fade" lol was a cupping of the left wrist at the top of the backswing. If I can avoid the cupping I can use a neutral grip. When I find myself starting to use a stronger grip, I can pretty much tell that the cupping has worked its way back in to my backswing. Something you might want to check.

I'm pretty sure using a neutral grip was forcing me to cup my left wrist, I felt like I had to to make a full turn back. Switching back to a strong grip fixed this, which is why I think my push/slice went away.

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As you get better at golf and you groove your swing a strong grip will make you prone to hooking. Without actually seeing your grip and swing I can't honestly speak 100 percent on anything, but it sounds like your strong grip is a function of an incorrect swing plane, at least that's typically what I've seen for myself and others I've watched play. If you have an over-the-top swing plane a neutral grip is definitely going to make you push slice. Take this all with a grain of salt though as none of us have seen you swing.
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My question is, what is so bad about a strong grip, if it's working for me, why would I want to use a neutral grip? To me it's better to use something that's comfortable to you so you will be able to use it easier under pressure. My swing has absolutely no feel at all when I use a neutral grip, when I use a strong grip I know exactly where the club is and feel the slot as I make my downswing.

The dispersion of your misses are normally much greater when you start going to the extreme strong or weak grip.

Dont take this the wrong way, no harm meant, but it doesnt sound like it was working for you. A lot of people never make progress by going back to what feels comfortable. A change like that takes time to get adjusted to. I know that's probably not what you want to hear, but I know where you're coming from, as I've been fighting it myself for a little while. I can tell you this - I do feel like I hit everything a little further using a neutral grip. I noticed it primarily with my irons. I go about 5-10 yards longer when using a neutral grip, though I'm not sure why.
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I'm pretty sure using a neutral grip was forcing me to cup my left wrist, I felt like I had to to make a full turn back. Switching back to a strong grip fixed this, which is why I think my push/slice went away.

Then, like me, you want to get that cupping tendency out. One problem with constantly using a strong grip is that its real easy for a hook to work its way in to your swing; and that can be as frustrating as a slice (been there). Developing your swing now with a neutral grip will allow you more options on working the ball later as you get better.

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The dispersion of your misses are normally much greater when you start going to the extreme strong or weak grip.

I could care less about losing distance at this point, I just want to keep the ball in play and out of the trees on the right.

I would kill for a hook right now, anything other than a slice would be a delight!
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Haha, me too. ;)

BTW, noticed you're from LA, what part? I'm orginally from the Lafayette area.
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I recently got a lesson from my course's pro to get my swing back on track after taking a year off (swing was a wreck when I quit last year and wasn't much better this year). The first thing he changed was my grip, he said my grip was too strong and that I need to adopt a neutral grip. This felt horribly unnatural, but I stuck with it as I saw good results at first. Then out of the blue I became a pusher of the ball, I'm talking 45 degree pushes out to the right. I also started severly slicing my long irons and woods, badly, can't keep anything on the fairway now.

I'd say get a new instructor... and say specifically you'd like to keep a strong grip to the new one. I have a strong grip, and that's what my instructor wants me to have...and I'll never change it, unless I'm trying to play a cut. I prefer my little draw that I have...

Many good players played (or still play) with a strong grip. Guys that my instructor told me were Azinger and Duval... I think there's some instructors that will teach a neutral, others that won't mind a strong grip. I personally prefer a strong grip and will never change it to be honest.
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I believe in the long run a neutral grip would serve you better. I am the same way. I developed a super strong grip. With good swing plane you can not release the club and not hit a hook.

it takes time to change. It you are doing a real change, expect to get worse at first.
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After weakening my grip to neutral last year, my misses are up to 10 yds right instead of 20 yards left and long.
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Well with a strong grip I'm hitting them straight (right at the pin) vs way right with a neutral grip. I'm going to stick to my strong grip for a week and if my swing starts to go south again I'll switch back to the neutral grip and grind it out and try to figure out what I'm doing wrong in my swing. I'd prefer to fix it in my grip because that's something I can see and control much easier than my swing path.
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I am using a sort of strong grip as well right now, and with my driver most of my shots and going pulled to the left. I was trying to change to a neutral grip, but with my driver it's really hard to. If you're using a neutral grip and hitting right, try to rotate your wrists through the ball so that you are hitting it solid. That's what I'm doing with my irons.
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Pay particular attention to the left wrist at the top. As previously discussed here, if you cup too much, you will have problems. Go out and hit easy short shots with the neutral grip, and a completely flat left wrist. Then you will feel the way it works. Gradually increase the power and keep the flat wrist and release -- then all you have to do is slight adjustments with your grip, meaning experiment a bit, until you find the way it squares the club through impact for you full shots.

I cup my wrist anytime I want to hit a push fade, and keep it flat or bowed for an intentional draw. Otherwise, my grip is such that a normal hinge should produce a fairly straight shot. Just remember, back of glove to target at impact and a neutral grip should work fine.

Almost any time I start hitting pushes and pulls, it is because I have let the grip get a little strong without thinking about it.

And yes, there are a few strong grip players who have done well, but for the most part, overly strong grippers are going to have problems, just as overly weak grip players will. Life is too short to have to hold off on every shot.
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