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Proper Grip Pressure (It's Firmer than You Might Think)

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6 hours ago, iacas said:

No guarantee of that at all, and the opposite could easily happen.

Everything can "easily" happen.  That's the beauty, and frustration, inherent in the golf swing.  A good pass, however, does not feel as stressful as a poor one...i.e. the effort seems less localized.  And yes...I am aware I just used the F-word.  I can't help doing that.  A good swing "feels" better, to me, than a poor one.  More to the point: a good swing seems not to require mid-stream adjustments and, as such, allocates the work load in a less definable manner.  It just feels like a swing...again, to me, rather than a series of actions.

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2 hours ago, Piz said:

A good swing "feels" better, to me, than a poor one.

A ‘good swing’ based on what, your ball flight? I think most people see the ball take off in a beautiful way and immediately ‘feel’ it was a nice strike. I believe experienced players/instructors like @iacas can make a swing and know if they’re performing the move/position they want regardless of what the ball does. I guess I’m suggesting that maybe what you feel is a good swing is really more a reaction to having hit a nice shot. I’m just suggesting this and I may be wrong but I know I very often strike the ball very nicely yet my swing was awful.

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5 hours ago, Piz said:

Everything can "easily" happen.

That's not what you said:

12 hours ago, Piz said:

If you get off plane enough that you have to steer the club back...your grip pressure will increase.

You were wrong - "will" has certainty. Your defense of "if a, then b" is to say "anything can easily happen"?

No.

5 hours ago, Piz said:

A good pass, however, does not feel as stressful as a poor one...i.e. the effort seems less localized.

I don't care about what things "feel" like to you, because feel ain't real. There are plenty of swings where I've made good golf swings that feel very "stressful," whatever that means.

You're writing a whole lot of nothing, and when you actually say something like it "will" happen, you're wrong, because the opposite can happen.

And if you know that writing about "feels" is pointless, why do it?

5 hours ago, Piz said:

More to the point: a good swing seems not to require mid-stream adjustments and, as such, allocates the work load in a less definable manner.  It just feels like a swing...again, to me, rather than a series of actions.

What's that got to do with the grip pressure? Particularly in regards to the graph I just linked to in response to @Buckeyebowman where amateurs often start off with lower grip pressure and then increase it or "adjust" it throughout the downswing?

You've been here too long to be making arguments and cases like this.

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On 12/31/2018 at 7:01 AM, Vinsk said:

A ‘good swing’ based on what, your ball flight? I think most people see the ball take off in a beautiful way and immediately ‘feel’ it was a nice strike. I believe experienced players/instructors like @iacas can make a swing and know if they’re performing the move/position they want regardless of what the ball does. I guess I’m suggesting that maybe what you feel is a good swing is really more a reaction to having hit a nice shot. I’m just suggesting this and I may be wrong but I know I very often strike the ball very nicely yet my swing was awful.

Isn't golf what your ball does?

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11 minutes ago, Buckeyebowman said:

Isn't golf what your ball does?

Not when you’re in practice mode. If you’re trying to work on Key #1 for example (Steady head) and your head moves all over the place, you may hit a nice draw and ‘feel’ it was a good swing. It wasn’t. I can hit many great shots in a row without achieving the piece I’m working on. I think it was the thread where @iacas was discussing trail elbow position and he stated, “My best swing resulted in a cold shank.” 

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Was reading a very good thread on this subject from 2012 and thought I would throw this out there again and see if there has been any changes in thoughts about the proper grip pressure over the last several years?

When I was younger I used to always grip it and rip it. Used to wear out gloves regularly. Now that I have “fully matured” (got old) I have went to light grip pressure and can’t remember the last time I wore a glove out from grip pressure! Sweat yes, pressure no.

When you look at a pro up close they seem to apply more pressure just before pulling the trigger. They all have forearms bigger than my thighs and that comes from hitting so many balls but grip pressure on each one of those swings plays a major part in those forearms.

Ive read about increasing grip pressure while maintains loose wrist and this is just an oxymoron for me.

Whats everyone’s thoughts on proper grip pressure? Thanks

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1 hour ago, Lgb69 said:

Was reading a very good thread on this subject from 2012 and thought I would throw this out there again and see if there has been any changes in thoughts about the proper grip pressure over the last several years?

Nope. Everything just confirms what we thought previously.

1 hour ago, Lgb69 said:

When I was younger I used to always grip it and rip it. Used to wear out gloves regularly. Now that I have “fully matured” (got old) I have went to light grip pressure and can’t remember the last time I wore a glove out from grip pressure! Sweat yes, pressure no.

Wearing out gloves often has little to do with grip pressure. In fact, often looser grips can result in more wear because it's possible to have more movement. Movement is what wears out gloves, not grip pressure.

1 hour ago, Lgb69 said:

When you look at a pro up close they seem to apply more pressure just before pulling the trigger. They all have forearms bigger than my thighs and that comes from hitting so many balls but grip pressure on each one of those swings plays a major part in those forearms.

You have some skinny thighs then, man. And most pros grip the club more firmly than many amateurs throughout the swing, except around impact, where most amateurs are squeezing tighter.

1 hour ago, Lgb69 said:

Ive read about increasing grip pressure while maintains loose wrist and this is just an oxymoron for me.

It's not. Fingers grip the club, wrists aren't necessarily involved.

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@iacas, I understand that movement, not grip pressure is what wears out gloves, but my question on this tangentially related topic of gloves is why do most people (pros included) wear a glove on their lead hand? I am not talking about those who wear two gloves (fragile hands, perhaps)...

Personally, I have gone to wearing no glove about 2 years ago, when I realized that my grip pressure was too low and I had a tendency to grip stronger (or regrip) as the swing progressed. I surmised that the feel of the glove was causing to have this relaxed hand with too low of a pressure, and so I removed the glove, which caused me to start the swing with an increased grip pressure, and keep it (or slightly increase it) throughout the swing.

I have to say that I don't feel the need to go back to wearing a glove now. My hands are no more "chewed up" now than they were before: I just have a small-ish callus at the base of my lead ring finger (and a very small one on the ridge of that ring finger facing towards the thumb). The lower pad of my hand is not affected at all, whereas it's where the glove was eventually wearing out, most likely due to me regripping mid-swing.

Bonus: I save all that money in gloves! And can use more for: :beer:

Edited by sjduffers

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Grip pressure has been both a focus and bit of a mystery for me for almost the past two + years since I rejoined the frustration that is the game of golf.  And this replay may end up a tad too long to be fully clear.

I have somewhat strong arthritis in my right hand. Without a glove, I cannot be sure my last two figures will fully come around  the club. So I wear a glove on each hands. My left hand has a bit of neuropathy due to my diabetes. Not so much as to have lost all feeling, just makes me unsure of just of how hard I am squeezing, at times.

Ah the joys of getting old!

I don't want to grip so hard that I make my forearms ache.  So I have ways of making sure my grip is solid and in control of the club.

During my practice swings before I hit the ball, I focus on making sure that how I addressed the ball remains the same throughout the swing. (At least I try my best).

If I hit a swing that "felt" good off the tee but ended funky, I check the position after the shot to make sure I did not play with opening or closing during the swing. In practice, I almost always use strike tape to check on how I impact the ball in relation to the sweet spot, and I do the same on pure practice round on the course which have no impact on GHIN. The tape tells me I tend to hit the sweet spot or a minor bit towards the toe 95% of the time.

I cannot fully feel impact, due the factors I have mentioned.  

So feel is fully not real interns of evaluating a shot.  Arm position, hips at the end of all motion, head position are all part of the evaluation process, and during practice are there on video.  I know if the back swing goes well and even if I am primarily inside out.  My coach and I spend a lot of time reading the tales the videos

Many hours of being aware of these actions have given me a basic sense of the quality of the swing and  "feel" is, at best, a tertiary process,  If all seems well, including address alignment, I will check the action on the sweet spot, as that  is often an indicator of too strong or too weak a gripping of the club in my hands.  I do have a sense of a good grip in the address process, so I go back to that start of each new swing.

In all aspects of the mechanics, a "feel" lies.  Especially the feel of impact.  Good impact feel often covers up why the results of a shot are off.

During a match or on the course, I will not take time to analyze the last shot, it does minimal good to preparing for the next shot. So I put that out of my mind and go through the routine of readiness of the next one.m I will make a mental note (or even a written note) to correct fully next range day.

I describe my grip as: firm enough to make sure I am in control of the club throughout the swing, but not so strong as to introduce true tensions. Too soft for me, because I have limited feel in the hands, often translates as too soft to the point the the club may sway and flop around to the point where ANYTHING is possible at moment of impact. I have learned to read the tape to indicate these as too soft and see them as well as the result.

I do focus on the 5SK approach, and have studies the videos posted here, just wish my hands would transfer a bit more information to the brain on this and other issues.

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3 hours ago, sjduffers said:

@iacas, I understand that movement, not grip pressure is what wears out gloves, but my question on this tangentially related topic of gloves is why do most people (pros included) wear a glove on their lead hand?

The lead hand has the most contact with the grip.

3 hours ago, sjduffers said:

Personally, I have gone to wearing no glove about 2 years ago, when I realized that my grip pressure was too low and I had a tendency to grip stronger (or regrip) as the swing progressed. I surmised that the feel of the glove was causing to have this relaxed hand with too low of a pressure, and so I removed the glove, which caused me to start the swing with an increased grip pressure, and keep it (or slightly increase it) throughout the swing.

I have to say that I don't feel the need to go back to wearing a glove now. My hands are no more "chewed up" now than they were before:

I don't usually wear a glove, but after three straight days of continuous practice and play, I needed to wear one today (and probably tomorrow). My fingers are kind of tender where the callouses will form, but for now it is uncomfortable to hold a club without a glove. It doesn't help that my grip of choice is Pure DTX which is similar to a corded grip in feel.

Had I started the week with a glove, I probably could have avoided this, so I can see why anyone who hits a lot of balls would use one.

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Is the implication that those who don't wear gloves don't hit as many balls? There are few pros, most famously Fred Couples, that never use a glove, and I don't think that they play or practice any less. Perhaps they have hands that take the wear and tear better?

In my own experience, playing 3 times a week or more, my hands are actually better off not wearing a glove. I have even played 5 days in a row a few times and still had no ill effect. I use the Golf Pride MCC grips, which are half-cord hybrids (cord on the lead hand, rubber on the trail one), and other than the two calluses I mentioned on my lead ring finger (at the base of the finger and a smaller one on the ridge of the second phalanx), my hands are silky smooth... and I don't do much manual work either. 😉

Sure, when I first started and had the grip (and everything else) wrong, I was easily getting blisters, but after a while, I just kept putting a glove on out of the force of habit and/or because of the example shown by the pros: there must be a good reason why they do it, right? I mean, other than the marketing aspects... :whistle:

When I realized that wearing a glove was causing me to not grip the club strongly enough, creating this variation in grip strength throughout the swing that has been discussed at length in this thread, I tried to challenge the common perception and just try without a glove. It just stuck, perhaps because of an improvement in my grip contact with the club and/or increased pressure throughout.

Anyway, I thought I would mention it, perhaps as something to try...

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I get confused with what is the "correct" grip pressure - at least until finding this thread which started in 2012. The 'bird in the hands" or "3 out of 10" never seemed useful because everyone has different strength in the fingers and different swing speeds.  

Wouldn't it be better to just grip the club as tightly as necessary to stop the club moving around in the hands?  Even if that is actually really tight? Like an "8/10" for me might be a "3/10" for a person with lots of strength in their hands?  So the test would be to find your own grip strength based on when the club starts moving around.. which might actually change depending on the glove being used and whether you do some work to strengthen the hands.

 

 

Edited by Jay28

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Something else I am finding as I am progressing back into the game... gripping just enough so that you have control of the club changes the harder you try and swing.  Seems like a 'Captain Obvious' statement, I know... but... it's useful for me in my quest to drastically slow down my swing.

Because I have a tendency to swing hard and grip tight (say 7/10 to control the club), my feel right now is almost as if I am just placing the clubhead to the back of the ball on the downswing .... slooooooow.... to the point where it feels like I am not swinging at all.. it's just gravity taking the club to the ball and I am doing everything in my power not to get in the way of gravity doing it's thing. (grip pressure now a 3 ... or 2).  tension in arms, wrist and upper body is none.

Feels very odd - as if the ball won't go anywhere, but I am hitting it straighter and longer with every club.   Every time I try and swing harder or even make any effort to 'steer', the strike is not as good.  

So maybe tight grip pressure is just a symptom of trying to swing too hard...

Edited by Jay28

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Reading a bit of hogan before going out on monday past.

Was thinking about the comment regarding the little finger of the lower hand grasping the knuckle.

I tried that. Not sure if I got it the Hogan way but did notice I ended up with both hands locked more closely together.

Don't know what that physically changed but ended up hitting all clubs differently...a little more distance...a little straighter...with a little less effort...

Managed a few more pars and a couple more GIR's than normal...

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Was wondering about said "grip pressure" and how my own journey has been happening.  Early on in thread I saw where MiniBlueDragon wrote "

- The motion of hammering a nail. You grip the hammer enough that it doesn't slip out of your hand but don't grip it like you're killing it. You use your arm to begin the hammering motion but then let your wrist be loose enough that the hammer itself releases into the nail.

- The motion of drumming. You grip the drum sticks enough that they don't slip out of your hands but not too hard. Your arms begin the drumming motion but your wrists remain loose enough that they can be 'flicked' to send the drum stick into the drum."  

Being someone who drove nails for a living back in the 80's before the advent of using air nailers, now impact drivers for everything and a life long drummer, I thought about how my hands grip and wrists work in relation to my club grip.  Earlier this year, I was finding that at the end of a round or the end of range ball session my fingers were stiff like I had been gripping too hard.  Of late I have become more relaxed in the grip area and have found my hands not suffering at the end of playing a round.  If you grip a hammer with the right finger pressure and wrist action the hammer lands with full impact on the nail.  Likewise a good drummer with great finger pressure can manipulate the sticks to go where they want with proper pressure to the head - smooth and glassy like jazz or rough and ready like thrash metal.  All that to say, I believe I was holding on too tightly in the beginning and was feeling the ache in my fingers and wrists. Now I don't experience that pain but rather I am starting to understand what the club is telling me - the funky vibrations I feel when a shot is errant all the way to the sense of fluidity when all goes well.    

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@WillieT, I imagine that people who hammer nails for a living grip the hammer rather firmly, too, but because their hands and fingers are strong, they feel like it's relatively light pressure.

Sore fingers are often a result of uneven grip pressure: you grip the club loosely, then in transition and during the downswing, grip it more firmly as you squeeze to hold on.

Most good golfers grip the club quite firmly, but also much more uniformly throughout the swing, than most amateurs.

FWIW, firm != white knuckles at any point, really (except maybe when the clubhead hits the ground and the shaft kicks a bit). But the club ain't moving in my hands, I can tell you that.

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@iacas You're right - its about having a "firm" grip that makes the hammer seem "effortless" because of strong fingers/hands.  The parallel here is amazing (to me anyway) - as the club is basically another type of hammer driving a "nail", i.e. the golf ball into a theoretical "board", i.e. fairway/green and ultimately the cup.  Therefore it makes sense about unequal grip pressure causing the soreness in the hands/wrists, as I experienced the same things when I was first learning to drive nails back in the day. At the recommendation of others, I picked up Hogan's book and have read/re-read the section on proper grip. I also try to spend about 30 mins at least every other day in the back yard hitting practice balls (when I cannot make it to a course to play or driving range) - always rotating between the woods - irons - driver - wedges - hybrids. Just as I learned how to hit a hammer or hit a drum / cymbal by developing proper muscle memory, the same goes with grip pressure, etc.   I also play bass in our church band, there are times I can close my eyes and "just feel" where I am on the neck note wise without looking.  My 3-yr old grandson can swing the club and consistently hit the ball while looking away - why?  muscle memory.  Therefore it stands to reason that proper muscle memory is what we want to learn ...whether its the swing or the grip or the ball position at address.  

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4 hours ago, WillieT said:

I picked up Hogan's book and have read/re-read the section on proper grip. I also try to spend about 30 mins at least every other day in the back yard hitting practice balls (when I cannot make it to a course to play or driving range) - always rotating between the woods - irons - driver - wedges - hybrids. Just as I learned how to hit a hammer or hit a drum / cymbal by developing proper muscle memory, the same goes with grip pressure, etc.   

Would also recommend checking this thread out. I'm not a fan of Hogan's weak grip for most players.

 

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