By Paul Myers
There are a multitude of factors that can affect your swing speed, and each of them might be dealt with individually if you are going to maximize your power potential off the tee. One often-overlooked element of swing speed is your golf grip. Most golfers just grab onto the club and make a swing without giving it much thought, but your grip can actually have a profound impact on how successful your swing will be. If you create a golf grip that is technically sound and feels comfortable to you, it can be much easier to get the best possible production from your swing.
There are two main elements of your golf grip that can affect swing speed – grip pressure and the position of your left hand (for a right handed golfer). Each of these two elements can dictate to a certain degree how much speed you are able to create at the bottom of your swing, so don’t make the mistake of overlooking them during your practice sessions.
Getting the Right Golf Grip Pressure
Golf grip pressure that is too tight on the club can be a real killer of swing speed. When you hold onto the club too tightly as you get ready to swing, you will be putting unnecessary tension in your muscles and this can restrict the free-flow of power that you want to unleash. With a relaxed golf grip pressure that is only as tight as necessary to hold onto the club throughout the swing, you can free up your muscles to maximize your swing speed potential.
When you are practicing on the driving range, work on hitting some shots with a softer golf grip pressure than you usually use. These shots don’t need to be full power at first – just hit some at half speed and start to get the feel for using a softer grip. Over time, this will become much more natural and you might see your swing speed gradually increase. As an added benefit, your softer golf grip should translate into your short game as well, and it can make it much easier to control both putts and chip shots.
Left Hand Position
For a right handed golfer, the position of the left hand on the club is very important. When looking down at your golf grip at address, how many knuckles on your left hand can you see? If you see less than two, you have a weak golf grip. If you can see all four, your golf grip is very strong.
As a general rule of thumb, long drivers favor a strong grip as it allows them to fully cock the club in the back swing without opening up the club face in the manner that is commonly done with a neutral or weak grip. That doesn’t mean to say that a neutral or weak grip is wrong or not powerful. However, a stronger grip may be worth a look for you if you’re looking for more speed that you can keep under control.
Be prepared to have to change your back swing pattern as well as your down swing pattern if you make such a grip change. Golf grip changes are not always easy, but they can have a powerful effect on your game once you get it down. Stick to your golf grip change even when it is difficult, and you could be rewarded with more swing speed than ever before.
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