Grip Pressure - Part 2
By Terry Koehler, The Wedge Guy
Terry Koehler has been in the golf industry for over 30 years and currently spends his days as the President of EIDOLON Golf, a small premium wedge company in Victoria, Texas. He's been blogging for over 3 years and has written hundreds of articles ranging from golf tips to equipment issues. His blog will appear on ClubSG twice per week. You can reach Terry to have your golf questions answered at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Expanding on part one of this post (Read it Here), managing grip pressure is one of the hidden keys to better golf. It begins with your "standard" grip pressure, which I addressed in the earlier column. Getting that right is kind of like practicing any other basic fundamental – posture, set-up, ball position, swing mechanics, etc.
But we all know the hardest part of this game is getting it from the range to the course, right? And that applies to the tour professionals as well as the average amateur. Think Tiger hits any of those “uglies” on the range? Or does anyone else? And how much easier are those 3 footers on the practice green than out there when it counts? That’s all about playing “pressure”. Whether you are playing for lots of money on the PGA Tour, gambling heavy at your regular course, or just having fun on an afternoon nine holes, you exert internal pressure on yourself to perform to your best capability, right? And pressure causes the entire body to tense up.
In golf, that typically manifest first in the squeeze you put on the golf club. And that squeeze pretty much insures a bad shot, most of the time.
The good thing is that you can practice grip pressure just like you do the other fundamentals, but anywhere you can keep a golf club handy – beside the sofa or your favorite chair, next to your desk, etc. When you are watching TV or on a phone call at work, pick up that club and practice gripping and re-gripping, focusing on both the position of your hands and your grip pressure. For most amateur players, time spent on this simple fundamental will pay bigger dividends than anything else you can do.
But how do you manage grip pressure when you are out on the course? That’s the key to consistent shotmaking and scoring. And it’s tough, but a few simple techniques can help you beat the tendency to allow your grip pressure to get too tight, especially after a bad shot or two. It’s easy to build into your pre-shot routine a determined mental focus on your grip pressure during your practice swings. Make sure that is right while you are rehearsing the shot.
Another technique that works well is to hover your club behind the ball before your takeaway, rather than rest it on the ground. Even with your putting, hovering the club will reveal your grip pressure. Hold it too tightly and the club will tend to move around more, as a conduit for the tension in your forearms. The only way to hover it really steady is to have a light hold on the club.
So, I’ll leave you with these thoughts as we head into winter, and you are looking for ways to improve your game without being able to go to the course as often, or at all. Keep a club handy; practice your grip form and pressure all the time. It will pay big dividends, more quickly than you might imagine.
* The Wedge Guy's views and opinions are his own do not necessarily reflect those of SkyGolf.
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A great article Terry and if I can add a little a my Dad's golfing wisdom to it. He always said if it was a little cold and you were having trouble with feel shots or your hands were cold try gripping the club a little tighter. It helps your focus a bit more and gets the blood flowing a little in your fingers.
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