Writing or speaking or teaching on the grip is boring but unfortunately knowing your pressure points in your hands is super important. I call them “grip connectors”. There is no one perfect grip. Does that surprise you?
As much as I’ve written and spoke about this, along with others, the perception of a perfect way of configuring the hands on a club persists. Amazing!!
While I teach a good grip, I also know that I have to adjust to strength, hand size, flexibility, and shot shape.
Let’s just take a very brief look at grips that have won major championships; the Vardon overlap grip, the Hogan overlap grip, the Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods interlock grip, the Greg Norman mesh grip, the Freddie Couples super strong grip, the Jordan Speith finger off the club grip, the ten finger grip. There have been cross handed tour players, super weak and super strong grips on the world tours. The evidence of great ball striking with different hand positions is simply overwhelming.
The grip pressure piece of the grip is not so diverse. Although some top tour players may vary slightly I can safely counsel you on the 3 swing connection points, the 3 pressure points, or as I say “the grip connectors”.
First is your top hand, the hand that has the most leverage. This is the hand that most controls club face alignment. Here I ask you to feel the grip pressure in the last 3 fingers. As Hogan wrote so long ago, and I paraphrase “this hand is like a clamp”. It’s secure. You don’t let loose of this top hand. Those back 3 fingers are solid all the way.
I believe I came up with the 1-10 grip pressure scale. I first started teaching this at Westchester CC as I searched for the best way of teaching my students how to feel the differences in grip strength. The scale goes from super light to super tight with 5 being your mid pressure. It’s been very helpful for me and the hundreds of instructors who have taught in the JMGS system. I’d like the pressure in those last 3 fingers of the top hand to stay constant at a mid level scale and to not vary through the entire backswing interval.
The second connector point is between the top thumb and the life line of the bottom hand. This is a connection that the average golfer often loses. Be very aware of this as you practice and play. Keep your connection level again at mid level.
The third connection is the middle 2 fingers of the bottom hand and absolutely not the forefinger or the thumb. Those 2 points at the bottom of grip cause over use of your dominant hand and tend to cause a myriad of problems for the weekend golfer. So grip lightly with the forefinger and bottom thumb. Jack Nicklaus said you could cut off his bottom thumb for golf as he had almost zero pressure there. Think of the lower connection in the middle two fingers being again at a mid pressure level, for example 4-5 on my grip scale.
Focusing on these grip connectors and not ever griping to tight helps every golfer I ask to try it. Try it yourself and see if your ball striking doesn’t improve immediately. Oh, and find a good grip that helps you consistently square up the club face at impact. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
Here’s a good video on the grip from Grayson Zacker, my director of instruction at Trump National Doral.