Golf Grip Pressure Points

Golf Grip Pressure Points: The Details Matter

If you’ve ever taken a golf lesson, you’ve probably had an instructor spend a lot of time on your grip. After all, it is probably the most important part of any golf swing. The grip is the only place where our body and club come into contact. If that connection point is wrong, it is going to be difficult to hit a good golf shot.  But have you every thought about golf grip pressure points?

We spend so much time on the grip for good reason. The placement and pressure are the two main traits that are talked about when trying to get the grip correctly. In this article, we are going to look a bit closer into that second characteristic; pressure.

When you think about your grip pressure, you probably think about how tightly you hold the club. Very simply, that’s correct. How tight you hold the club is one of those things that many people forget. It just happens naturally, whether for the good or bad. But there is a secondary element to a grip’s pressure that is often overlooked; specific pressure points.

What Are Grip Pressure Points?

Grip pressure points are areas of focus or slightly increased pressure in your hands. When you grip a golf club, the amount of pressure applied to the club is not consistent across your entire hand. Instead, you are going to have more pressure in some areas and less in others. That is a natural and good thing. What we want to make sure is that your allow pressure to sneak into your grip in the right areas.

If you wear a golf glove, think about how it tends to wear over time. Most right-handed players will wear a glove on their left hand. As a glove gets older, you probably develop holes or wear patterns in the lower base, or pad, of your left hand and the outside of the pointer finger. You probably don’t wear a glove on your lower hand, but imagine what it would look like if you did. Those are your current grip pressure points. 

Tension is Not a Friend of your Golf Swing

In general, I consider pressure to be a negative influence in a golf swing. Too many amateur golfers grip the club way too tight. It typically happens when we are uncomfortable. Think about the last time you were in an uncomfortable situation off the golf course. You probably tensed your shoulders, hands, and neck muscles. It’s natural for us, as humans, to tense up, or increase pressure in certain areas when we aren’t confident in a situation. Tension is a reality for anyone who has ever played golf.

Our hands are one of those big areas that develop increased pressure. So, amateur golfers, no matter how comfortable they are on the golf course, will start to grip the club tighter when they are trying to hit a good shot or face a difficult situation. It happens because we are trying to control a situation that feels a little less controllable.

Increased pressure, I am sure, has some evolutionary purpose. I’m no scientist, so I do not know why it happens, but in the game of golf, that pressure isn’t a good thing. Pressure in our hands limits their ability to move freely and easily. If our hands can’t move properly, it is going to be difficult to hit a quality shot.

So, all that to say, pressure can be a bad thing, but pressure points are a necessary part of the grip. And they can change throughout the golf swing.

Golf Grip Pressure Points

Why Are Grip Pressure Points Important To Know?

We need to know where these pressure points are and how to use them properly because that will help us control the golf club and hit better shots. It’s as simple as that. If you don’t know what the pressure points are in your grip, you’re likely to do it incorrectly. And, like I said above, too much pressure isn’t a good thing. It can limit your ability to move the club. But, having pressure at the correct points can actually increase your ability to move the golf club throughout your swing.

So, pressure isn’t always a bad thing, you just need to know where to use it in order to increase mobility.

How To Get The Correct Grip Pressure Points

Now, let’s talk about how you can incorporate the correct pressure points into your golf swing. To start, we’ll talk about the address position. As you stand over the golf ball before you start to swing, this is the moment where I like to see amateur golfers try to relax their grip as much as possible. Once you start to move, it’s only natural to increase tension in your hands, so when you’re not moving, take that as an opportunity to relax your hands and remove all tension one last time.

  • As the swing starts, you’ll want to keep the pressure fairly light in your bottom hand (right hand for a right-handed player). I tend to think of this club as the guide and the top hand (left hand for a right-handed golfer) as the foundation. The left hand is where you’ll sense more pressure throughout the swing. If you imagine pressure on a scale of 1-10, the left hand should have about a 6 as you start the swing and the right hand is closer to a 4.
  • As you get to the top of the golf swing, pressure increases in the right hand, specifically between the base of the thumb and pointer finger. This is the point where the weight of the golf club rests at the top of the backswing. Allowing pressure to increase there makes it easier to control the club and not let it travel too far before transitioning to the downswing.
  • Finally, on the downswing, I like to have players focus on the right pointer finger. For most players, the grip rests on the outside of that finger. It’s not only the place where the club rests its weight, but it also helps the club to roll or rotate through impact. One of the things that you can do to help close down the face is to extend this right pointer finger a bit and use it more as a guide to roll the club face as it comes through the impact zone.

Grip Pressure Points in the Short Game and Putting

Now, these change a bit when we start talking about putting. In the putting stroke, you don’t need as much leverage or foundation in the left hand. Instead, keeping the hands as consistently soft as you can throughout the stroke will help to create a more consistent putting stroke. Often times players will focus their pressure points on the top of the putting grip. Most putters have a flat part on top of the grip where players can rest their thumbs. These thumbs can act as guides with a little increased pressure on that point of the hands. 

The same thing is true with a chip shot, though a flat grip is not used in the same way. Instead, a chip is like a long putting stroke, so the grip pressure points act in a similar way. The only change would be that when the club head rises in the air, it forces more pressure into the hands. This is where most players can increase pressure in the right hand pointer finger and the base of the thumb and pointer finger. Use this part of your hands to navigate the club through impact.

Golf Grip Pressure Points

Drills To Check Your Grip Pressure Points

In order to practice these pressure points, there are a couple small drills you can do to feel the right sensation in your hands.

Drill 1: Lower hand, Three-Finger Swing

  1. For a right-handed player, grip a golf club with the right hand, but take the pinkie and ring finger of the club completely. 
  2. Then, take some small, shortened swings and pay attention to where the pressure builds in the three fingers still on the club. 

Removing those two fingers and the left hand will increase the overall pressure in the hand and fingers left. This will help you notice where exactly the pressure needs to be focused in a normal swing.

Drill 2: Top Hand Swing

  1. The second drill is similar to the first, but you’ll switch hands and keep all fingers connected to the club. 
  2. Then, just take some slow, long swings with your left hand connected to the golf club. 

This will do the same thing that the first drill did, it’ll help you identify where on the club your hands experience the points of pressure.

Final Thoughts

I’m guessing that was a topic you haven’t heard or talked much about when it came to your golf swing and grip, but I hope it was helpful and a good thought exercise that you can take out to the course soon.

Next , read our article about the long left thumb vs short left thumb golf grip.

If you can keep your grip pressure overall light but increase the pressure in a few strategic areas, I know that you’ll have better control over what the golf club is doing during your swing and hit better shots. I believe it’ll especially help at the top of your swing and through impact where you can support the club better and guide the face through square. These two things can help increase power and accuracy to your golf shots.