Will a weak or a strong grip lead to better results on the golf course?
To answer this question, let’s learn from the pros.
Anytime I watch golf on TV (or highlights on YouTube) I always notice the fundamentals of elite players. I like to watch their grip, tempo, swing speed, takeaway, and pre-shot routine.
One of the most important fundamentals in golf is the grip. A player’s grip has an enormous impact on the rest of the swing. Yet, when most golfers try to “YouTube” their swing issues, they skip over their grip.
Almost any golf instructor will first start by evaluating your current grip because they know the role it plays in the swing. Oftentimes simple tweaks to the grip can correct any backswing or downswing issues.
If you want to hit consistent golf shots, you need a more reliable grip. Keep reading to learn more about each grip style, training aids, and how to find the proper grip for your swing.
Strong Golf Grip vs. Weak Golf Grip
Now, let’s review each of the three types of golf grips.
Strong Golf Grip
The first type is a strong golf grip.
With a strong grip the “V’s” that your hands make will point toward the right side of your head. A strong grip is promoted by most golf teachers since it can help players hit a draw (or straighten out a slice). If you have a very strong grip, it can turn your draw ball flight into a hook (for a right handed golfer).
The biggest advantage of a strong grip is that it can reduce a slice or help you hit a draw shot. A strong grip creates a different swing path and makes it much easier to create an in to out swing. Conversely, most amateur golfers have a weak golf grip promotes an out to in swing.
If you’re the type of player who has a lot of hip movements and can clear your lower body, this grip can do wonders.
The only downside of a very strong golf grip is that it can lead to hitting big draws that turn into hook shots. If you’ve used a weak or neutral grip for your entire career, switching to a stronger grip might also take some getting used to. While it’s uncomfortable to switch at first, it’s well worth it.
Weak Golf Grip
The second type is a weak golf grip.
With weak golf grips, the “V’s” that your hands make will point toward the left side of your head (for right-handed golfers).
Weak grips might not get any love in the golf world but it can work for players who have a swing that is too in to out. An in out golf swing can lead to a draw when executed properly but it can become a hook shot too. If you hit the ball too much from right to left, this grip can help straighten out your clubface at impact.
If you’re the type of golfer who doesn’t have fast hips, you could also benefit from a weak position with your hands.
The biggest downside to a weak grip is that it makes it easy to cut or slice the golf ball. For most average golfers, this is a game killer. Hitting a slice leads to less distance, less accuracy, and usually higher scores.
Another downside to a weak grip is that it makes it hard to get the forward shaft lean and compress the ball at impact. This grip tends to promote an inside takeaway that can lead to a steep backswing and not make consistent turf contact with irons.
Neutral Golf Grip
The third type is a neutral golf grip.
With neutral golf grips the “V’s” that your hands make will point toward your nose (for right-handed golfers). This type of grip isn’t biased towards hitting a cut or a draw shot.
Instead, it’s ideal for players that have solid mechanics and generally hit the ball straight. If the rest of your swing is dialed in, this type of grip can allow you to hit shots in either direction.
The biggest advantage with a neutral grip is it allows you to work the golf ball in either direction. If you’re someone that likes to shape shots and hit different ball flight trajectories, this is the grip for you.
There aren’t a ton of cons with this grip but few players are able to execute from this position properly. Most golfers tend to have a weak or strong grip in nature and finding ground in the middle isn’t always easy.
But as you continue on your golf quest and maybe even become a scratch golfer, this is a great grip option. The ability to hit both draws or fades is common theme of scratch players.
Best Grip Trainers
Now that you have a better understanding of the three grip types, here are a few training aids to help you improve your hand position.
SKLZ Golf Grip Trainer
According to SKLZ, “80% of all golfers grip the club improperly.”
While I haven’t found a specific study on grips, I think they’re right in the sense that most golfers have a grip that is too weak. Which leads to a slice and other issues in the golf swing.
The SKLZ grip trainer will help you create muscle memory to achieve a neutral/strong grip. This low-cost training aid attaches to almost any club in your bag and gets your hands in the proper position.
It’s small enough that you can keep it in your bag and use it whenever you need to work on the fundamentals. Unfortunately, this device is for right-handed golfers only.
Golf Club Grip Trainer
While the SKLZ grip trainer attaches to your club, this grip trainer is a stand-alone grip that you install on a club. This is a great product to add to an old club that you have around the house to get comfortable with a new grip.
As a reminder, this needs to get installed on a shaft, it’s not a stand-alone grip trainer.
Make sure to check out all of our favorite golf training aids here.
FAQs About Neutral Golf Grip vs. Strong Golf Grip vs. Weak
Do you have more questions about finding the right grip for your game? If so, keep scrolling to master your grip and take your golf swing to the next level.
Is a strong or weak grip better?
A strong grip has more benefits than a weak grip as most golfers suffer from a slice. This happens in large part to a weak left-hand grip that makes it harder to square the face at impact.
Should you hold the grip in your palm or fingers?
You want to hold the club in your fingers, not your palms for optimal control in the backswing and downswing. As Golf.com said, “If the grip gets into the palm too much it will make it nearly impossible to use your wrists properly in your swing. Holding the grip in the palms works great for putting (to disable excessive wrist motion) but in the full swing it can be deadly.”
Should I use a strong or weak golf grip?
Changing your grip isn’t easy and don’t recommend it unless things aren’t going well in your golf game. Trying to go overnight from a strong grip to a weak grip or vice versa usually isn’t an easy process. It’s best to make subtle adjustments instead of a massive overhaul, especially if you want to keep playing golf with your normal scores.
For example, if you have a weak grip and want a strong grip, start by getting your hands in a neutral position.
Should you change your grip for different shots?
I wouldn’t recommend it, you should use the same grip with every shot you hit in the bag. Otherwise, you’re introducing more variables to your game and it might make it harder to execute the golf shot.
For example, let’s say you have a weak grip but need to hit a hook shot around a tree. Some golfers think they need to strengthen their grip to help the club face rotate more and curve the ball. But for a lot of players, this leads to overthinking and not committing to the shot.
Instead, it’s best to grip the club with your normal grip and adjust your setup to curve it right to left. In this example you would want to aim right, possibly start the swing with a slightly closed face and try to roll your hands more on the downswing.
Stick with one grip throughout your full swing shots for maximum consistency and avoid swing flaws.
What is the difference between a strong and weak grip?
Hand position, not grip pressure, is what separates a strong vs. weak grip in golf. A golfer’s grip where his main hand is on top of the club has a strong grip.
What is considered a weak grip in golf?
A weak grip is not related to your grip pressure but hand position on the golf club. A weak grip is when the V’s of your hands point toward the left side of your head at address position.
From a face on view, the left hand (for right-handed golfers) is more under than over the top of the club. Weak golf grip affect players with slower hips and those who want to hit a cut shot.
Does Tiger Woods use a strong grip?
Tiger Woods is different from most golfers as he uses an interlocking grip like his idol and 18-time major winner Jack Nicklaus. In terms of weak vs. strong, Tiger is more on the neutral-strong side.
In his book, How I Play Golf, Tiger talks about how he used a stronger grip as a kid to help with distance. But as he grew and got stronger, he weakened his grip to add more control.
Later saying, “Today, it’s in a fairly neutral position, with 2 ½ knuckles of my left hand showing at address. That’s the best position of all in my opinion, and one I know will suit most every golfer.”
What pros use a weak grip?
While Tiger used a weaker grip earlier in his career, he doesn’t anymore. But players like Ben Hogan, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, and others choose a weak grip over a strong grip.
Final Thoughts on the Perfect Grip
Hopefully you have a better understanding of how your hands can impact your golf grip. Most golfers would benefit from a stronger grip as it leads to more distance and better ball striking.
If you do end up changing your grip, make sure to put time aside so you can speed up the process. As Ben Hogan said,“For at least a week, spend thirty minutes of daily practice on the grip. Learning these fundamentals will then be twice as easy and twice as valuable.”
Tiger said something similar in his book about grip changes. “Whenever I made a grip change, I made sure I had a club in my hands constantly so I could practice my new grip. I wanted my new grip to start feeling natural as quickly as possible.”
A slightly stronger grip or neutral grip is a great way to take your swing to the next level.