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Lighten Your Grip Pressure for a More Repeatable Golf Swing

When the hands hold the golf club too tightly in effort to control it, they add tension to the arms and shoulders, which in turn produce slower clubhead speed and inconsistent shots.

For a more repeatable golf swing, while pivoting the body, focus on keeping the hands passive throughout the swing. This creates clubhead lag (clubhead trails behind hands) until the moment of impact when the club automatically releases and in essence “whips” out and “impacts” the ball with incredible “thrust.”

To illustrate… imagine a line of ice skaters holding hands. If the inside skater starts to rotate… the outside skater in the line is “whipped” around at tremendous speed… basically holding on for dear life! If something got in her way while being whipped around… YIKES!

Think of the golf swing in the same way. Your body… is the inside ice skater. Your clubhead is the outside skater. And the arms, hands, and clubshaft are like the skaters who connect the two together. When the body rotates… the clubhead gets whipped around, “impacting” the ball with great speed and power.

A drill I prescribe to my students is known as the “float load” drill (I’ve attached a video of me demonstrating the drill below). It’s called “float load” because during the transition from backswing to downswing… the club “floats” a bit before changing direction.

Using a mid-iron, set up as if you’re going to hit a full shot. Release the tension of the hands to a grip pressure of about a “3-4” on a scale of “1-10” where “1” is loose and “10” is “death grip!” Focus on maintaining this constant “3-4” grip pressure as you start your backswing with your chest, shoulders, and arms. Continue maintaining the soft grip pressure as you begin to rotate your body toward the target, allowing the club to lag behind the hands.

Keep the grip pressure light throughout the entire swing as the ball gets in the way of the club’s path. Resist the urge to “push” the clubhead back to the ball. Trust it! The clubhead will find it!

When watching the video… notice how the angle between my arms and clubshaft decreases on the way down toward the ball… NOT on the backswing. The club is really lagging behind the hands. An indicator that I’m holding the club lightly. For many amateurs… this angle expands… indicating that they are using their hands in attempt to hit the ball.

Finish with the club low, hands about waist high, and target-side wrist flat (left hand wrist for right-handed golfers). At finish, you should “feel” the weightiness of the club in your hands and the grip pressure should STILL be about a “3-4.” Seriously… I’m not kidding.

video


Once you’ve hit a bazillion (and one) “float load” drills… I want you to hit full shots while being very aware of the soft grip pressure during the downswing and follow-through. Let the club control the release of the hands into impact!

It is important to note that although I speak of a lighter grip pressure on the club, I am not asking you to slow down your swing! “lighter” is not synonymous with “slower.” Stay aggressive with your body pivot while keeping the hands passive. Make sure you make a complete backswing… follow-through… and finish!

Use the float load drill for warming up. And when practicing… alternate between float load drills and full swings. Eventually you will create a more repeatable golf swing that will produce consistency in your game.
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7 comments:

The most important thing in a golf swing is a nice, smooth tempo. You should always have only one thought in your head while you are swinging, whether it be tempo, weight transfer, straight-left arm, ect.

Yes... One "key" swing thought is about all the mind can handle. Well said. When we over complivpcate the swing while playing, it's like playing four songs on a guitar at the same time... It can't be done! You can take your time with setup, grip, stance, posture, ball position, alignment... But after that, it's time to pull the trigger and trust that everything you've been working on is there and you just have to stay out of your own way and allow it to happen... rather than thinking your swing through and "trying" to make it happen. My swing trigger? Trust! Thanks for the comments!

Continue posting about this topic because it's very interesting. Mine I started my blog with very basic.Thanks for the post.

I think soft touch would be more appropriate rather than calling it soft hands. It is often ignored because most people focus on the swing for torque to generate power. Proper hand form can lead to more control making it crucial to the overall swing.

I think there are lots of little things that can affect a golfer's swing. That's why having the right coach is so important. Without someone there to correct you, you will keep on making the same mistake over and over again.

It helps to have video or pictures that show exactly how to get the swing correct and how to adjust your stance and other aspects of your body positioning in order to hit the ball the way that you want to.

Great advice Ted,

A great golf instructor taught me this not that long ago.

His name was ... Ted Eleftheriou!

Cheers

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