Which Golf Grip: Strong, Weak or Neutral?
Strong, weak or neutral golf grips don’t refer to the amount of pressure you are placing on the club but rather the position of your hands on the club.
In an ideal world, at impact you want the clubhead to be traveling along the ball to target line with the face square to that line. This will produce consistently straight golf shots which is what most people are looking for!
Finding the correct grip to suit your physical abilities is what is going to allow you to play your best and most consistent golf. Let’s look at the different types of grip and how each of them might be the right grip for you.
Types of Grip
Your grip will fall into one of three categories:
When looking from the address position you will see 2 to 2 ½ knuckles on your left hand and the V’s formed by your thumb and index finger will point roughly at your chin.
The neutral grip tends to be the one taught to beginners at least at the outset.
A strong grip means that your hands are rotated away from the target. For a right-hander, this would mean that the V’s formed by your thumb and index finger are pointing at your right shoulder or even further to the right.
On the Wisdom in Golf Channel, Shawn Clement relates how his daughter developed a very strong grip in order that she could get the clubface square at impact. She is now hitting the ball 280+ yards off the tee and is aiming toward becoming an LPGA Tour player!
The opposite of a strong grip so the hands are turned more towards the target meaning that the V’s formed by your index finger and thumb pointing between your chin and left shoulder or even further to the left.
How To Grip The Golf Club
The Shawn Clement grip. Shawn from the Wisdom in Golf channel shows you exactly how to grip a golf club.
Which Is Best? Strong, Weak or Neutral?
It really depends on the individual player. You need to work out which grip type works best for your game. You need to be able to return the clubface as square as possible as consistently as possible. For some people that will mean using a neutral grip while for others a strong grip might help them achieve a better ball flight.
A large number of beginners will tend to leave the clubface open at impact when they use a neutral grip and even more so if their grip is weak. Over time the body will compensate by swinging out-to-in to get the ball closer to the target. By using a stronger grip it is more likely they would return the face square and therefore avoid developing that weak out-to-in golf swing.
Allowing your grip to become too strong, however, can lead to the opposite problem with the ball starting left and hooking further left and as an added bonus you may struggle to get the ball in the air as a really strong grip will tend to deloft the clubface as well.
If you are a beginner then it would be worth starting with a neutral to strong grip to see how you get on and then tweak it once you start to see a consistent pattern. Eg. if you are slicing the ball then strengthen your grip a little and if you are hooking then weaken it a little. This way you should hopefully develop a fairly consistent path and strike.
For more experienced players you will find changing your grip to be one of the most difficult changes since it will fundamentally affect your swing.
A lot of golfers will look at what players on the professional tours are doing but you should always remember that they are spending all day every day working on their golf game and fitness. If you play once or twice a week do you really think that blindly following what DJ or Justin Thomas does will necessarily help your game?
If you are starting out in golf then try a neutral grip at first but be prepared to tweak it slightly if you aren’t getting the ball moving towards your target. Here is my take on how to get a grip.
Do Any Pros Use A Weak Grip?
World number 1 Jon Rahm uses a weak grip. 3-time major champion Jordan Spieth is another.
Do Any Pros Use A Strong Grip?
Dustin Johnson, Zach Johnson and Bubba Watson are some of the pros that play with a strong grip.
Is A Strong Or Weak Grip Better?
Most people would probably suggest a strong grip is better than a weak grip in general but it depends on the individual player. Some players are able to return the clubface square with a weak grip, some with a neutral grip while others need a strong grip.
Neutral vs Strong Golf Grip
Depending on how you currently deliver the clubface you may find that a neutral or strong grip may suit you better.
If you currently have a neutral grip and struggle to square the clubface at impact leading to slices then you may find experimenting with a stronger grip is beneficial. This will make it easier to square the clubface and should produce a straighter more penetrating ball flight.
On the other hand, if you currently have a strong grip but are struggling to cope with a hook then you may find moving more towards a neutral grip will help you straighten out your shots.
Strong vs Weak Golf Grip
It is unlikely that any teacher would suggest a weak golf grip. With your hands placed in a weak position, you are almost guaranteed to hit the ball with a slice and consequently lack distance and penetration.
Most players would probably see the best results with a neutral or slightly stronger grip. This should allow them to square the club face at impact and maximize their distance and accuracy.