It’s Sunday, July 6th, an important day of the year for tennis. It’s the “Gentlemen’s Final” at Wimbledon. As I sat on our couch with my tennis loving husband, watching the final match, a message from the commentator resonated with me, “it’s a good time for Federer to strengthen his grip.” I thought to myself, I wish more golfers had that creativity.
Good tennis players change their grip to alter their shots. Surprise! Good golfers do the same thing. The grip is an integral part of face control. In either sport, having a weak grip directly relates to an open face with the racquet or club. Whereas, a strong grip helps achieve a closed club face.
To become the best golfer you can become, it would be good to understand each of these two grips. As a right handed golfer (sorry lefties), a weak grip is when your hands rotate counterclockwise so you see more knuckles on your right hand. A strong grip is when your hands rotate clockwise from a birds eye view so you can see more knuckles on your left hand. A weak grip helps the ball go right and a strong grip helps the ball go left.
If you are playing on the golf course and struggling with one side of the fairway or another, a slight grip adjustment could be what you need to get the ball back into play. Otherwise, grip adjustments are particularly important for trouble shots. An example would be in an impossibly deep bunker. A weak grip creates an open face and the club face in turn creates a high lofted, cut shot.
On the other hand, a closed club face helps achieve a low draw or hook. An example of when you would need this technique would be getting yourself around a tree. Have you ever wondered how to purposely create a hook? Strengthening your grip is the first step.
I challenge you to play around with grip changes the next time you’re at the range. If you want to be a better golfer, practice like one.