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October 7, 2009 - Steve Anderson
When I'm on the lesson tee at River Hall I often discuss with my own students the topic of grip pressure or how tightly you should hold the club. There are several answers because there are many different shots in the game of golf.
For your full swing, when power is important you should hold the club as lightly as possible and never squeeze the grip too hard. When a golfer grips too hard his hands and arm muscles will tighten up and may restrict the free release of the club throught the shot. On a 1 to 10 scale, if 10 was as tight as you could possible squeeze the club, you should hold it like a 2. You want to hold the club not squeeze it. Many analoygies have been to hold it like an egg or hold a wet towel without squeezing any water out of it. Your hands will naturally tighten up enough at impact so the club won't fly out of your hands as you impact the ball.
For pitching, where distance is not so much a factor and accuracy is, I hold the club about a 5 pressure. This will let the club hinge some but will get you better accuracy during the shot.
For chipping and putting I'd hold the club quite firmly, about and 8. A lot of old advice says to hold your putter very lightly to enhance your feel as you putt. Well, I've always thought, "how much feel do you need on a 3-foot putt?" I like a pretty firm grip to keep you putter from twisting open and getting off-line during my stroke. The best putters don't have any wrist hinge during their putting motion and keep their wrists pretty darn firm, and I think you should too.
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