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Strong vs. neutral grip


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#1 CaptStubins

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 11:11 AM

Is there a rule as to which type of grip (strong or neutral) works best for certain types of golfers (i.e. hard swingers should lean toward a stronger grip)?  Just curious.  Thanks.


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#2 Pole_Position

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 11:58 AM

Jim Hardy (The Plane Truth for Golfers) might say it depends more on whether you're a one plane or two plane swinger.  I think there are too many variables to say there is a hard and fast rule, but I would lean towards swing path (specifically the path used on the downswing) if pressed - the steeper the path, the more towards neutral the grip.

I consider myself a strong hitter, but I favor a more neutral grip because I am always guarding against a hook.

#3 Gallery_Peekskill9_*

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 01:59 PM

This is an important topic to fully understand.
Whether you "swing the club"  or  "turn the body" through impact , will determine which grip is best.
Players who swing the club (Fred Couples, The late Payne Stewart, etc) need to invoke a strong grip to allow proper release of the clubhead through impact.
Players who turn the body (Nick Faldo, Tiger Woods, etc) use a neutral grip to make sure the hands do not turn over as the body is closing the clubface through impact.
Mixing a strong grip with a body turn hitting motion or vice versa, can lead to ineffectual results.
:vava:

#4 Pole_Position

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 04:58 PM

Peekskill9, on Aug 10 2005, 11:59 AM, said:

This is an important topic to fully understand.
Whether you "swing the club"  or  "turn the body" through impact , will determine which grip is best.
Players who swing the club (Fred Couples, The late Payne Stewart, etc) need to invoke a strong grip to allow proper release of the clubhead through impact.
Players who turn the body (Nick Faldo, Tiger Woods, etc) use a neutral grip to make sure the hands do not turn over as the body is closing the clubface through impact.
Mixing a strong grip with a body turn hitting motion or vice versa, can lead to ineffectual results.
:vava:

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Interesting...  How do you differentiate between a "body turner" and a "club swinger"?  Does the body turner keep his left arm more "connected" to the chest where on the backswing the left arm moves more in and across the chest and more or less stays connected until impact (ala VJ Singh)? Does the club swinger keep his arms in front of the torso throughout the backswing and downswing, usually resulting in a more vertical swing (ala David Toms)?

I'm asking because with the examples you use I would consider the "body turner" to be a one-plane golfer and the "club swinger" to be a two-plane golfer according to Jim Hardy.  While I don't necessarily disagree with you, what you say about grip position runs contrary to what he says.

I also always thought that Fred Couples, Paul Azinger and Jim Furyk had really strong grips so that they could "hold" the release through impact - i.e. not have to rotate their forearms and wrists to get the club square, resulting in quiet hands. See: Golftips Magazine and click an Azingers, Couples, and Furyk's swing analysis.

Just trying to get a clearer understanding of where you're coming from   ;)

Thanks - Mike

#5 Zach Heusser

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 10:23 PM

Peekskill9, on Aug 10 2005, 01:59 PM, said:

This is an important topic to fully understand.
Whether you "swing the club"  or  "turn the body" through impact , will determine which grip is best.
Players who swing the club (Fred Couples, The late Payne Stewart, etc) need to invoke a strong grip to allow proper release of the clubhead through impact.
Players who turn the body (Nick Faldo, Tiger Woods, etc) use a neutral grip to make sure the hands do not turn over as the body is closing the clubface through impact.
Mixing a strong grip with a body turn hitting motion or vice versa, can lead to ineffectual results.
:vava:

View Post

I have to respectfully totally disagree with what you said.

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#6 GehenHerzog

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 06:48 AM

CaptStubins, on Aug 10 2005, 11:11 AM, said:

Is there a rule as to which type of grip (strong or neutral) works best for certain types of golfers (i.e. hard swingers should lean toward a stronger grip)?  Just curious.  Thanks.

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In no case, SHOULD you have a strong grip.  Although David Duval had a strong grip and did very well.

#7 Gallery_Peekskill9_*

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 08:56 AM

Basically, a strong grip ("V"'s pointing at right ear or more) is used by a free flowing (club swinger) player to naturally release the club through impact. Note: Azinger has a one of a kind "hit and hold" without full release method and is not thought of a free swinger of the club.
The neutral grip, ("V"'s pointing more between chin and right ear), is generally use by players who rotate their torso through to square the club up at impact.
Neither method is "right" or "wrong"--just requires marrying up with the correct swing motion.
I'd surmise that most player's today lean more towards the "strong" side of the grip choices due to it being a power game vs control in today's world of professional

#8 Ben

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 11:57 AM

Peekskill9, on Aug 10 2005, 12:59 PM, said:

This is an important topic to fully understand.
Whether you "swing the club"  or  "turn the body" through impact , will determine which grip is best.
Players who swing the club (Fred Couples, The late Payne Stewart, etc) need to invoke a strong grip to allow proper release of the clubhead through impact.
Players who turn the body (Nick Faldo, Tiger Woods, etc) use a neutral grip to make sure the hands do not turn over as the body is closing the clubface through impact.
Mixing a strong grip with a body turn hitting motion or vice versa, can lead to ineffectual results.
:vava:

View Post

anybody who would absolutely disagree with your thoughts here when taken as a rule of thumb, but necessarily an absolute, is hopefully not in the business charging people to ruin their golf swing with this B.S. about a neutral grip being 'THE' way to go. what a load of you know what.

#9 Zach Heusser

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 08:41 PM

Ben, on Aug 12 2005, 11:57 AM, said:

Peekskill9, on Aug 10 2005, 12:59 PM, said:

This is an important topic to fully understand.
Whether you "swing the club" or "turn the body" through impact , will determine which grip is best.
Players who swing the club (Fred Couples, The late Payne Stewart, etc) need to invoke a strong grip to allow proper release of the clubhead through impact.
Players who turn the body (Nick Faldo, Tiger Woods, etc) use a neutral grip to make sure the hands do not turn over as the body is closing the clubface through impact.
Mixing a strong grip with a body turn hitting motion or vice versa, can lead to ineffectual results.
:vava:

View Post

anybody who would absolutely disagree with your thoughts here when taken as a rule of thumb, but necessarily an absolute, is hopefully not in the business charging people to ruin their golf swing with this B.S. about a neutral grip being 'THE' way to go. what a load of you know what.

View Post

Ben I never said a neutral grip is the way to go.    I have a strong grip myself, and for alot of my students I teach the left v pointing tword the right ear or shoulder.    WHat I disagree with is the statement that strong grip players are hands players.   I think most players with strong grips, and closed faces are more of  body players, and actually fade the ball.  
Examples  Duval, Norman, Leitzke,Azinger
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#10 slicefixer

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 09:48 PM

KascoPro, on Aug 12 2005, 09:41 PM, said:

Ben, on Aug 12 2005, 11:57 AM, said:

Peekskill9, on Aug 10 2005, 12:59 PM, said:

This is an important topic to fully understand.
Whether you "swing the club" or "turn the body" through impact , will determine which grip is best.
Players who swing the club (Fred Couples, The late Payne Stewart, etc) need to invoke a strong grip to allow proper release of the clubhead through impact.
Players who turn the body (Nick Faldo, Tiger Woods, etc) use a neutral grip to make sure the hands do not turn over as the body is closing the clubface through impact.
Mixing a strong grip with a body turn hitting motion or vice versa, can lead to ineffectual results.
:vava:

View Post



anybody who would absolutely disagree with your thoughts here when taken as a rule of thumb, but necessarily an absolute, is hopefully not in the business charging people to ruin their golf swing with this B.S. about a neutral grip being 'THE' way to go. what a load of you know what.

View Post

Ben I never said a neutral grip is the way to go.    I have a strong grip myself, and for alot of my students I teach the left v pointing tword the right ear or shoulder.    WHat I disagree with is the statement that strong grip players are hands players.   I think most players with strong grips, and closed faces are more of  body players, and actually fade the ball.  
Examples  Duval, Norman, Leitzke,Azinger

View Post

You are 100% correct......


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#11 DemolitionMan

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Posted 13 August 2005 - 02:56 AM

Ben, on Aug 12 2005, 09:57 AM, said:

Peekskill9, on Aug 10 2005, 12:59 PM, said:

This is an important topic to fully understand.
Whether you "swing the club" or "turn the body" through impact , will determine which grip is best.
Players who swing the club (Fred Couples, The late Payne Stewart, etc) need to invoke a strong grip to allow proper release of the clubhead through impact.
Players who turn the body (Nick Faldo, Tiger Woods, etc) use a neutral grip to make sure the hands do not turn over as the body is closing the clubface through impact.
Mixing a strong grip with a body turn hitting motion or vice versa, can lead to ineffectual results.
:vava:

View Post

anybody who would absolutely disagree with your thoughts here when taken as a rule of thumb, but necessarily an absolute, is hopefully not in the business charging people to ruin their golf swing with this B.S. about a neutral grip being 'THE' way to go. what a load of you know what.

View Post


Ben,

If you have a more constructive difference of an opinion then by all means, let's hear it.  But if your goal is to call out an instructor here who is trying to be helpful as your posts suggests, then you may want to consider a better tone or your career at golfwrx may end up being a short one.

The point of this forum is to be helpful in fixing a golf swing, not bash instructors.  Let's try to be a little more civil.

#12 noobie

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 03:44 PM

I was watching CBS coverage couple of weeks ago when Peter Kostis did a swing vision analysis of Zach Johnson.  He basically said that Zach holds off releasing his club because his clubface is slightly shut at the top (I'm guessing he plays a slightly strong grip) which leads to very consistent ball flight (slight fade for Zach) but at the same time he's much shorter than players who fully release the club (I believe the 2 examples given were Vijay and Fred Couples).  Can anyone comment about this.  Is there validity in Kostis' comments?  Or did I misunderstand his point?

#13 Pole_Position

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 06:49 PM

noobie, on Aug 15 2005, 01:44 PM, said:

I was watching CBS coverage couple of weeks ago when Peter Kostis did a swing vision analysis of Zach Johnson. He basically said that Zach holds off releasing his club because his clubface is slightly shut at the top (I'm guessing he plays a slightly strong grip) which leads to very consistent ball flight (slight fade for Zach) but at the same time he's much shorter than players who fully release the club (I believe the 2 examples given were Vijay and Fred Couples). Can anyone comment about this. Is there validity in Kostis' comments? Or did I misunderstand his point?

View Post


OK, bearing in mind that this is just my opinion/theory and that the golf swing is mainly about compensations and that nothing is absolute, here's my take on the grip and release.

Take a look at the following swing sequences (from Redgoats website) of professional golfers that I consider to have strong grips.  Notice how far ahead of the ball they keep their hands through impact and beyond and how they hold their release:

Zach Johnson

Billy Andrade

Brad Faxon[ and Brad Faxon

Sergio Garcia

Fredrick Jacobson

Hank Khuene

Now look at some pros with what I would consider more neutral grips.  Notice how the clubhead gets ahead of the hands earlier and the forearms cross earlier, indicating to me a more aggressive release of the clubhead:

Thomas Bjorn

Ernie Els

Nick Faldo

Retief Goosen

Davis Love III

Colin Montgomery

Tiger Woods

Notice that there are big hitters of the ball in both groups.

So why does a strong grip allow the pro to "hold" his release and vice versa?  Well, first off, bear in mind that we are talking about professionals with solid, repeatable swings that they have a good feel for.  A strong grip, IMO, CAN allow the pro to minimize his forearm and hand rotation through impact because the strong grip helps get the face square.  Think of it this way: if you were to take your normal grip, release it, turn the clubface about 20* closed to the ball and the regrip with your normal grip, what would you have to do in your swing to impact the ball with a square face?  I would have to delay the release of the club by minimizing my forearm/hand rotation.

If you aggresively release with your forearms and hands through impact, you better have a more nuetral grip or you'll hook the heck out of it (my problem).

#14 noobie

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 07:37 PM

I personally favor a slightly strong grip.  I tried forever to move to a neutral grip but just could not get adjusted to it.  THanks for posting the links.  I have a friend who is an LDer who tried to get me to switch to a neutral grip and a swing with more aggressive "hands" and full release.  I felt like my wrists were going to break.  But I was always under the impression that he could hit it so far (he's literally half my size and twice my age) because he doesn't hold off releasing while I tried my hardest to hold off releasing the club for fear of big hooks.

#15 Ben

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 08:02 PM

DemolitionMan, on Aug 13 2005, 01:56 AM, said:

Ben, on Aug 12 2005, 09:57 AM, said:

Peekskill9, on Aug 10 2005, 12:59 PM, said:

This is an important topic to fully understand.
Whether you "swing the club" or "turn the body" through impact , will determine which grip is best.
Players who swing the club (Fred Couples, The late Payne Stewart, etc) need to invoke a strong grip to allow proper release of the clubhead through impact.
Players who turn the body (Nick Faldo, Tiger Woods, etc) use a neutral grip to make sure the hands do not turn over as the body is closing the clubface through impact.
Mixing a strong grip with a body turn hitting motion or vice versa, can lead to ineffectual results.
:vava:

View Post

anybody who would absolutely disagree with your thoughts here when taken as a rule of thumb, but necessarily an absolute, is hopefully not in the business charging people to ruin their golf swing with this B.S. about a neutral grip being 'THE' way to go. what a load of you know what.

View Post


Ben,

If you have a more constructive difference of an opinion then by all means, let's hear it.  But if your goal is to call out an instructor here who is trying to be helpful as your posts suggests, then you may want to consider a better tone or your career at golfwrx may end up being a short one.

The point of this forum is to be helpful in fixing a golf swing, not bash instructors.  Let's try to be a little more civil.

View Post

point taken, i'll do better.


#16 Ben

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 08:38 PM

KascoPro, on Aug 12 2005, 07:41 PM, said:

Ben, on Aug 12 2005, 11:57 AM, said:

Peekskill9, on Aug 10 2005, 12:59 PM, said:

This is an important topic to fully understand.
Whether you "swing the club" or "turn the body" through impact , will determine which grip is best.
Players who swing the club (Fred Couples, The late Payne Stewart, etc) need to invoke a strong grip to allow proper release of the clubhead through impact.
Players who turn the body (Nick Faldo, Tiger Woods, etc) use a neutral grip to make sure the hands do not turn over as the body is closing the clubface through impact.
Mixing a strong grip with a body turn hitting motion or vice versa, can lead to ineffectual results.
:vava:

View Post

anybody who would absolutely disagree with your thoughts here when taken as a rule of thumb, but necessarily an absolute, is hopefully not in the business charging people to ruin their golf swing with this B.S. about a neutral grip being 'THE' way to go. what a load of you know what.

View Post

Ben I never said a neutral grip is the way to go.    I have a strong grip myself, and for alot of my students I teach the left v pointing tword the right ear or shoulder.    WHat I disagree with is the statement that strong grip players are hands players.   I think most players with strong grips, and closed faces are more of  body players, and actually fade the ball.  
Examples  Duval, Norman, Leitzke,Azinger

View Post

we are agreeing for the most part, i also think strong grippers aren't big releasers of the hands through the hitting area and can do well playing a fade. i will defer to your expertise when you say that 'most' strong grippers use body rotation versus hand releaseing, but i am saying there is a third way to swing the club which has a tremendous amount of 'arm swing' in it, examples being Sergio and Freddie, who are two of the best ball strikers to ever tee it up. am i wrong when i say those two wouldn't qualify as body rotation guys or the type that strongly rotate or release their hands prior to impact? thanks for your insight

#17 noobie

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 12:00 PM

If playing a more neutral/weak grip requires aggressive releasing of the club then would it make sense for players with stronger wrists and hands to play a neutral/weak grip.

#18 pcdo

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 12:59 PM

noobie, on Aug 15 2005, 03:44 PM, said:

I was watching CBS coverage couple of weeks ago when Peter Kostis did a swing vision analysis of Zach Johnson.  He basically said that Zach holds off releasing his club because his clubface is slightly shut at the top (I'm guessing he plays a slightly strong grip) which leads to very consistent ball flight (slight fade for Zach) but at the same time he's much shorter than players who fully release the club (I believe the 2 examples given were Vijay and Fred Couples).  Can anyone comment about this.  Is there validity in Kostis' comments?  Or did I misunderstand his point?

View Post


From what I understand this is correct.  A lot of players when they swing very hard their body gets too quick for their hands and so they are late on the release.  This causes the hands to be more out in front of the clubhead on impact with the club face open.  With a strong grip, they can keep this exact same point of impact and yet have the club face be square even if their hands are a little late behind the arms.  Neutral grips require a full release of the hands at impact or else you'll really slice the ball.  In that case the hands can't get too far in front of the clubface.  Unless you have forearms of steel it's hard to swing full tilt and have your hands release in a timely fashion.  Most of the times it'll be late.  This is why Ben Hogan used to squeeze tennis balls with his hands, to increase his forearm strength.

A full release of the hands with a neutral grip will give you more power, but it's tougher to time when you swing too fast so you might have to swing at a slower tempo which loses a little distance.  Holding off the release with a strong grip allows you to be late, but you don't get the full power of the release.  You can however swing a lot harder with the body and therefore gain distance that way.  In the end both methods probably even out and end up going the same distance.  It's just a preference I guess.  Now if you can swing full tilt with a neutral grip and be strong enough to fully release the clubhead through impact on time, well then your name must be Tiger Woods because that's what he does.  But even he had problems blocking the ball to the right when he first change his swing.

I've actually tried both grips and I'm back to a smooth swinging neutral.  I found when I was starting out I was trying to swing the hell out of the club, but couldn't figure out why I was slicing the ball.  The reason I found was because I was late with my hands.  I then switched to a stronger grip and found it compensated for my slice.  This was okay for a bit, but I decided I liked a smooth swing better so I went back to that style, but didn't change my strong grip and low and behold I was hooking the hell out of the ball.  So now I'm back to a neutral grip.




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