Firming Up Grip Improves Swing

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 00:00 -- Don Trahan

When it comes to improving one's golf game, I think a lot of people overlook the importance of their grip. More importantly, they don't think about grip pressure. The last thing you want to have is a weak grip, especially if you want to golf with any sort of consistency and power.

Greg Hill has just started using the Peak Performance Golf Swing, and he's already seeing a big improvement. One of the things he attributes his success too is firming up his grip. One of the biggest misconceptions about golf is that you need to hold the club with a light grip. I'll explain why in today's video. 


After viewing 8 of your instant video lessons, I decided to try out your swing. I'm a huge guy, 6'10", 250 pounds, 62 years old. I have played golf & taken lessons for the last 40 years, currently play to a 13 Handicap. I was previously using a connected, rotary swing with limited success. I figured with my long arms, why not try your swing? Wow!!! I hit the ball nice and high, at least 5 yards further with my irons & 20 yards further & straight with my Driver! I simply firmed my grip up much more, swung into the catcher's mitt & up the tree in my backswing & let it fly on my downswing. I occasionally hit a few fat shots, but overall hit the ball very crisply, with nice divots in front of the ball. Thanks so much! Anything else I should work on?

Please give me some ideas on how to use your website. Thanks again, Don, for "Bringing Back My Golf Game"!

Greg Hill

P.S. I Just ordered all your DVDs & can't wait to view them!

You must hold the club firm and with EQUAL pressure in both hands. If your grip pressure isn't equal, you won't have dynamic balance in your golf swing. Without dynamic balance, golf becomes that much harder!

Keep it vertical and firm up that grip!

The Surge

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reedclfd's picture

Submitted by reedclfd on

Surge - thanks for the very timely reminder about grip pressure! I was starting to have trouble with errant shots a couple of weeks ago. I went back over the basics (GBSAPS) and found that I was actually gripping the club so tight the muscles in my UPPER arms were tightening up before each swing. I recalled a video you did in which you showed that a proper grip will only allow the muscles in the LOWER forearms (up to the elbow) to firm up; if we hold the club too tight, our arms simply cannot make the correct PPGS. So I backed off on grip pressure and - yup - problem solved! So I'm back to a "3" on the 1 - 5 scale and all is well again. I really appreciate everything you do to help each of us become better golfers, and I love the fact that once we understand the swing, we can "self-diagnose" our problems using all you have taught us! Hit 'em straight! R2

Dragonhead's picture

Submitted by Dragonhead on

Surge, As always a good reminder on grip pressure. Today during a swing session between downpours on the front yard golf mat, I firmed up my grip just a little. The difference in clubhead control seemed much better after doing so. Then I put on a glove on my left or lead hand. Have not been doing that of late.That further confirmed that my grip had been too light. So back to wearing a glove. The biggest problem I've been having after as R2 so rightly says,on self diagnosing myself, was not transferring the weight forward correctly in the through swing. All that changed after going back to the Justin Bruton 'Torture drill'~! a drill I'd previously used and for some reason had forgotten about. Now the weight transfer seems to happen without even thinking about it. The rear or right knee 'kicking in' towards the front knee in the FUS. So a happy chappy am I : - ] The diagnosis was of course arrived at using R2's GBSAPS checklist. Now to wait until we can hit the hallowed turf again and hit 'em straight! Thanks Surge, Justin Bruton and R2. More smiles than scowls these days on the course. hahaha!
DH and DL in NZ

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

My grip has always been a strong one and like R2 I have to be careful not that my grip is too light but too firm. I do professional massage for a living and people often ask me how I can do 6-8 massages a day (I work 4- 10 hour shifts a week). I also work out with weights four mornings a week then play golf and garden and am often doing something of physical play or labor around the house or yard. One thing any one can observe from watching the pros is their massive muscular hands and forearms. I watched Arnie, Tom Watson, Greg Norman, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino and many others golf in person at local PGA tournaments over the years and was always impressed at their massive forearms and vice grip hands. My point? As Surge said 3 on an a 1-5 is definitely different for every one. Too, having strong hands allows us to hold the grip firm without getting our upper arms too tight as Roy mentioned. That over tight tension in the upper arms happens to me once in a while and in my case it is usually when I stand over the ball a few seconds too long and tension slips in causing the death grip! Aside from a potential miss-hit this causes me to swing left and deep rather than up over the shoulder. Not good so a deep breath in and out to relax tension and then swinging withing 3 seconds fixes that. The other big thing is getting full pressure in both hands before the one piece take away starts. That prevents grabbing the club at the top of the back swing. Equal pressure that stays the same all the way back and forward is the goal.

A quick reminder about the grips on our clubs. it is the beginning of the season and many golfers may need new grips on their clubs. Worn grips can be a major cause of squeezing too hard to keep the grips from slipping. A fairly cheep fix and there are so many awesome grips to choose from now a days. get 'em changed if you need to!
Golf on guys and girls!

NeilofOZ's picture

Submitted by NeilofOZ on

Robert, I'm thinking we are similar, when Surge came here last November, he checked my grip pressure and said it was too firm. I know from personal experience that if I slacken off just a fraction, I lose ball control. I have the trigger finger wrapped on the shaft fairly firm, I believe it assists lag and stops me casting, what is your thinking on this.

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Yes a good firm grip is an asset. That was my point in mentioning how many pros have such thick, muscular forearms and hands. Because they have strong hands their say 3 out of 5 on the grip meter is likely enough to crush most baby birds! However because they are strong it is not a forced squeezing. It's like shaking hands with that man who effortlessly seems to crush our hands when we meet and shake hands. Just a natural vice grip. If we are weak or unfit we have to squeeze harder to achieve a grip that holds the club firm enough from start to finish of our swing. That leads to the tightness above the forearm into the upper arm and shoulders and chest that is no good. Staying fit and strong in the hands and forearms is important and helpful, that's my point. And that is why 3 out of 5 can be very different from one golfer top the next.
Hope that made sense:0

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

JB Holmes came all the way back from brain surgery to win yesterday. Impressive! Ridiculous off the tee averaging 334 yards this week. I have posted a cool link to his 3/4 no wrist cock swing before but now is a good time to see it again, That along with an article today that has some great putting advice.

BTW, congratulations to DJ Trahan's 27th place finish oin the tourny last week.

To me his key stat was zero double bogies and of course he had more birdies than bogies. Great to see him playing better!

avguy's picture

Submitted by avguy on

Robert beat me to the punch, but check this view DTL of Holmes swing from the Honda Classic. Watch how his shoulders at about 75, I'd call the hips a 25-30 max. Conventional teachings, majority of the PGA Tour players, are trying for a coil factor of 90 degrees shoulders to 35 degrees of hip turn.

Hence, back issues. Also watch his downswing start with lower body movement, bump. Club is in front of him all the way.

The two longest hitters on the tour are not in the norm for style. Bubba Watson keeps the club in front of him, also. (@ 00:52 Backswing top, club butt intersects ankle of rear foot).

But, his old skool style turns the entire torso turntable "together", as is also safe to do. No coiling x between shoulders/hips. He will go 90 up top, over 80 degrees hips.

I can and have done both of these swings. I enjoy watching PGA Tour events, and one of my favorite sites to see their feats, is the GlofWRX Photos from events. Their shooters go behind the ropes with blue chip access, and give us geeks super clear pics of the players & gear! Here, you can see where most swings from range sessions are indeed with that massive x or coil factor which all of us here have likely left behind. Here's from the Players Championship.

Jim in Mesa

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Thanks for posting all those cool links. I have referred to Golfwrx before. You are correct. They often have some very insightful pictures and articles from inside the ropes. they get me salivating when showing the latest equipment and golf clubs. Interesting to see what different pros use even though we know they are normally limited by what ever major companies the represent (ie., Callaway, Titleist..). Cool too to see where they vary. Of course they have to have a certain % of that company in their bag but they will often choose maybe another for their wedges or a particular fairway wood or utility (hybrid). Fun stuff.
And yes there are just so many swing types that get it done we might as well go with what is safest for our backs and bodies. Thanks to Surge we have a better choice.'s picture

Submitted by brian.hale@talk... on

Thanks for confirming the right grip pressure. I have realized that with an equal grip pressure it is my right hand that guides the club head along the target line. This applies to all my clubs from driver to putter. What a difference this has made!'s picture

Submitted by on

Why does Surge tell us to stand the club up (90 degrees) at the end of the
backswing when he always has his swing laid off at the beginning of each daily and video? Roger Peterson

Russty Kiwi's picture

Submitted by Russty Kiwi on

I would be interested in knowing how you can see weather Surge is laid off at the top of the back swing, when the dailies are viewed face on. A vertical swing is viewed looking down the toe line, not face on.

Brady's picture

Submitted by Brady on

These are best views in the product videos. The daily video is a production that Surge films by his own self in his back yard. There are many videos in our library that feature multiple camera angles - and from looking at your accounts for both of you - you guys own those videos!

Dragonhead's picture

Submitted by Dragonhead on

Boohoo! Caught out not gripping the club firmly enough during one of todays two swing sessions-Firmed up and immediately noticed the difference : - )
Martin Kaymer made a comment after equalling the Players course record at TPC Sawgrass-When asked his secret? He replied: 'STOP THINKING'! How very true, too many swing thoughts = disaster. Happy chappy in NZ