Grip Pressure Problems and Cures | Swing Surgeon - Don Trahan Peak Performance Golf Swing

Grip Pressure Problems and Cures

Tue, 04/30/2013 - 12:00 -- Don Trahan

How you grip the club can determine your ability to repeat shots. If you don't maintain your grip pressure throughout a round, it will be hard to see any sort of consistent results. The key is figuring out the right amount of pressure and the type of grip that's most comfortable to you when holding the club.

Ray Berger plays golf despite having a bad case of arthritis in his hands and fingers. Using an overlap grip causes him a lot of pain, so he's searching for a way to grip the club pain free but with an adequate amount of pressure so his results don't decline.

Dear Surge,

I have arthritis bad in my hands and fingers. When I use the overlap grip I get pain in my little finger (I am right handed) and when I strike the ball it gets much worse. So I am using a full baseball grip and I feel like it is too strong, however I usually hit a slight draw not many fades or slices. What can you suggest to lighten up my grip? I am to the point that I am not holding the club firmly and my left hand is opening up in my back swing. I love your daily tips and am going to start to practice them when the weather clears up.

Ray Berger
St Louis, MO

You want to hold the club with a firm grip. Anything too loose and your club will be moving around in your hands too much. A good way to measure your grip pressure is to hold the club how you usually would and then have a friend grab the end of the club and try to move it side to side or pull it towards them. If the club moves a significant amount, it means you're not holding it firmly enough.

Ultimately, you need to check your grip pressure. The next step is to check with your local certified fitter to see about getting some different grips. Good luck!

Keep it vertical!

The Surge

If you can't view the YouTube video above try CLICKING HERE. You must allow popups from this site for the link to work.

Comments

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Many of you know I have an air compressor and it makes putting on and removing grips a snap with no solvent or sticky tape Simple and quick and I don't have to cut any grips off. Hence if I want to re-use or go back to a certain grip it takes about 10 seconds to replace. Easy an very cool:) I have been using jumbo grips for nearly 4 years now. As a professional MT I have had hand issues that required trigger point surgery a couple of years ago. In general I have very strong hands and need to be careful I don't grip too firmly rather than concern with too light. If any of you have arthritis or other hand/elbow/wrist issues I larger grip is an awesome way to go. How large? Both the Enlows and the Jumbo Max are the biggest and I feel the best if you want to go big. I have currently gone back to the Jumbo Max. They make all other "jumbo's" seem tiny. The way I illustrate it is- go out to your garage and pick up your hammer. Is it a little tiny grip like the average golf club or does it fill your fingers? Likely your hammer has a much larger grip than your golf clubs. Would your prefer your hammer have a little grip as a standard golf club?
I recommend ordering one Enlow and one Jumbo Max and trying them out on one club or two. Like your driver and putter maybe.

jstrouse@hermance.com's picture

Submitted by jstrouse@herman... on

Can you explain briefly how you use an air compressor to assist in putting on and removing grips?

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

As Steve posted below there are several videos on you tube you can watch as tutorials. This is the one I bought.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=cXcTsZeKpaE&feature=endscreen

The main difference as to how i do it is that because my grips are much larger than the pcv pipe that they use in these demos, I have learned to do it with my hands only. It takes some practice and if your not careful and the grips are thin or cheaply made they can pop from the air pressure or develop bulges. That's why you need to use the air in small bursts. it also depends on your air pressure and the quality of the grips. Golfpride are generally sturdier than Winn and both the Enlows and the Jumbo Max are super thick and sturdy and can take a lot of abuse and still be used again and again. In a short time you'll be a pro. They can be applied with no tape or mineral oil or solvent at all, but I found that putting on one strip of masking tape helps the grip from slipping at all during use. Not double sided tape, just normal wide masking tape put on length wise- the full length of the grip. Again I use quick 2 second air bursts as I slide the grip on and it is very easy. You'll never need to cu or throw a grip away again unless it is worn out.

Steve Smith's picture

Submitted by Steve Smith on

Just an FYI:

I forgot to tell you that a couple of weeks ago the grip on my driver slipped halfway off during a swing, and I had to go without a driver the rest of the round. Plus the shot where it slipped went about 150 yards right of the fairway.

Also had to use a new grip because the grip crimped at the halfway point when it came loose and wouldn't go back on the club even with air.

I doubt if I'll be putting on grips without tape anymore.

jstrouse@hermance.com's picture

Submitted by jstrouse@herman... on

I would still like to know how to put grips on with tape as I have a training grip I would like to try on several different clubs - not to be used in actual play.

SimplyGolf's picture

Submitted by SimplyGolf on

Adequate & appropriate grip pressure...

My instructor finds that too much grip pressure is the #1 swing killer. I concur. Especially at the takeaway and into the BUS....I now keep it pretty light. That's adequate. But before reaching the top, and starting down, appropriate increasing grip pressure simply happens without much thought.

I'm one of those that allows a nominal hinge at the top, so that works for me. For PPGS purists, probably maintaining "firm wrists" from the start makes sense, as there is less chance for wrist movement at the top. "No wrist action."

I've found wearing 2 gloves helps me lighten grip pressure and reduce pain
in my knuckles. Pain signals can give instant feedback on grip pressure.

Not that I'm recommending this, but the day prior to my "Grip" golf lesson, I somehow managed to put a small construction staple thru the tip of my left pointer finger. Yes it hurt.

But behold, at lesson time, there was a great revelation....I had been gripping way too tight. And I got a painful reminder of that for 1 solid hour.

Long story short, the release became better and ball striking improved a bit,
during that "Grip" lesson. But do yourself a favor: you don't have to shoot a staple through your finger to lighten up.

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

SG,

I think it is something to experiment with and each individual has to find hat is appropriately firm for them. I have very strong hands because of my occupation.
I have a tendency to grip too firmly and gripping too lightly has never been an issue. Surge gave some good examples of how to know if it is firm enough. As he mentioned, he can grab the head of a players club and if it is easy to twist in their hands, that's likely too light. Yes I am in the group that believes in "firm wrists", as I say, "Set it and forget it". Personally I know if my grip pressure has gotten too firm if the tension has crept up into my upper arms and shoulders. Pulls,pushes, chunks and thins soon follow if it's too tight. If it's too light, I may flip the club and a lack of control is apparent then too.
Happy medium we seek. Normally it is later in the round when I start to squeeze too firmly. Likely after a poor shot and and aggravation sends too much blood too my head, neck, shoulders and arms! One cure is to take a time out and do a few swishes without the ball. If I have a nice swoosh at the bottom without tension I know I'm back. Too, just taking a few slow deep breaths and reminding my self to slow down and let my shoulders relax. All this can translate back down into the hands and help relax the grip from a 5 back down to a 3 on the 1-5 firm meter:) If I can remind myself about these cues toward the end of my rounds perhaps I can finish better. The other morning I was -1 with three to play and finished bogie, bogie, double bogie. I am sure tension and a choke hold on the grip contributed to that rough finish.

Here's to getting Zen like.

SimplyGolf's picture

Submitted by SimplyGolf on

Seem to remember a daily where Don talked about getting a nice "swish"
when coming through the ball. That swish can be a big deal, as it provides instant feedback. And grip pressure is a key element.

To wit....when I am gripped too tight, the swish ain't happening.

"When you can hear the golfclub swish and sing....Grasshopper....
it will be time to strike the little white ball, and for you to go."

SimplyGolf's picture

Submitted by SimplyGolf on

Imagine that...I had a duplicate posting.

Robert Fleck's picture

Submitted by Robert Fleck on

Hey SimplyGolf,

I understand a lot of golfers come in with excessive grip pressure, so lightening the pressure is important. Surge is coming from the other side, where the classic instruction is Sam Snead's saying that he wanted to feel like the club was a bird in his hands that he didn't want to crush.

As Robert Meade says, the objective is to find the appropriate middle ground. We want to firm up the muscles of our wrists and forearms because they're going to be doing the work. We don't want to let them become tense or stiff, and we don't want that pressure to extend past the elbows into the upper arms and shoulders. We need to be able to swing our arms freely, and yet maintain control of the club in our hands. That's the balance we have to strike.

If your tendency is to want to crush the life out of the club, then you need to lighten up. If your tendency is to want to have the least possible pressure to get the club moving, you probably need to firm up a bit. That's why Surge focused on what appropriate pressure is.

Thomas.Osgerby@gmail.com's picture

Submitted by Thomas.Osgerby@... on

Surge ... I want to personally thank you for giving credit to the "sayings" of the great Moe Norman. (ex. take bacon strips not pork chops). It is unfortunate that unless you are a Canadian, most golfers grew up not knowing who he was.

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Many on this web site including Don Trahan have a great respect for Moe Norman, one of the best ball strikers of all time. I will post one of the videos Surge did several months ago. We do bring up his name from time to time. If you frequent this site regularly you'll see we cover nearly everything golf you can think of. Glad to have you along and hope you'll comment often.

https://www.swingsurgeon.com/daily-video-tips/natural-golf-similar-peak-...

Thomas.Osgerby@gmail.com's picture

Submitted by Thomas.Osgerby@... on

Thank you for your reply Robert, and for posting the 2001 video of Moe. Golf season is just getting started up here and I am itching to get at it. I actually ordered Moe's video through The Graves golf academy and was watching their daily videos also. I realized that I could not follow both styles ... that would only screw me up. I chose PPGS !!!
Tom

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Tom, There are many styles of golf. I have experimented with several the last 40 years. This one appealed to my logical side straight away. It appealed to my intuitive side too because I feel I an a good judge of character and Don Trahan is a good man and when it comes to golf he eats breaths and lives golf passionately and has been teaching and figuring out what is both body friendly, effective for many years. It is a continual road map that I trust 100%. You've found the right place pal. We will look forward to more of your comments and questions too as you progress.

funwheat@pacbell.net's picture

Submitted by funwheat@pacbell.net on

I love the natural feel of holding the club with firm pressure! Makes me feel like I will explode into the ball more for better distance. Thanks Surge!

tsidot1096@yahoo.com's picture

Submitted by tsidot1096@yahoo.com on

I Just listened to today's video regarding grip pressure and larger grips. I also have degenerative arthritis in my hands similar to many other older golfers. I switched to the Enlow grips a couple of months ago. After an initial period of adjustment and trial and error with adding head weights, (suggested by the fitter who put on the new grips) I followed the Enlow suggestion and removed all lead tape. Lo and behold I have now increased my club head speed by about 20mph and also increased accuracy with both my driver and rons. I do take a little longer back swing than you propose, but remain vertical and adhere strictly to the wide knees and limited turn. Additionally, I don't feel any pain while swinging and don't have a problem controlling the club with normal grip pressure. At 71, I am playing some of the best golf of my life.
Tony S.
San Diego

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Tony,

Enjoyed your comment. I also experimented with lead tape and head weights to balance the "swing weight" recommended by normal guidelines for my swing.
I also eventually removed the extra weight and had better results. I have used both the Enlow and Jumbo Max which are 50/60 grams heavier than typical standard grips. Though I am not a professionally qualified fitter I have been building my own clubs for a couple of years now and have found that "swing weight" and what is correct in that regard is up for personal preference and opinion. The fact that back weighting (adding weight to the grip end) is common and popular with some indicates it is up to each of us or to what ever formula one prescribes to. Some just like a heavier feel in the head end and others not. To me, feel and results are the main thing.

Steve Smith's picture

Submitted by Steve Smith on

Oh no!! Here we go again!!

Played 27 holes this morning and shot 2 over par for the 27 holes. Two birdies and one eagle but two bogeys and two double bogeys.

Biggest problem today: Hitting wedge shots MUCH too far. I went through that adjustment a couple of years ago and had finally become comfortable with my distances but today it was like the ball found another gear way too often.

The bright side was that I was hitting everything else long too and had no problem reaching the par 5s in two with a driver and a 3 iron.

yymmas41's picture

Submitted by yymmas41 on

Steve,,,,,what part of the country are you from......thank you!