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Strong Grip vs Weak Grip in Golf (What are They & Which is Better?)

In golf, there is a strong grip, a weak grip, and a neutral grip.

The neutral grip is the one you are taught as a beginner, but most golfers don’t stay there. Lots of twisting and turning of the hands happen to ensure a straight shot is hit.

That’s where the strong grip vs. weak grip debate comes into play.

I’ve had both grips at some point in my life and can tell you the positives and negatives of each.

Great players may even be able to switch their grip for certain shots (I’ll give you some more tips on how to do that!).

Strong Grip vs Weak Grip (What’s The Difference)

The difference between the strong grip vs weak grip is the position of the left hand (right-handed golfers) on the club.

The stronger grip has the left hand rotated more toward the right; the weaker grip has the left hand rotated more toward the left.

With the positioning of the hands in this way, it becomes easier for players to control the clubface.

If you ever struggle with making sure your hands are square at impact, the strong grip vs weak grip could help you to straighten things out.

strong vs neutral vs weak grip in golf

What is a Strong Grip?

A strong grip is often characterized by the fact that the right hand players a larger role in squaring up the clubface at impact.

Remember that the position of the left hand determines all golf grips (and their positioning).

If the left hand is in place, then the right hand will follow.

However, when you look at a picture of a strong grip, the thing that stands out the most is how the right hand is turned.

The turning of the left hand (to the right) allows the right hand to be positioned slightly under the club, with more of the fingertips showing than you would see in a neutral or weak grip.

Take a 2-minute Quiz and Step Up Your Game!

1. What do you want to improve in your full swing?

Benefits of a Strong Golf Grip

The strong golf grip has some benefits, making it the most popular choice among amateur players.

  • Control of the clubface: the strong grip lets you feel the clubhead a bit more. As you work through the impact position and need to square things up, the strong grip is there to help.
  • Extra stability: stronger grips may make you feel as though you have more control over the club head. Don’t confuse a strong grip with a tight grip; strong refers to position, and tight refers to pressure.
  • Slice fixer: the strong grip is a great way to fix a slice; most golfers slice because the clubface is left open at impact, but the strong grip squares things up.
  • Extra power: with the strong grip activating the hands and arms just a bit more, many players feel as though they can go after the ball with full power and a little extra speed.
  • Comfort: comfort is a personal preference, but MANY golfers find the strong grip to offer more comfort.

Negatives of a Strong Grip

If the strong grip was perfect, everyone would have it.

Here are a few negatives to look out for.

  • Too much right hand: at some point, your right hand can get too active in the swing; I would watch out for this, especially in the short game.
  • Inconsistency in golf shots: if you use smaller muscles in your swing, i.e., hands and arms, there tends to be greater dispersion in your shots.
  • Too much draw: sick of hitting a draw on every golf swing; check to make sure it’s not the grip. The strong grip gives us a consistently closed clubface, but sometimes you may not need this ball flight.
  • Increased tension: the way the strong grip wraps that right hand around the club can promote increased tension for some players.

When to Use the Strong Grip

The strong grip is the ultimate slice fixer, but there are other times you can benefit from using the stronger grip; they include:

  • Golfers with smaller hands who need more control.
  • Any player trying to gain control of the clubhead.
  • Players that like to hit a draw.
  • Anyone looking for a little extra power from their swing.

What is a Weak Grip?

The weak grip is where the left hand on the club takes a move toward the left. This is just a slight turn not a full rotation.

When that left hand turns, the right hand can now get more on top of the grip.

The right hand positioning is much less active than in the strong grip.

From this position on the top of the club, there is very little the right hand will be able to do in the golf swing to impact the ball’s flight and total distance.

I know the weak grip may sound like a negative (after all, it’s called weak!); however, there is a time and place for the weak grip.

Benefits of a Weak Golf Grip

The main benefit of a weak grip is the ability to hit a fade; when approaching a green with the pin on the right side, weaken the grip and hit it toward the middle.

  • Higher, softer fades: the high and soft fade is such a helpful shot; the ball lands on the green and stays where you need it. The weak grip often helps golfers have a slightly more open face at impact, creating these softer fade-type shots.
  • Consistency in ball flight: the weak grip keeps the face square to open at impact; different than the strong grip with a closed clubface, the weak grip makes it easier to hit your shots with less dispersion.
  • Great feel around the greens: for a variety of short game shots, you want to improve overall feel; the weaker grip allows for a better feel for a variety of reasons; if you often skull shots or have too much strength in the grip, weakening it could help.
  • Less grip pressure: the tendency to grip the club to death is greatly reduced with a weaker golf grip.
  • Better timing and tempo: although the weak grip can feel a little less powerful at times, it can help you feel a smoother transition from backswing to downswing, and improve overall tempo of the swing.

Negatives of a Weak Grip

The weak grip can put you at a disadvantage if you need help with power in your golf swing.

  • Could cause a slice: If you weaken the grip too much, it could result in a slice; as I’ve mentioned, make sure the changes to your grip are subtle.
  • Less control at impact: as soon as you weaken your grip, your ability to feel where the clubface is and whether or not it is closed is greatly improved.
  • Lower clubhead speed: a golfer with a weaker grip will almost always have a slower swing speed than those with a higher swing speed.

When to Use a Weak Grip

You don’t have to keep the weak grip in play all the time; I bring out the weak grip each time I want to hit a fade; I don’t need to do it often.

  • Approaching a green where you need to attack a pin on the right side.
  • Anytime a higher and softer shot is needed.
  • Hitting a drive on a dog leg, right.
  • Around the greens for better feel and control.
  • When grip pressure needs to be lightened.
  • Players that like to work the ball prefer the weaker grip.

What is a Neutral Grip?

The neutral grip is your home base. There is where all golfers should aim to be on the majority of their swings.

With the neutral grip, the left hand is positioned more in the center with no turning towards the left or the right.

The right hand can then fit on the club in a more neutral position.

A neutral grip has the perfect balance of all the positives of the weak vs strong grip.

For instance, you will still feel the ability to square up the clubface, but your grip pressure may be a little lighter.

I strive to hit with a neutral grip on the majority of my shots. Most amateur players fall into a stronger grip over time, but moving back to neutral can benefit your game.

Benefits of a Neutral Grip

The neutral grip has the main benefit of allowing you to swing on the proper path, which is most natural for your golf game.

  • Improved shot-making capabilities: the strong grip could increase the change of a hook, and the weak increase the chance of a slice. With the neutral grip, you can take your swing and trust a square clubface.
  • Control: although the strong grip gives players ultimate control over the face, the neutral gives just the right amount to not overdo the shots and cause the ball to hook.
  • Consistency in positioning: neutral grips should feel like your home base, make it back to neutral for straight shots, and rely on that swing path and plane that you have worked so hard on.
  • Flat wrist at the top: golfers with a neutral grip tend to have a flat wrist at the top of their backswing, making it easier to square a clubface early (something the professionals are very good at).

Negatives of a Neutral Grip

Like anything in golf, the neutral grip has some negatives.

However, I have to admit that if you are swinging well, there are very few negatives to the neutral grip.

  • Have to make adjustments to hit different ball flights: if your grip is in a neutral position, you will have to make other adjustments to your swing to hit a fade or a draw.
  • Inconsistency in shots: if you struggle with hitting a slice or a hook occasionally, the neutral grip may not offer much of a solution.

When to Use a Neutral Grip

The neutral grip is best suited for new golfers, and for those wanting to give themselves a clean slate to work with.

When your hands are in the neutral position, you can make all the changes you need to your swing plane or path and see how they are impacting your ball flight.

I prefer to aim for a neutral grip with a slightly strong left hand.

I won’t call my grip strong, but this little bit of a turn towards strong does help with some power and that draw ball flight that can be incredibly beneficial at times.

Take a 2-minute Quiz and Step Up Your Game!

1. What do you want to improve in your full swing?

Strong or Weak Golf Grip – Who Wins?

In the end, I think you have to find a grip that allows you to consistently return the clubface to square.

This, of course, takes the proper wrist action and body movements, but a strong or weak grip could get you there faster.

I like a slightly stronger grip, and the reason behind this is the ball flight. Stronger grips promote a slight draw, which is my ball flight of choice.

In addition, the stronger grip helps to get that inside to out swing path that I also prefer.

In fact, when I need to hit a fade, many times, I just change my grip a little.

Play around with a strong and weak grip on the driving range. You may be surprised how the slightest movement of your hands to one side will entirely change how the ball flies.

Always make minor adjustments and movements of the hands to ensure you are not creating a swing flaw unknowingly.

HackMotion wrist sensor and swing analyzer

How to Know if Strong vs Weak Grip is Better for My Swing?

One of the best ways to work on the strong and weak grip is to use a feedback tool like HackMotion.

The HackMotion golf training aid lets you determine a perfect wrist position at setup, in the backswing, and on the downswing.

With the HackMotion it’s very easy to see the direct relationship your hand position has with the wrist position in your golf swing.

Hand position and wrist position are very much tied together.

To see and feel this without the help of a golf instructor can be difficult, but HackMotion can take the place of an instructor.

FAQs

Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions about the strong grip vs weak grip.

Remember that personal preference and what makes you feel confident will need to play into deciding which grip to use.

Do most pros have a strong or weak grip?

Most pros have a neutral grip, with more than 50% of players aiming for this position. Very few players have a strong grip, with less than 15% in this category.

About 30% of players use a weak grip. These grips can also change from time to time.

Do any pro golfers use a weak grip?

Yes, about 30% of golfers that are professional use a weak grip. The weak grip allows for a better feel and a bit more workability in the shots.

What happens if your golf grip is too strong?

If your golf grip is too strong, you may feel as though you hook your golf shots. Hooking a golf shot is a problem as it also creates a lot of topspin; the ball can roll forever.

How do I know if my golf grip is too weak?

If your golf grip is too weak, you may feel a lack of power or notice that the clubface is too far open at impact.

If you suddenly start hitting a fade or a slice, your weak grip could be the culprit.

Does a weak grip cause a slice?

A weak grip on its own is not usually the cause of a slice, but it could be.

Most of the time, a weak grip can make a slice worse, as the right hand is not active enough in closing the clubface.

Final Thoughts

At this point, you should have a strong understanding of the difference between a strong grip and the weak grip.

I would recommend practicing with both and hitting shots at the range that teach you what these grips can do and how they impact your golf swing.

In the end, there is no true winner, although many amateurs choose the strong grip, whereas professionals choose neutral (or even weak).

Find a home base for your hands and then make small tweaks to get to the proper positions.

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