How tightly should you grip a club anyway?

I’m sure you’ve asked yourself if you’re gripping the club too tightly or maybe not tightly enough.

This study from past GSL contributor Liam Mucklow has some great practical info!

The Study:

  1. It involved 20 golfers – 10 with handicaps below 10, and 10 with handicaps above 15.
  2. These golfers went through an intake process, had their handicap index recorded, and grip strength tested with a dynamometer.
  3. Each golfer then took 10 shots with a 3-wood. The choice of a 3-wood was deliberate, as it would best highlight the performance gap between the low and high handicappers.
  4. During these shots, they collected a ton of data from, Gears full body motion capture, Foresight GCQuad Camera tracked club delivery and ball flight, and a SensorEdge instrumented grip measured pressure applied by the lead and trail hands.

The Results:

The data yielded two main findings:

  • High handicap players showed almost 40% more variability in their grip pressure from swing to swing than low handicap players.
  • High handicappers were three times more likely to apply more pressure with the trail hand at impact.

But the real insight came when examining individual golfers.

The high handicap group had significantly less control over Loft at Impact and Face Angle.

“Examining the data from the multiple technology sets made it very clear from a coaching perspective if better results would be achieved through a modification of Body Position in 3D space, or changing applied pressure to the grip.”

The Takeaways:

So what does this mean for us? Here are a few key takeaways:

  • Consistency: The study shows that consistent pressure application is linked to lower handicaps. This could be something to focus on during practice.
  • Pressure control: Pay attention to when pressure is being applied and could open up some new coaching opportunities using grip pressure.

Using this new tech and info could provide clear guidance on how to tweak pressure application or timing to create specific changes in club delivery.

You can find the full abstract over on the Golf Science website here: 
Grip Pressure Application variances between Low and High Handicappers by Liam Mucklow, Carson Hau, Jack Healey