Although you might not think it, your grip is one of the most important aspects of your golf swing. So you’d better get it right. Today we’re looking at the strong left-hand grip.
For a strong left-hand golf grip, you rotate your left hand inward so that three knuckles are showing rather than two, which is the case for a neutral grip. The main advantage of such a grip is that you get increased yardage. However, there are caveats in the form of more hooks, a lower ball flight path, and a weaker short game.
You must learn about the strong golf grip for the left hand as it could improve your performance. Getting extra distance is no easy task. So if you can make a small change, such as modifying your grip to get extra distance, you should certainly do it if it complements your stroke technique.
Disclaimer: In this post, we are discussing the strong left-hand golf grip for right-handers. If you’re a lefty, everything is the opposite.
Basics of the Grip and What a Strong Left-Hand Golf Grip Means
What Is the Basic Grip?
A basic grip is what we call a neutral grip. It is neither weak nor strong. Both hands are rotated slightly inwards. For your left hand, the heel of your palm should be resting along the top of the handle. This makes two of your left knuckles visible.
Together, the V-shape of your thumb and pointer finger from both hands should point roughly to your head.
What Is a Strong Left-Hand Grip in Golf?
A strong left-handed grip involves rotating the left hand slightly inwards, exposing three or more knuckles. The right hand is also more rotated, and the V-shape from the thumb and pointer finger points toward the right shoulder. Below is an example of the grip from pro player Zach Johnson.
Read More: How to Grip a Golf Club
The Effects of a Strong Left-Hand Golf Grip
Extreme grips are rarely favorable in any sport, while they offer benefits. They always seem to come with a host of issues.
The main advantage of having a strong-left-handed grip is that it can help you produce a more powerful stroke, provided you have excellent technique and aren’t too reliant on your arms during your swing.
However, there are several issues with a left-hand golf grip that is too strong. The main one is that it’s very easy to hook the ball.
Read More: Strong vs Weak vs Neutral Golf Grip
How Can a Strong Left Hand in Your Grip Be Problematic?
The biggest drawbacks to having a strong left-hand grip are:
- Promotes hooking the ball
- Lower ball flight path
- Weaker short game
Promotes Hooking the Ball
The main issue you’ll face when adopting a strong left-hand grip in golf is that it’s very easy to hook the ball. This is because the left-hand wants to turn the clubface closed.
For some players, this grip won’t cause bad hooks. However, it still feels like it does. This can cause you to overcorrect during your swing or force you to have to fight the urge to correct. As such, using a strong left-hand grip can be uncomfortable unless you spend a lot of time practicing it.
Lower Ball Flight Path
The result of a closed clubface is a lower ball flight path. While this can be beneficial for the likes of drivers and those with fast swing speeds, it can often be a problem.
Those with slower swing speeds may struggle to get the ball airborne. And when you require extra height, you may struggle to obtain it. Think iron shots and clearing hazards.
Weaker Short Game
Another issue of a strong left-hand grip is that a delofted clubface struggles to produce backspin. This means much of your short game will suffer. You likely won’t be able to hit pitch and chip shots consistently or accurately.
In effect, you’re leaning on having a more powerful long game to compensate for the weak short game.
The Effect of a Strong Left-Hand Grip on Your Swing
More Emphasis on the Hips
While we all know that the hips play a central role in one’s golf swing, having a strong left-hand grip further emphasizes the hips, removing some of the need from the arms.
As a result, those who can turn their bodies explosively will benefit the most from a strong left-hand golf grip.
Pre-Set Wrist Hinge
When using a strong left-hand grip, you preset your wrist hinge by how you hold the club. This means you don’t have to worry about hinging your wrists during your swing — you can instead focus on rotating your body.
Ultimately, this could make your strokes more consistent as you have one less element to consider.
Using a strong left-hand grip, elevating your golf club from a square position is uncomfortable. As such, many players pivot to using an inside-to-outside swing. This often results in hooks and draw shots as the clubface is closed when you contact the ball.
Read More: Overlapping vs Interlocking Golf Grip
How to Fix a Strong Left-Hand Golf Grip
1. Two Left Knuckles
The first component of your strong grip to address is your left hand. To make it neutral, you should rotate your left hand outward slightly. Reducing the number of knuckles, you show to two.
Your left thumb knuckle also becomes visible because it is no longer hidden on the right side.
2. One Right Knuckle
Like your left hand rotates clockwise slightly, your right-hand does the same thing. This causes one to one and a half knuckles to appear on your right hand (excluding the thumb knuckle).
3. Vs Point Toward Your Head
As mentioned earlier, you can tell the strength of your grip by looking at the V-shape in your hands to see where they point. To recap, the V-shape is formed by your thumb and pointer finger. For strong left-hand grips, both Vs point toward your right shoulder.
However, with a neutral grip, the vs instead point toward your head.
Is a Strong Left-Hand Grip the Right Grip For Me?
To know whether a strong left-hand grip is the right grip for you, you need to ask yourself some key questions about your game.
Do you naturally slice the ball? Are you wanting to get extra distance? Do you want to pre-hinge your wrist?
A strong left-hand grip could be a good option if you answered “yes” to any of these questions. While many players are anti-strong left-hand grip, some on the other side love it, so it ultimately comes down to your style of play.
As with anything, you must weigh the pros and cons to see if it is worthwhile. For players with fast hips who hit draws, we think it’s a great grip to use. And remember, it’s not as black and white as a strong, neutral, or weak grip.
You can make micro-adjustments to find the specific grip that meets your needs. You may only want a slightly strong left-hand grip. In this case, rotate your left wrist inward a little so that two and a half knuckles are visible.
Read More: Best Grips for Sweaty Hands
What Is a Weak Right-Hand Strong Left-Hand Golf Grip?
A weak grip is when a player rotates their hands toward the target. A strong grip is the opposite, where a player rotates their hands away from the target.
Therefore for a weak right-hand and strong-left hand grip, the right hand rotates toward the target while the left hand rotates away from the target.
If you want to switch from a strong left-hand grip with a weak right hand to a neutral grip, ensure that two knuckles are showing on your left hand. Your thumb knuckle on your right hand should also be visible.
What Does a Strong Left Hand Grip Do?
A strong left-hand grip helps players who slice the ball. It uses an inside-to-outside swing and a closed clubface at impact. This results in better draws and greater distance for many players.
A strong left-hand golf grip is where you hold your club with your left wrist rotated inwards so that three knuckles are showing. Adopting such a grip can help improve your performance if you have a strong core and fast hips.
Players often see increased yardage and do not have to worry about hinging their wrists during the swing as the wrists are already pre-hinged. However, there are also potential disadvantages to using such a grip, including more hooks, a lower ball flight path, and a weak short game.
Therefore it’s important to try the grip out for yourself to see if it meshes well with your style of play. As an extreme grip, it is not for everyone. If you’re a little torn between a neutral grip and a strong left-hand grip, why not try a hybrid? Position your left hand so that two and a half knuckles are showing rather than three.