Strong, Weak & Neutral Golf Grips – Which is Best for You?

If you are wondering “what is a strong golf grip”, or “is my weak golf grip causing me to slice?” then you are in the right place. In this article we’ll cover strong, weak and neutral golf grips, explain their impact on your golf game and help you build the best golf grip for you.

What are strong and weak golf grips?

Strong and weak grips refer to how your hands sit on the golf club, specifically how much they sit on top of the golf grip, twisted to the left or twisted to the right. It is best to think of grip strength as a continuum running from very strong to very weak, rather than separate options (see the graphic below).

How does a strong golf grip or weak golf grip affect my play?

Take a look at the images below – the graphic links your grip strength to club face angle at impact and ball flight.

On the left we have a very strong golf grip, this promotes a closed club face at impact and encourages a draw or hook. In the middle we have a neutral golf grip, promoting a square club face and straight shots, and on the right we have a very weak golf grip. A weak golf grip promotes an open club face at impact and often results in a fade or slice.

strong, neutral and weak golf grips explained. The top of the image has a strong golf grip and weak golf grip, below each are the club face they promote at impact and the subsequent ball flight.

Exactly how open or closed your club face will be at impact is reliant on other factors including your release, timing, ball position at dynamic balance. However, your golf grip is highly important in determining your club face angle at impact and how easy it is to hit the ball straight.

It may also be worth knowing that a mere 4-6º open or closed club face causes a prominent slice or hook. This can often be due to your golf grip being ~4-6º rotated in the wrong direction.

Hence, why you may often hear “your weak golf grip causes your slice”. Or “you’ll never stop hooking it with a strong grip”.

How strong golf grips and weak golf grip affect impact

Few golfers understand why weak and strong grips have such an affect on impact. I’ll try to explain below – this is worth understanding as it can give you great control over your golf shots in the future.

Your arms and hands naturally hang inwards (watch the video below). When you’re swinging the golf club at speed, this is the position your arms and hands will want to return to. Hence why a neutral golf grip is one where both our hands appear to be slightly twisted over one another and sit on top of the golf club – this is actually their natural anatomical position.

If you setup with a strong grip by the time your arms reach their natural position at impact the club face will be closed.

If you setup with a weak grip by the time your arms reach their natural position at impact the club face will be open.

Should I play with a weak, neutral or strong grip?

Extreme grip positions result in some challenges, but I frequently coach great players with slightly weak or strong golf grips. Also, I encourage some players to play with a strong grip if they struggle to square up the club face.

If your ball curves left to right in the air (fades and slices), strengthening your grip 2-3º is often the simplest and correct way to improve your golf swing and ball flight.

Likewise, if you struggle with a hook, the culprit is often a very strong left or right hand grip. Weakening one or both hands will often magically straighten your ball flight.

Below we’ll look at what strong and weak golf grips look like and how to create your preferred position. If you would like a more detailed grip building guide check out our full guide on perfecting your golf grip – there we have a step-by-step guide and dive into grip pressure, linking your hands and much more.

What is a strong golf grip?

A strong golf grip is where your left hand sits on top of the golf grip and your right hand underneath the grip. If you follow this process you should end up with a grip that matches the pictures below.

There are many cues you can use for checking how strong your grip is. Below we have arrows showing where the V’s between your thumb and hand are pointing – the further they point towards your right shoulder, the stronger your grip.

You can also check how many knuckles you can see on your left hand. More knuckles on your left hand equals a strong grip. However, the key factor is hand position relative to the club. The more the left hand is on top and the more your right hand is under the club the stronger your grip. Stick to this approach and you can’t go wrong.

What is a weak golf grip?

A weak golf grip is one where your left grip sits under the golf grip and your right hand more on top. As the pictures below show, this results in the V’s pointing towards your left shoulder. You’ll also notice in the left hand image we can now only see 1/2 a knuckle on the left hand.

What is a neutral grip?

A neutral golf grip sits in between these two extremes of a weak and strong grip. Both hands sit slightly twisted inwards, in their natural position (see the image below). The V’s on both hand point between your chin and right shoulder.

neutral golf grip with the left and right hand.

Matching up both hands

The final point to consider is that both hands can in different positions. The most common error I see when coaching is beginner golfers is a very weak left hand and a very strong right hand. Rather than equally out the effect, this results in both hands battling one another and makes playing consistent golf a real challenge.

My top tip is to:

  1. Decide on your grip preference – neutral, slightly weak or slight strong grip.
  2. Master that position with your left hand.
  3. Mirror that strength with your right hand.

Summary

The strength of your golf grip is important, a 4-6º tweak is a small change in hand position but makes a big difference to you golf shots. You can favour a slightly weak or strong golf grip, but avoid extremes. Use your ball flight pattern (draws, straight shots and fades) to help you decide if you will benefit from changing the strength of your grip.

Create a great left hand grip, then mirror the strength with you right hand. If you would like more info, check out our full article on mastering your golf grip. Or check out this article to learn more about building a great putting grip.

Happy golfing – Will @ Golf Insider UK

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A PGA golf professional, with a PhD in Biomedical Science and MSc in Sports Biomechanics & Psychology. I currently spend my time lecturing part-time at Leeds Beckett University and working with elite athletes. In my spare time I build Golf Insider UK.

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