How Does a Weak Right-Hand Golf Grip Affect Your Game? (and How to Fix It)
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How important is it to hold the golf club with the correct grip?
Even if you hold the club poorly, how much harm can it do to your game and does a bad grip act as a catalyst for poor shots?
To answer the first question, the grip is incredibly important.
It is your only physical contact with the golf club therefore having an orthodox grip can’t be undermined.
On the second question, if your grip is slightly unorthodox it can be responsible for errant shots.
Having a poor grip could be seen as a bad habit and golfers always slip into bad habits.
It doesn’t matter if you are a PGA Tour regular or a Saturday morning warrior it happens to us all.
One of these bad habits and the focus of this article, is a weak right-hand golf grip.
So, to help you improve your game if you do have a weak right-hand golf grip we’ll cover the following:
- What is a weak right-handed golf grip?
- The errant shots produced by a weak right-handed golf grip
- What the correct grip should look like
What is a weak right-hand golf grip?
Before we delve into what a weak right-handed golf grip is any example used will be for a right-handed golfer.
If you are left-handed, it will be the opposite way around.
There are however some troublesome shots that can still hamper left-handed golfers if they have a weak right-hand grip so we’ll cover that specifically in the next section.
If you take a club and make your address position, look down at where your right hand is positioned on the grip.
If you have a weak right-hand grip you will see it positioned more on top of the shaft.
To explain this further, what we are looking at specifically is the position of the “vee” that is formed with your right index finger and thumb.
So, using the “vee” as our guide, a weak right-hand grip will see this “vee” pointing up towards the left side of our face.
In its most extreme form, the “vee” might even point towards our left shoulder.
Now that you know what a weak right hand looks like grab your club again and check to see where your “vee” is pointing at.
Errant shots produced by a weak right-hand golf grip
The golf swing is essentially a series of chain reactions.
If you do something well in the swing it will encourage the next part of the swing to be good and it all starts by having sound fundamentals.
But if we have bad habits such as a weak right hand on the grip we set off a chain of bad events that can lead to:
- Inconsistent ball striking
- Poor club face control
- Inaccurate shots
So let’s take our scenario of the weak right-hand golf grip and see what problems it can create for us in the swing.
In our address position, apart from the problematic grip, there are two other major issues that are created.
As a result of your weak right-hand grip, there is little or no angle created in your right wrist.
The problem this creates is that you can get a little steep at the top of the swing as the right wrist can’t fold properly plus the shaft will be lying slightly across the line at the top.
Your left wrist also has to naturally be cupped as a result of the inflexibility in the right wrist.
These problems lead to poor club face control which translates into inconsistent ball striking.
Your right arm is naturally going to lie further away from your torso with a fairly rigid elbow giving the feeling of your right arm being “locked” in position.
This makes it difficult for the arm to fold correctly in the backswing leading to the steep position we talked about with the wrist.
With this rigid position, you are also going to feel a little tension in the muscles of your right arm.
Any tension in the muscles at address is not going to help create good swings that deliver any power.
So taking all these issues into account, what problematic shots does this create?
The main bad shot that will be experienced by golfers will be a big slice that lacks any power.
With over 60% of amateurs suffering from sliced shots, their weak right-hand golf grip could be the answer.
Why is this so?
With the weak right-hand grip, the face naturally opens in the takeaway and remains open in the backswing.
If we then get into the steep top-of-backswing position we mentioned, it goes without saying that the club then can’t work back into the right plane in the downswing and the club comesback to the ball from an “over the top” path.
As the right wrist remains flat in the downswing it can also lead to an early release of the club head which is a real power killer in the swing.
If you are a left-handed golfer you will also have accuracy problems if you have a weak right-hand grip.
The problem you face is that your left/trail hand becomes too active especially near impact causing pulls to the right or worst case, big hooks to the right.
Regardless of whether you are left or right-handed what we are highlighting here is that if you have a weak right-hand grip your face control is massively compromised in the swing resulting in poor directional control of the golf ball.
If you have been pestered with a persistent slice it’s important to check where that “vee” we talked about earlier is positioned.
So now we understand:
- What a weak right hand looks like
- What are the destructive shots that are created by a weak right-hand
It’s time now to fix that grip and help get you hitting the ball straighter!
What the correct grip looks like
For our right-handed golfer let’s take a quick look at what the correct position is for the left hand on the grip first.
The grip should be placed toward the base of the fingers not resting in the palm of the left hand.
From there, we can then close our hand over the grip which should see the left thumb positioned down the right side of the grip.
If we take our address position just holding the club with our left hand we should see at least two knuckles of our left hand.
It’s common now for some very good players to have three knuckles showing on their left hand which would be deemed to be a strong grip.
Now that we have the left hand resting correctly on the grip it’s time to place the right hand.
Ideally, we should also be gripping the club more towards the base of our fingers but the significant difference is that the “vee” we form with our right thumb and forefinger should be facing up towards our right armpit.
The difference we also notice is that when the “vee” points more towards the right armpit, it creates a natural angle in the wrist which helps it fold correctly in the backswing.
The right arm also won’t feel “locked” into position and ideally, we want a little flex in the elbow and for it to be positioned close to our torso.
Again, this will allow the right arm to fold more effectively in the backswing and not get so much into the steep position we talked about with the weak right-hand grip.
One final point to make about the grip now that your hands are placed correctly is to keep the grip pressure light.
Gripping the club tightly even with a correct grip will create tension in the muscles from the fingers through to the shoulders.
This will hamper your ability to swing the club smoothly and deliver power effectively to the back of the ball.
Any change you make to your grip will initially feel strange so take time to practice the feeling of getting your hands positioned correctly on the grip and persevere with it.
Removing the weak right-hand golf grip should also lead to a straightening up of your shots and an increase in distance which every golfer would love to welcome!
Getting the fundamentals right in your golf swing lays the foundation for a repetitive golf swing that produces consistent shots.
Even the very best players in the game fall into bad habits but they always go back to their fundamentals if they start to play poorly.
Staying with the professional game, if you look at the current and historical great players none of them have successfully played with a weak right-hand golf grip.
We’ve learned that having a weak right-handed golf grip can create problems for us even before we begin to move the club away from the ball.
This leads to a chain reaction of events which means it’s difficult to create consistent, powerful shots – remember 60% of amateurs fight a slice shot.
But you can work on improving your grip.
We’ve spoken about what the grip should look like and subsequently what the benefits of setting up with a more orthodox grip offer.
The grip is one of the most important fundamentals to get correct.
It is our only physical connection to the golf club and you don’t need to diminish your chances of hitting good golf shots by something like a weak right-hand golf grip.
If you need to strengthen your right hand grip a little persevere with it.
It will feel strange and unnatural but practice it and the resultant better shots will tell you’re on the right path, the flight of the golf ball never lies!