Over the years, much has been written about grip pressure and what this level of pressure feels like. This has been a difficult task for instructors because how can you aptly describe what something feels like?
In this lesson, I'll give you something more than a description of what correct grip pressure feels like. Take any club and squeeze it as tight as you can. That's it–strangle that club handle. Give it the death grip. Take your normal address position, continuing to give the club a good squeeze. Now, just before you feel ready to take the club back to start your backswing, relax your hands. Let all the tension run from your fingers and your arms. Do you feel a softness in your hands now? If you do, that's what correct grip pressure feels like. This tension-free grip is what allows good golfers to swing with rhythm and in good tempo. It results in the golfer being able to snap, or sling, the clubhead at the bottom of the golf swing, which is how a golf ball should be struck.
If you have tension in your hands and arms, you'll end up dragging the clubhead through the hitting zone. Adopting a tension-free hold is the way to grip every club in your bag. Use this tip on the course the next time you feel tension setting in. Soon, you'll again sense the release and power in your swing. Tension is the number-one killer of the golf swing–let it out with a good squeeze.
Professional golf instructor Barry Goldstein is the director of golf at Polar Shot Golf Center in Johnson City, N.Y. He also instructs at the Coral Springs Golf Range in Coral Springs, Fla.