Published on May 5th, 2012 | by Warren Bailey0
Get a Grip (fourteen of them) — Why proper grip-fitting matters
One day at the range between torrential downpours and typical Minnesota temperatures varying from 38 to 80 degrees, I took the time to notice some of the other golfers making their swings. Between the different body types, choice of apparel (I use wearing a sleeveless t-shirt as an apparel choice very loosely), and golf equipment, I can safely say that no two swings looked alike. What I also noticed was that too many golfers were swinging with grips that did not fit their hands properly.
How important is it to have the properly sized grips on your set of clubs? If you are a golfer serious about taking that next step in improving your golf, then you’re already aware of the importance of having your clubs fitted properly. The proper loft and lie for your irons, the correct shaft in your clubs that best suits your swing speed, and even having the right shoes on your feet are a determining factor. Um, flip-flops, Crocs, and dress shoes are not likely to help with the improvement of your golf game, so I would avoid wearing them while hitting at the range or even playing a round in them (unfortunately, we’ve all seen it in person….yikes.) But grips, particularly the right size grip that fits your hands, may be the most important aspect of fitting.
Your hands are the direct connection to the club. They play a significant role in how a golfer holds onto the club. How you hold onto the club is directly connected to how the face of the club makes contact with the ball. If the grip is too small, the tendency is to wrap your fingers around the smaller grip, likely squeeze too hard (hence the phrase, “Grip of Death”) and makes it difficult for the golfer to consistently keep the clubface squareat impact. Say you have smaller hands and you are a former tennis or hockey player; you are already familiar with using your hands but sometimes turn your hands over too quickly or “flip” the clubface closed too quickly, leading to a smothered ball or massive hook.
What if you have small hands and you are using oversize grips on your clubs? Again, the size of the grip makes it difficult to hold on properly so the golfer goes back to the big squeeze and the hands do not release the club face back to square at impact. All your shots are pushed or sliced. So what does the typical golfer do? They adjust their grip on the club to fit their situation, not changing the club grips to fit their hands. This is backwards thinking.
If you are visiting one of 2nd Swing’s two locations, make sure to have your grips checked and sized, including the putter. The clubfitters at 2nd Swing are very adept at noticing how the grips fit your hands and can make recommendations on the right size grip, the right feeling grip, and can replace your grips on a timely basis. You will be amazed at how much of a difference it makes being able to hold onto the club properly. So much so, we’ll likely overlook you wearing black socks and sandals on the range. Do you have any grip stories? How did changing your grip size affect your game? I’d like to know. Fashion tips are optional.