As I was watching the Player’s Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Florida this weekend I noticed that many players were gripping down on their clubs. They gripped down on everything from wedge to driver. I thought that there must be a good reason for them to do this or they wouldn’t be doing it. I did a search on Google and was surprised at the number of articles that it returned on this very subject. In the nutshell there are two positive ideas that you might convince you to grip down on a golf club. The first has to do with psychology and the second has to do with physics.
Years a ago when metal headed drivers came out they were tested against wood headed drivers. Astonishingly, they went the same distance. On the other hand, the metal head drivers were much more forgiving. This allowed golfers to swing harder and faster creating more distance with straighter shots. Gripping down on a club makes the club shorter and as we all know shorter clubs are easier to hit. So, having more confidence with a better outcome may be one reason to start gripping down on the club.
Gripping down gives you more control. It is easier to make solid dead-center contact. All research continues to show that the single best way to gain yards is to hit the ball in the center of the face. A miss of just one half-inch can cost you 7-9% of your distance. There are not many golfers I know that would rather hit a longer rather than a shorter club into the green. The only thing that makes the higher number clubs more accurate is that they are easier to master at their shorter length. Again, better control and solid contact allows you to swing a little faster so that you don’t have to sacrifice distance.
The Player’s Championship at TPC Sawgrass required distance and control. Those that were able to do that were more successful. I believe that gripping down had something to do with it. I am going to try it next time out. Please let me know if you do and how it worked out for you.