The effect of using a light grip

On Monday I played another round at my local course.  Ended up with a good score in cold windy conditions.  I attribute my scoring to solid iron play.

I was hitting my irons particularly solid that day and I think a lot of that had to do with a light grip on the club.

With a light grip the club seemed to swing more freely and with less effort.  On a day when my shots should have been 1 club or more shorter than in the summer, I was getting my full distance and then some.  With a light grip I could really feel the acceleration of the club down through the impact zone.  I could really feel the ball compress and even though I was playing a non-tour ball (Nike One Vapor), I was still getting a lot of spin, much more than I anticipated.

The other interesting effect that the light grip had was on the flight path of the golf ball.  I had a number of shots during the round when I know I had a tighter grip on the club.  On those shots, I tended to lose the ball to the right with a weak fade.  My shots with the lighter grip were controlled draws.

So there were several benefits from using a light grip:

1) More solid contact

2) More clubhead speed

3) Controlled draw vs a weak fade

4) Optimal spin

5) Improved Distance and accuracy

You don’t need to reshaft to lower your spin rate

So an interesting thing happened the other day.  I popped into my local club builder because I had been thinking of switching out a shaft in a driver and I needed to a pick up a three wood that was going to go into Adams for repair.

We started talking about why I wanted to change the shaft in the driver and before I knew it I was on the launch monitor hitting some balls.

He looks at my swing and starts making some suggestions about releasing the club.  Lo and behold my spin rate drops from a high of 5000 (the average was closer to mid 3k), down to an all time low for me of 1758.  Same club and same shaft.   Wow!

On the launch monitor that equated to a baby draw (from a fade) and about 60 yards more distance.

I’ve started to practice this and I’ve finally figured out how to release the club.  The results from my home simulator are that my club head is coming into the ball much more square or even a degree or two closed, path from the inside, and club head speed is going up.  And it all results in some nice draws or pretty much dead straight shots.  Pretty good results so far.  I can’t wait to see how they translate on the course.

I was having trouble releasing because my left elbow wasn’t folding easily after impact.  Once I isolated that and concentrating on having that happen the release happened naturally.  It seems to really be giving me some nice pop.