Every golfer has a unique swing, which is one of the most incredible aspects of the game. The same is true of the way that golfers hold each of the clubs in the bag, and there’s not one right or wrong way to grip a golf club.
However, there are some things you need to know about gripping your driver, and there are a number of tips that you can follow to ensure your hands are in the right position.
So, with that in mind, this article explains everything you need to know about gripping your driver to ensure you can hit the ball long and true off the tee this season.
- Where Should I Grip My Driver?
- Is the Grip Different on a Driver?
- Driver Grip vs Iron Grip – What’s the Difference?
- What Does a Strong Driver Grip Look Like?
- Do Most Pros Grip the Driver in The Same Way?
- How to Grip a Driver Not to Slice
- How Hard Should I Grip My Driver?
- How Tight Should Senior Golfers Grip a Driver?
Where Should I Grip My Driver?
It’s best to hold a driver by gripping your hands roughly at the center of the grip. That being said, if you choke down on the driver, which means moving your hands towards the bottom of the grip. You will be able to exert more control over your shots, although you will lose some distance.
Therefore, when you’re just starting out, it’s best to hold your driver where you feel most comfortable. Take some practice swings when you’re holding the driver at the center of the grip and make adjustments out on the range. You can then discern the best grip for your setup.
Is the Grip Different on a Driver?
Fundamentally, the way you grip a driver shouldn’t be too different from the way that you hold your irons. You need to hold each of your clubs (excluding the putter) in the same way, but you can make slight modifications to your setup, as we explain in the next section.
One of the most important things you need to think about when holding a golf club is which grip you favor. Most players use an interlocking grip, but you might prefer an overlapping or ten-finger grip, depending on how you get started.
When you’ve decided on which grip to opt for, you can then practice gripping your irons and your driver. As mentioned, some players decide to move their hands down the grip on the driver, as it provides a little more control.
This is a particularly smart move when you’re just starting out, as the driver is often the most difficult club in the bag to hit consistently.
Driver Grip vs Iron Grip – What’s the Difference?
There aren’t too many differences between the way that you should grip a driver and an iron, and the fundamental setup is the same. However, one adjustment that you might make is the position of your left hand (for right-handers).
Often, beginner and recreational golfers grip the driver too loosely, which leads to a slice. This means the clubface is often too open at impact, which causes the ball to fly to the right. Fortunately, there’s an effective way to fix this.
When you grip your driver, shift your left hand to the right as soon as you grip the club. This will lead you to instinctively close the clubface and will prevent you from slicing the ball.
Other than slight adjustments such as this, you should keep things pretty much the same as far as your grip is concerned. Making too many alterations to your swing when you grip your driver won’t do your game any good, so remember to keep things consistent, no matter the club you have in your hands.
What Does a Strong Driver Grip Look Like?
A strong driver grip means that the ‘V shape that your hand makes points towards the right side of your face. A strong driver grip is typically favored by low handicappers as it allows golfers to hit the ball straight and even put draw and fade on selected shots.
If a beginner golfer or lower handicapper has too strong a grip, it will often lead to hooked shots, in the same way, that a weak grip often causes you to slice your drives. You need to be careful not to close the driver’s face too much, which is a common affliction of people who prefer a strong grip.
That being said, there’s no right or wrong grip strength to aspire to. Some players deliberately strengthen their grip to hit a beautiful draw, while others like to loosen it in favor of fades.
The key is to find a grip strength that suits your game, and that won’t cause you to either slice or hook the ball. If you find that you’re consistently hitting the ball far left or right, consider tightening or loosening your grip respectively, to make the required adjustments.
Do Most Pros Grip the Driver in The Same Way?
Just like recreational golfers are all different, those that play on the PGA Tour have their own unique approaches to the game. That being said, elite golfers are typically concerned with maximizing their distances and have the ability to consistently strike the ball as required.
Therefore, most professional golfers grip their drivers at the top of the club. This allows them to maximize the potential distance from the tee and hit their shots a long way down the fairway.
Many pro golfers also utilize a neutral grip as they vary their shot types. On holes where a draw or fade is necessary, they may tighten or loosen their grip and adjust their stance accordingly, allowing them to play the desired shot.
As pro golfers have such a high skill level as far as striking and shaping the ball is concerned, they’re much more likely to adjust their driver grip than recreational golfers. But don’t forget, every player is different, so what is true for one pro might not be for another.
How to Grip a Driver Not to Slice
If you’re prone to slicing the golf ball off the tee, the chances are that your grip is too open or too loose. Both of these grip types typically result in a slice, particularly for beginner golfers.
For right-handers, a loose grip means that your right hand isn’t far enough over to the left, which leads you to cut across the ball on the downswing. More often than not, this will cause the ball to fly uncontrollably right.
So, the easiest way to correct a driver slice is to reconsider the way that you grip the club. As a starting point, move your hands into a more neutral position so that you create a ‘V’ shape that is pointing towards your nose at the point of address.
Depending on how bad your slice is, you might need to move your hands even further to the left. But just be careful not to overcompensate where your grip is concerned, as moving your hands too far to the left will cause you to hook the ball.
How Hard Should I Grip My Driver?
There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong way to grip your driver as far as strength is concerned. Some players have a solid and strong grip, while others feel more comfortable by loosening things up a little.
Therefore, if you’re middling your drives with a loose or a strong grip, there’s no need to change things up. However, if you’re consistently hooking or slicing the ball, you might benefit from tightening or loosening your grip as required.
Slices often occur as a result of loose grips, while hooks are a result of gripping the driver too tightly. So, it stands to reason that loosening or tightening the way that you grip your driver could have a positive impact on your ball trajectory.
If you’re struggling to make the necessary adjustments to your swing, it’s best to schedule a lesson with a golf coach. This is because the way that you grip the driver is fundamental to the success of your entire game, so it’s not something you can afford to get wrong.
How Tight Should Senior Golfers Grip a Driver?
Although senior golfers can grip a driver any way that they choose, as you get older, it makes sense to loosen your grip slightly. This is because the tighter that you grip the driver, the more pressure you place on your wrist and joints.
Loosening your grip as a senior player also has the benefit of making everything in your swing that little bit smoother and easier, which is beneficial when you’re that little bit older and struggling to achieve the same swing speed that you did when you were a younger player.
So, although you’re perfectly entitled to grip your driver however tightly you like, as a senior player, it undoubtedly makes sense to loosen things up a little, particularly if you’re feeling a little pain or discomfort in your joints after playing golf.
The way that you grip your driver will affect your ability to strike the ball consistently. While every golfer is different and has a unique swing, following the tips introduced in this article will give you the best possible chance of striking the ball expertly off the tee.
As with all aspects of your golf game, if you still find yourself struggling after making some adjustments to your grip, it’s a good idea to schedule a lesson with a golf coach, so you can adapt your game accordingly and improve the way that you strike the ball off the tee.