There are lots of different ways to grip the golf club, making it difficult to know where to start as a beginner golfer!
One of the most popular ways to hold a golf club is known as the neutral grip, which is popular with amateur and professional golfers alike.
In this article, we explain everything you need to know about the neutral golf grip and help you decide if this approach is a good option for your game.
1. What is a Neutral Golf Grip?
In the neutral grip, you hold the club with your palms facing each other while the thumbs rest on the top of the shaft.
Should you get it right, a neutral grip allows you to see the two knuckles on your left hand (if you’re right-handed), and both thumbs should be pointed directly toward your face.
The main reason why the neutral grip is so popular right now is that it provides players with the perfect level of involvement of hand and body muscles in the swing and doesn’t over-rely on the grip, as is the case with some setups.
So, read on to find out what you need to know about the neutral golf grip as you decide if this setup is ideal for your golf game this season.
2. What are the Benefits of a Neutral Golf Grip?
One of the most significant benefits of a neutral grip is that it’s comfortable.* Specifically, a neutral grip feels natural to most players, as your hands fall in a relatively natural position when gripping the club.
Another significant benefit is that the neutral grip provides more club face control.
This is because neutral grips provide freedom to your wrists, allowing you to execute the shape of the shot that you desire, be it a fade or draw, for instance.
Some players also believe that switching to a neutral golf grip can reduce the likelihood of injury, as it is not as tight as some of the other popular grips.
This is down to personal preference, but a neutral grip is known to be more comfortable than some other grips, as already mentioned.
Ultimately, there are many benefits of switching to a neutral golf grip, so it’s well worth the transition if you’re planning to try something new this golf season.
3. Ideal Neutral Golf Grip Setup
As is the case with all grips, you need to find something that feels natural and comfortable when addressing the ball. With a neutral golf grip, it’s key not to lean toward either side, as is the case with a strong or weak grip.
The whole essence of a neutral golf grip is that you have just enough strength in the grip without risking the closure of your hands, as often occurs when recreational players attempt a strong grip for the first time.
In terms of setup, your hands in a neutral grip should be just ahead of the ball, as is the case with all grips.
Other than this, you should proceed with your chosen setup, and you don’t need to make any major adjustments.
When you get it right, a neutral grip will have a hugely positive impact on the way that you strike the ball and will keep the ball in play more often than not.
4. Strong vs Neutral Golf Grip?
In golf, a strong grip means that your thumbs are pointing toward the right side of your face (if you’re right-handed).** Sometimes, it’s helpful to employ a strong grip if you’re struggling with slicing the ball, as it closes your hands and rules out cutting across the ball.
Good players can adjust their grip between shots based on whether they want to play a fade or draw, or hit one down the middle, for instance.
A strong grip is good for hitting a draw, but it’s not necessarily something that a beginner player should try.
In contrast, a neutral grip sees your thumbs point toward the center of your face, as opposed to either side.
Again, this means that should you, at least in theory, be able to hit more shots down the middle.
Strong grips also put more pressure on your wrists and joints, as you’re required to grip the club more tightly. Therefore, neutral grips are better for senior players, as well as golfers who are somewhat prone to injury.
5. Is a Neutral Golf Grip the Best?
It’s difficult to say which grip is the best, as every golfer is different. However, for most beginners and lots of recreational players, a neutral golf grip is a good option, as it keeps the ball in play and is relatively easy to master.
When you opt for a weak or strong grip, overcompensating can lead to slices or hooks, which is a surefire way to lose lots of balls out on the golf course!
Unless you have the skill level necessary to hit draws and fades, it makes sense to keep your grip neutral.
Also, when you go for lessons, most coaches and pros will show you how to grip the golf club in a neutral way.
They’re unlikely to go into the specifics related to strong and weak grips for the reasons mentioned above.
So, if you’re looking for a grip that is easy to master and will help you execute long, straight shots on the golf course, a neutral grip is a good option.
6. Why Does the Neutral Golf Grip Feel Awkward?
If the neutral grip feels awkward, you will need to spend some time out on the range practicing before it feels normal. It can take a few weeks to adjust to a new grip, so give it time.
Frankly, the neutral grip shouldn’t feel awkward, and it’s perhaps the most comfortable and seamless grip out there.
In contrast, strong and weak grips are more likely to feel awkward, as they require you to turn or open your hands, respectively.
Another possibility is that your stance might not be suited to a neutral grip, and you might need to slightly adjust the way you setup.
This should only be a matter of moving your feet ever so slightly in different directions, and no major adjustments should be necessary.
Again, this is why it’s so important to spend some time out on the range, so you can adapt your setup to your new neutral grip without feeling awkward or uncomfortable when hitting the golf ball.
7. Do Any Pros Use the Neutral Golf Grip?
Many professional golfers are known to use neutral golf grips. In fact, the two greatest players of all time – Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus – both play the game with neutral grips, highlighting its potential!***
These players need very little introduction and have managed to accumulate the most majors out of any other players in history as a result of their neutral grips.
Still, some players on Tour opt for weak and strong grips, as it’s all down to personal preference.
Another thing to remember is that some players switch between grips depending on the shot that they’re undertaking or how they’re feeling going into a round.
So, the bottom line is that the two best golfers in the world use a neutral golf grip, so if you want to try it out this season, you’re certainly in good company!
8. Is the Neutral Golf Grip Good for Beginners?
For the vast majority of beginners, the neutral grip is ideal. This is because you don’t need to worry about shaping your shots, as a neutral grip helps you get the ball down the middle of the fairway, keeping it in play more often than not.
However, some beginner golfers find themselves hooking or slicing the ball, and this is often due to a strong or weak grip, respectively.
It’s a great idea to try and correct the way that you grip the ball if you find that you’re constantly hitting the ball left or right, as this small change can make a big difference.
Another reason why the neutral grip is so good for beginners is that it’s comfortable, which is really important when you’re getting into the game for the first time.
At the end of the day, the neutral golf grip is one of the easiest to get used to and is a great option if you’re looking to improve your ball striking and accuracy this golf season.
Golf is a game of fine margins, and the way that you grip your clubs makes a big difference to your shots. A neutral grip is a great option for people at all levels of the game as it’s comfortable and helps you keep the ball in play.
So, if you’ve been struggling with your accuracy in recent times, consider switching to a neutral grip, and hopefully, you will see the results that you desire.