Can new grips help you stop slicing? | Gear Questions You’re Afraid to Ask
Welcome to Gear Questions You’re Afraid to Ask, a GOLF.com series produced in partnership with Cleveland/Srixon Golf. This week we cover what effects new grips can and will likely have on your golf game.
Will new grips help me stop slicing? – Jake
This question aligns perfectly with the essence of what we aim to address in Gear Questions You’re Afraid to Ask, because the answer isn’t always straightforward or logical. At first glance you might think, what could grips have to do with slicing? But dig a little deeper and you’ll soon learn there’s a lot more to it.
We’ve been covering golf equipment and how different components affect how well golfers play for quite a while now, and through extensive testing and collaboration with club fitters and swing professionals, we have arrived at some conclusions regarding the impact of grips on your performance. The consensus is as follows: new grips, especially brand-new ones, can in fact influence your swing and shot-shaping ability.
Let’s dig into what this entails:
New grips can potentially reduce slicing.
To address your question directly, yes, a new grip can assist in reducing the banana ball. Slicing occurs when the clubface fails to rotate to a square position in relation to either your target line or swing path at impact (depending on your desired shot shape). To counteract this, a new, skinnier grip can sometimes increase your hand speed by helping you grip the club more in the fingers, facilitating a faster release of the hands through impact.
But, if you prefer not to use smaller grips (we’re referring to grips with a smaller diameter than your current or old grips), a new grip with improved traction can help reduce hand and wrist tension, which also leads to a better-timed release of the hands. According to a handful of instructors we know, gripping the club too tightly often contributes to slicing, and according to them, the lighter you can hold the club without compromising your grip, the less prone you’ll be to miss it out to the right.
New grips might lessen your hook.
As expected, the approach for countering a hook is somewhat reversed, but it involves more nuanced considerations. If you use a grip with a larger diameter, not only can it potentially slow down your release, it’ll shorten your long ball, too. Accomplished players (who typically battle hooks more than slices) often build up the lower part of the grip where the lower hand is positioned and not to the top end of the grip which will slow down the hands too much. This thickening of the lower diameter, known as “reduced tapering,” minimizes the likelihood of the lower hand flipping over and producing a hook while still keeping the upper hand moving at full speed. While most skilled players acknowledge that reduced tapering is not a foolproof solution for eliminating hooks, it certainly serves as a reminder to both the hands and mind to avoid an overly active release from the lower hand.
Speaking of reminders, new grips can also enhance accuracy.
Lastly, certain grips, known as reminder grips, can assist in hitting the ball straighter. What exactly are reminder grips? These grips feature a long rib on the underside and inside, creating a built-up section that is subtly detectable by the fingers upon gripping the club. The term “reminder” refers to the rib’s role in helping golfers remember the ideal hand placement when gripping the club. The underlying idea is that the more consistently you grip the club, the straighter and more consistent your shots will be.
Reminder grips are not available in all grip styles, but they can be found in various options to suit your preferences. If you require assistance in maintaining proper hand positioning during your grip, a reminder grip may be precisely what you need. (And rest assured, they are fully compliant with the Rules, in case you were wondering.)
Srixon ZX5 MKII Driver
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