Golf IQ

It's a hidden driver power key—and most golfers have no idea

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Over the past 10 years or so, there's been a flood of fantastic new technology into the golf industry. And it's succeeded in drowning a bunch of bad ideas with it.

One of those is the old myth that golfers should grip the club softly. It's not that the advice itself wasn't based on anything, it's that it makes the classic mistake of mixing "feel" with "real."

When Sam Snead uttered his famous "grip the club like a little bird" tip, he was describing what he was feeling. In reality, Sam Snead was a really strong, athletic, flexible guy. What gripping softly felt to him would actually be really firm for the rest of us.

It's the ability to grip firmly that is a secret and underrated power key, and it was the topic of our most recent Golf IQ podcast episode which you can listen to below (and subscribe to right here)

Why grip strength matters

Our most recent cover star Cam Young actually touched on it in his cover story right here, but research for the Titleist Performance Institute found that golfers' grip strength isn't just important in its own right, it correlates with overall strength.

The reason grip strength matters is that it acts as a catch-all metric that helps measure all the little muscles in your hands, fingers, wrists, and forearms, which play key roles in your ability to release the club through impact. The harder you can squeeze, the faster you'll be able to swing.

Pros, generally, have the ability to grip with more than 130 pounds of force, while the average golfer can only manage about half that. When Golf Digest's Maddi MacClurg, who co-hosted the episode, ran an experiment with fans at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, she found most amateurs topped out around 100 pounds of force.

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As for how you can improve your grip strength?

SuperSpeed recently released a grip strength trainer to help with this, while Dr. Rose at the Titleist Performance Institute says one of the easiest and quickest ways is to "lift heavy sh-t."

Once again, you can listen to that episode of the Golf IQ podcast, and more, below.