The Most Important Part of the Golf Swing is Not the Backswing

Your grip is the most important part of your golf setup


Every golf swing has five essential parts – the address, backswing, downswing, impact, and follow-through. But which part of the golf swing is the most important?

A lot of experts say it’s the backswing. The thought is that if you get the club back in the correct position, then the rest of the swing will come naturally, but the answer is not that simple.

Gene Roberts, PGA Director of Instruction at Talamore Golf Resort, says that grip is the most important element of the golf swing.

With an improper grip, you’ll have less control over the orientation of the club and the movement of your swing.

Why Your Grip is Essential to Your Golf Swing

Your golf grip is how much pressure you apply to the club when setting up your shot and occurs during the address part of the golf swing. It also plays a significant role in determining if your ball will fly straight, hooked, or if it’s sliced.

This is because the grip determines whether the face of your club will be square to your target or not. When you start with a good grip, you will better execute the rest of your posture, stance, and swing.

How to Find a Good Grip

Finding the perfect grip is something that happens over time.

The more you practice and play, the more you’ll be able to get a feel for what’s working and what isn’t. However, there are some tips you can keep in mind when testing out what type of pressure works best for your golf grip.

  • Start with a relaxed grip. If you’re holding the club too tight, you won’t be able to release it as easily, and it will affect the other parts of your swing.
  • A loose right-hand grip will help you avoid a jerky swing.
  • A weak left-hand grip can lead to a casting downswing.
  • Firmer grips work best on short putts.

Aside from the proper grip pressure, Roberts says the most important element of putting is keeping your head still. You should listen for the ball to fall in the hole instead of lifting your head to watch it.

After you stand in front of your ball relaxed with the club in your fingers, you need to focus on your stance. Some tips for achieving the perfect golf stance include:

  • Position the ball correctly.
  • Turn your left foot 20 degrees to the target.
  • Keep your right foot square to the target.
  • Center your weight distribution.
  • Keep your feet flat and finish with your weight on the left foot.

Take Time to Develop Your Grip

Developing a good golf grip will make each of your swings more effective.

When you go through your setup routine, remember to stay relaxed and keep the club in your fingers, not your palms.

Doing so will allow you to have more movability in your swing.

If you’re having trouble finding a good grip, talk to your local PGA pro or golf instructor, and they’ll be able to advise you on ways you can improve.

RELATED: How to improve your golf game during the winter