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If you hit better by choking down on a grip, should you cut down the shaft?

 bulls9999 ·  
bulls9999bulls9999 GHIN Index = 12.8Members  1032WRX Points: 217Handicap: GHIN Index 12.8Posts: 1,032 Platinum Tees
Joined:  edited Jun 5, 2019 in WRX Club Techs #1

OK, I know one response will be regarding changing shaft stiffness and/or swing weight changes, but on my 4 hybrid and 5-/7-woods, I kill the ball repeatedly, consistently when I choke down to almost the bottom of the grips, which has me thinking, why not just cut down the shaft (yea, ~3 inches at least) and simply grip normally? I mean, the comparison of shot making with holding the grip normal vs choking down is night and day. I can take my 4 hybrid and put 10-out-of-10 (ok, maybe 9) shots in a very nice high, long, and straight stripe out to 180-190 yrds. Gripping on end, maybe 2-3 good shots at best out of 10. Same with my 5- and 7-woods, they have become my favorite go to clubs from a distance....need to bring the 3-wood back out and try the same with that (it's been hiding out in my golf closet in the garage for a while now). So aside from swing weight and shaft stiffness (does gripping down on a club also affect shaft stiffness?...is it any different than cutting it down and holding it in the same spot?), I'm contemplating why not cut them down (hard to re-sell later?) because I feel like I'm not getting enough power out of a club by gripping down, I always like gripping at the top end of a grip. Just curious what this says about why I hit so well when I choke so far down on the grip....and I mean way down, almost to the bottom.

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  • Stuart_GStuart_G New HampshireMembers  25556WRX Points: 1,940Posts: 25,556 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Jun 5, 2019 #2

    The only real difference between choking up and cutting down to that same length - is the grip size. Nothing else of importance will really change. The only other potential benefit to cutting down is it might lead to more consistency since it's easier to make sure you grip the club in the exact same place with the very butt as a reference point.

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  • North ButteNorth Butte Members  11920WRX Points: 1,689Posts: 11,920 Titanium Tees
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    It's always an open question whether the skinnier grip (from choking down) or the shorter length is the thing that's helping you hit better shots. Or both. No way to know until you give it a thorough tryout both choked down and cut off. But that's a lot of trouble, if you're happy with the choked-down results just stick with what works.

    Lots of Tour players over the years have choked down an inch or so on every club in the bag. I'm guessing they found it worked for them (some time early in their career) and decided not to mess with what works.

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  • bulls9999bulls9999 GHIN Index = 12.8Members  1032WRX Points: 217Handicap: GHIN Index 12.8Posts: 1,032 Platinum Tees
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    OK, good point about grip thickness is smaller towards the bottom....wasn't thinking about that. I think it's more than that. Wondering if it has anything to do with by choking down, much like my putter grip .... standard length Ping Anser putter with Shark Jumbo grip, bottom of grip narrows to a 'cone' shape, which is where I hold it...at the very bottom....the 'cone' fits perfectly in my putter grip.....and extending that far down the putter grip is what I feel allows me to putt so well and removes excess lateral movement since by extending my arms like that, I'm more limited to back-and-forth pendulum motion along the putting line than if I had more room for other motion by not extending my arms....wonder if that enters into the equation a bit with why I hit hybrid/fairways so well when I choke down? Ehh, need another cup of coffee to think that one thru :wink: Or is it just that shorter clubs are generally easier to hit than your longer clubs?

    On -, @North Butte said:

    It's always an open question whether the skinnier grip (from choking down) or the shorter length is the thing that's helping you hit better shots. Or both. No way to know until you give it a thorough tryout both choked down and cut off. But that's a lot of trouble, if you're happy with the choked-down results just stick with what works.

    Lots of Tour players over the years have choked down an inch or so on every club in the bag. I'm guessing they found it worked for them (some time early in their career) and decided not to mess with what works.

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  • Stuart_GStuart_G New HampshireMembers  25556WRX Points: 1,940Posts: 25,556 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @bulls9999 said:

    Or is it just that shorter clubs are generally easier to hit than your longer clubs?

    Length most certainly plays a BIG role in how easy it is to make a good swing and get good impact. it's not the only factor - but it is the most dominant one.

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  • North ButteNorth Butte Members  11920WRX Points: 1,689Posts: 11,920 Titanium Tees
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    My thinking is, if we're talking about choking down 1" or 1-1/2" and experiencing night-and-day better shots then there's some other factor involved besides just the 1" or so of length. Length does matter but an inch is just an inch out of 40" or so on long iron, hybrid or fairway wood.

    I know the Star Grips I use get much, much fatter all the way up near the butt end. I tend to choke down probably 1/2" just to keep the very fattest part out of my hand.

    What sort of grips do you have on your clubs? And how big are your hands? Do you think it's possible that the butt end of your grips is simply one size too large for you?

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  • Stuart_GStuart_G New HampshireMembers  25556WRX Points: 1,940Posts: 25,556 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @North Butte said:

    My thinking is, if we're talking about choking down 1" or 1-1/2" and experiencing night-and-day better shots then there's some other factor involved besides just the 1" or so of length. Length does matter but an inch is just an inch out of 40" or so on long iron, hybrid or fairway wood.

    I know the Star Grips I use get much, much fatter all the way up near the butt end. I tend to choke down probably 1/2" just to keep the very fattest part out of my hand.

    What sort of grips do you have on your clubs? And how big are your hands? Do you think it's possible that the butt end of your grips is simply one size too large for you?

    If it was a mid-iron, I'd agree. But stock lengths for woods and hybrids are long enough that 1" can make a big difference. The number and type of "compensations" in the swing can play a big factor in how much the length can effect the results even 'just' 1" difference in length. For me (and my swing) 1" in either a fairway or hybrid makes a HUGE difference.

    Now there is also the reduction in swing weight as well - that could certainly be part of the equation but ideally he should spend some time with some lead tape at the shorter lengths to make sure what head weight works best for him at the shorter length.

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  • bulls9999bulls9999 GHIN Index = 12.8Members  1032WRX Points: 217Handicap: GHIN Index 12.8Posts: 1,032 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  edited Jun 5, 2019 #8

    No, it's not 1-inch.... more like 3+ inches. It's a standard golfpride grip and the bottom edge of my fingers are about at the top of the bottom double black band, on the space between the 'e' in 'Pride' and the double black line .... (I'll have to measure that distance) but it looks more like 3+ inches to me (over a standard grip hand placement).

    On -, @North Butte said:

    My thinking is, if we're talking about choking down 1" or 1-1/2" and experiencing night-and-day better shots then there's some other factor involved besides just the 1" or so of length. Length does matter but an inch is just an inch out of 40" or so on long iron, hybrid or fairway wood.

    I know the Star Grips I use get much, much fatter all the way up near the butt end. I tend to choke down probably 1/2" just to keep the very fattest part out of my hand.

    What sort of grips do you have on your clubs? And how big are your hands? Do you think it's possible that the butt end of your grips is simply one size too large for you?

    Posted:
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  • agolf1agolf1 Members  2056WRX Points: 1,234Posts: 2,056 Platinum Tees
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    For me, I believe there is some psychological benefit to choking down. Mainly, it seems odd to really try and swing out of your shoes after choking down. I believe it helps me make more controlled swings and better contact (drivers, fairways, and hybrids).

    It seems like after I cut clubs down, the overswinging and bad shots came back, and I hit the ball the same as before I tried choking down.

    Or, it may be that I am just incorrectly remembering how I hit the ball when choking down.

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  • North ButteNorth Butte Members  11920WRX Points: 1,689Posts: 11,920 Titanium Tees
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    Wow that's a bunch of big differences. Way shorter, apparently swingweight will be much lighter and the grip is far skinnier down there. Might take some experimentation to sort of just what is working about choking down that far.

    Posted:
    “1lb beefstak, with
    1pt bitter beer
    every 6 hours.
    1 ten-mile walk every morning.
    1 bed at 11 sharp every night.
    And don't stuff your head with things you don't understand.” 
  • bulls9999bulls9999 GHIN Index = 12.8Members  1032WRX Points: 217Handicap: GHIN Index 12.8Posts: 1,032 Platinum Tees
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    I was wondering perhaps gravity + body shrinkage?... I used to be 6', now I'm a paltry 5' 11" tall. ??

    On -, @North Butte said:

    Wow that's a bunch of big differences. Way shorter, apparently swingweight will be much lighter and the grip is far skinnier down there. Might take some experimentation to sort of just what is working about choking down that far.
    Posted:
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    Callaway Rogue Pro 4-AW, Recoil 760 F3
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  • vtpachydermvtpachyderm Members  32WRX Points: 38Handicap: 13Posts: 32 Bunkers
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    I cut down my driver by an inch and hit it a lot better and further as I was more consistently hitting it in the center. I didn't compensate for swing weight (it was a regular flex shaft, 10.5 inch Cleveland Classic head) changes as I liked the lighter feeling of the club, but I was hitting it almost as far since I felt I was swinging faster and hitting the center more often. I felt I had more control of the club. Played with it for a whole season and my driving was noticeably improved that season in terms of fewer missed fairways. This season I got a new (used) driver which was about an inch longer (Nike Vapor Fly 10.5 Reg flex), but matched my 3 wood which I was happy with the way I was hitting, and found that I was hitting the new driver solidly, and gained a few yards in the process.
    My takeway - hitting with a shorter driver helped me find a good consistent swing that I felt confident in hitting, and it's this confidence that has helped improve my game this year off the tee.

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  • caniac6caniac6 Members  3630WRX Points: 1,297Handicap: 4Posts: 3,630 Titanium Tees
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    If you hit it good choking down the shaft, why would it be necessary to go through the extra work of cutting the shaft and regripping the club. Just choke down, and play.

    Posted:
  • MychMych Members  2291WRX Points: 450Posts: 2,291 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  edited Jun 5, 2019 #14

    One thing I've noticed is that I hold the club different when I'm "choking up". So if/when I cut it down, I have to remember to still create the hand-position that I liked when my hands were further down the grip.
    Look at the "high palm" and "heel pad" pictures here:
    https://meandmygolf.com/3-things-to-avoid-when-gripping-the-golf-club/
    When I'm choking down, "heel pad" position comes pretty naturally. After cutting it down, I have to be careful not to allow the my grip to move toward the "high palm" orientation.

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  • bulls9999bulls9999 GHIN Index = 12.8Members  1032WRX Points: 217Handicap: GHIN Index 12.8Posts: 1,032 Platinum Tees
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    True, as I've been in the 'don't fix what ain't broke' mode for a while. But the mind does funny things when you let it wander.... or wonder?

    So does swing weight change based on where you grip the club even if you haven't changed/shortened the club?>

    On -, @caniac6 said:

    If you hit it good choking down the shaft, why would it be necessary to go through the extra work of cutting the shaft and regripping the club. Just choke down, and play.

    Posted:
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  • caniac6caniac6 Members  3630WRX Points: 1,297Handicap: 4Posts: 3,630 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @bulls9999 said:

    True, as I've been in the 'don't fix what ain't broke' mode for a while. But the mind does funny things when you let it wander.... or wonder?

    So does swing weight change based on where you grip the club even if you haven't changed/shortened the club?>

    On -, @caniac6 said:

    If you hit it good choking down the shaft, why would it be necessary to go through the extra work of cutting the shaft and regripping the club. Just choke down, and play.

    I don't know, and If you are hitting it good, swingweight would not enter my thoughts. I think you are over thinking.

    Posted:
  • Stuart_GStuart_G New HampshireMembers  25556WRX Points: 1,940Posts: 25,556 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @bulls9999 said:

    So does swing weight change based on where you grip the club even if you haven't changed/shortened the club?

    Technically the actual swing weight of the club doesn't change - that's always based on the actual playing length - but the effective swing weight - what you actually feel for head weight - will certainly change based on where you grip the club. And the later is the only thing that really matters.

    That is really one of the more important questions to address - how much is that helping you vs the length - and is the current head weight feel right for the length you're playing. Shouldn't be all that much effort to figure out - only need a roll of lead tape and a little bit of range time. Add a few grams at a time and see how the feel and results change as the head weight goes up.

    The other is the grip size. Is the smaller size when choked up helping you - or would you be better off with the shorter length AND the more normal grip size. I assume you don't choke up so much on the rest of your clubs - so most of your swings works well with the bigger (more normal) grip size?

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  • buntabunta Members  832WRX Points: 487Posts: 832 Golden Tee
    Joined:  edited Jun 6, 2019 #18

    a lot of the choking down technique has to do with having more control of the overall club. If you choked down on a 7 iron, but gripped a PW to the end the grip, and now the perceived length of both clubs are essentially the same, and you are standing the exact distance away from both clubs, you will still "feel" more control with the choked down 7iron compared to the PW.

    Yes, shorter clubs are always easier to hit like Stuart said but, depending on the type of player you are, you actually might be able to hit a choked down 7iron better than a PW gripped to end of club (less control), just because you have more control on a choked down club. Its a timing thing too if youre a handsy player.

    thats why we choke down when we need to punch out, because it gives us more control.

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  • Stuart_GStuart_G New HampshireMembers  25556WRX Points: 1,940Posts: 25,556 Titanium Tees
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    Any change in the amount of "control" we have from the club has to come from some change in the physical characteristics of what we are swinging. Your choices are 1) shorter length 2) decreased MOI (effective swing weight) 3) change grip size. All of which has already been discussed. There is no other magical source of added control that comes from choking up.

    Posted:
  • jkeransjkerans Members  2WRX Points: 45Posts: 2 Starters
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    I could have written the exact same initial post as you (I sometimes actually grip down to where my bottom hand is on the shaft!) Did you end up cutting your shafts? I cut an inch off my irons but reluctant to go any further. And I did hit them better. I’m 5’11” and shoot in the high 70s/ low 80s using a “normal” grip and standard length clubs. I shoot much better when choking waaaay down. I hit a 308 yard drive today (verified by playing partner who insisted we use laser to measure) when choking down to the point where my bottom hand was, like I said, literally on the shaft. I mention those things not for any other reason than to say I am a seasoned, knowledgeable, reasonably good golfer and not a short person in stature. I keep convincing myself that I have a swing flaw that I need to fix instead of just accepting that it works. I’ve had instruction and no flaw was identified. I always go back to a “normal grip” thinking I “should”. I want to chop off 3 or 4 inches but haven’t brought myself to that point yet. I will say that I think I have shorter legs and a longer torso and often wonder if that explains the anomaly. Very interested in what you’ve learned since starting this thread!!!

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  • dbleagdbleag Members  2955WRX Points: 188Posts: 2,955 Titanium Tees
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    Agree with Caniac6 - if you're hitting it better standing on your head, keep standing on your head.

    If you're hitting it better choking-down, keep choking down.

    Isn't the goal to hit it better?

    Posted:
  • Stuart_GStuart_G New HampshireMembers  25556WRX Points: 1,940Posts: 25,556 Titanium Tees
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    It may or may not be a significant difference but cutting down allows for more consistency in taking your grip on the club than to try and visually estimate a certain distance choking up. Of course as an alternative you could always put a wrap of tape around the grip as a reference point.

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  • PepperturboPepperturbo Midwest and SouthwestMembers  16991WRX Points: 1,080Handicap: 4-5Posts: 16,991 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Jul 27, 2020 6:37pm #23

    I consistently choke down about 1-1.5" on all clubs depends on goal. Cutting to that grip-down length IMO is not the answer if choking down gives good results. I use Standard GP Tour Velvet Align + 3 wraps and have large hands.

    Yesterday, playing in the wind choking down on all clubs gave me better results as opposed to griping the club at the butt end. I was on 18 Par 5 hitting into a stiff afternoon breeze. If I hit it poorly the breeze would knock the ball down into a swale, though playable I would face an ugly uphill 2nd that would cost yardage because wind would affect it. I needed to reach the flat raised fairway area. To do that I choked down 1.5" and teed the ball as high as possible, flattened my extended backswing to get more distance, and accomplished exactly that 245 carry plus ground run; not bad for an ole man. 😄 The next shot had to be low wind cheater so using 17* 2 iron, I choked down 1.5" and hit a low bullet for a leave of 60yds into a red front pin, baby pitch to 15', 2putt par.

    Irons and hybrids tend to be longer from the OEM to accomplish reasonable swing weight and head design. If you want to cut iron lengths and add weight to reach a decent SW, fine. Choking down is much easier IMO and doesn't cost anything. Besides, once you're use to choking down, it's natural plus gives slightly more shot options.

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  • caniac6caniac6 Members  3630WRX Points: 1,297Handicap: 4Posts: 3,630 Titanium Tees
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    They make grips with no taper in the bottom hand.

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  • JimmyC59JimmyC59 Members  121WRX Points: 100Posts: 121 Fairways
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    In a different thread, Howard Jones recommended cutting the cap off of a grip and installing it farther down the shaft. This will give you the chance to see if the grip diameter is what makes it easier for you or the length.

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  • Stuart_GStuart_G New HampshireMembers  25556WRX Points: 1,940Posts: 25,556 Titanium Tees
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    While they do exist, it's very rare for a grip to have zero taper. Most of the grips like the lamkin plus or GP +4's are still tapered, just less of a taper than a more normal profile grip.

    Posted:
  • bulls9999bulls9999 GHIN Index = 12.8Members  1032WRX Points: 217Handicap: GHIN Index 12.8Posts: 1,032 Platinum Tees
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    Haha, never thought of that (or take one off a grip you just cut off and re-wrap/tape it somewhere lower on the grip).

    Posted:
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  • bulls9999bulls9999 GHIN Index = 12.8Members  1032WRX Points: 217Handicap: GHIN Index 12.8Posts: 1,032 Platinum Tees
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    Aren't they making one now that is fatter on the lower hand? Forgot which brand of grip is advertising that.

    Posted:
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    GBB 5-wood (18*), 7-wood (20*); Mitsubishi KuroKage 50 
    Callaway Rogue Pro 4-AW, Recoil 760 F3
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  • Stuart_GStuart_G New HampshireMembers  25556WRX Points: 1,940Posts: 25,556 Titanium Tees
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    I haven't seen it but It wouldn't surprise me if someone had.

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  • OqvistOqvist Members  146WRX Points: 45Posts: 146 Fairways
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    Well a lot of grips are thicker at the butt so you get extra support in your palms when using that some. I find it awful to grip down because I loose that support and it feels entirely different. I always have a mark on my golf gloves in their strenghtened area because they know a lot get wear there due to the butt of the club brushing through it.

    I would much preferr cutting the shaft if I wanted to reduce shaft length. I do have a putter long chipper which is a dream to hit. Would love an experiment with one length clubs like that. I would loose distance though which I don´t really can afford so it would not be wise :)

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  • bulls9999bulls9999 GHIN Index = 12.8Members  1032WRX Points: 217Handicap: GHIN Index 12.8Posts: 1,032 Platinum Tees
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    I just found it... the Golf Pride CP2 Pro grip:

    • Material: Golf Pride's softest rubber compound with high tack surface materials provide maximum comfort with enhanced traction
    • Technology: Built with Control Core™ Technology that reduces torque by 41% when compared to same grip without core
    • Larger outside diameter in the lower hand to encourage lighter grip pressure
    • Brand : Golf Pride
    • Country of Origin : Imported
    • Style : GP0108 BKRD,GP0107 BKRD,GP0109 BKRD,GP0116 BLKRED
    • DSG Pro Tips
    • Web ID: 14GOLMFPCP2PROGRP


    Posted:
    GHIN Index 12.7
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    GBB 5-wood (18*), 7-wood (20*); Mitsubishi KuroKage 50 
    Callaway Rogue Pro 4-AW, Recoil 760 F3
    Callaway Rogue 19* 3-Hb, Aldila Synergy 60-Reg
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    Odyssey Double Wide Stroke Lab Putter
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