Golf Tips: Why You Should Never Choke Up On Your Golf Club

Want to hit your sand wedge thirty yards? Choke up on your club.

Want to hit a low shot out of the woods? Choke down on your seven iron.

While there are many instances in which golfers are taught to “choke down” or “choke up” on a golf club, this advice may be very dangerous to your golf swing and to your golf score.

Here are a few reasons why……………………………..

When you mention the word “choke” to a golfer it can have a negative connotation to the golfer/athlete. It may suggest that they are about to choke on the shot that they are attempting.

The last thing a golfer needs is a negative idea before he or she swings the club. The idea of choking on a shot can really unsettle a player.

Second, when swinging the golf club, it is important to maintain soft hands throughout the set up and through the golf swing. The word choke will encourage some golfers to grip the club too tightly.

Tightness in your hands can create tightness in your arms, shoulders and legs. These sensations can cause golfers to hit some bad shots.

During a recent conversation with my pal and PGA Golf Pro, Jon Manos, I suggested that he not use any language that has to do with “choking up” or “choking down” on the club when teaching his students.

Over the years, Jon and I have worked with many golfers.  He works on the mechanical parts of the game and I work on the mental parts of the game.  In May, Jon and I will deliver a seminar on the psychological and physical aspects of golf.

Jon agreed with me when I explained the psychological rationale for this idea.

Rather, I suggested that he say something like-“Soften your hands and gently slide them down the club. Maintain that soft grip during your set up, through your backswing and while you swing through the ball.”

Remember, tension really has no place in your golf swing, especially in your short game.

Jay P. Granat, Ph.D. is a Psychotherapist, Author and Founder of

He was named one of America’s Top Mental Gurus by Golf Digest Magazine. Dr. Granat has been featured in many major media outlets.

He is available for seminars and for individual coaching. He can be reached at 888-580-ZONE or at




About Dr. Granat

Since 1978, Dr. Granat has counseled thousands of highly competitive athletes from many different sports. His clients have included golfers, tennis players, bowlers, runners, boxers, baseball players, basketball players, pool players, hockey players, ice skaters, wrestlers, fencers and martial artists. (Satisfied Clients) on this site. Now athletes who are struggling with choking, nervousness, lack of confidence, negative thoughts, self-doubt, lack of energy or concentration problems can get the help they need to excel in their respective sport by phone.
Twitter Facebook LinkedIn YouTube RSS Feed Skype Email