If you have ever seen a golfer choke down on their golf club, you may be wondering about the benefits.
Choking down is not for everyone, but there are some times during your round of golf when it may be something you want to consider.
We have put together a short guide highlighting what happens when you choke down on a golf club.
This information should help you decide if this is something you want to implement in your game.
What Does Choking Down on a Golf Club Do?
Most of the reasons behind choking down on the golf club have to do with control.
It is a known fact in golf that the shorter the golf club is, the easier it is to control.
Here are a few other things that will be affected when you choke down on a golf club.
When you choke down on the golf club, you can gain quite a bit more control.
Choking down shortens the club by about an inch or a half-inch.
If you have a shot into a green that requires some precision, choking down is a great choice.
You can also choke down on the driver when you are hitting shots off the tee.
Some players get nervous with a tight fairway, and they can use the choke-down technique to try and keep the ball in the fairway.
Choking down on the club will reduce the distance you can hit the ball.
Think about how your nine iron is much shorter than your six iron, and that will affect the distances you can hit them.
Many people think this is a negative of choking down on a golf club, but it doesn’t have to be.
If you know that you hit your pitching wedge 120 yards, but you only have 110 to a pin, you can choke down.
When you do this, it allows you to have a powerful full swing with lots of acceleration, but it will lessen the distance you hit the shot.
This is sometimes easier for players to accomplish than to try and take a few yards off of a pitching wedge shot.
Another reason distance is not always an issue is when players can get plenty of distance but need control.
If you hit the ball a long way but need to keep it in a particular area or location, then the distance lost by choking up won’t be a significant issue.
When you are hitting into the wind or even downwind, it is good to keep your ball flight lower.
When you keep the flight lower, you are going to have a more penetrating and accurate ball flight.
Anytime the ball gets up into the wind, you will see it waver, and there is no telling what will happen with the ball flight.
Choking down on the club will lower the ball flight a bit and keep the ball out of the wind.
It is essential to remember that this could cost you a few yards of distance.
The good news is that the distance it costs you will be made up for by the fact that you are keeping the ball out of the wind.
4. Getting Out of Trouble
Another time it can make sense to choke up on the club is when you are trying to get yourself out of trouble.
When you are stuck behind a tree or in some rough, you are going to need more control over the clubface.
The control you keep over the clubface will help to make sure the face of the club stays square as you get through impact.
When going through heavy or thick rough, there is a high probability that the grass can grab the club and turn it one way or another.
Luckily, by choking down on the club, you will gain much more control.
If you are in some ugly rough and you need to punch out, you may be able to take something like an eight iron, choke up, and get yourself back into play.
Can I Choke Down if My Clubs Are too Long?
We talked about all the effects of choking down on a golf club and how it can help your golf game from time to time.
Some shorter golfers wonder if they can buy standard length golf sets and then choke down on the clubs.
This is certainly possible, but it is not ideal.
Choking down on the golf club is a great option to have when it comes to playing different types of shots.
It is not something you are going to want to have to do just so your equipment fits your height.
If your golf clubs are too long, you should have them cut down.
Once they are cut down, if the situation arises to choke down to hit a punch shot or a knockdown, then you can certainly do so.
How Far Down the Club Should You Grip?
Most of the time, you are going to want to grip the club about a half-inch down the shaft.
If you grip further up, then this part of your hand may be too close to the butt end of the club.
Although you will want to use the full length of your golf club when it comes to distance, you don’t want to give up too much control.
The further your grip down the club, the lighter it will feel, and the easier it will be to control.
Most golfers will grip the club about ½ inch from the top.
When you want to choke down on the club a bit, you can go about an inch or maybe even a little more than an inch from the top of the golf club.
Can I Choke Down on Wedge Shots?
Around the green is where you will see the majority of golfers choke up on their golf club.
This is the area of your game that demands the most when it comes to playability and control.
When you choke up on a wedge shot, your body will be closer to the ball, and you will have the ability to control your shots.
With the wedge game, you need to be able to pick a spot and have the ball land in this exact spot.
When you are working with a shorter golf club, that is made much easier.
If you have ever seen a golf chipper, a wedge for higher handicap players, you will notice they are the same length as a putter.
The idea is to give players a better chance of hitting these shots close to the hole, without having to take a large swing.
Hopefully, now you can see that choking up on the golf club is something all golfers should try from time to time.
When you choke up on the club, you are making the club easier to work with while only sacrificing a little bit of distance.
Most golfers would gladly give up a few yards to make sure they are in the center of the fairway or the green.