How To Grip A Golf Club
How you hold a golf club will have a massive bearing on the quality of golf you can play. Get off on the right foot by making sure this most important fundamental of the game is right!
By the end of this post, you should have all the knowledge you need on how to grip a golf club.
Is A Proper Golf Grip Important?
A proper grip is important because it allows you to control the golf club and particularly the club face. The use of high-speed cameras and launch monitors shows that the start direction of the ball is determined mainly by where the club face points at impact so you need to get that under control if you want to play great golf. A solid grip is crucial to a good golf game because it helps you to have a correct golf swing.
A proper grip also helps you make more consistent golf shots. If you don’t grip the club in the same fashion every time, it will be difficult for you to return the club face to the correct position at impact. A poor grip may also make it difficult for your hands and wrists to work properly during your swing.
Is There A Perfect Golf Grip?
There may not be a perfect grip but there are a number of best practices that will give you the perfect grip for you. When you are learning the game it is important that you hold your club with a proper grip because this is one of the hardest things to change that has a significant effect on the way you can swing the club.
What Is The Right Grip Pressure?
Gripping the club too hard or too soft will almost certainly lead to problems. You need to grip the golf club tightly enough that it won’t fly out of your hand but not so tightly that you are causing tension in your hands, wrists and arms.
If you grip the club too tightly, your shots will likely go to the right. If you hold the club too loosely, your shots will likely go to the left.
Should The Golf Club Be Held In The Palm Or Fingers?
There are many different ways to hold a club, but it is generally accepted that the best way is in the fingers rather than the palms. This allows for a more natural swing and allows you to move the club in the most dynamic way. If you grip the club too much in your palms then you will struggle to achieve consistency or generate power.
How Far Down The Grip Should I Go?
Some players like to grip down the club and have the top of the golf club sticking out a little. You certainly don’t want the top of the grip nestled in your palm. Try to have the fleshy pad on your hand on top of the grip with the fingers cradling it. Imagine how you might hold a hammer.
Get The Right Grip Size
Having the correct size grips on your clubs can make quite a difference to how well you play golf. Juniors and ladies might need to use clubs designed for them that have thinner grips to allow for their smaller hands. People with larger-than-average hands may need to use thicker grips or layers of tape to build it up to the correct size.
To ensure you are using the correct grip size, take a golf club and place it in your left hand (if you are right-handed) with your normal grip. If the middle fingers are just brushing the fleshy pad under your thumb then you have the correct size. If they dig in then you need to try some thicker grips. If your fingers don’t reach the fleshy pad then you need to investigate some thinner grips.
Different Types Of Golf Grip
There are three main ways to hold a golf club correctly.
The most popular is the overlap or Vardon grip. With this grip, the pinkie finger of your right-hand rests in the crook between the middle and index finger of your left hand. Your left thumb would be on top of the club running slightly down the right-hand side of the grip. Your right thumb would be on top of the club running slightly down the left side of the grip.
When you look down at your hands your forefingers and thumbs would make a V shape.
The next most popular grip would be the overlapping grip. Many great players have used this type of grip down the years including the greatest of them all, Jack Nicklaus.
It is essentially the same as the overlapping grip but your little finger interlocks with the forefinger of your left hand.
The least popular style of grip is the baseball grip or 10-finger grip. As you can probably guess this grip is one where the fingers are placed straight onto the grip rather than overlapping or interlocking holding the club like a baseball bat.
Interlocking v Overlapping Grip
The interlocking grip is where the little finger of the right interlocks with the index finger of the left hand. The overlapping grip is where the little finger of the right overlaps the index finger of the left hand.
There are pros and cons to each type of grip. Some golfers feel that the interlocking grip gives them more control over their shots, while others find that the overlapping grip feels more natural and comfortable. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. Tiger Woods used the interlocking grip but the majority of players tend to use the overlapping grip which is named after six-time Open Champion Harry Vardon who popularized it.
What Is The Correct Golf Grip?
If you want to maximize your potential and have some control of the golf ball then you should stick to one of the three main grip types. However, within that, there is still some room for personal adjustments. You might find that you need to place your hands around the grip in a slightly different way in order to return the club face square consistently.
Depending on how far to the left or right you have placed your hands your grip would be known as neutral, weak or strong.
Looking down at your hands on the club, your thumb and forefingers make a V shape. A neutral golf grip is when the Vs point between your chin and right shoulder. The further to the right they point then the stronger your grip.
A strong grip is not referring to the pressure you are applying but the position of your hands. If you turn your hands so the Vs are pointing outside your right shoulder then that would be considered a strong grip. Because your hands will naturally want to return “square” this means you will present the clubface closed at impact. If you struggle to square the face consistently then try experimenting with a stronger grip as it should help you. You are likely to draw the ball with a strong grip.
A weak grip has the hands turned to the left with the Vs pointing to the left of your chin. This will promote an open clubface at impact which is likely to lead to a slice shape.
Is A Putting Grip Different?
Yes, a putting grip is different than a regular grip. When gripping the club, the hands are positioned differently with the club more in the palms. You aren’t trying to generate significant speed with a putter swing you need maximum precision. Trying to make a more upright pendulum stroke usually gives the best results.
Many players like to use a grip where the index finger of the left-hand overlaps the fingers of the right, this is called a reverse overlap grip.
How To Grip A Golf Club: Conclusion
Hopefully, this has impressed upon you the importance of a great grip. Getting those two hands holding the golf club in the right way will make playing the game so much easier. Try to get this right from the start as a grip change can be really difficult once you have gained some experience.
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]
Should I Chip And Pitch With The Same Grip?
If you are still new to golf then I would suggest keeping things as simple as possible. Using the same grip for as many different types of shots is probably the way to go.
Once you gain more experience you might find that chipping can be performed better with more of a putter grip that is purely down to personal preference and the amount of time you have available for practice.
Why Does My Grip Make Me Hook Or Slice?
There are a few reasons why your grip might be causing you to slice or hook the ball. One reason could be that your grip pressure is too tight or too loose on the club, which can cause the club face to twist open or closed.
Different styles of grip can promote different types of ball flight. For example, a strong grip will typically promote a draw, while a weak grip will promote a fade.
Should I Use The Same Grip For My Irons And Driver?
Golf is difficult enough without thinking about having different grips for your driver and iron swings. The majority of people would be much better off with the consistency of using the same grip no matter the type of club they are using.