American golfer Ben Hogan once said,
“Good golf begins with a good grip.”
Yet, the golf grip is one of the most important, but overlooked fundamental parts of the golf swing. The golf grip is the only physical connection between you and the golf club, so the grip can ultimately determine the outcome of your swing. The correct golf grip will allow you to shoot straighter, more solid shots, as the grip controls the face position of the club at impact. The procedures outlined are specifically geared for the right-handed golfer, so for a left-handed golfer, simply reverse the procedures. Whether you’re a novice or seasoned golfer, these basic steps are a perfect way to get a grip tune-up.
Items you will need
- A mid-iron, such as a 7-iron for demonstration
In a standing position, let your arms hang naturally by your sides.
Starting with the left hand and continuing with that same hand position with your arm by your side, take the handle of the golf club, with the face of the club positioned square to the target. The butt end of the club should rest just below the heel pad of your hand, extending the club diagonally across the fingers. The club should touch the base of the pinkie finger and just above the first joint of the index finger. Most people make the mistake of holding the club in the palm of the hand. In fact, the club should sit across the fingers of the left hand. Notice the dots on the glove in the image, outlining the correct placement of the left hand on the golf club.
Imagine as you hold the golf club with your left hand, that you are facing a clock, with the shaft of the club at 12 o’clock. Place the thumb of the left hand on the grip of the club at one o’clock. You should be able to see the knuckles of the index and middle fingers of the left hand. You now have the correct left hand grip of your golf club.
Now position your right hand with the pad of your right thumb resting over the left thumb. The club should rest diagonally across the fingers of the right hand as well, not in the palm. Notice the dots on the right hand in the image, outlining the correct position of the club in the right hand.
Using the clock analogy again, place your right thumb at 11 o’clock. You now have the correct right hand grip of your golf club.
In order to confirm that your hands are in their proper position, the “V” that is formed by the thumb and forefinger of each hand should point just inside your right shoulder.
Your right pinkie finger can overlap or interlock with the left index finger depending on the style of grip that you prefer.
Three Styles of Golf Grips
The Vardon or overlap grip is the most popular grip. In the overlap grip, the pinkie finger of the right hand rests in the space between the index finger and the middle finger.
For the interlock grip, the pinkie finger of the right hand hooks under the index finger of the left hand, resting between the index and middle fingers.
The baseball or 10-finger grip is a grip used mostly by beginner and junior golfers, and those with small hands. For this style of grip, the left hand is placed first at the end of the club, with the right hand immediately below it, as you would if you were holding a baseball bat. In the demonstration below, the club is held upwards, so the right hand appears on top. If the club were resting on the ground in the natural takeaway position, the right hand would be below the left.
Finally, the grip pressure is also an important factor to perfecting your grip and producing a good golf shot. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the strongest, use a grip pressure of about a 3 or 4.
- A “neutral” grip is where both “Vs” of the hands point to the mid-shoulder area, between the neck and right shoulder. This promotes a square club face. To reduce the tendency of a slice or a ball that travels severely to the right, rotate both hands slightly to the right so that the “V” points to your right shoulder. This is considered a “strong” grip. To produce a “weak” grip that promotes a shot that curves to the right, rotate your hands to the left, where both “Vs” point towards the neck area. The flight of your ball will determine whether you are employing a neutral, strong or weak grip.
- Use these correct grip procedures to avoid huge slices and hooks and rescue your game.