Golf is one of the most difficult sports to master. From full swing mechanics to the putting stroke, each aspect of the game is unique and requires a slightly different approach from a technical standpoint. However, one basic fundamental that is very important regardless of which shot it is that you are hitting is the grip. The grip is arguably the most important fundamental of the golf swing since it is the only point of contact that you have with the golf club.
The perfect golf grip doesn’t exist. For instance, Dustin Johnson grips the club a lot differently to what Justin Thomas does. With that being said though there are some key characteristics to consider when gripping the golf club. Below we are going to take a closer look at the fundamentals of the golf grip and we will also look at a drill that you can do to improve your grip.
Basic Fundamentals Of The Golf Grip
How you grip the golf club dictates the position of your clubface at impact. As mentioned the perfect golf grip doesn’t exist, but there are a few common variations that most golfers try to mimic.
Different Golf Grips
The overlap grip is also very popular amongst players of all skill levels. The overlap grip is very similar to the interlocking grip with the only difference being that the pinky finger of your right hand isn’t interlocked with your left index finger, in the case of the overlap grip the right pinky finger rests between the left index and middle finger.
The interlock grip is the most commonly used grip amongst low handicap amateur and professional players. The interlock grip is very similar to the baseball grip with the only difference being that the right pinky finger is interlocked with the index finger on your left hand for right-handed players and vice versa for left-handed players. To see how the fingers interlock watch this video.
The interlock grip ensures control over the clubface and it ensures that the hands can be used optimally throughout the golf swing which in return promotes a smooth release of the clubhead through impact.
The baseball grip is also known as the 10 finger grip, this way of gripping the club isn’t as common as it used to be but there are some golfers out there that still love it. With a baseball grip, a player holds onto the club with all 10 fingers touching the grip/shaft hence the reference to a baseball grip.
This simple grip is commonly used by beginners that have a history of playing baseball, softball, or cricket but as time goes on players realize that this grip does cause limitations within the golf swing. Due to the nature of this grip players with a baseball grip struggle to use their hands optimally within their golf swings which is why you won’t find a professional player that opts to grip the club this way.
The Golf Grip Explained
For a right-handed player, the position of the left hand on the grip dictates the angle of the clubface at impact. If the left hand is too weak it will promote an open clubface and if it is too strong it will promote a closed clubface.
To ensure that your left hand is in the correct position on the club pay attention to how many knuckles are visible on your left hand. Set the club down as you would when addressing the ball and look down to see how many knuckles are visible on your left hand.
Ideally, you want to see two knuckles, if you see two knuckles it means that you are gripping the club in a neutral position. Once your left hand is in the correct place add the right hand by either interlocking or overlapping your right pinky finger. In terms of overlapping or interlocking, there is no right or wrong, you need to go with the option that is most comfortable for you.
When the right hand has been added check to see if the V between your thumb and right index finger is pointing at your right shoulder, if it is then you are in good shape. The right-hand impacts the release of the club through impact, if the right hand is too strong (V pointing to the right of your right shoulder) you will over release the club and the ball will hook to the left and if your right hand is too weak you are likely to slice it off to the right.
Putting Grip vs. Full Swing Grip
99% of golfers use one of the 3 golf grips described above, the same can’t be said for putting grips. When it comes to putting there is no right or wrong in terms of grip, at the end of the day it all comes down to putting with a grip that is comfortable for you, and that allows you to square the putter face up at impact.
Justin Rose putts with a claw grip, Jordan Spieth prefers a left-hand low grip when putting and Justin Thomas putts with a reverse overlap grip. Chris Dimarco was one of the first players to opt for the claw grip, at first it drew a lot of controversy but now it is a commonly used putter grip.
If you are in the market for a new putter check out our best golf putters article.
Golf Grip Drill
This drill is a drill that you should be doing regularly to ensure that your hands are correctly gripping the club. It is natural for your grip to change a little bit over time which is why it is very important to check it regularly.
The first step in this drill is to take the club with your right hand and hold onto it halfway between the grip and the clubhead and hold it out in front of you with the shaft perpendicular to the ground.
The second step requires you to grip the club with your left hand, once you have gripped the club with your left hand your left arm should be parallel to the ground. When you grab the club with your left hand ensure that your fingers are wrapped around the shaft and that your thumb is pointing down the shaft. Your left hand is in the correct position now, let go of the shaft with your right hand and proceed with addressing the club behind the ball.
Once the club head is behind the ball in the address position simply add your right hand to the grip, at this point you can choose to either interlock or overlap your right pinky finger. Wrap your fingers around the grip and ensure that your right thumb is pointing down the shaft, your right palm should be covering your left palm.
If you are working on your grip, do this drill as often as possible, the more you do it the quicker it will be for you to get used to it.
The golf grip is a very important basic fundamental, it is also the fundamental that is the hardest to fix when it goes array. Focus on your grip and check it occasionally to ensure that both of your hands are in the correct position on the club, this will give your clubface the best chance to be square through impact.
When it comes to putting the most important part is to opt for a grip that feels comfortable and that delivers a square putter through impact, how it looks is irrelevant.