Your body connects with the golf club at one, singular key point: the grip.
Get your golf grip wrong and you’ll never attain consistent success. Your ability will be sliding backwards just as fast as you try to improve. You’ll learn to dread golf and feel like you’re just naturally bad at it and incapable of improving.
But get the golf grip right, and learn how to replicate that correct grip every time, and you will have reduced the difficulty setting for the game of golf from “very hard” to “medium” or even “easy”.
Although proper golf grip is one of those things that most of us learn one time and then think we have a perfect handle on, it’s far too easy to slide out of good habits and start training yourself in a direction you don’t want to go. So whether you’re here learning about golf grip tips as a beginner or a you’re deep into the game just looking for a refresher or a reset, good on you. This article will help you analyze your grip, adjust as necessary, and make sure that your golf technique is built on a sturdy foundation.
Evaluating Your Grip… Let’s Go Back to the Basics
Don’t treat your golf club like a hockey stick. Look around. Breathe in the fresh air, take in the course. You’re playing golf. Follow the steps below to inspect your grip, and if necessary, reconstruct it.
Step 1: Relax
Pick up a club and get set in your golf stance. Pay attention to how the club feels in your hands. Do you feel tense? Are you hunched over the club? Stay set for a few minutes. White knuckled golfers will never get the results they’re looking for. If your hands, neck or any other part of your body hurts you’re probably gripping the club too tight, bending too far over, or doing something you shouldn’t be.
Step 2: Club Waist High
Is the clubface square to the ground? The club should be horizontal and about waist level. You should only have to bend over just slightly. More than a couple of inches and your clubs are probably too small.
Step 3: Left Hand first
For right handed hitters, the left hand is the foundation of the swing. Place your left hand on the gripped, fingers relaxed and spread apart. The handle should rest on your left palm so as to make a diagonal across your fingers.
Step 4: Top of Club Near Left Palm
Close your left hand. Your hand should rest near the top of the club, the top of the handle visible, but only slightly.
Step 5: Right Hand to Left Thumb
Cover your left thumb with the heel of your right hand. When closed, your hand and your forefinger should create a V. And you have a basic golf grip!
Types of Grips
There are a handful of grip styles that have acclaimed significant popularity both on the tour and among amateurs. We’ll describe each below and how they differ:
The Ten-Finger Grip:
Often nicknamed the “the baseball grip,” the ten-finger golf grip requires all 10 fingers to make contact with the club. It is the easiest grip to use, and optimizes for maximum leverage from the arms to deliver increased power and distance. As a grip it makes sense, since it’s usually the most intuitive grip that golfers take when placing their hands on the club.
How To Do it:
- Take the golf club and put your non-dominant hand (your leading hand) on the grip under the club at the end of the grip closest to the head.
- With your dominant hand (your trailing hand) wrap your fingers above the other hand. Your non-dominant thumb should be placed in a thumbs-up position pointed towards the head of the club. Your dominant hand’s right little finger should be touching the side of your non-dominant hand’s left index finger.
- Position your dominant thumb slightly pointing to the left, while your non-dominant thumb points slightly to the right.
- As you swing, rotate your forearms like you’re swinging a baseball bat.
For more information on the ten-finger grip, check out our article.
The Interlocking Grip:
The Interlocking grip is performed by interlocking the pinky finger of your bottom hand with the index finger of your top hand. The Interlocking grip offers greater control in the swing. It serves as a sort of happy medium; your maximum power is reduced, but your control increases.
Step by Step:
- Put the shaft of the golf club in your left and right hand
- Lock your right pinky between your left index and middle finger
- Wrap your right index finger around the handle
- Your right thumb should be pointing straight down
The overlap grip is another alternative. The overlap grip is most popular among professionals and advanced amateur golfers. If you make up for it with rotation power, you’ll be able to shoot a similar distance with better shot placement.
Here’s How To Do it:
- Grab the club with your left hand
- Place the pinky of your bottom hand between the middle and index fingers of your top hand
- The thumb of your top hand should fit inside your bottom hand
Should I Change my Grip Based on the Situation?
Your golf grip will change widely over the course of a hole. You shouldn’t grip your driver the same way you would your putter: you’re not looking for power on the green, nor are you looking for touch at the tee.
Holding a driver:
Since you’re looking to optimize for power and consistency here, just plan on sticking to whatever grip you feel most comfortable with on the range. Regardless of which you choose, the same principles apply: left hand first, then right hand. Your thumb and index finger should make a V that lines up with your torso.
Putter grips are far more versatile than regular grips; really anything goes. While the cross handed and overlap grips have gained some level of popularity, variations of these run rampant on the course. If you’re not sure which grip works best for you, check out gears biomechanics and for a comprehensive analysis.
Does equipment matter?
How familiar are you with clubs? Make sure you’re using the right club in the right situation. While your clubs certainly affect aspects of your swing like trajectory, tempo, etc., grip thickness is what most directly relates to your grip.
The Standard Tape May Not Be For Everyone
A standard golf club has 1 tape wrap– meaning that there’s about 1/64th of an inch between your hands and the metal. A jumbo grip has 8 or more tape wraps, or 1/8th of an inch or more. There are variations of grip thickness and size throughout that spectrum, simply because when it comes to golf, there’s no one size fits all solution.
Follow the advice above to revamp your grip. If you’re still having issues, it might be time to invest in some new tape. If you’re wondering what tape size is best for you, check out this awesome video from Ali Taylor Golf about how to choose a grip size that matches your desired shot shape.
How you hold the club is the simplest but also the most important part of your golf game. With intentional practice, you can turn your golf grip into the strongest part of your game almost overnight. Understanding the fundamental steps of a perfect golf grip can help you lay the foundation for a better swing, better play, and ultimately a great time on the course!