How To Grip A Golf Club

Golf is a sport that is all about technique. Although athleticism, coordination, and decision-making are all key elements of a successful golfer. Technique is most important of all, and without it, no amount of other attributes will be able to compensate for this.

There are also a lot of techniques in golf, and it can be difficult to master various elements of golf without breaking them down into smaller pieces. 

In this guide, we’re going to look at how to grip a golf club. This is one of the most critical and overlooked elements of your stroke which can have a huge knock-on effect on your performance and other elements of your technique.

Instead of trying to unlearn bad techniques, it’s best to learn good techniques and build good habits as soon as possible. 

First, let’s take a look at the main grip types that are used to give you an understanding of what works best.

Types of Grip

There are a few different types of grip, and they won’t always feel most natural to you, which is why it’s good to try different grips and see what works best for you.

Standard Neutral Grip

The most common type of grip, particularly among new golfers, is the standard grip and this is the easiest to use and the simplest.

To use this grip, simply place your off-hand on the club grip, around half an inch to an inch down from the end of the grip.

Your thumb should be flat on the grip pointing straight down the shaft with your thumbnail facing upwards. Your dominant hand should then grip the club below your off-hand, with the base of your dominant thumb resting on the top of your off-hand thumb, also pointing down the shaft towards the clubhead.

This grip can be used very easily and is suitable for almost all conditions and golfers, but there are alternatives.

The Interlocking Grip a.k.a the Vardon Grip

The interlocking grip is similar to the standard neutral grip and much of the positioning is similar, except for one key difference.

This difference is that the little finger or pinkie of the dominant hand which is lower down the club is held by the index finger of the off-hand which is higher up the club. All the other positioning of the grip should be almost the same as the neutral grip, but the interlocking grip of the pinkie and index finger.

This grip type can feel strange at first, but is a great grip to get used to and is especially favored by golfers with smaller hands or who want better coordination between both their hands as they grip. This method is actually used by Tiger Woods, and if it’s good enough for him, it’s probably good enough for you too!

The Overlapping Grip

The overlapping grip is again very similar to the neutral grip, and even the interlocking grip, but the key difference here is that the pinkie of the dominant lower hand sits on top of the notch between the index finger and middle finger of the off-hand higher up the club.

This causes your hands to overlap slightly and offers some of the benefits of the interlocking grip, but some golfers find this method a little more comfortable. This is particularly true of golfers with larger hands who find the interlocking grip particularly uncomfortable or awkward.

Grip Pressure

Now you’ve got several options for grip, it’s important to consider the importance of grip pressure as this can have a huge impact on the quality of your stroke.

The first and most important thing to remember is that gripping too hard is a bad thing, and will not improve your play at all.

A tight grip can restrict the fluidity of motion in your arms and forearms as you swing which is hugely detrimental to your swing technique, which can cause hooking or slices, making your shots unpredictable and frustrating to correct or coach as grip strength can’t be easily spotted.

It is easy to fix, however. 

One popular analogy used by golf coaches is to imagine that your golf club is a banana and that you have to eat the contents after you’ve swung. Grip too hard and you ruin the banana, grip too soft and you may end up sending your club down the fairway instead of the ball.

Golf grip should be firm enough to keep the club in hand and steady, but also be light, and loose to allow plenty of motion and fluidity.

Choking

Choking up is the technique used by golfers when they want to reduce the distance of their shots and get more control over their swing.

This technique involves gripping the club much lower down the grip than normal and standing closer to the ball as you take up your stance, this increases the attack angle of your shot and creates much more control over the swing and the trajectory of the ball.

This is usually adopted during approach play or chipping.

How Does Grip Affect My Play?

A poor grip can cause all sorts of problems. It can make your long game unpredictable, inaccurate, and frustrating, and can make your short game uncontrolled and stiff.

Bad grip technique can have huge effects on your whole swing, so pay attention to this and seek professional advice if you can’t seem to nail down any improvements after trying the different methods.

Which Grip is Better?

No one grip is better than the other, and it’s all down to what suits you as a golfer.

While some grips may favor particular golfers due to their hand size or comfort, it’s all down to personal preference so practice with them all and see what works best for you!