Every good golfer wants to learn to swing like the pros. There’s a science behind every swing but it’s impossible to avoid chipping, slicing, and outright missing without the proper golf grip. Whether lining up a 300-yard drive or a ten-foot putt, you need the correct golf grip. In this guide, you’ll learn how to hold a golf club and how to create consistency for smooth ball-striking every time.
Types of Golf Grips
While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for how to grip a golf club, there are three basic grips beginners can employ. Too many beginners focus on other aspects of the game without thinking about their golf club grip, and this is what holds them back from better scorecards.
With this grip, every single finger is on the club — hence the name. While the professionals rarely employ this grip, beginners often find it to be the most comfortable of all grips; therefore, it's a good starting option. The 10-finger grip is powerful and suited to golfers with small hands, as there’s more purchase on the club.
The overlapping grip, otherwise known as the Vardon grip, is perhaps the most common golf grip in the whole sport. To perform the overlapping grip, position the pinkie finger of one hand in the ridge between your opposite hand’s index and middle finger. The biggest benefit of employing the Vardon grip is that it makes your swing more stable and comfortable if you have larger hands.
The interlocking grip has much in common with the 10-finger grip. Simply perform the 10-finger grip and interlock your hands with the pinkie finger of one hand, linking with the index finger of the other. With this grip, your hands will be closer together, and your fingers will be locked together. For golfers looking to get some additional yards on their drivers, the interlocking grip is the best power golf club grip.
Why is the Proper Golf Grip Important?
Performance is everything in golf. Figuring out how to hold a golf club is the gateway to shooting lower scores on your next trip to the tee. The grip influences how much control you have over the orientation of the club’s face at the moment of impact. Poor grip leads to inconsistency in where the club impacts the ball. At best, you lose a few yards. At worst, the ball drifts off in an unintended direction.
Another aspect of performance influenced by golf grip is the fluidity of the movement in your wrists—the better the fluidity, the better the motion in your swing. Correct golf grip, therefore, offers more power and more accuracy.
Your grip is only a single aspect of swing performance, however. The pressure of the grip also influences whether you have good form or not. Too much pressure on the grip, and there’s no movability in the swing. Too little pressure on the grip, and you lose the precision in your stroke because you’re not in control of the club.
In short, the biggest mistake most beginners make is focusing more on their swing, whereas if they concentrated on how to hold the golf club, their performance would improve markedly.
How to Hold a Golf Club
Begin improving your performance today by employing a simple step-by-step approach to correctly holding a golf club.
- Hold your golf club at waist height in front of you. The club should be parallel to the fairway and the clubface square.
- Use your left hand to pick up your club initially and stretch out the fingers. Align the club handle with your left palm. To check your positioning, make sure there’s a straight line running diagonally across your fingers and into your palm.
- Close your hand around the handle. The bottom of the palm should rest along the upper edge of the golf club, but the top of the handle should be visible.
- Take your left hand and rotate it so you can only see two knuckles when looking down. This is what’s known as a neutral golf grip, which is the recommended starting point for beginners.
- Finally, take your right hand and position the bottom of the palm over the top of your left thumb. Your right hand should now be covering your left. Close your right hand. The thumb and forefinger should create a ‘V’ shape that points towards your belly button. No part of your hands should be hanging off the handle.
- You’re now ready to swing!
In the beginning, this basic neutral golf grip may feel strange and uncomfortable, but you’ll get used to it quickly. Test out creating the grip, and it will soon become part of your muscle memory. If you make a mistake when establishing a proper golf grip, it’s much easier to start over.
Left-handed players are often used to being forced to adapt to a right-handed world. However, there are special left-handed golf clubs for players. Essentially, the process for gripping a club as a left-handed player is the same as the above, but with the hands reversed. With a left-handed swing, your left hand will be closer to the ball, whereas your right will be closer to the handle.
Try out a few different clubs to see what feels right for you. It may also be worth trying out a right-handed grip to enable your stronger hand to drive down at the ball. For example, recent 2021 PGA Champion Winner Phil Mickelson is a left-handed golfer who swings with his right hand for this very reason.
Tips for Perfecting Your Golf Grip
Mastering the basic grip could save your game an extra five strokes. Once you’ve gotten used to proper golf grip, it’s time to focus on perfection. These golf grips tips will help you to correct and improve your existing grip.
Adjust the Size of Your Golf Club Grip
Most clubs come with standardized grips, but custom grips exist for a reason. While most beginners should stick with their original grips, if you are regularly slicing or pulling your shots even after working on your golf grip, it may be time to alter the size of your grips. For smaller hands, opt for smaller grips. For hands the size of plates, choose a larger grip. Experiment and see what works for you.
Use a Sharpie for Proper Alignment
Unsure about how your club is sitting in your hand? Draw two lines on your glove with a sharpie pen to help you judge where your club should be. This is perfectly legal, and you aren’t breaking any rules by doing it. It’s legitimate in the same way as marking your golf ball to ensure consistent contact with the clubface. Marking your glove is an excellent option for beginners who are struggling for consistency in their grip.
Play with Pressure
Even the best golf grip can be undone by the wrong amount of pressure levied on the club. You shouldn’t grip the club too lightly or too tightly. Test out different amounts of pressure to find what works for you. Relax your arms and waggle the club a little to shake off some of the tension. Only practice will help you master this aspect of your golf grip.
Choose the Interlocking Grip
While a 10-finger grip is the first grip a beginner will learn, most professionals agree that the interlocking grip is scientifically superior to most golfers. The additional maneuverability in the wrist makes it easy to achieve a fluid, smooth motion in your swing. The majority of golfers adopt the interlocking grip because they also feel as if their hands work as one as they swing. Although PGA golfers like Jordan Speith have adopted strange, unconventional grips, this shouldn’t encourage beginners to do the same.
Put the Club Down and Start Over
Finally, if you’re unsure about your grip, don’t be afraid to put the club down and start over. Taking longer than necessary to shoot your shot is preferable to sending a wayward shot into the rough.
Adjusting Your Grip to Your Club
Any beginner knows there are six basic types of golf clubs to choose from, ranging from drivers to putters. Proper golf grip rarely changes between clubs, but there are differences between the grip used to tee-off and the grip used to putt the ball when you reach the green. Golfers must know how to adjust their grip to the club.
Holding a Driver
When preparing to shoot off the tee, start by holding the club at the base of the handle with your left hand and rotating your hand so the knuckles of the index and middle fingers are visible, as described previously. Place the right hand on the club so it’s overlapping the middle and ring fingers of the left hand. The thumb and index finger of your right hand should create a ‘V’ shape and it should line up with your sternum.
For left-handed players, follow these instructions but with your reverse hands.
Holding a Putter
When holding a putter, begin by holding the club with your outstretched left hand. Make sure the handle is lined up with the center of the hand. The placement of your right hand should be directly below the left. While there are few variations with a regular golf swing, putter grips vary hugely. They range from an overlapping grip to cross-handed and claw grips. This is why putting is a completely different skill that requires particular attention.
Again, if you’re a left-handed player, the placement of your hands should be the exact opposite.
Learning how to hold a golf club correctly is an often overlooked skill. Many inexperienced teachers mistakenly tell beginners there’s no such thing as the right golf grip. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Like any aspect of golf, practice makes perfect. At Uneekor, we believe in approaching golf with a scientific mind. There’s data in every swing and with Uneekor technology, you can practice to not only master your grip but also to master your swing.Contact Uneekor to learn more about our virtual golf simulator and begin carding lower with every golf trip.