May 3rd, 2013 by Matt Keller
The grip is often one of the most important and overlooked fundamentals, and the only connection you have with the golf club, which makes it one of the most influential pieces of the golf swing. Gripping the club correctly promotes the proper movements of the swing, while gripping the club incorrectly leads to many problems throughout the swing.
When you grip the club, you will form a “V” between your index finger and thumb on both hands. The “V” on your left hand should point somewhere between your chin and right shoulder. The “V” on your right hand should also point in the same direction between your chin and right shoulder. In addition, when you look down you should see at least two knuckles on your left hand.
Allow the grip to run through your fingers and under your thumb-pad on your left hand. Be sure to grip with a light pressure. The left hand is always placed on the top of the grip and your right hand will be placed on the bottom. A good grip should be tension free. On a scale of 1 – 10, your grip pressure should not exceed 4.
Types of Grips
There are three traditional grips known as the ten-finger, interlock, and overlap grip. The following directions are intended for a right-handed golfer. A left-handed player simply needs to reverse the directions.
Many beginners, juniors, and women grip the club with a ten-finger grip. The ten-finger grip is often referred to as a “baseball grip.” Once your left hand is on the grip, place your right hand over your left thumb and underneath the left hand.
The interlocking grip requires you to cross your left index finger and right pinky. Again, place your right hand over your left thumb. Players with smaller hands often prefer the interlocking grip.
The overlapping grip requires you to place your right pinky on top of your left index finger. Similar to the other grips, your right hand will fit over your over your left thumb on the grip. Players with larger hands often prefer an overlapping grip.
Some players feel the interlocking and overlapping grips give a better feeling of the hands working cohesively throughout the swing. Be sure when you grip the club that both “V’s” formed between your thumb and index finger will point somewhere between your chin and right shoulder.
Many players start playing golf with an incorrect grip and refuse to change because it feels uncomfortable. Incorrect grips are usually either too weak or too strong.
Your grip will have a direct impact on how the clubface opens and closes throughout the swing. A weak grip makes it very difficult to square the clubface through impact. The “V’s” on a weak grip typically point left of the chin, while only one or no knuckles are visible on the left hand. Players who grip the club with a weak grip will have the ability to open the clubface and find it nearly impossible to square the club. They will typically suffer from a slice, which is a left to right ball flight.
A strong grip often closes the clubface prematurely in the swing. One or both “V” will point below the right shoulder and three to four knuckles are visible on the left hand. A strong grip often results in a hook, which is a right to left ball flight. Many players who use a strong grip also create lateral movements in the swing to compensate for their grip.
The size of the grip can be adjusted to fit a players hand. Since golfers have different sized hands, grips are available in a variety of sizes. Women’s grips are typically much smaller than a standard men’s grip. People who suffer from arthritis in their hands should use a bigger grip to provide temporary relief. A bigger grip can slow the hands through impact and leave the clubface open, while a thin grip can promote quicker hands through impact which will help close the clubface. A closed clubface will promote a draw while an open clubface will promote a fade. Check for the proper grip size by placing your left hand on the grip. The tip of your middle finger and ring finger should wrap around the grip and touch your left thumb. The grip is too small if your fingers easily wrap around the grip and touch your left thumb or too large if your fingers do not touch your left thumb.