Beginning golfers seem to love the saying, “Grip it and rip it,” when they approach a golf shot. Many get the “rip it” part down fairly quickly; but the “grip it” part, well, that can take some figuring out. What many novice players fail to realize is that the grip is one of the most fundamentally important aspects to the game and to creating solid contact. Applying the correct grip will result in better golf shots and an increased confidence when addressing the ball.
After selecting what club you want to hit, it’s time to employ one of the three common grips in golf, which are overlapping, interlocking, and the baseball grip. You should choose the one that is most comfortable for you, but also the one that is the most effective for your game. Each grip starts the same way, but the difference is in the finger placement around the back of the club. Here is a breakdown of each grip:
1. Overlapping Grip
The overlapping grip is the most common of the three grips. As with any proper grip, it starts by lying the club handle diagonally across the palm of the left hand (if you are right-handed). Then you place your right hand lower down the club and wrap the fingers around the back. This is where the pinky finger on your right hand will overlap, or stack on top of, the index finger of your left hand. This technique creates a solid seal that ensures the club won’t move in your hands as you take it into the backswing, which in turn creates better ball-striking because the club head will be square at impact every time. Even if the grip feels comfortable at first, be sure to waggle the club back and forth and take some practice swings to test it out before you address the ball.
2. Interlocking Grip
Although slightly less popular than the overlapping, the interlocking grip is another widely accepted grip in golf. It is very similar to the overlapping in many respects, but there is one major difference. Instead of the right pinky overlapping the left index finger, the two actually will hook together. This is another strong grip that doesn’t have to be applied with much force to create a firm hold on the club. Golfers with smaller hands are often advised to use this grip technique to establish control of the club throughout the swing motion. This grip is the most popular among women golfers.
3. Baseball Grip
For players new to the game, this is the go-to grip simply because it doesn’t require any instruction. It is a grip known to most people because it is the same grip used when playing baseball. You simply wrap your right hand around the back of the club just below the left without overlapping or interlocking. This simple style is popular among children and players just starting out who simply want to focus on making contact before learning the advanced mechanics of the golf swing. It can be effective grip for some golfers who prefer the feel of all ten fingers on the back of the club. This is also why the grip is sometimes referred to as the “ten finger grip.”
Make sure to try out each grip to find the one that’s right for you. Hit some practice shots while applying each one and discover your preference; then take it to the course. When you adopt a new grip, it usually takes some getting used to. You might not have success right away, but stick with it. Once you adapt to the grip and get comfortable, you will see your scores drop and your confidence grow.