How To Grip The Golf Club: The Definitive Guide

Dan Gold
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How To Grip The Golf Club

The Definitive Guide

First Things First: Equipment Matters

Like any sport, to begin your golfing journey, you need a few things. We've listed a few of the essentials below:

  • Golf clubs: You definitely don't want to play golf with a tennis or hockey stick… Why? For one, the golf ball will fly farther, without you having to exert as much physical energy. The second is that you can get a great feel for the club in your hand, and get used to how it feels to swing something of its weight.
  • Golf shoes: These are golf shoes, which mean that they have spikes! But they're really soft, which means you want something with a bit of dampening, otherwise you'll damage the expensive greens on your local course with your spikes.
  • Golf ball: These come in all shapes, sizes and even brands. A good rule of thumb is to ensure that the ball meets the standard set by the USGA , and that it's the right size ( 1.68 – 1.72 inches for adults).
  • Golf cart: Most people play their rounds of golf on a cart. It makes everything so much easier, and if you don't get one, your back is going to suffer for the lack of it.

How To Get Properly Fit For Your Grips

How Should The Grip Feel?

If you are right-handed, place your left hand over the grip. Your first two fingers should fit into the top of the grip. Your thumb should be comfortably wrapped around the top half of the grip. Your index finger should be pointing towards the clubhead. You will also notice that your left thumb is not fully wrapping around the grip.

In the same position, if you are left-handed, you do not want to be mirroring the right-handed golfer. Your left thumb will end up on the bottom of the grip. Place your right hand over the grip. This time, the first two fingers should fit into the top of the grip. The index finger should point towards the clubhead.

Remember:

  • Do not wrap your fingers around the grip tightly.
  • When you swing, the only place you should be feeling your grip is on the palm of your left hand.

The Top Hand

The top hand is the dominant hand and the one you should be exerting most pressure.

Make a fist, the bottom hand should be completely encased in the top hand with no gaps.

Golfers who use this grip usually have stronger top hand action than bottom hand.

The top hand should be placed further up the golf club than the bottom hand.

For example, if your hands are the same size, the top hand should be placed higher on the golf club than the bottom hand.

Place your thumb on the top of the golf club and wrap the fingers around the handle. This is the most common of all golf grips.

If the bottom of the top finger can comfortably rest on the base of the index finger, the hands are almost at the same level.

If the top of the thumb can reach the top of the index finger, the top hand has a slight advantage.

The Anchor

The number one component of the grip is the way in which we anchor it. It is the anchor of the grip that makes the other components of the grip work.

Properly anchoring the grip to insure consistency is a very simple process, yet surprisingly very few players actually do it consistently.

Consistency in anchoring should start from your grip size. Look at your hand size.

If you find that your palms aren’t easily fitting in your current grip size, then get a thicker grip. This is often the case for players whose palms are larger than the average.

Next, look at how you position your left hand when you anchor your left hand. If you’re right hand dominant, then position your left so that the webbing is facing upward towards the sky. Or use the back of your left hand to anchor the palm of your right.

When anchoring, try not to overlap your fingers or your index finger with the middle finger. This will create a lot of extra tension and generally make the golf club feel uncomfortable. Anchoring with the webbing upward is the most popular.

Also while anchoring, make sure that your left index finger extended parallel to your right palm, and is rested against the top of the grip.

Are Your Fingers Strong Enough?

It is critical that your grip pressure with each club be appropriate for the amount of swing speed you produce. Because if not, your timing and rhythm will be affected, and that will ultimately prevent you from executing with precision.

With this in mind, you need to impress upon yourself that it is super important for you to have a firm enough grip during your backswing; otherwise, you’ll find that your timing is messed up and you’ll suffer dearly as a result.

Natural Is Best

Here’s what I say. If holding the club like that feels comfortable and natural to you, then it probably is.

I’ve seen and tried most of the unorthodox grip variations out there (there are dozens of them) and the grips that work best for me are the ones I’m most familiar with.

I’m not a robot, everything in my body moves, so when I grip the golf club I take my hand, lay it on top of my left forearm and the handle of the club goes in between my thumb and index finger.

The club touches my thumb, so I feel it’s there but at the same time I can easily take my thumb out of the way at address. The club rests in my natural grip (not a mirror grip). This is what works best for me.

After you’ve found your natural grip, from time to time challenge yourself to make adjustments to your grip and try to find a variation that matches your natural grip.

The Bottom Hand

Much of the power in your swing comes from your lower body, and so it makes sense that you spend most of your time thinking about it. It’s also the only way to position the club to get the best angle for the top of your backswing. If it’s not at the right angle, the club will fly open and cause you to hit a slice, and there’s only so much you can do with your hands to compensate for that.

Grip the club with your lower hand just off the base of your index finger. Your foreknuckle should face away from your target, with the thumb pointing down your left arm.

The fundamentals of gripping the golf club will sound familiar to any golfer. Keeping the grip hand in a relatively firm position will help to prevent any unwanted movement of the club on the backswing. As the club starts to move back toward you, the grip hand should remain relatively still. It might flex slightly as the clubhead moves away, but it shouldn’t pinch down as it did on the backswing.

That’s the key to the rotation that allows you to swing your arms freely through the ball. When you accelerate through impact, the club will extend away from you. Let it fly. You want to avoid any attempt to slow it down.

Pressure Points Matter Here, Too

If you are the type of person who loves to spend time out on the golf course, but you don’t take the time to improve your game, then you are missing out on a lot of fun.

If you want to improve your game and be able to enjoy the game more, realize that in addition to learning the basics of the game, you also need to take time to work on your swing. The grip is one of the most important parts of the swing.

Here are the fundamental elements of a good golf grip. It’s a three-part process.

Bringing It All Together

Grip is so important in golf. You know what happens if you lose it: you lose the ability to hit the ball well. If you can't put the club in the correct place, you can't achieve a proper swing with an effective follow-through. And that means you lose control of the ball!

How to grip the golf club comes first. Once you have the grip right, it allows everything else to fall into place. You will have a good grip and you will be able to swing the club correctly.

The grip is critical for consistency.

The Right Grip

Think "thumb to forefinger". It is the most critical part of the grip. If you don't have the right grip, you are not going to have the right swing.

The grip is very important to rhythm. When you have the right grip, you have the right rhythm.

It doesn't matter if you are a player who has a great swing but isn't consistent. Without the right grip, you won't be consistent.

It doesn't matter if you are a player who has a great swing but isn't consistent. Without the right grip, you won't be consistent.

The right grip uses the left hand to monitor the placement of the club in the strike zone. In your mind you are always setting up for impact even though you aren't hitting the ball.

Which Configuration Is Right for You?

Golf grip size differs depending on the type of golf club you use.

For instance, the hybrid club is small and has a grip that is close to the handle.

On the other hand, bulky drivers have a gap between the grip and the handle.

How can you determine your ideal club grip size?

The easiest way is to take a tape measurement.

Be sure to ensure that it’s done at the middle finger.

The standard sizing is:

==> Men’s 15.5mm … Women 13.5mm

==> Senior Men 15.0mm … Senior Women 13.0mm

==> Junior Boys 14.5mm … Junior Girls 12.5mm

Men with small hands may need a smaller size. This is especially true for smaller-diameter grips.

At the same time, those with larger hands can do well with larger options. It’s all a matter of personal preference and comfort.

As a general guide, those with bigger hands will do well with standard size grips. Those with smaller hands will want to try a smaller size grip.

The Right Feel and Grip Pressure

A perfect starting point for learning how to grip the golf club is to understand the feeling of correct grip pressure.

The right feeling is neither too firm nor too soft but just the perfect balance.

To find out if you have the right grip pressure, you must make sure that the circumference of your hand is fitted over the golf club freely without any tension.

To check for the right grip pressure, hold the golf club with your left hand.

Now, place the fingers of your right hand on top of your left hand.

If you are able to slide your right hand over your gripping hand be it forward, backward, or to the sides, then your grip is too loose.

This allows the club to move around and make contact with the ball at various places leading to inconsistent results.

If you can’t slide your right hand over your gripping hand, then the grip is too tight and restricting.

A too tight grip will cause the palm of the hand to wrap around the grip which will alter the position of the rest of the palm and fingers.

The finger alignment is critical for controlling the club.

When a grip is too tight, the fingers get bunched up and unable to maintain alignment leading to faulty results.

Some Thoughts:

If you’re a beginner, it is best to start with a grip that is on the tighter side.

From Strong to Weak: Which One is For You?

There are 3 basic grips that you can use. They use two fingers, three fingers, and two or three fingers. Although using the correct grip is essential in playing golf, it is important to know which type to choose.

For some, using two fingers is preferred. For others, three fingers is the best. So which should you choose?

You should choose the grip that is suited to you and which makes you feel comfortable. Basically, any grip that works and feels natural and comfortable will suffice.

Someone with large hands for example will probably prefer using three fingers as that will provide a secure hold of the club and most likely the club will be easier to control. However, your grip will not be as comfortable as it would be if you had a smaller set of hands and three fingers would be too much.

A set of smaller hands and more fingers may make it tough to grip the golf club in one hand and control it properly. You’re probably thinking of the two finger grip. If you have small hands and are about to grip the club in one hand then your palm would likely cover the face of the club, which in turn will make it hard for you to control it.

On the other hand, if you have giant hands, gripping the club with two fingers means that the palm would not cover the face of the club. The club face would be quite exposed, making it easy to control your shot.

Practicing Your Grip and Common Pitfalls

If you are just learning how to play golf, you’ve come to the right place. Learning a proper golf grip can make or break your game.

We’re going to cover the three most common grip styles, each with its own purpose and benefits.

The overlapping grip is the most popular among beginners. It is simple to learn and intuitive to most golfers. Most golfers who tour on the professional level use this grip style.

The interlocking grip is great for golfers who have problems with flighting their shots. It is said that this style helps flight your shots lower and longer.

The baseball grip is the oldest style. It is hard to hold and allows very little control of your swing. Luckily, it is very uncommon and used only by a few old school golfers.

But wait, you’re not just learning three styles, you’re also learning to grip the golf club right. Let’s go over the seven common pitfalls to avoid when learning how to grip the club:

The Most Common Misconception About the Grip

One of the most common misconceptions about the grip is that it is the best way to restore the golf swing to its former glory. The belief that grip is the answer is so prevalent that many school systems encourage their golf players to seek out a professional golf coach to resolve their swing problems. I don’t blame the teachers, because they are encouraged by their own instructors to recommend grip correction because that it’s the only thing they know.

I don’t think a grip adjustment is the most effective way to resolve a swing problem. Typically what a junior golfer needs is more of a fundamental fix, more range of motion, more body rotation, or more stability.