How to Properly Grip a Golf Club (Tutorial)

Dan Gold
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How to hold golf grip for beginners (in 2 Easy Steps)

Golf grip is the most important component of every golfer’s tool kit. Learning how to hold the golf club handle right is a key factor in improving your power, shot management, and accuracy. While there are several ways to hold golf club, all of which are effective in their own way, the most common way to hold the golf club is the handshake-grip. Let’s take a look at the two-step process that will make you an expert at holding the club handle the right way.

Step 1: Take your dominant hand (the right hand if you’re a right-handed player and vice-versa) and make a fist.

Step 2: Now make an opening in the middle of the fist. Set the golf grip in the opening created earlier.

The thumb should naturally fall on top of the golf grip leaving the index and middle finger to rest below the grip.

The rest of the fingers should be slightly below the neck of the golf club.

Another easy way to remember the correct placement of the golf grip is to hold the golf club handle as if you’re holding a tennis racket.

The grip should be set in between the fingers and the thumb (as shown in the image).

Step 1: lead hand placement

Place your lead hand (left hand for right handed golfers) on top of the club. Next, slip your ring finger and pinkie into the space between the grip and shaft.

This step is to create stability for the rest of your hand.

Make sure that the first joint of your lead hand is in the center of the grip.

Grip pressure needs constant adjusting and is the most overlooked part of your golf game. With good grip pressure, everything else will work on the course.

More importantly, if your grip is too weak, you hand will tend to move around and make it difficult to create a consistent swing.

Step 2: Trail hand placement

After you center your hands on top of the club, you’re ready to move them around. In the tour setting, the lead hand will be placed lower on the grip than the trail hand.

The trail hand should then be placed a considerable amount of space away from the lead hand (intentionally due to your preference, not because its too wide).

The spacing used in tour school is usually about 1 thumb width away from each other.

Placing your hands evenly on top of the club is important for a few reasons.

First, it will make your grip easier to maintain, and it will help keep the club face balanced over the hitting surface.

Second, by placing your hands evenly on top of the grip, you won’t be tempted to choke up on the lead hand. If you do, it will prohibit balanced weight distribution around the club face.

Lastly, stroking the golf ball out of the middle of the club will put the ball in the middle of the club. If you’re focusing on hitting the ball out of the middle of the club, then it’s important that your hands be in the middle of the grip.

Strong vs. Weak Grip Debate

The first thing you need to know is the difference between the strong and weak grip.

The strong grip position involves having the lead hand (the one closer to the club head) in a position that is closed to the body and the back hand is extended. The weak grip involves the opposite; the lead hand is extended away from the body and the back hand is closed to the body.

To determine which grip is best for you, try placing your lead hand on your hip and your back hand across your chest.

Is your hand in line with your shoulder? If so, you should be using a strong grip. If your hand is angled away from the body, try using a weak grip instead.

The reason why the strong grip was more popular for a long time than the weak grip comes down to how the swing was viewed, with the lead arm seen as the primary power source. This is why a strong grip produced a stronger back swing.

However, a recent study from the National Sports Science Institute found that this is no longer the case. With newer technology and equipment, the grip type does not impact the power, length or width of the swing.

We recommend you to try both to find out which you are more comfortable with. The main difference between the two is that a strong grip results in a club head that is at an angle to the ground while the weak grip produces a vertical angle between the club head and the ground.

Strong Grip

Golf clubs are strong and very flexible. So you should hold it strongly to keep it under control.

You should hold the club tightly with all your fingers and thumbs, leaving just the little finger and the ring finger with little strength since they are your weakest fingers in flexing and gripping.

Take note that your thumb should be on the bottom part of the grip even if it’s tall. This is different from other grips since the first three fingers are flat and the last two are spread apart.

This way, the bottom of the grip will be on top of the bottom of the thumb while your fingers that are holding the top part of the grip will be on top of the three bottom fingers.

Hold the grip loosely between your thumb and the middle finger. Keep the grip curved with your fingers.

Weak Grip

A weak grip is the result of the left hand relaxing when it is around the shaft of the club. The left hand needs to be relaxed but not completely limp. It is imperative that the left hand continues to grip the club throughout the entire swing.

Consequently, you need to focus on making sure that your grip is secure and does not loosen in order to make the swing accurate and powerful.

Having a weak grip is one of the main reasons why many golfers have a tough time hitting the ball straight. Most golfers with a weak grip practice a swing that is straight up and down.

This means that the club is traveling straight to the ball and the golf ball only spins one way. In addition, the same problems that people with a weak grip face off the course are the same ones that will occur on the course.

3 Techniques to ensure you have a neutral grip

If you’ve been golfing for any length of time, I’m also sure you’ve heard someone talk about pronation.

For those that do not know, pronation is when the inside of the right hand turns downward.

A lot of golfers will turn their hands either a little too much or a little too little toward pronation and this could lead to improper wrist alignment, which would then prevent you from achieving a good backswing.

I’ve also noticed that most golfers have too strong of a grip on the handle of the golf club. This does not allow you to have a smooth swing and it is just very hard on both your hands and your shoulder.

Other causes that disrupt proper pronation are a grip that is too weak or too strong, too much pressure on the palm in the palm up position and too much outside wrist pressure.

Technique 1

Closed or Stamped-up-and-down Grip

This grip is the simplest way to play a long drive. It is the most common grip and allows you to hit right down the middle of the fairway to hit the flag.

You should start from what’s called a “baseball grip.” Hold the grip with your left hand first. Grip the club portion as if you’re doing a baseball swing.

The butt of the club should be up by your shoulder and your thumb should be arched backward on the top of the grip.

Now, put your right hand on the grip.

Hook your index finger on the top of the grip and put your ring finger on the top of your left thumb.

You should grip the club harder with your left hand than with the right to give you more control.

At the top of your golf swing you should make a “V” with your thumb and index finger.

You can accomplish this grip in three different ways. You can:

  • Stamp your right hand flat on the top of the grip;
  • Put your right hand on the top of the grip and pull; or

Press your thumb onto the top of the grip.

Technique 2

The second Vardon Grip, sometimes called the Open-Vardon or Modified-Vardon grip, is critical to your game. In this grip, the pinkie finger is the only finger that wraps around the grip.

The palm of the hand rests on top of the grip. The remaining three fingers are under the grip and should be relaxed.

In this grip, the driver will be properly controlled and the ball will be struck with the correct amount of speed to maximize distance. The Vardon grip is the most common grip for engraving and allows for the least dispersion (sway) of the clubface when hitting the ball.

Technique 3

The One-Hander Grip

The one-hander is called such because it requires using just the lead hand. The opposite hand is used only for balance.

The one-hander is best suited for long shots because it helps the golfer perform a smooth swing. This grip can also help you maintain focus on the moment.

A study revealed that golfers who used a one-hander performed better in tournaments than those who used a two-hander. The longer the exposure of the one-hander grip, the better they perform.

It is absolutely essential for the lead hand on the club to wrap around the handle. When you have the correct grip, the handle of the club should be on its way to the extension of your left arm.

How Should A Neutral Grip Help You?

A neutral grip just means that the club is positioned in front of the hands without you having your thumb wrap around it.

This grip style has helped a lot of players (successful and amateur alike) to control their shots better.

Does this mean that the traditional grip is just a myth and that you should go with the neutral grip in order to achieve your potential as a golf player?

Well, it’s not that simple.

Grip plays a particular part in the success of a golf player. And yet, a golfer who shoots under par can have a completely different grip than another who shoots over par.

The bottom line is that the neutral grip is certainly helpful in some way. But it’s not the right choice for all. There are golfers who use it, and there are golfers who use the traditional grip.

For those who are going with the neutral grip, there are some things you can do to help your chances of success. And for those who are going with the traditional grip, it’s best to pick your stick the right way.

Golf Grip Styles

The golf grip is an extremely important aspect of the golf swing. A proper grip style that is tailored to your height and strength will help to deliver powerful and consistent shots.

A proper grip allows you to create a distinctly complete swing. It positions your hands in such a way that they act as a pivot and allow you to turn easily through the ball.

Grip styles are part of what is known as the golf swing key. From a distance, you can observe the key and determine will not only which golf grip might work for you, but also what kind of swing you should have.

Four of the most common golf grip styles for beginners include the Vardon, interlocking grip, baseball grip, and 10 finger grip. Although each grip is unique, all of them work in basically the same way.

The kind of grip you choose will be largely dependent on what feels the best for your body. Experienced golfers typically attempt to learn how to change their grips and adapt out of necessity. There are, however, some pros and cons to each style that you should carefully consider before choosing one.

Baseball Grip or Ten Finger Grip

The difference between grip and choking, you need to know, is an approved ten finger grip (three-five-one finger grip) vs an illegal death grip.

The three-five-one finger grip places your fingers in a V-shape while the death grip wedge blocks the top of your index finger. The death grip grip can cause the baseball player to squeeze his or her hand which can result in a ball jump, a reduced follow-through and cramping, which is not good for baserunners.

A player might be thinking to place his or her hand on the baseball at the end of the finishing and consider the top of the baseball and the top of the index finger is at the end of the finishing.

As a batter or a baserunner, you need to fit your hand comfortably around the end of the baseball. The ball does not fit into an indent on your palm.

Here are three simple steps for a proper baseball grip.

Overlap Grip or Vardon Grip

Another term often used when describing grip posture is the amount of grip pressure (also called hand pressure). Beginners are often told to grip the club lightly as if they were shaking hands with the club. Once you have developed a rhythm, grip pressure can be varied based on the type of swing, club, or pitch. The overlap grip is most often seen in the golf professional ranks and used when the body is more open to the target. The grip pressure is moderate when the body is open. The Vardon grip is the other main grip posture and often described as a ten finger grip. The grip pressure is high when the body is open. The Vardon Grip is generally used when the body is closed or square to the target.

The overlap and Vardon grip should not be used interchangeably because neither is more correct or optimal than the other. Both of these grips provide the same exact grip pressure, hand width, and hand position at address. The difference lies in the orientation of the hands to the club.

Interlocking Grip

Which Golf Grip Styles You Should Use?

Since 1894, when the "Vardon Overlapping Grip" was first used by Harry Vardon to win The Open Championship, this method has dominated the world of golf. It has been the grip style of choice for legends such as Bobby Jones, Walter Hagen, Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, and Jack Nicklaus.

It requires two hands placed at the same level on top of the shaft. Both hands will then overlap each other on the shaft with each thumb placed in front and on top of the index finger. Golfers achieve this position by bringing the right hand towards the left hand, creating a "V" between your two hands.

The Vardon overlapping grip is the easiest and most popular way to grip a golf club because this grip style allows golfers to keep the left hand in place and wind up for a high-speed shot. It is particularly useful for players who use a slight forward press during their backswing.

However, this grip style should only be used by golfers with a Western or Semi-Western Release. If you have an Eastern or Semi-Eastern release, or you don't know what type of release you have, avoid this grip style and opt for another.

The ultimate recommendation for grip position

Is the one that feels best for YOU.

Every golfer is unique in apposition and body build which is why each of us should experiment with what is more comfortable for us hand position.

Keep in mind that our grips can get wet and dry out during play, for that reason, you must be ready to adjust your grip position accordingly.

You will need to consider your flexibility and how your body is positioned throughout the swing.

You should be able to maintain a full, flat left wrist throughout your swing. Proper grip should allow you to keep your wrist forming a V during the swing.

A grip that makes it plainly obvious that you are trying to lift the club up quickly is not ideal.

You should be able to get an easy, full extension with the V shape feeling on top of the club that will stay there until the finish of the swing.

A natural grip is ideal, avoid an under-grip which might lead to an open face,or an over-grip which might lead to a shut face during impact.

Most golfers play best with a fairly neutral grip.

Relax your hands and wrists, it will help you keep the V feeling through impact.

Relax your hands and wrist and avoid an over-grip or an under-grip.

The Shortcut For Golf Grip

There are many ways to grip a golf club. The most common grip is a 10 finger grip. The hands are placed as if you were holding a basketball.

You basically hold the club in your hands. Each set of fingers is responsible for its own part of the grip. To hold the club properly, there are certain rules your fingers have to follow:

Start with closed pinky To the left of your forefinger, there should be about a thumb length between your pinky and the club shaft. Open your ring finger Ring finger rests behind middle finger. Middle finger is tucked in behind ring finger. Wrap the index finger around the small knob On the left of your ring finger, you will see a small knob on the club called the index knob. You now have to wrap your index finger around it until it almost wraps around the knob!

You can also use a power grip. It has almost the same meaning but your thumb is placed on top of the club instead of below.

What grip is more effective? That’s up for debate.

Golf grip training aid

Seniors suffer from mobility and balance issues, which makes a correct golf grip that much more important for them.

The right grip will translate into the most efficient use of the arms in swing, an efficient transfer of energy to the fingers and digits.

Generally, both hands can use the same golf grip, but this is more of a generalized approach. Every golfer is different.

You should seek to hold the club in a grip that feels more than comfortable. It is advisable to get properly informed of the types of grips and find the one that is best for you.

The individual hand should be placed over the contours of the club handle. If you don’t, it’ll be a lot more difficult to swing the club properly.

A bad grip affects your swing. You won’t get the right tempo, you’ll probably in over your head, and you are likely to hit the ball too hard.

Here are some helpful tips to improve your grip and to make sure you’re getting the most out of your swing.

Play catch with a tennis ball. The sport is a lot of fun as well as a fine form of exercise. Playing catch is a great way to get your arms warm and your grip accustomed to feeling a ball.