In golf, just like almost everything else in life, we make assumptions about certain things. For instance, we assume that we know how to hold a golf club without needing anyone else to give us instruction.
I used to think the same thing about a tennis racket. I mean I grew up playing all kinds of sports and thought that, at the very least, I could hold a racket the right way. Then I remember the first time someone showed me a western grip that helps you get top spin on your shots and it changed my game.
The bottom line is do not assume that you know how to correctly hold a golf club just because you played some baseball growing up.
This tutorial will walk you through some of the different grips that are out there and some of the different ideas that exist about how to grip a golf club.
The fact that there are tutorials out there about this topic should help you realize that there is a little more to it than just gripping and ripping, and I believe that reading this article will teach you a few things about how to grip a golf club that you didn’t previously know.
Step By Step Instructions
1. Check Your Equipment
Right Grip Size
The best way to ensure you get the right grip size is to go and get fitted at a local golf shop. They will measure your hands and then help you figure out which grips are right for you. If you cannot go into a store, just search online for a store that specializes in grips and follow the directions to measure your hands. Once you input the information you will have a list of grips designed for your hands.
There is one huge advantage to going into a store for this fitting. Once your hands are measured and you know which grips are compatible with your hand size, you can then try them out. The store will have some grips in stock that you can hold, feel, and get a sense of whether or not they are the right grips for you. Doing this online is not possible and there is a much more in depth process to trying grips out prior to purchasing a new set.
Not Worn Out
As grips age, they begin to wear down. They lose their stickiness, softness, and the qualities that made them the right grip when first purchased.
If your grips begin to wear down, eventually your confidence in those grips will begin to wear down as well. We would suggest changing your grips out at the first sign of wear knowing this is a fairly inexpensive way to revive a good set of golf clubs.
Popular Grip Brands
Golf equipment, in general, has seen pretty consistent growth over past few decades which means competition is pretty fierce. That holds true for golf grips as well.
This is a great thing for golfers because competition forces price reductions on products and choices upon choices of everything from a new driver to the best gloves on the market. Certain grip brands still dominate much of the market today including Winn, Golf Pride, SuperStroke, and Lamkin.
These specific brands have seemed to distance themselves from the competition, but that does not mean that there are not other competitive brands as well.
2. Choose The Grip That Works For You
Types of Grips
While there are 3 different types of grips, the vast majority of pros use the overlapping grip and very few people use the 10 finger rip. If you have ever taken lessons or had someone informally show you how to play, they probably assumed that you would use the overlapping grip based on its popularity.
10 Finger Grip
The 10 finger grip, at least for me, goes by a much more natural name as well…The Baseball Grip. It is called the 10 finger grip because all 10 fingers touch the club or the baseball grip because you hold your club like you would hold a baseball bat. This is a very neutral grip, but it is also not a very commonly used grip. It makes it more difficult to shape shots and add spin but it can improve your power.
If you like the idea of the overlapping grip that is discussed next but want more control and connection between your hands and the club, the interlocking grip might be best. With the interlocking grip, you place the pinky of your right hand between the index and middle finger of your left. The rest of your grip is similar to the 10 finger grip discussed above.
The overlapping grip is the most common amongst people with bigger hands. To perform this grip, place the little finger of your right hand (for right handed players) between the index and middle fingers of your left overlapping those fingers. The thumb of your left hand should then fit into the grip of your right. Some people estimate that upwards of 90% of professionals use the overlapping grip otherwise known as the Vardon overlap.
3. Choose Your Grip Strength
When describing grip strength, we are going to ask you to find the “V” shape in your grip and see where those “Vs” are pointing. That simply means, when you look down at your hands, you will see a “V” shape made between your thumbs and hands. Find that shape and see where the bottom of the “V” is pointing. As a general rule, most beginners should lean towards taking a strong grip.
A weak grip sounds worse than it is. It simply when the “V” shape of your grip is pointing to the left side of your head. This type of grip usually produces an outside to inside swing and will foster a slice/fade shot shape. If you struggle with hooking the ball, try weakening your grip.
A neutral grip is by far the most widely used and the most natural feeling to most people. The “V’s” in a neutral grip will be pointing straight down. You will use a neutral grip if you hit the ball fairly straight and consistently with few swing flaws. This is the most athletic stance because you do not have tension in your hands and back and you are free to just swing. If you are trying to hit your ball long with good feel and athleticism in your stance, a neutral grip may be what you are looking for.
A strong grip is when your “V’s” point to the right side of your head. You want to move to a stronger grip if you are constantly slicing the ball or fading the ball even when you are not trying. This strong grip will help you come more from the inside out and open your clubface at impact slightly. It seems counterintuitive that an open club face at impact would help to produce a draw, but it is true, and if you are trying to draw or hook the ball consistently moving to a strong grip is the way to go.
4. Check Your Grip Tension
There seems to just be a tendency for people to want to grip their clubs like they are hanging from a 10-story building and they cannot let go.
The truth is, you want to hold your golf club with exactly the amount of pressure needed so that the club does not move and there is no tension in your arms or hands.
On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being “I’m barely touching the club” and being a “Death Grip” your grip should hover at around a 7. That tension will allow you to make every shot you need with stability and without causing any extra tension.
Final Grip Tips
- Hold the grips like you are carrying a suitcase…in your fingers rather than your palms.
- Don’t assume you know how to grip a golf club when you start out…ask for help.
- The grips that come on your clubs may not be ideal and it is ok to change them out.
- There is not an “ideal grip” in general, but there is an ideal grip for your swing.
Check out this video from Athletic Motion Golf for a great beginner’s tutorial about How To Grip a Golf Club:
Final Thought On How To Grip A Golf Club
Grips are more important than you may understand. We would strongly suggest getting fitted for them in a local shop and we would also strongly suggest working on the strength and type of grip that works best for your swing.
If you have never had anyone fit you for a grip or even really thought about the grips on your club before today, our suggestion is to find someone who can help and allow them to get you in the right grips.
We hope this has given you something to think about in terms of your golf grip. Please feel free to let us know what you learned in the comment section, and snap a closeup picture of your golf grip. Share this with your friends, and help them to understand the importance of grip in golf.