The Golf Grip
There are many aspects of the golf swing that hold more fascination for struggling club golfers than the golf grip. Swing plane, pronation, supination, re-routing, downswing transition, leg drive, and hip resistance on the back swing are some of the more elaborate theories investigated by golfers who habitually slice or hook.
Yet more often than not the real cause of wayward shots lie in the way a golfer places their hands on the club. So before a golfer starts making extreme changes to their swing mechanics, they should first simplify their golf swing technique by making sure the grip is correct.
In this article we will cover the three main golf grips which should help you to decide which is the most appropriate for your style of play.
- Interlocking Grip
- Vardon Overlap Grip
- Baseball Grip
The most common of the grips today is the interlocking grip. It is called this because the little finger of the right hand interlocks with the index finger of the left hand (see fig1).
This grip is the main choice of many of the golfers on the PGA tour including Tiger Woods, Colin Montgomery and Jack Nicholas. One of the reasons it is so popular is that it is believed to be ideal for those with smaller hands and fingers because it literally locks the hands together allowing them to work as a single unit to improve the control of the club.
I have personally used this grip for the past 10 years or so and have found it be the best one of the three covered in this article. When I first tried this grip it was the most uncomfortable grip I could imagine using but over time it has become second nature up to the point that I even use a similar style when putting.
Vardon Overlap Grip
The majority of coaches today will teach this as the preferred method for gripping a golf club. The grip was first pioneered by Harry Vardon at the turn of the century where he went on to win 6 British Open Championships.
This is grip makes use of the same principal as the interlocking grip does in that it enables both hands to work as a single unit. For a right-hander, take hold of the club with the left or lead hand, then position the right or trailing hand with the little finger lying on the join between the forefinger and second finger of the lead hand.
Again, this may seem alien at first but after some practice it will become second nature. I know several players who having recently switched to this grip have managed to significantly lower their handicaps so it does work.
The Baseball Grip
The baseball grip is the final variation I will cover in this article.
This grip is also known as the 10-fingered grip because, as the name suggest, all ten fingers are in contact with the grip of the club and as a result is the one coaches tend to avoid. This being said it does have some advantages with the main one being the comfort factor, I have just tried this using a couple of different clubs and it is by far the most comfortable of the three grips, feeling the most natural. Handy if you suffer from arthritis or another form of joint discomfort
There are however several disadvantages to using this grip, the main one is the additional weakness in the right hand which often leads to a hook with longer clubs (woods, 3 and 4 irons). If you do develop a hook then strengthening the right hand will typically convert your hook into a slight draw.
To make use of this type of grip, then simply pick the club up and hold it like you would a baseball bat with both of your thumbs aiming directly down the shaft of the club in order to keep the club face square to the ball on contact (see fig left).
To conclude, regardless of the grip you choose to use remember the following:
Always ensure that the 'V-shapes' created when gripping the club are both pointing between your back shoulder (the one furthest from your target) and your chin.
Following this simple tip will ensure your hands are in the best position to make the cleanest contact with the ball.
I hope this article has been of some use and if you have any comments please feel free to leave them below :-)