Proper Golf Grip: The Basics

VD January 01 2022

The grip is the part of the golf club with which the player is in direct contact and which gives him the feeling of holding the club in his hands. A good grip of the golf club is important in order to feel comfortable as a player during the game. It is also important for the player to learn and practice a proper golf grip in order to keep the involved muscles as relaxed as possible and thus be able to send the right signals from his brain via those muscles to his hand, which will result in a good swing.

From the baseball handle to the interlocking handle to the overlapping handle, there are so many types of golf grips. Read here how to hold the golf club correctly.

The importance of the right golf grip

The golf grip is extremely important as an incorrect grip can lead to:

  • The golf club does not hit the golf ball properly despite a clean golf swing.
  • The golfer locks his wrists, preventing an optimal golf swing.
  • The golfer experiences pain in his palms and wrists on a long round of golf.

Beginners in particular tend to be very tough. However, this not only means that the pain described occurs, but also that the player hardly has the opportunity to receive helpful feedback from the racket. This is really unfortunate because of the consequences outlined above.

What is meant is: Whoever grabs too hard will hardly be able to feel whether a ball has been hit too far on the edge or exactly right - namely in the middle of the clubface. If you don't get this feedback, it will be difficult to improve your game.

In addition to the putter grip, there are three golf grips that have become popular over the years. Which grip you use is ultimately a matter of taste and opinion, and of course also a matter for the golf instructor who teaches the grip.

The ideal golf grip: an overview

The following applies to all of the various types of grips listed here:

Grip pressure should be light and relaxed with the hands. The right grip pressure ensures that the player does not tense up or get blisters on his palms during a round of golf.

The grip should be firm enough to enable a clean transfer of energy from the upper body via the arms and hands to the club.

The thumb and index finger as well as middle finger and ring finger should not wrap around the handle too far - otherwise, tension will arise that is hard to shake off. The right way: place the thumb and index finger as far on the grip as you need to feel comfortable.

Holding golf clubs: What applies to all golf grips

No matter which of the three following grips you choose, a golf club is always placed in the fingers of the lead hand. The lead hand for right-handers is the left hand. 

The grip is stabilized from above with the ball of the hand. The club is not grasped with the palm of the hand (e.g. when holding a torch or when holding onto a pole in the bus), but with the fingers and the ball of the hand.

Holding the golf club 

A small cavity is created between the golf club and the palm of the hand at the level of the index finger. After closing the hand, the thumb rests on top of the bat, slightly to the right of the center. If you look at the hand from above, a “V” has formed between your thumb and forefinger. This “V” points to the right shoulder. Ideally, only two knuckles can be seen from this perspective.

If you now hold the club in front of you, the lower edge of the club must point vertically upwards, i.e. parallel to the shaft. If this is not the case, you can turn the club with your free right hand until everything is correct.

The golf grips differ in the way in which the right hand (the freehand) is connected to the left hand. As with the left hand, the same applies here: The handle of the racket lies between the fingers and the ball of the hand. The right hand not only encloses the club, but also the thumb of the left hand.

There are now three ways (three golf grips) to connect the two hands.

1. Baseball handle grip

With the baseball grip - also known as the ten-finger grip - the right hand is placed directly on the left hand. Both hands are touching, but are otherwise not connected or crossed in any way. This is also described as the ten-finger grip, as the club is gripped by all fingers.

Who is this golf grip for?

This grip is suitable for golfers who do not put so much power behind the ball, e.g. B. especially young players. Players who use a different grip on the fairway sometimes use the baseball grip in the high rough, as the power transmission works particularly well with this grip variant. 

Otherwise, average adult players are not advised to use the baseball grip, since the right hand will become too dominant.

2. Interlocking handle grip

Interlocking golf grip “Interlocking” means something like interlocking or nesting. Correspondingly, with the interlocking grip, the little finger of the right hand is interlaced with the index and middle finger of the left hand.

Who is this golf grip for?

In general, the interlocking grip is recommended for golfers who tend to have smaller hands and can access it with less force. However, you can see the handle every now and then on the professionals, for example at Tiger Woods. 

There are some golf instructors who teach this grip to students with average-sized hands.

3. Overlapping handle grip

The overlapping grip is perhaps the most popular. The little finger of the right hand is placed in the notch between the index finger and middle finger of the left hand (not crossed, as with the interlocking grip).

Who is this golf grip for?

Many golfers find the overlapping grip particularly pleasant. Especially players with longer fingers get along better with the overlapping grip than with the interlocking handle.

Which grip is the best one?

You have to find out for yourself which golf grip is best for which golfer. There is no such thing as the right golf grip. A few practice strokes on the driving range will bring clarity.

How to improve your golf grip

  • Apply constant pressure to the club: This point is particularly crucial. Many amateur golfers tend to loosen their hands after the shot, which often leads to inaccuracy and loss of strength. Applying constant pressure to the club ensures that this does not happen.
  • Put your left hand lower: Have you ever heard that pros sometimes put their left hand even below the grip of the golf club? This little trick greatly reduces slices and provides a better ball flight. It can be helpful for amateurs as well - if they follow the instructions and only use it on selected shots, such as drives where too much slice or fade is present. Of course, pro players can perfectly handle such shots with their strong arms. The same applies to beginners who try to achieve too much with this method and their wrists' breakthrough after impact...
  • Use your hips: Many amateur golfers tend to bend over during the and do not allow their hips to do the work. A trick: You would like to make a strong, straight, and long drive. Then you should let your hips rotate and swing the club with them - through impact and towards the ball.
  • Switch hands: This is not only an interesting exercise for practicing pros, but also for amateurs who want to improve their ball flight control. Switching golf grip between left hand and right during the swing is one way to do this..
  • Think of the handle like a tube of toothpaste: If you press too hard, you are too stiff and you will "crush" the club - much like a tube of toothpaste - and if you let the grip too loose it will twist or slip out of your hands.  

A neutral grip is the easiest way to keep the clubface square when you serve. The world's best golfers use a neutral grip because it allows them to maintain the natural position of their forearms while standing, with the clubface squarely in front of the ball. 

When you let your arms hang down and your hands together, you assume the posture you should be while grasping. A grip that is too weak or too strong can alter your forearms and, more importantly, prevent the clubface from hitting its natural square at the moment of impact. In addition, a grip that is too strong or one that is too weak may cause many of the most common faults in the golf swing. When you hold a club, you should avoid having it slip from your hand and never let the ball slide up the handle – this will lead to an enormous loss of power.

The modern, popularized styles of holding a golf club require a player's hands to be placed on opposite sides of the shaft either directly adjacent (as with those who put their index finger on top) or nearly so (as with those who put their index finger on or near but not directly across from the other two fingers).