Using a Long or a Short-left Thumb Grip: The Ultimate Choice?

Enrique Martínez Luque March 03 2023

The debate of either using a short-left thumb grip or a long-left thumb grip is as old as the game of golf itself. From experts to beginners, this debate has got participants from all golf classes trying to come to a common point and end up with some solid result. Let us try to do the very same today.

Selecting the right grip in golf

Selecting the right grip in golf is important. Unlike many other sports, the way you will be regarded as a player in golf totally depends upon your skills with the gold stick and nothing else. So automatically, the right grip can differentiate your rank among the pro and beginner players.

The important thing to note in this regard is that there is no hard and fast rule that determines whether one grip will be suitable for you or not. It all depends upon the grip that suits you very best and what feels more comfortable during execution.

The long-left thumb grip

Starting from the perhaps most commonly used left thumb grip in golf throughout the globe. The main way to identify a long-left thumb grip is by examining the placement of the thumb. The left thumb will be extended way downward than the rest of the grip. You can also remember this by the fact that a long-left thumb grip is the exact opposite of a finger grip.

The left thumb will be the most prominent figure in the whole grip putting the rest of the finger in a spot where you can't identify them easily. The knuckles of the golfer will also be lying flat.


The left thumb will be greatly extended in such a way that it will become the main spotlight of the grip instead of the finger grips. The knuckles of the golfer won't be visible either, making it super easy to be identifiable even by beginner-level golfers.

The most prominent feature of this grip is its ability to allow the golfer to get a lead for all fingers of the hand with an extended long thumb giving support. This kind of grip allows the hinge-based shots quite easy from the top of the club.

Flexibility index

The flexibility index of the long left thumb grip is quite positive, considering that you will be able to use all fingers for the shot. This allows you to get the maximum output movement from your grip as well. The flexibility index also makes the long left thumb grip a great way to execute tricky shots considering that the thumb will be extended for support as well.

However, it is important to note here that it is not easy to master the long-left thumb grip if you are a total beginner. This gripping pattern requires a lot of practice to master.

The short-left thumb grip

Contrary to the long-left thumb grip, the short-left thumb grip marks a more convenient and easy-to-grip pattern that can be mastered no matter what level of the game you are on. The most prominent way of identifying a short-left thumb grip is the position of the left thumb itself. The left thumb will be way more contracted than the long-left thumb grip.

This will automatically put the finger grip on the front, putting the thumb at the back. This makes the whole support system from the thumb at the back end a great way to generate more power.


The most prominent feature will be the grip shape itself. The thumb will be contracted and in the back end with the rest of the finger grip at the front and most visible, in fact. The knuckles of the golfer will be more diagonal than straight allowing the golfer to have a more aggressive look.

The main pro of having a short left-thumb grip is its ability to put the knuckle-based grip on the front allowing the golfer to exert much more force on hitting the ball than putting effort in maintaining the strike angle first.

Flexibility index

The flexibility index of the short-left thumb grip is positive, but only if you want to strike the ball with a more aggressive approach. The whole point of the short thumb grip is about the way you can generate more power with less effort put into the power hitting.

But the important thing to note here is that a short grip is not easy to master. You will be able to generate more force, but precision is something that you may struggle with in the long run without any solid practice. So better to start practicing your preferred grip from the very start.

Can club grip influence your game?

Of course, it can. Golf is a game that is completely influenced by the fact that whether or not you have the right and suitable grip to make or not. If the grip is loose or not flexible enough, you won’t be able to generate enough strength to make an impactful shot. 

If the grip is simply too stiff or isn't flexible at all, your ability to direct the ball will be influenced. In either case, the grip of the golf club will determine if your shot is going to be a piece of art or just another fat/thin shot.

Practice makes a man practice!

There is no other way to become a great golf player other than focusing on your grip skills and practicing certain shots from time to time. In the end, the ones who are labeled as the greats of the game are just the players who practice more than anyone around with the mindset of a champion.

But the practice must be goal oriented as well. You need to make a proper evaluation of how you are progressing and what kind of shots you are great at. Can't forget to mention the whole procedure to select the right grip.

Final Note

In the end, it is totally up to you to go with either a long left thumb grip or a short left thumb grip. Remember to go with the grip that suits you best and allows you to be flexible with it as well. Practice is all that is takes to become a great game.

Enrique Martínez Luque

Enrique Martínez Luque is the Argentina-based golf expert and professional writer. He built his career in the world of golf taking a number of positions. Enrique was the manager of a golf club, director at a federation level, an agent for professional golfers and director institutional relations on the Argentinian Tour. Assissted the professional golfers on major tours for almost 20 years. Worked as the press officer of national and international golf tournaments.

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