One of the first things a beginning golfer needs to learn is how to hold a golf club properly. Other than with a putter – a club that has its grip choices explained in another guide – the following basic golf grip should be used for every club in your bag.
Of course, once you feel comfortable with the proper grip, you can learn how to adjust it for different effects on your shot. But for now, here is the fundamental way to grip a golf club:
First, hold the club at the top of the grip with your weak hand only (for right-handed players, your left hand should be on top). The club’s grip should go along the base of your fingers, not along the center of your palm. Wrap your fingers around the club and let the thumb of that hand rest along the length of the grip so that a “V” shape is made between your thumb and index finger. If you’re hand is in the correct position on the club, the “V” shape should be pointing in the direction of your opposite shoulder.
With the weak hand in the correct position at the top of the club, apply your strong hand below it. In order for your hands to be in complete control of the golf club (and, ultimately, the clubface’s position at impact), they should be connected to each other. There are two popular ways to join your hands on the club: The interlocking method and the overlapping method.
- The interlocking method: With your weak hand holding the top of the club, lift your weak index finger and slide your strong pinky between your weak index and middle fingers on the grip. Let your strong hand’s palm cover your weak hand’s thumb along the club. You should be able to extend both your strong pinky and your weak index finger with this grip.
- The overlapping method: With your weak hand gripping the top of the club, simply place your strong pinky on the crevice between your weak index and middle fingers. Let your strong hand close over the top of your weak hand’s thumb.
The choice between the two methods is yours and should be based on comfort and personal preference. Regardless of your choice, make sure that your hands feel connected on the golf club and act as one solid unit.
Two-Time Open Champion
In an effort to feel more in control of your golf club, it’s easy to squeeze your grip way too hard. Instead of adding control, compressing your hands too tightly around the club actually causes you to lose a fair amount of touch. On a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is the tightest grip, try holding the club at about a 4. You’ll realize that the relaxation in your hands will have a great effect on the fluidity of the rest of your swing (plus, you’ll probably save a lot of gloves from being worn out too quickly, and save your hands from getting blisters).
The golf grip isn’t a natural instinct. It takes time and practice to feel comfortable. However, the proper grip is one of the most important fundamentals to a strong golf game, so learn these good habits early. If you stick with it through those uncomfortable beginnings, it won’t be long until the positioning of your hands feels like second nature.