When you pick up a golf club your hands are the only part of your body that touch the club. For many years the hands (grip) have often been referred to as the steering wheel of the golf swing. I don’t believe this could be more true. Gripping the golf club correctly makes playing this game a much better experience.
Gripping the golf club at first glance does not seem like a very difficult thing to do, however, it can take a lot of trial and error to figure out the correct grip for you. This is a very interesting aspect to the game of golf. Gripping the golf club is a VERY INDIVIDUAL thing for everyone that plays golf. There are no two grips alike. You can only find what works for you through hitting golf balls. I can and will guide you, but ultimately, results on the golf course speak louder than me.
The grip does more to effect actual ball flight than anything else in the game. That’s why we’ve started with the grip. It’s the foundation of the swing, and a quick fix for those of you that have undesirable ball flight patterns.
The more you grip the golf club in the fingers, the faster you can swing the golf club and the quicker the clubface will close. If you grip the golf club further up in the palm, the slower the golf club will travel and the longer it takes for the clubface to close. If you are slicing the golf ball, you will want to move the grip more into the fingers (the base of the fingers), if you are hooking the golf ball, you will want to move the grip more into the palm area (higher up in the left hand).
Now that the left hand is in place you are going to place the right hand on the golf club.
Congratulations, you have now GRIPPED the golf club. But hold on a second, there is a good chance this is not the correct grip for you, so you will have to experiment. However, I have given you a great starting point. The placement of the hands on the golf club controls what the clubface will do during the golf swing and ultimately what the clubface will look like at impact.
In the next section I will show you some variations of the grip that will help you find the one that works best for you.
**SPECIAL NOTE Most golf clubs either have a “ladies” grip or a “men’s” grip on the golf club. If you have small hands it is very important to make sure you have your clubs gripped with a ladies grip, it doesn’t matter if you own men’s clubs. If you have large hands you should have your clubs gripped with men’s grips. There are a couple more options, if your hands are really small you can have “junior” grips placed on your clubs or if you have x-large hands or arthritis you can have “jumbo” grips placed on your clubs. The grip size also effects ball flight. Large grips tend to make a person fade the ball and small grips tend to make a person draw the ball.**
There are multiple ways to grip a golf club. Although it sounds overwhelming, it truly is not. Once you begin to experiment you will eliminate four or five of them instantly. I will give you a guide to get you started on the right track.
For starters, if you have small hands and fingers, the interlocking grip will probably work best for you. It helps you wrap your fingers and palm around the grip handle.
On the other hand, if you have large hands, the overlapping grip will probably work best for you.
The above-mentioned grips are the proper way to hold a club- however there are three different ways you can apply them to the golf club.
You can grip the golf club in a weak position (no knuckles of the left hand showing), neutral (one knuckle of the left hand showing) or the strong position (2 or 3 knuckles of the left hand showing).
During your experimenting, if the golf ball has a tendency to curve to the right, you will want to move BOTH hands to the right (strong). When you move the hands make sure you do it slowly. If the golf ball has a tendency to curve to the left, you will want to move BOTH hands slowly to the left (weak). Now, if the golf ball is flying without a curve, you have the correct grip for you. DO NOT EXPERIMENT WITH ANY OTHER GRIP.
OK, you have found the correct grip for you. There is one last item we need to deal with. The amount of pressure you apply to the club plays a major role in how you swing the golf club. The tighter you grip the golf club the slower your arms will swing and the longer the clubface will take to release in the downswing (causing a slice). This is a good thing if you HOOK the golf ball. This will definitely stop the ball from curving from right to left. On the other hand if you have problems SLICING the golf ball this amount of grip pressure will make the ball slice more.
If you are struggling with slicing the golf ball, you will have to hold the golf club like you were holding a baby’s hand. Gently, the lighter you grip the golf club the faster the club will swing and the quicker the club will release in the downswing. If you do not have any problems with the ball curving, you have found the correct amount of grip pressure.
This article was written by our affiliate Pure Point Golf
Creator of the Golf Swing Book