Golf Blog Feature
How to Properly Grip a Golf Club for Control and Distance
Since the game began, golfers have discussed and debated how to properly grip a golf club. A player's grip is as important as anything else in the game. It's a timeless fundamental to master. For a consistent game, making sure you have the correct hold on the club is essential. It's been often said that a "bad" grip can ruin an otherwise good golf swing.
If you read our article on how to swing a golf club, you'll see that one of our 6 key fundamentals is the grip! The golf grip will have a lot of variance from player to player, but even with those subtle differences, there are consistent factors that nearly every good player has in common. If you're a serious player, working hard on your game, you'll want to learn how grip adjustments affect not only direction, but distance.
Because your grip greatly influences the rate at which your club face closes on the downswing, an improper grip of the golf club will greatly, and negatively, impact your ball flight. A poor grip can directly cause hooks, slices and many other bad shots that make improvement very difficult, and needlessly inflate your scores. In terms of power, if your grip prevents the proper hinging and release through impact, you will definitely lose distance.
Keys to Properly Grip a Golf Club
- Palms are parallel, so that they work together
- Try stronger and weaker grips to find what's best for you
- Adopt an overlap or interlock grip to make the hands one unit
- Don't grip so tightly that your hands cannot move, you want a firm grip but not tight
- Don't be afraid to choke down but never have your hands hanging off the end of the club
First, it's good to know that there's no one way of gripping a golf club for success. Depending on your talent level and other mechanics, you may find that a stronger grip works better, or like Ben Hogan you might find a weaker grip more suited to your game. Whatever works best for you is the right grip! However there are some fundamentals you should keep in mind. And if you're a beginner, or struggling with your game, then assessing your grip might be a very important check point.
For a right hander a grip is said to be "weaker" if the hands are turned more to the left on the shaft, with the hands more on top of the grip. A "stronger" grip will have both hands turned more to the right, under the grip more than on top of the grip. Another thing to keep in mind is that a weaker grip tends to have the club gripped more in your palms, while a stronger grip will be felt more in your fingers!
No matter which grip suits you better, stronger or weaker, the palms of each hand should generally face each other. If they are facing in different directions they will "fight" each other during the swing causing inconsistency. A good tip is to grab the club with your left hand hanging by your side, then bring the club up in front of you and lay the right hand on top of the left. In a good grip, the thumb of the left hand should rest perfectly in the lifeline of the right hand (the opposite for lefties).
Next make sure that your fingers wrap around the grip of the club, with your thumbs pointing generally in the same direction. With your palms facing each other and your thumbs pointing in the same direction, your hands will work as a unit. This is very important for consistency! You'll also want to connect your hands with either an interlocking grip or an overlapping grip. Even though some players have played well with a "baseball" grip it does make the hands more independent which we wouldn't recommend.
Here are a couple of grip training aids we like:
In terms of grip pressure, you want a firm hold on the club, but you do not want to grip it so tightly that you restrict the proper cocking and uncocking of your wrists. In general you want the club to be under control but not restrained.
Another factor you'll want to consider is how far down the club to take your grip. The end of the club should be visible when you take your grip, you don't want your hands hanging off the end of the club, but you can "choke down" a little if it helps you control the club better. Brooke Henderson is one of the greatest players of the modern area and grips down quite a bit on the club. Look at the picture below and you'll see a few inches of the grip visible and that's with a driver!
So stick to the fundamentals we've outlined above, but get to the range and work with your grip to find the subtle differences that could make a huge impact on your game! Good luck!