How To Hold a Golf Club – Finding the Perfect Grip

how to hold a golf club proper grip
  • How to hold a golf club starts with the correct hand positioning.
  • For beginners, you need to try different types of grips to see which suits you best.
  • Grip in detail to check your grip strength and see if it’s strong, weak, or neutral.
  • Proper golf grip requires the right amount of pressure—not too tight and not too loose. 
  • For accuracy, measure your hands to ensure you have the right size golf grip.
  • There are clubs made to use with left hand and right-hand dominance.

Are you a beginner golfer looking to get better? Well, this is a good place to start. You need to know how to hold a golf club first because most of the other technicalities rely on the efficiency of your golf grip—directly and indirectly.

A poor grip on the golf club results in a bad stance and weak swing, leading to a poor performance. The sooner you figure out the right grip pressure for you, the better. It’ll give you room to improve at a fast and steady pace.

It’s important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all proper golf grip. You’ll have to work with the basic hand positioning guide and do a bit of trial and error on the field before you discover the best way to hold a golf club—for you.

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A Step-by-Step Guide

To learn how to properly hold a golf club, first familiarize yourself with the golf club. What’s the size of the club holder? Is it straight? How does the grip feel on your hand? Basically, get a general feel for the club and ensure it’s in good shape.

How To Hold a Golf Club — Proper Golf Grip

Step 1: Golf Club Position

Hold the golf club at the shaft where it connects to the grip with your dominant hand. This is so that you can position the handle on top of your lead hand. If you’re right-handed, then the left hand will be your lead and the right hand your trail hand, and vice versa for the left-handed.

Align the club handle with your lead hand so that it crosses diagonally across your fingers—starting from the base of your small finger through the middle of your index finger.

Step 2: Select the Grip

Finding the perfect golf grip can be challenging. It is a two-part process involving the lead hand and the trail hand. You have to get both right for a shot at developing a good swing. Let’s look at the different types of grip.

Top Hand Grip

The top hand grip is the lead hand positioning to get a feel of the golf handle. Now, once the handle has been positioned well on your lead hand, you can wrap your fingers around the handle.

The top hand grip is the lead hand positioning to get a feel of the golf handle. Now, once the handle has been positioned well on your lead hand, you can wrap your fingers around the handle.

Rotate the hand clockwise if the left hand is your lead hand, and anti-clockwise if the right hand is the lead hand, until you see your index and middle finger’s knuckles and the thumb can rest on top of the grip. A crease will form between the thumb and your index finger, creating a V shape. 

Check Point

Ensure the “V” shape runs towards your right shoulder (if your left hand is the lead hand, and vice versa if the right hand has the lead) when you place the golf club on the ground in a ready to swing stance.

Don’t cover the end of the grip with your hand.

Bottom Hand Grip

For the bottom hand grip, place the heel of your trail/dominant hand on top of your lead hand’s thumb. Now, close the hand. It will form a “V” between the thumb and index finger. This will point in varying directions depending on the strength of your grip.

We’ll get into detail about the grip strengths and how they affect different shots.

10-Finger (Baseball) Grip

True to its name, all your fingers touch the golf club in this grip. You don’t have to connect the hands. The hold is similar to how you would grab a baseball bat.

It’s a very strong grip that’s ideal for beginners, the elderly, and people with small hands like children and women. People with arthritis also use this golf grip style.

On the downside, your hands can easily slide apart or over-rotate, hence causing instability which results in bad shots.

Overlapping (Vardon) Grip

This is the most common grip in golf. To achieve this, take the small finger of your dominant hand and move it down so that it lays over the space between the index and middle fingers of your lead hand.

This grip feels more natural and comfortable to many players, and it’s recommended for people with large hands.

Interlocking Grip

For this grip, you have to separate the index and middle finger of your lead hand so that the small finger of your dominant hand can occupy the space. This causes the interlocking of the two hands.

The main benefit of the interlocking grip is that your hands work together. This helps to improve the stability and consistency of your swing. This grip is also good for players with big hands.

The only challenge is the awkward and uncomfortable feeling for first-timers. However, this only needs time and constant practice.

Step 3: Pressure

The grip pressure you apply on the golf club should just be tight enough to keep the club in your hand. Most people liken it to holding a small bird. A tight hold of the golf club is likely to slow your swing speed, while a loose grip may cause you to let go of the club or miss the ball.

The top few fingers on your dominant hand should be securing the club, with a little pinch between your index finger and right thumb at the bottom of the golf grip. It’s here where you’ll feel the majority of the grip pressure—everywhere else should feel fairly relaxed.

how to hold a golf club

How to Hold a Golf Club — Grip Strength

Hand positioning and the role of each hand on the golf club play a major role in how you swing the club, the strength of the swing, and other aspects of your game. As mentioned earlier, your grip could be strong, weak, or neutral.

Weak/Open-Faced Grip

If you look down at your golf club grip and the V-shaped crease is pointing towards your chin (left side of the chin if you’re right-handed and vice versa), or you can only see the knuckle of your dominant hand’s index finger, then your grip is open-faced. You achieve this by turning your hands anti-clockwise.

This is the best way to grip a golf club if you’re playing a short game. It helps you gain more precision, deal with hooking, and add height and backspin to the ball.

The drawback is that it messes your swinging form and makes the ball slice.

Strong/Close Faced Grip

The main characteristic of this golf grip is the “V” of both hands pointing more towards the right shoulder and seeing three knuckles or more of the dominant hand. You achieve this by rotating your lead hand clockwise.

The comfort of this grip helps golfers perfect their low hits, extend shot distance, and curb the tendency to slice shots. However, it’s one of the main causes of hook shots.

Neutral Golf Grip

With this grip, you should be able to see only two knuckles of the dominant hand. The “V,” on the other hand, will point towards the left ear.

It is also easier to synchronize your arm and body motion while taking a swing. This is the go-to golf grip when you want to rectify the errors of the other two.


Right Hand vs Left Hand Grip

As far as how you hold a golf club goes, there is no grip that’s specifically designed for right-hand or left-hand players. The difference is in the design of the club head. 

Club heads for right-handed players have their hosels (the part of the clubhead that you attach to the shaft) angling right, while those of left-handed players angle to the left. If a right-handed player uses a left-handed club in their normal stance, they’ll hit the golf ball with the back of the club face (same for a left-handed golfer using a right-handed club).

While using a right-hand club, a right-handed golfer has to stand to the right of the ball, in respect to their target. The left-handed player just has to do the reverse, as it’s the case in many situations. This is because the majority of golfers are right-handed, so different aspects of the game cater to their style of play.

Fortunately, the leading manufacturers make left-hand designs of the golf clubs. 

Know Your Hand Measurements

One of the fastest and most convenient ways to know the right golf grip size is to take your hand measurements. You can drop by one of your local golf retail shops and ask one of the attendants to measure your hands.

If there are no golf retail shops near you then you can do the measuring yourself and shop online for the golf grip. 

golfers on the green

Practicing Your Golf Grip

A golf grip change is one of the most challenging adjustments for golfers—both pros and beginners who are still learning how to hold a golf club. It takes time and resilience to get used to the new feeling and know for sure if the grip helps you take quality shots. A good number of players tend to revert to their previous grip after a week of practice due to the uncomfortable feeling.

Unfortunately, there is no set time to master a new golf grip. Even pro golfers have developed their grip over years. It starts with simple shots and requires lots of repetition. You can even practice at home. Chipping a few balls on your lawn can help a lot. At first, the shots will be irregular, then good will become better, and eventually, turn to great shots.

There’s also a golf grip trainer you can buy to help expedite the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does Golf Grip Affect Your Swing?

If your lead hand twists too much to the right, resulting in a strong golf club grip, it sets that arm higher. This affects your stance and inadvertently leads to an excessively flat swing plane and a swing path that’s too inside. The end result is a hook.

On the other hand, a weak golf club grip sets the dominant arm higher. This causes an outside swing path and a steep swing plane. Both of which lead to a slice or fade.

Should You Interlock Your Golf Grip?

Interlocking your golf grip or not is mainly a matter of preference. People who are learning how to hold a golf club will most likely find the grip uncomfortable and opt for overlapping or baseball grip. It takes time and frequent usage to get used to it.

However, if you’re looking for a more consistent swing, shorter backswing, relaxed muscles during a swing, and better club head speed, then interlock your golf grip.

Do You Use the Same Grip for Driver and Irons?

Yes, with the exception of putting. The goal is to develop consistency in your game. Especially when you consider the significant effect of grip on your swing and, ultimately, your game.

Nevertheless, this should be after you’ve tried a few grips and found the one that’s comfortable and makes you a better player.

Why Is the Putter Grip Different?

First, putters sit differently on the ground. This will force you to change your hand placement on the golf club. Second, a putter arc’s path is very different from the golf swing; therefore, your hands will also work differently compared to irons and woods. 

Does Too Strong a Grip Cause a Slice?

No, a too strong grip doesn’t cause a slice. This grip leads to a club face that’s too closed when it comes in contact with the golf ball. It also reduces the club’s loft, thereby causing the golfer to hit the ball lower and further than a player using a weaker grip. None of the two cause a slice shot.

The main cause of a slice shot is the club face hitting the golf ball in an open position. The reasons for this are a weak hand grip setup and swing issues. This comes about because, in a weak grip, the hand placement causes the club face to hit the golf ball in an open position when you swing.

How To Prevent a Slice

Change your grip to a neutral position.
Make sure your stance is square.
While gripping the golf club, check the club face and set it in a square position.
Follow through with your swing. You can practice with a few backswings before taking the shot.

Can a Strong Grip Cause a Hook?

Yes, a strong grip causes a hook shot. This is because the grip turns far off from the target. As a result, the club face closes when you move to hit the ball. You can solve the problem by weakening your strong grip.

Additionally, failing to turn all the way through a shot could cause a hook. Therefore, try and rotate your body strongly when you swing.

How To Stop a Hook Shot

Put your hands in a neutral golf grip.
Ensure the club face is in a square position.
Avoid a closed stance. Your shoulders, hips, and feet should be parallel to the target line.

What Grip Do Pro Golfers Use?

Even though some of the reputable names in golf, like Tiger Woods, use interlocking grip, there are others who will equally swear by the baseball and overlapping grips. Everybody goes with what works for them. Therefore, copying a pro golfer’s grip won’t turn you into one—practice and consistency might.

What Is the Best Golf Grip for Seniors?

When learning how to hold a golf club, seniors must consider the challenges they face. For one, they may not have the same power and agility as younger players. Therefore, the best golf grip for seniors should be one that enables them to hold the golf club firmly.

In that case, a baseball golf grip does a good job of ensuring the hands wrap well around the club without experiencing any pain or flexibility issues. It’ll also help if the grip has a bigger handle as it gives the elderly a firm hold of the golf club, hence resulting in more comfort and control of the swing. They can now hit shots with a better trajectory. 

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