What Golf Grip Should I Use?

By Robert Preston
An improper grip will play havoc on your game.
An improper grip will play havoc on your game.

Finding a golf grip that matches a player's swing, and working until that grip is comfortable for the player, is the foundation for a consistent golf game. Matching a player's swing with the wrong grip style will lead to the player failing to play up to his full potential.

Club Grips

Before worrying about the way that you are holding the grips, a golfer must first ensure that they are using club grips, the rubber sections at the top of the club shafts, that are of the right diameter.

A poorly sized grip will lead to a player that has to hold onto the club too tightly. An undersized grip will have to be squeezed extra hard to make up for its small size, and an oversized grip will force a players fingers to be slightly too far open, also leading to extra squeezing.

Grip Tightness

While finding a set of club grips that are the proper size helps, a player can still find himself squeezing the club with his grip too tightly. The key to holding the club is to be firm enough with the club that it remains steady in the hands, without trying to crush the club.

Holding too tightly causes the muscles in the arm to tighten up in an attempt to hold onto the club, and holding too loosely will allow the club to shift in your hands, causing inaccurate shots

Grip Alignment

Once the right grip is found, a player must align their hands properly along the grips to maintain control over the club. The easiest way to test if your hands are properly aligned is to look at the point your thumb and index finger of each hand come together. The gap will create an arrow shape, and both arrows should be pointing between your back shoulder and the center of your chest.

Grip Styles

The three primary grips differ primarily in the amount of strength required to control the club, and the control over the ball the grip provides. A baseball grip, where the bottom hand does not cover the top hand at all, like with a baseball bat, is the easiest to generate speed with, but offers the least control.

Interlocking your pinkie on your bottom hand between the index and middle fingers of your top hand adds control but requires more strength to maintain speed, and a Vardon grip, where the bottom pinkie rests atop the top index and middle fingers, offers the most control for a player who feels comfortable with that grip.

Tweaking Strength

The strength of a grip does not refer to how hard you are squeezing, but rather the relative position of your bottom hand to your top hand on the grip.

By turning the bottom hand so that its thumb is farther forward than the bottom hand, you have strengthened your grip, making your ball turn in the direction of your non-dominant side in the air.

By turning the bottom hand back, so the thumb is turned more toward your rear leg, your grip is weaker, and the ball will bend toward your dominant side in the air. These adjustments can be used on the course to bend the ball around obstacles or dogleg fairways.

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
Home