How to Perfect a Traditional Grip

By M.L. Rose

The manner in which a player holds the golf club is one of the most important of the game's fundamentals. There are several conventional ways to hold a golf club, but the most traditional style is the overlapping grip, also known as the “Vardon grip,” named after Harry Vardon, who won six British Opens between 1896 and 1914. In a traditional golf grip, the pinkie from the bottom hand overlaps the index finger of the top hand.

Place the club head on the ground with its face square to the target line.

Grasp the top of the club’s grip with your left hand, if you are a right-handed golfer. World-renown golf instructor David Leadbetter says the handle should cross your hand diagonally, from the base of your left pinkie through the middle of your left index finger. Close your grip with the thumb lying “fractionally to the right of center on the handle,” writes Steve Newell in his book "The Complete Golf Manual." The "V" shape formed by the left thumb and index finger should point toward your right shoulder.

Place your right pinkie on top of the the index your left hand to form the classic overlapping grip. Close your hand around the club. Newell recommends the right thumb point diagonally down the shaft with the tip on the target side of the grip. PGA professional Randy Smith notes that there should not be a gap between your right thumb and index finger, because such a space “can cause the club’s handle to slide at the top of the backswing.”

Make certain the "V" shape formed by the right thumb and index finger points at your right shoulder.

About the Author

M.L. Rose has worked as a print and online journalist for more than 20 years. He has contributed to a variety of national and local publications, specializing in sports writing. Rose holds a B.A. in communications.

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