Proper Golf Grips

By Sharon Penn

A proper golf grip is considered essential in developing an effective swing. Several options are available, and golfers must determine which one is the most appropriate. Gripping the golf club properly will help prevent the club shaft from turning so that the club head will stay square at impact. The club should not be gripped too tightly. Moving the hands counterclockwise on the shaft, a weak grip, will promote a slice; moving the hands clockwise, a strong grip, will promote a hook.

The Grip on the Club

Several grip sizes are available. For people with small hands, a ladies’ grip is appropriate. People with large hands can use a men’s grip. Very small hands can use a junior grip, and extra-large hands can use the jumbo grip size. People with arthritis can also benefit from a jumbo grip. The size of the grip can affect the flight of the ball. Jumbo and large grips promote a fade to the right, while small grips promote a draw to the left.

Positioning Your Hands on the Club

To grip the golf club, position the club in your left hand from the base of the index finger to just above the bottom joint of your pinky finger. With the club in your left fingers, place your palm around the top of the grip. The index finger forms a “trigger.” The thumb will be slightly right of center of the club and pointing straight down. Two or three knuckles will be visible. The right hand is positioned with the club in the fingers, with the palm covering the left thumb. Two knuckles will be visible, and both palms will be facing each other. The V formed with the index finger and thumb of both hands will point to a spot between the right shoulder and the chin.

The Vardon Grip

The Vardon grip, also called the overlapping grip, is the most popular among low-handicap golfers. The pinkie of the right hand rests in the groove formed between the forefinger and the second finger of the left hand.

The Interlocking Grip

Golfers with small hands sometimes favor the interlocking grip. It is similar to the Vardon grip, with the exception that the pinkie finger of the right hand interlocks with the left forefinger, instead of overlapping it.

The Baseball Grip

The baseball or 10-finger grip is used by juniors and women with small hands. For this grip, the hands are positioned side by side without any linking. The resulting freedom of movement makes it easier to break the wrists to release on impact.

About the Author

Sharon Penn is a writer based in South Florida. A professional writer since 1981, she has created numerous materials for a Princeton advertising agency. Her articles have appeared in "Golf Journal" and on industry blogs. Penn has traveled extensively, is an avid golfer and is eager to share her interests with her readers. She holds a Master of Science in Education.

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