How to Read Your Golf Grip

By M.L. Rose
Check the positions of your hands at address to read your grip properly.
Check the positions of your hands at address to read your grip properly.

Check out any golf publication and you’re likely to see plenty written about golf clubs. But how you hold your club is just as important as the type of club you’re using. Indeed, if you take a lesson with a golf pro, chances are good that the first thing he’ll examine is the way in which you grip the club. If you can’t get to a pro, look at your grip yourself to spot any fundamental flaws.

Grip the club as you normally would, then remove your bottom hand (the right, for right-handed players).

Look down at your left hand, with the club in the address position. Golf writer Steve Newell explains that if you can see four knuckles of your left hand while in this position, your grip is strong. If you can only see one knuckle on the back of your hand, your grip is weak. Ideally, Newell says, you should see three knuckles on the back of your hand. Your left thumb should be a bit right of center from your perspective, while the “V” shape created by your thumb and first finger should point at your right shoulder.

Place your right hand at the bottom of the grip to steady it. If you have a weak grip and you’ve been slicing the ball, Newell recommends shifting your left hand to the right until three knuckles are visible on the back of your hand. If you tend to hook the ball, rotate your hand to the left until about two-and-a-half knuckles are visible.

Return your right hand to its normal position on the club. The “V” shape between the thumb and forefinger should point at your right shoulder.

Check for -- and close -- any gap between the thumb and first finger of your bottom hand. Golf pro Randy Smith notes that a gap may allow the club to slide in your hands during your backswing.

Take note of how tightly you’re gripping the club. Golf instructor Todd Anderson advises golfers to “think of holding a small child’s hand,” and using the same pressure to grip your club.

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.

Photo Credits

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