Understanding the Golf Grip

By Robert Preston
In the interlocking grip, the pinkie of your non-gloved hand lies between the gloved hand's middle and index fingers.
In the interlocking grip, the pinkie of your non-gloved hand lies between the gloved hand's middle and index fingers.

Choosing the right grip can be the difference between getting the most out of your swing and frustrating days on the links. Knowing the three basic grips and how to adjust your grip for different situations on the course can go a long way toward making you a better golfer.

The baseball grip is usually used by those new to golf. While a baseball grip can often your development beyond a certain point, many new golfers, especially those who have played baseball, find their adjustment to the game is easier with this grip. If you are using the baseball grip, wrap the non-dominant hand around the top of the club's grip, and put the thumb in the groove between the index and middle fingers. Wrap the dominant hand around the grip, below the non-dominant hand, again with the index, middle, rink and pinkie fingers wrapped around the shaft and the thumb atop the index and middle fingers.

The overlapping grip is used by the vast majority of golfers. The overlapping grip's chief benefit is more accurate shots. Place the non-dominant hand higher on the club, with the thumb running down the shaft. Place the dominant hand lower, with the pinkie of the dominant hand resting in the groove between the non-dominant hand's index and middle fingers. Point the thumb of the dominant hand down the shaft as well.

Use the interlocking grip to add power to your golf swing. Grip the club as if you are using the overlapping grip, but spread the non-dominant index and middle fingers enough that the dominant pinkie fits between them, instead of on top of them. With this grip, you sacrifice some control to generate more clubhead speed.

Strengthen your grip by rotating the dominant hand more toward your lead foot, while also closing your stance--i.e. moving your lead leg toward the ball slightly to hit a draw. When strengthening the grip, your thumbs do not align; the thumb on the dominant hand is further forward.

Weaken your grip by rotating the dominant hand more toward your back foot and closing your stance by moving your lead leg away from the ball slightly to hit a fade. When weakening the grip, your thumbs do not align; the thumb on the dominant hand is farther back.

Choke down on the grip when you are between clubs, but have chosen to use the club that will hit the ball farther. By gripping the club lower on the shaft, the speed of the clubhead is reduced because it is swung with a smaller arc.

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