About the Proper Golf Grip

By Steve Silverman
The interlocking grip.
The interlocking grip.

A good golf shot begins with the proper grip. It is important to realize that you do not have to squeeze the club too tightly to hit a good shot, but the club must be placed securely in your palms.

Hold the club in your dominant hand and extend it away from your body. Look at the club head. It should be square. Don't turn it so it is closed or let it sway so that it is open. Holding a club square means that the face of the club will be directly behind the center of the ball and the club head will be directed at the target.

Try an overlapping grip for comfort and support. This is the most popular grip in the game and the one used by most professionals. Take the club in your dominant hand and wrap it around the club so that you have a letter "V" between your thumb and forefinger. Put your other hand above the dominant one. Let the small finger from your dominant hand rest on top of the gap between the first and middle fingers on your top hand. Apply gentle pressure and you are ready to swing at the ball.

Try an interlocking grip if the overlapping grip does not provide enough support. Don't worry if the overlapping grip is not for you. If the club feels loose and you feel you have little control, the interlocking grip may help. With this grip, take the small finger of your dominant hand and slide it between the forefinger and the middle finger so the two hands are now interlocked together. This will take away some of the freedom you might have felt with the overlap grip, but the club should feel more secure.

Try the 10-finger, or "baseball," grip if neither the overlapping nor interlocking grip feels right. Hold your golf club as if it were a baseball bat with your two hands next to each other. This grip will give you a sense of freedom when you swing the club, but it will be more difficult to get both of your hands to work together.

Do not squeeze the club too tightly no matter which grip you use. If "1" is the lightest grip and "10" is the tightest, most pro golfers say you should have a grip pressure of between 4 and 5 when you swing the club if you want maximum distance and accuracy. Choking the club too tightly will cut down on distance significantly and will not help accuracy, but holding it too loose could result in a reckless shot.

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