Did you know there are three types of grip that are commonly taught? They are the baseball grip, the overlap grip, and the interlock grip. Regardless of the grip you adopt, you will either have a weak grip, a neutral grip, or a strong grip.
I can hear you all say “well, which one is right for me?” The best answer to that is the grip that you feel most comfortable in is the correct one, assuming you are hitting the ball with consistency you want. Remember this is your only connection with the golf club so you better get it right to produce the consistent shots you desire.
The Baseball Grip, also known as the Ten Finger Grip, is the one most teachers would encourage juniors or people with small hands to use when beginning their golf career. For right-handed golfers, your left hand is nearer the end of the club and the trail hand is your right hand; for lefties, it’s the other way around. The essence to the baseball grip is that there is no overlap or interlock between the hands; they simply nestle against each other. It’s very important to have no spaces or gaps with this grip and that all the fingers touch the grip.
The Overlap Grip is also sometimes referred to as the Vardon Grip after the great Harry Vardon who used this grip back in the day. This is the most common grip used by the golf population and the one I recommend to most students. With this grip the pinkie on the trail hand simply sits on top of the index finger of the top hand.
The Interlock Grip is the one the great Jack Nicklaus used in his prime and therefor the one I was taught by my dad because anything Jack did was gospel! This is also popular with many top golfers including the current Masters Champ, Tiger Woods. With this style, the pinkie of the trail hand forms a cross with the top index finger and really bonds the hands together snugly.
Okay, so now you know the types of grips, let’s see if you can adjust to each one AND understand the neutral, strong, or weak grip.
I’d like you to sit down while you do this exercise. Grab an iron, hold the club straight out in front of you with the handle end near your legs and the club head pointing to the ceiling. Always start with your top hand (left for righties, right for lefties). Hold the club with your top hand first and grip the handle of the club so that you see only two knuckles on the top hand, the thumb of your top hand should pinch the inner knuckle of the index finger. This top hand is now in a “neutral” position. The heel of your top hand should never spill over the end of the club. Now place your trail hand on the handle, underneath your top hand so the pinkie touches the index finger and wrap the other fingers around the handle—you are now in a neutral “baseball” grip.
From this position take off the trail hand and re-grip the handle with the pinkie finger sitting on top and slightly towards the neighbor of the index finger—you are now in a neutral “overlap” grip.
Take the trail hand off once again keeping the same neutral grip with the top hand and place the trail hand back on the handle by interlocking the trail pinkie and top index finger—you are now in a neutral interlocking grip.
Gripping and re-gripping the club like this is a great exercise to do if you are learning the grip and or changing it.
Which Grip is Correct?
Whichever grip where your hands feel the most comfortable together is the correct grip for you.
Strengthen Weak Shots
If you are one of the many golfers who struggle with weak, right shots, I would absolutely suggest strengthening your grip. This will give you a better chance of returning the clubface back to impact with a better clubface position. To strengthen your grip, simply turn your knuckles away from the target or to the right. If you do this correctly, your top hand will show three to four knuckles and your trail hand will be more under the shaft.
Weaken a Strong Grip
The late, great Ben Hogan had issues with hooking the ball too much during his career, which he fixed by weakening his grip. To do this, simply turn your knuckles toward the target or to the left. Now you will barely see any knuckles on the top hand and your trail hand will be more on top of the shaft. Making this adjustment will give you a better chance of returning the club face back to impact with a better position.
Take some time to practice gripping and re-gripping your club. Now is the time to change your grip or learn the right one for you.