How to Golf Grip

Of all the fundamentals in Golf, the one that carries the most significance is how to hold the club. This is our only contact point with the golf club itself and the way we put our hands on the golf grip has such a huge impact on the direction and quality of the ball flight.

This is a fact that I became only too reminded of recently, yet unless we are a beginner or have such a visible deviation from the accepted norm, why is it that whenever we go for a golf lesson, this is rarely mention by our coaches who want to get straight into swing mechanics and movements?

Why is this an issue?

OK it’s not my intention to teach experienced players to suck eggs here, but after my best competitive round of the year this weekend, my ball striking improved dramatically as I became aware of my hold on the handle again. That’s because of the 4 stages of learning.

  1. Unconscious Incompetence (We don’t know that we don’t know how to do something)
  2. Conscious Incompetence (Now we want to learn so we realize that we don’t know how)
  3. Conscious Competence (We know how to do something now but we have to think about it)
  4. Unconscious Competence (We do it on autopilot, it’s well practiced we don’t have to think about it)

The problem is that when we hit 4, we stop reviewing, even worse we take shortcuts the more experienced we become, but suddenly we are not effective anymore and that’s because we have taken one too many. Without realizing it we have slipped from number 4 back into number 1!

Why is it then that our coaches also never review this. They will tell us when our posture has changed or got lazy.

The only explanation I have is that a grip change feels awful. It’s so alien it’s like holding a club for the first time again. It throws out our timing and takes some discipline to get used to.

An instructor you get 30 minutes or 1 hour with a pupil and understand this so tend not to touch someones grip. You also want the student to leave your lesson confident, upbeat and optimistic. You also want to feel that you have provided value for money which is through imparting knowledge, not watching someone struggle for the rest of the lesson to get used to feeling how to golf grip again.

This is why I have written this reminder so that we can all check ourselves, especially if we can’t depend on our instructors to pull us up on this most important fundamental.

Modern Teaching?

I love the way the that the modern teaching has evolved away from finding the perfect positions of the golf swing and everyone trying to find their own variation of these positions based on their height / build. There’s more individuality coming back into the golf swing, based on lots of leg power, using the ground, speed of rotation and the impact position. Another common theme is the shallowing of the shaft plane on the downswing.

One think I don’t agree with is that a strong left-hand grip is good, and this seems to be the accepted norm. Because Dustin Johnson, John Rahm and Brooks Koepka are all examples of great players with closed clubfaces at the top of their backswing, there seems to be thinking that this encourages players to hold onto the lag and shaft angle through impact squaring the face and providing that left-hand bowed compression at impact.

 

These three mean are immensely strong and I for one can’t replicate what they are doing in fighting some natural forces.

Golf Grip – How?

So how to golf grip?

I’m going to describe for a right-handed player (the opposite is true for a lefty).

Left-hand goes on first. The handle runs across the base of the fingers, then we close our left-hand onto the grip. Thumb running down the center (or just right of center) of the handle. The pressure should be in the last three fingers and the pad of our palm.

When you put the club down you should see the first two knuckles of your left-hand and the v formed by the thumb and index finger should point between your chin and your right ear.

Bring the right hand to the handle.

I have no preference on how you choose to interlock the hands in terms of style;

 

  1. Interlocking
  2. Overlapping
  3. Baseball

 

 

What I am very precious of is that when you close your right hand onto the handle your right thumb pad covers your left thumb, you can only see two knuckles of your right hand, and the v formed between right thumb and index finger points between your chin and right ear (not right shoulder!)

This is a neutral grip and is certainly weaker than many coaches accept of even advocate these days.

Why not strong?

This is my opinion, but I have wasted a competitive season by allowing my right hand to get too strong on the club. As I wrote elsewhere I’ve been fighting the hooks since returning to golf just over 12 months ago.

I’ve had tuition and spent many hours working on more body rotation, bowed left wrist at impact (not flipping), but still wondering why I can’t fade the ball.

This weekend I realized that the clubface is not just shut at impact, it must be closed somewhere else in my swing. I saw on camera my clubface is shut at the top of my backswing and therefore it doesn’t matter how much I try, I don’t have the physical strength the hold the clubface square at impact on every shot.

I weakened my right hand, the clubface is square at the top of my backswing and guess what? It’s also now square at impact which has straightened my ball flight enabling me to shot 69, my low round of the year.

Grip Importance

I’ve had a timely reminder of just how important the fundamentals of technique are and that one above all has the most significant impact on our game.

I’m diligently going to keep checking my grip now and I encourage you to do the same. If, you have had similar experiences or feel strongly about the golf grip then please comment below.

Good Golfing

12 thoughts on “How to Golf Grip”

  1. My dad is a big fan of golf,he is alaways going out with his buddies on Sundays to play glof.It seems like a very mature sport that I too would like to take on in the future.Just need to get my Kit togetheir.My dad will really appriciate this post will definately share this with him

  2. Hi Jon,

    I really enjoyed reading your lesson on golf grip. I am hoping to get my children involved in golf and wonder if you would recommend a lesson from a professional to set them off on the right foot? Its something I wish I had done before getting some bad habits. Thanks in advance, Andrew

    1. Hi Andrew,  Thanks for the feedback. Yes if you can find a local pro, just getting the basics right from early on, like stance and posture, will only mean rapid improvements and not having to undo bad habits which can be hard work when they are second nature.

  3. The last time i went out golfing, i had a very bad grip and so i was told that i needed to learn more on that and this is the reason why i am here. Luckily, you have explained to me the way a pro will do it and i have to confess that i am very well impressed. I cant wait to try out your tips on a club myself and show off what i have learnt. Thanks!

  4. Ha! Very very good. You seem to know a whole lot about teaching with that fabulous introduction to this article. I was really convinced too that you know what you’re teaching when you came up with the left-handed and right-handed. I have to give your tips here a try. I will remember to give the club a strong one. Thank you for your tips.

  5. I am not a golfer and haven’t even held a golf club my entire life but you got me at #4, Consciously skilled. This article not only gave me information about golf grip but it’s a life lesson as well. Most of the times, we tend to neglect the fact that there is so much that we can improve in our skills, if only we are keen enough to observe ourselves, discover more potential or even change style and technique. I would also like to explain the 4 stages of learning to my colleagues during our meeting’s professional sharing because it’s applicable to almost all work situations so we may improve the quality of work.

    1. Hi, you’re quite right, I use the 4 stages of learning in my professional career with my field sales teams as a reminder for them to practice basics. To me that’s professionalism in any arena. Ruthless application of the basics with rigour and excellence.

  6. Hi Jon, I must confess that personally I have never been interested in golf, I have played but unfortunately I just couldn’t seem to take to the game, but that was probably because I just wasn’t any good at it, however, the reason I wanted to comment on your post here is because I have friends that are interested in golf, quite a few friends actually, some of which are beginners, I feel sure that they would be very interested in your website, so I have forwarded it to them, I am sure they can learn from it and who knows I may give golf another go, thank’s for sharing.  

  7. Hi Jon,

    Great article!

    The more I think about it, you are 100% spot on, the more you go in to auto pilot the more mistakes that you can potentially make. I live in the UK< so I’ll be going out for what will likely be my last round this weekend. I’ll be putting your tips in to practice and seeing if I can improve my strokes.

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