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Mastering the golf club grip

Learn the correct technique for holding a golf club as well as tips to improve your grip and swing.

The key to the perfect golf grip is a combination of finger grip, grip style as well as wrist and body position. Whether you’re new to the game or looking to improve your technique, here’s an overview on how to best hold your club.

How to Hold a Golf Club: Handling Techniques for Beginners?

The different types of grip

Having proper grip is the key to a strong golf swing. You want to have good control and stable hand positioning, yet relaxed enough that it still has a bit of give.

No matter what grip style you go with, start by holding the club in your left hand (for right-handed golfers). If you’re a leftie, switch these instructions to start with your right hand instead.

With your left hand (or lead hand) towards the top of the club, the grip should run diagonally across your fingers and into your palm. When looking down at the club, you should be able to see the knuckles of your index and middle fingers. You will then place your right hand (or trail hand) over the thumb of your left hand, towards the bottom part of the club’s grip. From here, there are the following common grip styles:

The 10-finger or baseball grip

In this grip style, all 10 fingers are on the club. While this is not common for professional golfers, this is often a more comfortable grip for amateur golfers and those with smaller hands. It is similar to how you would hold a baseball bat, and feels more natural to beginner golfers.

The overlapping grip

This is one of the most common grips, positioning the pinkie finger of one hand in between the index and middle fingers of the opposite hand. This overlap grip style is well-suited to golfers with large hands.

Interlocking grip

An adaptation of the 10-finger grip, interlocking one hand’s pinkie finger with the other’s index finger. This allows your hands to be placed closer together on the golf club. By interlocking the fingers, the hands can work together, generating a more powerful swing.

How to Hold a Golf Club: Handling Techniques for Beginners?

Steps to an effective grip

Here are the steps you need to follow to improve.

Positioning the hands on the grip

Always start with your lead hand towards the top of the grip. With the club at your left side (if you’re right-handed), and arms in a neutral position at your sides, the clubface should be resting on the ground in a “square position” – facing towards your feet.

From there, raise the club directly in front of your midline, and add your other hand below your left (or lead hand). With both hands firmly on the grip, you can test which grip style feels best with your swing.

Finger alignment

Whatever your grip style, you don’t want any spacing between your fingers when holding the club. This allows greater control of the clubface and can improve your swing speed.

Adjusting grip pressure

You want a firm grip while maintaining freedom of movement. For an effective golf grip, try this test: hold the club out in front of you, arms horizontal to the ground. Now relax your grip, letting the club drop toward the ground.

Now increase pressure to where the club comes back to its original position – this is the correct grip pressure. Anything more will restrict your swing, resulting in the dreaded “death grip.”

How to Hold a Golf Club: Handling Techniques for Beginners?

Common mistakes when holding a golf club

These mistakes are common when you're just starting out. Here's how to avoid them.

Too much tension in the hands and arms:

This will impede the club’s ability to swing, thus affecting both distance and swing speed. Think: hold the club, don’t squeeze. At the same time, you want to hold the club firmly enough that it won’t swing out of your hands.

Too strong or too loose a grip

This depends on your hands in relation to the centre line of the club. If your thumb crosses too far over the centre line, you'll have a strong grip. If your thumbs do not align along the centre line, you will have a weak grip.

Poor hand alignment

You can avoid this mistake by following the grip positions outlined earlier in this article. You don’t want to hold the club shaft too high or too low – your lead hand should fall just under the end of the club, not over it.

How to Hold a Golf Club: Handling Techniques for Beginners?

Tips for beginners

When starting out in the sport, you want to set yourself up for success. That includes getting the right kind of clubs and picking courses that are suitable to amateur golfers.

Choosing the right golf club equipment

While not essential, a glove worn on your lead hand can help your grip.

As for your clubs, you’ll want to start out with a basic set including the following: a driver, putter, sand wedge, 6-iron, 8-iron as well as a pitching wedge and a fairway wood. These 7 useful clubs are the most suitable for beginners.

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