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Introduction to Golf Grips

Written by: Cesar Figueroa

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Guide to Golf Grips, Types, & Most Popular on PGA Tour

Introduction

Often overlooked, many amateur golfers will begin gripping the club without any thought, and do what is comfortable for them.  Completely fair as you should be comfortable when swinging. However, a few different things to consider when gripping your club.  Your grip has direct impact on areas like power, flight path, and shot shaping.  In this article we will cover the different types of grips, grip strength, and what is it, and answer the question: what is the most popular grip on the PGA Tour?

 

Q: Why is the golf club grip so important?

 

A: The grip is the only physical connection between you and the golf club, making it a vital element of your golf game. A proper grip enhances control, feel, and accuracy, ensuring that your shots are on target and consistent.

The Different Types of Golf Grips

The golf grip may seem like a basic aspect of golf, but it lays the foundation for a golfer's entire swing. The wrong grip can lead to a host of issues, such as slicing, hooking, or loss of power. It’s important that you make your hands operate as one, as much as possible during the swing, to prevent hooks, slices, etc.

The Overlapping (Vardon) Grip

This grip involves overlapping the little finger of the trailing hand over the index finger of the lead hand. It promotes control and allows for greater wrist movement during the swing.  Typically this grip is better for golfers with larger hands, as it may be uncomfortable for a smaller handed golfer to accommodate.  (Most of the pros on the tour use this grip)

Pros:

 

  1. Connected Hands: Creates a better connection between your hands to provide more consistent shots.

  2. Comfort for Bigger Hands: More comfortable for larger hands than the interlocking grip.  

  3. Proven Over Time: Has been used by golfers successfully for decades.

 

Cons:

 

  1. Not Ideal for Small Hands: Can be uncomfortable or less effective for players with smaller hands.

  2. Potential for Less Power: Some argue that it might offer slightly less power compared to a ten-finger grip, especially for individuals with weaker forearms or wrists.

  3. Complexity for Beginners: Can be slightly complex for beginners to get accustomed to, compared to simpler grips. 

The Interlocking Grip

In this grip, the little finger of the trailing hand is interlocked with the index finger of the lead hand. It offers excellent stability and suits golfers with smaller hands or weaker grips.  (Less pros use this grip, but it is notable to mention that Tiger Woods and Rory Mcilroy, two of the games greatest use this grip).

Pros:

 

  1. Secure Grip: Offers a secure grip as the fingers are locked together, potentially providing better control.

  2. Good for Smaller Hands: Often preferred by players with smaller hands as it allows for a firmer grip.

  3. Unified Hands: Like the Vardon grip, it helps in unifying the hands, encouraging them to work more as a single unit which can result in a smoother swing.

 

Cons:

 

  1. Complexity: Can be complex and uncomfortable to learn initially, especially for new golfers.

  2. Less Flexibility: Some players find that this grip offers less flexibility in the wrist, which might reduce power or fluidity in the swing.

The Baseball Grip

Also known as the ten-finger grip, this style involves placing all ten fingers directly on the grip. It provides a secure hold and is often favored by beginners or golfers with arthritis.

Pros:

 

  1. Simplicity: Simple to understand and implement, especially for beginners or those transitioning from other bat-and-ball sports.

  2. Increased Power: Can potentially offer more power, especially for individuals with weaker wrists or forearms.

  3. More Wrist Flexibility: Allows for more flexibility in the wrist action, which can generate a powerful swing.

  4. Good for Young Players: Often recommended for young players or those with smaller hands for better control and ease of use.

 

Cons:

 

  1. Less Control: Can potentially offer less control over the club, leading to less consistency in shots.

  2. Tendency for Overactive Hands: This grip might encourage overactive hands, which can result in a variety of mis-hits.

  3. No Unity With the Hands: In your golf swing you want both hands to work together, the baseball grip doesn't create that lock between the two.

Golf Grip Strength

While golf grip strength does refer to the strength of your actual grip on the club.  What it is more highlighting is the position of your hands within the grip.  

Strong Grip

In golf, a strong grip refers to the positioning of the hands on the club such that more of the top hand (the left hand for a right-handed golfer) is visible when looking down at the grip. This grip encourages the clubface to close more rapidly during the swing, which can often result in shots that curve to the left for right-handed players (or to the right for left-handed players). This grip can help players who struggle with slices, but it might encourage a hook if overdone.  It also encourages more power and will help drive the ball farther, because of this, it is a popular driver golf grip.

Pros:

 

  1. Powerful Draws: A strong grip can facilitate powerful draw shots (a shot that curves slightly from right to left for a right-handed golfer), which can sometimes add distance.

  2. Prevents Slices: Can be an effective way to counteract a tendency to slice the ball (a shot curving from left to right for a right-handed golfer).

  3. Better for Wet Conditions: Can provide better control in wet conditions, where it's easier for the club to slip in the hands.

 

Cons:

 

  1. Promotes Hooks: Can promote hooks (a shot with a more exaggerated curve from right to left for a right-handed golfer), which can be difficult to control.

  2. Less Wrist Hinge: Can sometimes restrict the proper hinging of the wrists, potentially reducing swing speed.

  3. Difficult to Gauge Distance: The increased rotation of the clubface can make it more difficult to gauge the distance of shots accurately.

Weak Golf Grip

A weak grip in golf is the opposite of a strong grip, where less of the top hand is visible when looking down at the grip. This grip can slow the rate at which the clubface closes during the swing, often resulting in shots that curve to the right for right-handed players (or to the left for left-handed players). This grip might be beneficial for players who tend to hook their shots, as it can help straighten out the ball flight. However, it might exacerbate slicing issues if overused.

 

Pros:

 

  1. Fade Shots: Facilitates fade shots (a shot that curves slightly from left to right for a right-handed golfer), which can be useful for controlling the ball's trajectory.

  2. Prevents Hooks: Can be an effective countermeasure against a tendency to hook the ball.

  3. Promotes Square Impact: A weak grip can sometimes encourage a more square clubface at impact, promoting straighter shots.

 

Cons:

 

  1. Promotes Slices: Can lead to slices, particularly if combined with an open clubface at impact.

  2. Reduced Power: Players using a weak grip might find it more difficult to generate power, potentially reducing the distance of their shots.

  3. Less Forgiving: A weak grip can be less forgiving on mishits, often exaggerating the effects of a poor shot.

Neutral Golf Grip

A neutral grip is a balanced grip where typically two knuckles of the top hand are visible when looking down at the grip, providing a midway point between the strong and weak grips. This grip aims to encourage a straighter ball flight by allowing for a more square clubface at impact. Adopting a neutral grip can help players maintain a more consistent and controlled swing, potentially minimizing the tendency to hook or slice the ball.

 

Pros:

 

  1. Balanced Control: Offers a balanced approach that can help to control the ball's trajectory more easily than with strong or weak grips.

  2. Versatility: Allows for a wider range of shot shapes and trajectories, as it doesn't inherently favor a draw or a fade.

  3. Consistent Ball Striking: Can promote more consistent ball striking, helping players to hit the sweet spot on the clubface more often.

 

Cons:

 

  1. Adaptation Time: For players accustomed to strong or weak grips, adapting to a neutral grip can take time and may initially result in less control.

  2. Less Curvature on Shots: May not provide as much natural curvature on shots, which might be a disadvantage in situations where a pronounced draw or fade is desirable.

  3. Potential Lack of Specialization: Since it doesn't specialize in promoting either a draw or a fade, it might be less optimal for players who prefer a specific ball flight.


The Most Popular Grip on the PGA Tour

The winner is...  The Vardon or overlapping grip has become the most widely adopted grip on the PGA tour.  This grip has grown to become the most popular due to its versatility and its ability to enable more free wrist hinge. 

 

The interlocking grip is the most stable, but people with larger hands can find it uncomfortable.  Still, as mentioned, some of the golf greats still use it to this day.  When it comes to golf grip strength, this aspect can vary based on the shot the player is taking.  

Which grip is for you?

A couple questions to think about when you are deciding on which grip to implement. 

 

  • Do you find yourself frequently slicing or hooking the ball?

  • Which grip feels the most comfortable for you?  

  • Do you hinge your wrist too much, or not enough?

Why Your Golf Gloves Matter

While the grip is critical, the role of golf gloves should not be underestimated. Golf gloves provide a secure connection between your hands and the club, enhancing grip and preventing slippage during swings. This allows you to not have a death grip on the golf glove which will cause inconsistent shots.  Look for high-quality golf gloves that offer breathability, durability, and a perfect fit.  Check out our golf glove collection for stylish golf gloves made with premium materials to enhance your grip.

Concluding Our "Best Golf Grip Guide"

In conclusion, the best grip for holding a golf club is the foundation for a golfer's success on the course. Whether you choose the overlapping (Vardon) grip, the interlocking grip, or the baseball grip, perfecting your hold will unlock your golf potential and lead to more consistent and accurate shots. If you are looking for more basic golf knowledge, we have the definitive golf guide for beginner's golf, go out and play with confidence. 


Remember to complement your grip with quality golf gloves that allow for feel, breathability, and comfort. So, head out to the green with confidence, knowing that the power of the perfect grip is now in your hands!  Follow us for more golf guides, tips, and for exclusive offers and updates on VivanTee products.