|Grip style: Vardon (overlapping)||Hand position: Neutral||Putting grip style / hand position: Reverse overlap / neutral
The King’s swing has been fodder for good-natured impersonations for decades. But if you want a model for how to correctly hold the golf club, look no further than the famous Arnold Palmer grip.
Arnie, whose father was a teaching pro, was (and remains) a firm believer in sound setup fundamentals. His grip shows perfectly matching left- and right-hand positions – the “V” formed by the thumb and forefinger of each hand points just right of his sternum, with the back of his left hand perpendicular to the target line.
If Palmer’s grip was so good, you may be asking, how did his swing end up looking so awkward? Simple. He under-rotated the hands and arms on the backswing, causing the clubface to close. To avoid hitting a huge hook, he compensated by holding off on releasing the club at impact, causing the so-called “helicopter” finish.
Now let’s look at the Arnold Palmer grip with the putter. He was conventional here, too – neutral with the hands, his left forefinger placed over his right fingers in reverse-overlap fashion. His grip pressure was very light, something amateurs would do well to copy.
A light putting grip – about 3 – 4 on a pressure scale of 1 – 10 – prevents stroke-wrecking tension in the hands and forearms. On the other hand, Palmer’s wristy “pop” stroke is a relic from yesteryear. In Palmer’s playing days, greens were much slower and bumpier than today’s sleek surfaces, necessitating a much firmer hit to get the ball rolling on line.