Grip style: InterlockingCharl Schwartzel interlock grip Hand position: NeutralCharl Schwartzel Neutral grip Putting grip style / hand position: Reverse overlap / neutral
    Charl Schwartzel reverse overlap grip

    Charl Schwartzel Grip
    South Africans own some of golf’s most technically sound swings. From Ernie Els to Trevor Immelman to Louis Oosthuizen, the country’s pros make the game look simple.

    Charl Schwartzel’s grip tells you he’s as well-schooled as his countrymen. The 2011 Masters champ holds the club with nearly flawless hand positions. Left hand: two knuckles showing in a face-on view, glove logo pointed a hair right of the target line. Right hand: thumb across shaft, forefinger in “trigger” mode, “V” between thumb and forefinger aimed at his sternum.

    Somewhat surprisingly, Schwartzel’s power is better than his accuracy. Surprising because he’s just 5’11”, 160 pounds and employs a neutral grip, rather than the strong version many undersized players use to boost their distance. Schwartzel’s average drive is around 296 yards, while he hits a so-so 60% of fairways.

    Though he’s occasionally switched to the cross-handed method, Charl Schwartzel’s grip on the putter has been conventional for most of his career. His take on the reverse overlap differs somewhat from the norm in that the left index finger covers only his right little finger; most golfers run the index finger across two or three digits on the right hand.

    There’s a lesson is Schwartzel’s minor deviation. Golf, and especially putting, has a lot to do with feel. Being comfortable with the putter in your hands is more important than having a “perfect” grip, or even a perfect stroke. Experiment with hand and finger placement until you find a grip that feels right. Your putting will improve instantly.


Golf Grip Terms
Note: All descriptions are for right-handed golfers.

Vardon / Overlapping Grip: Method of holding the club by placing the right pinky finger on top of the crease between the left index and middle fingers. Named for British golf legend Harry Vardon.
Interlocking Grip: Method of holding the club by wedging or locking the right pinky finger between the left index and middle fingers.
vardon grip interlocking grip
Neutral: Position in which the hands are directly aligned with the clubface. The golfer with a neutral grip can typically see two full knuckles on the back of the left hand when addressing the ball.
Weak: Position in which the hands are rotated left (toward the target) on the club’s handle. The golfer with a weak grip can typically see one full knuckle on the back of the left hand when addressing the ball.
neutral grip weak grip
Strong: Position in which the hands are rotated right (away from the target) on the club’s handle. The golfer with a strong grip can typically see more than two full knuckles on the back of the left hand when addressing the ball.
Reverse Overlap Putting Grip: Conventional putting grip style with the left hand above the right and the left index finger extending downward, on top of the fingers of the right hand.
strong grip reverse overlap
Cross-Handed / Left Hand Low Putting Grip: The right hand is placed at the top of the handle, above the left hand, the opposite of a conventional grip.
Claw Putting Grip: The left hand is placed in the conventional position, at the top of the handle, with the right hand lower on the handle and holding the club between the thumb (on the grip’s underside) and fingers.
cross handed Claw Grip