Grip style: Vardon (overlapping)Vardon grip Hand position: strongstrong grip Putting grip style / hand position: Reverse overlap / neutral
    reverse overlap grip

    Charles Howell III
    Could Charles Howell III grip the golf club any way he wanted and still generate enormous power? Probably. But his strong hold certainly doesn’t hurt.

    Howell may not have lived up to the sky-high hype that attended his pro debut in 2001 – at least not as of early 2015 – but his talent and skill have never been questioned. Despite weighing a wispy 155 pounds, the Augusta, Ga., native averaged a whopping 304 yards per drive in 2014, good for ninth on the PGA TOUR.

    Like many of his peers, Howell starts with a strong
    grip
    . At address, the knuckles on the back of his left hand protrude toward the target, with a pronounced angle at the wrist. His right hand may actually be a little stronger: The “V” between forefinger and thumb points to his right shoulder, which tells you his palm is well underneath the handle.

    While adopting a strong grip is a much-recommended power booster, much of Howell’s juice comes from his remarkable flexibility and wide swing arc. Indeed, there’s a tradeoff for his amazing distance – in 2014, Howell hit just 53% of fairways to rank 172nd on tour.

    He’s been considerably more reliable on the greens. Charles Howell III’s grip with the putter, however, has changed from time to time. After experimenting with a cross handed style and a belly putter, he was back to a traditional reverse overlap grip with a regulation flat-stick at last check. He’d also joined the ranks of pros using an oversized putting grip, which curtails unwanted wrist action.

    Perhaps something will click soon for the former junior and college golf phenom, whose two tour wins are far short of his predicted total.


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