Grip style: Vardon (overlapping)Dustin Johnson Vardon grip Hand position: Very strongDustin Johnson strong grip Putter Reverse overlap / neutral left hand, strong right hand
Dustin Johnson reverse overlap grip

Dustin Johnson

To see Dustin Johnson grip the club, you wouldn’t peg him as a world-class player. Not only are his hands in a much stronger position than most pros’, his right thumb wraps around the handle as though he’s holding a baseball bat. (This is sometimes called a “short thumb” grip.) His palms appear to have much more influence over the club than his fingers, another unusual feature.

There’s a method to Johnson’s apparent madness, however. He has huge hands which could easily become overactive during the swing. By holding the club more in his palms, Johnson limits his hand action and curtails a natural tendency – exacerbated by his tremendous strength and flexibility – to hit massive hooks.

When he swings, however, Johnson still must compensate for his ultra-strong grip, which causes his left wrist to bow and the clubface to close at the top of his backswing. Want to know how he does it? Read up on Johnson’s “Signature Move.”

The 6’4” athlete is best known for his prodigious driving distance, but he’s an underrated putter. On the greens, Dustin Johnson’s grip is – believe it or not – quite conventional. The only slight oddity in his reverse-overlap grip is a right hand that’s a little stronger than his neutral left. In other words, his right hand is turned slightly away from the target, underneath the handle.

This likely helps Johnson release the putter at impact and into the follow-through, preventing pushed putts and creating a true roll.

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