Grip style: Vardon (overlapping)Ernie Els Vardon grip Hand position: NeutralErnie Els Neutral grip Putting grip style / hand position: Reverse overlap / neutral
    Ernie Els reverse overlap grip

    Ernie Els Grip
    Classic. Textbook. Picture perfect. Ernie Els’ grip fits the same description as his swing.

    It’s no coincidence that Els, aka “The Big Easy,” begins his effortless action with a flawless grip. Both left and right hands are in matching neutral positions, the Vs formed by the thumb and forefinger of each hand pointing between his chin and right shoulder.

    Els also displays a nice “trigger finger” position with the right index finger, and places his right thumb across the top of the handle to meet the fingertip. This gives him excellent control of the club throughout the swing. Watch Ernie Els grip the club and you’ll also notice a distinct lack of tension in the hands and forearms.

    Combine these elements – neutral hands, ideal finger placement, light grip pressure – and you get a pure, on-plane takeaway and backswing. Els’ grip also allows him to work the ball in either direction and generate immense power, with no hard-to-repeat swing moves necessary to compensate for a faulty grip.

    On the greens, Els switched to a belly putter a few years back – winning the 2012 Open Championship with it – then returned to a standard-length wand in 2013. His grip has remained essentially the same: a modified reverse overlap, with the right little finger on top of his left middle finger. (A conventional reverse overlap grip has the right pinky and left middle fingers side by side on the handle.)

    Els is a big man with big hands, and this grip unites his paws and prevents the wrists from becoming too active.

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