|Grip style: Vardon (overlapping)||Hand position: Neutral||Putting grip style / hand position: Reverse overlap / neutral
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.