Grip style: InterlockingGraeme McDowell interlock grip Hand position: strongGraeme McDowell strong grip Putting grip style / hand position: Reverse overlap / neutralGraeme McDowell reverse overlap grip

    Graeme McDowell Grip
    Graham McDowell’s grip reflects the man himself – strong and sturdy. The Northern Irishman has made his mark on golf with a swing that’s somewhat unusual, but produces one solid, accurate shot after another.

    At 5’10”, 160 pounds, McDowell’s relies on pinpoint driving to mitigate a lack of distance. He starts with an interlocking grip that unites the hands, just like Jack Nicklaus. Unlike the Golden Bear, McDowell rolls the hands to his right (away from the target), forming a small cupping action in his left wrist. This position is actually reversed by the time McDowell reaches the top of his backswing; here, the left wrist is bowed, same as Dustin Johnson’s.

    While not all strong-grip players emulate this cupped-to-bowed wrist sequence, it helps McDowell avoid the dreaded hooks by opening the clubface. Were he to become “shut” at the top, McDowell’s powerful forearms and wrists would likely produce a series of wicked right-to-left shots.

    Note, too, that McDowell’s grip isn’t nearly as strong as Johnson’s (nor those of Zach Johnson and Fred Couples). That helps explain his consistent ranking among the PGA TOUR’s straightest drivers.

    Now onto the greens. Graeme McDowell’s grip is standard among pros – hands tightly joined in the reverse overlap method, palms facing, light pressure. It’s simple, easily repeated and keeps the putter face square from start to finish. McDowell’s ranking atop the all-important “strokes gained putting” stat for 2014, and his numerous clutch hole-outs in major championships and the Ryder Cup, tell you it’s a grip worth studying.


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