Grip style: InterlockingHideki Matsuyama interlock grip Hand position: NeutralHideki Matsuyama Neutral grip Putting grip style / hand position: Reverse overlap / neutral
    Hideki Matsuyama reverse overlap grip

    Hideki Matsuyama Grip
    Hideki Matsuyama’s grip keys a swing that’s technically sound and packed with power. The youngster from Japan, who earned his first PGA TOUR win (the 2014 Memorial) at age 22, looks like a surefire star of the future. Make that the present.

    Matsuyama sets up to the ball with his hands in ideal positions. The left is perfectly neutral – his glove logo points almost parallel to the target line, with a nice blend of palms and fingers in control. The right hand is actually in a mildly strong position; the back of his hand is nearly flush with his wrist, putting the palm a little “underneath” the handle. This “mixed” grip style is fairly common among today’s tour pros.

    Matsuyama’s swing is a picture of purity. His hands are high at the top, club shaft parallel to the ground and clubface on plane. A neutral grip makes this enviable position much easier to attain than a grip that’s too strong or too weak.

    If this prodigy’s putting ever catches up to his ballstriking, watch out. On the greens, Hideki Matsuyama’s grip is a little unusual. His left hand is turned to his left, the right hand to his right – a contrast to the textbook example of the palms directly facing each other.

    Consider: Matsuyama garnered top-25 finishes in half his 24 starts as a rookie while placing a dismal 156th in strokes gained putting. Assuming he gets the flat-stick straightened out, Matsuyama could be a major force for years to come.


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