Grip style: Vardon (overlapping)Ian Poulter Vardon grip Hand position: NeutralIan Poulter Neutral grip Putting grip style / hand position: Reverse overlap / neutral
    Ian Poulter reverse overlap grip

    Ian Poulter Grip
    Few golf fans take a neutral stance on the player highlighted in this article. He’s one of golf’s most colorful, and polarizing, characters. It’s a little ironic, then, that Ian Poulter’s grip is so – no pun intended – evenhanded.

    The Englishman’s swing certainly has its quirks. For example, he sets up to iron shots with his hands behind the ball – a major no-no if you ask any golf teacher. But if you look only at those hands’ placement on the club, you’ll see a very conventional grip.

    At address, the back of Poulter’s left hand aims almost directly at the target, while the V formed by his right thumb and forefinger points just inside the right shoulder. Nothing strange about that. If anything, you’d expect Poulter to be a more consistent ballstriker with such a solid grip.

    Ah, but he often overcomes shaky play with lights-out putting. Ian Poulter’s grip with the flat-stick mirrors his full-swing hold – palms parallel, everything in good order. The same goes for the rest of his putting setup. Poulter addresses the ball with square feet, shoulders and clubface, eyes just inside the ball. He practices these fundamentals daily to keep them razor sharp.

    Whatever you may think of Poulter’s flamboyant fashions, snarky Twitter remarks and spiky hair, you have to admire his commitment to golf’s basics. His fundamentally sound full-swing and putting grips prove he’s more than just a novelty act.


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