Grip style: InterlockingJack Nicklaus interlocking grip Hand position: NeutralJack Nicklaus Neutral grip Putting grip style / hand position: Reverse overlap / neutral left hand, strong right
Jack Nicklaus Reverse overlap putter grip

Jack Nicklaus
Why do so many golfers use the interlocking grip method? Because that’s how they saw Jack Nicklaus grip the club.

Nicklaus adopted the interlocking style because that’s what his teacher, Jack Grout, taught him. Obviously, it served the Golden Bear well – he won 18 professional majors with it. Nicklaus has said he likes the sense of security and unity the interlocking technique provides. He also believes it helps keep the hands on the club at the top of the backswing, where many golfers lose contact.

While Nicklaus has huge thighs, shoulders and forearms, his hands are relatively small. In fact, many instructors encourage small-handed golfers, including women and juniors, to go with the interlocking style.

Nicklaus’ mammoth drives and towering irons are legendary, but he’s equally famous as one of the game’s greatest clutch putters. Like many players of his era, including Arnold Palmer, Nicklaus built his stroke on the slower greens of the 1950s and ’60s. Thus, it’s more of a popping action than a smooth, arms-and-shoulders motion.

With the putter, Jack Nicklaus’ grip is a bit odd looking. His left hand is perhaps a touch on the weak side of neutral, but his right hand is much more underneath the handle in a markedly strong position. This made Nicklaus’ right arm dominant in the stroke, whereas most golfers today favor neither arm.

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