Grip style: Vardon (overlapping)Vardon grip Hand position: strongstrong grip Putting grip style / hand position: Reverse overlap / neutral
    reverse overlap grip

    Jimmy Walker Grip
    When does weaker equal stronger? When the subject is Jimmy Walker’s grip.

    The ever-improving pro from San Antonio enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2014, winning three times powered by a wide stance and a “stacked” body rotation. Walker has increased his earnings every year since 2006 and, now in his mid-30s, should be a leaderboard fixture for the next several seasons.

    Credit Walker with the willingness to tweak his swing, starting with his setup. In photos from 2011, Walker’s left and right hands were positioned on the strong side. Skip ahead to 2014 and you’ll notice a subtle but significant difference. While his left hand remains in essentially the same spot, Walker has weakened his right hand grip (i.e., turned it to his left) into a neutral position.

    Where Walker’s right hand “V” (between thumb and index finger) once pointed toward his right shoulder, it’s now aligned with the club’s handle and his chest. Oddly, it’s hard to tell what if any benefit this change has had on Walker’s game. In theory, the weaker right hand should curtail his power slightly while boosting his accuracy. Yet Walker remains one of the PGA TOUR’s longest, least accurate drivers—he averages around 300 yards but hits only 52% or so of fairways.

    He consistently excels, however, on the greens. Jimmy Walker’s grip with the putter is a tad stronger than most of his peers, placing him in the same category as Brad Faxon and a young Ben Crenshaw – pretty good company. Walker has done them proud by finishing among the top 50 in strokes gamed putting every year since 2011.


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