Grip style: InterlockingRory McIlroy interlock grip Hand position: Slightly strongRory McIlroy neutral grip Putting grip style / hand position: Reverse overlap / neutral
Rory McIlroy reverse overlap grip

Rory McIlroy

The rare “Next Big Thing” who fulfills that label’s promise, Rory McIlroy is as natural a swinger of the golf club as you’ll ever see. It all starts with the Northern Irishman’s grip.

Rory McIlroy grip features a slightly strong left hand position, which promotes freedom of movement in the arms and shoulders as he sweeps the club to the top and down into the ball. While this grip position leaves him somewhat vulnerable to the occasional hook (see his ill-fated tee shot on No. 10 in the final round of the 2011 Masters), the tradeoff is well worth it. A weaker grip position could sap some of McIlroy’s power and prevent him from hitting his favored shot, the high draw.

In winning the U.S. Open, PGA Championship and Open Championship by age 25, McIlroy joined Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the youngest the achieve that feat. He’s got something else in common with them, too: an interlocking grip.

On the greens, Rory McIlroy grip has changed to match the teachings of putting guru Dave Stockton. McIlroy employed an unconventional style in his early years, but switched to a neutral, reverse-overlap putting grip in 2011. Holding the putter this way helps him keep the back of his left hand square to the target line through impact – the key to Stockton’s method.

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