Grip style: Vardon (overlapping)Sergio Garcia Vardon grip Hand position: Slightly strongSergio Garcia strong grip Putting grip style / hand position: “Claw” or “pencil” style
Sergio Garcia conventional and “claw” grip

Sergio Garcia Grip
There was a time when Sergio Garcia’s grip was the most scrutinized in all of golf. Oh, neither the style nor position was unique in any way. It was Garcia’s “re-gripping” at address – clasping and unclasping the hands, sometimes a dozen times or more, while standing over the ball – that caused such a stir.

Fortunately, Garcia kicked this habit after getting relentlessly heckled at the 2002 U.S. Open. Yet his grip has returned to the spotlight a couple of times since then. First, in the wake of a wrist injury, Garcia switched from an overlapping to an interlocking grip in 2010. He has since changed back. In 2011, Garcia sought to cure his well-documented putting woes by adopting the so-called “claw” or “pencil” grip method.

For his full swing, Garcia employs a fairly conventional grip. His left hand is in a slightly strong position, with his right hand neutral. His grip allows Garcia to work the ball both ways – he’s one of the game’s finest shotmakers – without hindering his famous, powerful downswing lag.

While Garcia’s driving, iron play and short game have always been outstanding, putting is another story. He’s improved considerably, however, since going to the claw. To wit: He ranked 159th on the PGA Tour in “strokes gained putting” for 2010; in 2013, he finished ninth.

Garcia actually tried the left hand low (cross-handed) grip technique before settling on the claw. The goal: reduce the movement of his right hand during the stroke. Garcia does this by grasping the handle in a conventional manner with the left hand, then gently placing the grip between his right index and middle fingers; the thumb also wraps around the handle, similar to the way one might hold a pencil.

Strange but effective, Garcia’s putting grip is a big key to his resurgence.


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