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

    Zach Johnson Grip
    Zach Johnson’s grip is one of the strongest on the PGA TOUR. So is his game.

    The down-to-earth Iowan announced his presence by winning the 2007 Masters, and he’s remained a world-class player ever since. He’s the picture of consistency, if not textbook technique.

    Johnson’s hands are turned well to his right on the club’s handle, with the glove’s logo and his right palm pointed at about a 45° angle to the ground. Among major champions, perhaps only Fred Couples, John Daly and Paul Azinger grip the club in such a strong position.

    Johnson isn’t nearly as powerful as that trio, but he’s much more accurate. He ranked among the tour’s top 14 in driving accuracy every year from 2007-14, typically hitting around 70% of fairways. Johnson’s secret? A swing built on excellent body rotation, and a follow-through which keeps the clubface square and prevents Johnson’s hands from getting too active.

    As a short hitter, however, he gets fewer opportunities to reach par 5s in two, so he must compensate on the greens. He does so with an unorthodox yet deadly method. It all starts with Zach Johnson’s grip.

    His hands’ placement on the club isn’t unusual; Johnson employs a standard reverse overlap grip and a neutral setup. Where most everyone else aligns their hands directly over or slightly in front of the ball, though, Johnson’s are shifted back. This creates a pronounced “cup” in his left wrist and angles the shaft away from the target.

    Like his odd full-swing grip, Johnson makes his putting grip work very, very well.


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