What Is the Correct Use for Your Fingers in the Golf Swing 1

Your hands and more specifically, your fingers play an incredibly important part of the overall success as a golfer. Having the ability to take the correct grip can be the difference between success and failure of your golf shot. This tip specifically looks at the correct positioning of your fingers and how they influence the golf grip and the golf swing.

Firstly, consider how you pick up a ball and hold it in your hand in order to throw it a long way. If you go ahead and do this, you'll notice you hold the ball predominantly in the fingers of your hand as you make your throwing action. This promotes a feeling of more power and more control.

You can apply this principle to the way you should hold a golf club. If you grasp the ball in your palm of your hands, you would notice you would feel less power and less control. The same applies to your golf grip. Holding the club in the palm can be detrimental to your results. Holding the club in the fingers can produce a more powerful and more consistent golf swing.

What Is the Correct Use for Your Fingers in the Golf Swing 2

For a right-handed golfer, you should feel specifically that you have more pressure through the top three fingers of your left hand. The index finger will be used to either overlap or interlink to join onto the right hand.

The grip pressure on the right hand is tighter with the central two fingers. The little finger of the right hand is used to either interlink or overlap and the index finger of the right hand can be placed slightly further down the grip away from the middle finger of the right hand. This provides more control and more power and we call it the trigger finger.

If you notice any signs of excessive blistering or soreness on your hands, it may be an early indication that you've have the wrong grip type or the wrong grip pressure.

What is the Correct Use for Your Fingers in the Golf Swing?

What is the Correct Use for Your Fingers in the Golf Swing?

If you have a fair amount of experience in golf, you already know that it is important to use your entire body in the swing. From your feet on up to your head, each part of your body needs to be playing its role if you are going to live up to your potential on the course. Golf is a hard game, so you can't afford to have anything out of place as the club swings. You may be surprised to learn that even your fingers are included in this line of thinking. In order to play your best, you have to make sure your fingers are being used properly in the golf swing.

Golf is a game which is all about small details, and this is certainly a small detail. The way your fingers work in the swing is not as significant as your balance or head position, for example, but it is important nonetheless. If you are committed to playing good golf, and you are willing to practice to achieve your goals, you should think about how your fingers are used in your swing. Once you get into the details of this topic, you are likely to find that your fingers are doing more during the swing than you first imagined.

In this article, we are going to address a number of topics related to the way your fingers perform as they hold onto the club. Of course, you don't want to obsess over this point so much that you lose track of other parts of your swing, but it is something worth working on during an upcoming practice session. Every little detail that you can improve in your game is one more thing which won't be standing in your way on the course. Good golfers aren't born with excellent technique – they work hard to refine their skills over time until they are able to produce quality shots more often than not. You should see the improvement of your finger use as one more step on the road to your golf goals.

As you work on this point, remember that everyone has a slightly different feel for the grip during the swing, so there is plenty of room for individuality with the way you use your fingers. If you prefer to do something slightly different than what is described in the instruction below, that is probably okay – as long as it works. You need to make sure you have a good feel for the club as you swing, and you need to make sure that you trust your grip while out on the course. By blending your own personal preferences with solid fundamentals, you should be able to arrive at a place which works nicely for you.

All of the content below is based on a right-handed golfer. If you happen to play left-handed, please take a moment to reverse the directions as necessary.

The Basics

The Basics

There are a few basic rules which you should understand relating to the use of your fingers in the golf swing. While it is okay to have personal style in this area of your game, as mentioned above, you really don't want to stray too far from these rules. By sticking close to the norm with regard to using your fingers on the club, you will be in good shape to move forward with your game.

As you think about how your fingers are working during the swing, keep the following points in mind.

  • Thumbs on top of the grip. One of the first things you should confirm is that your thumbs are resting on top of the grip as you get started. It is okay if you like to have them slightly off to the side of the top of the grip – most golfers do – but they should not drift too far around to either side. Your fingers need to be wrapped around the back of the grip, and to do that, you have to have your thumbs up on top. You don't need to make any swings or even visit the course to work on this point, so spend some time on this whenever you have a few minutes and a golf club available. The quicker you can get comfortable with positioning your hands on the top of the grip, the sooner you can make improvements to your game.
  • Connect your hands. There are a couple of popular options for connecting your hands in the grip, and both are perfectly acceptable. One option is known as the 'interlocking' grip, while the other is known as an 'overlapping' grip. In the interlocking grip, you will place the pinky finger from your right hand between the pointer and middle finger on your left hand. This style of grip forms a firm connection around the back of the club, and it gives you the sense that the club is going to stay well under control throughout the swing. If you do not like the interlocking grip, you can opt instead for the overlapping option. With this grip, you place the pinky finger of your right hand on top of your left hand, in the crevice between your pointer and middle fingers. This grip feels less secure to some players, and it is usually only a good option for those with large hands. Both types of grips can lead to excellent golf swings, so go with whatever one is most comfortable to you.
  • Use light grip pressure. Most amateur golfers miss the mark on this point. The average golfer squeezes the grip tightly at address – however, that kind of pressure is just not needed during the swing. In fact, holding on tight is a sure way to take rhythm and speed out of your swing, making it hard to hit the kind of shots you need to play good golf. Do your best to relax your fingers both before and during the swing so you can allow the club to freely move through the ball. As a good rule of thumb, you should be holding on tight enough to keep the club in your hands, but no tighter.

With a little bit of practice, it isn't particularly difficult to form a proper grip on the golf club. Your thumbs need to be on the top of the grip, you need to find a way to connect your two hands, and you need to use a relatively light grip pressure. As long as you are consistently able to check those three boxes, you can move on to other things.

The best way to get comfortable with any changes you are having to make to your grip is simply to practice holding the club as often as possible. If you can, keep a golf club around the living area of your home, so you can pick it up from time to time just to practice the grip. You aren't going to be making any swings in your house, of course, but simply picking up the club to grip it a few times will do wonders for your comfort level.

Keep Quiet

Keep Quiet

Once the swing is in motion, your fingers don't actually need to do anything actively as they wrap around the club. However, that is a task which is easier said than done. It might sound simple to say that they don't need to do anything, but not doing anything takes a lot of restraint when you are trying to hit long and accurate golf shots. It is easy to try too hard in this game, and trying too hard can quickly get you into a lot of trouble.

There is a common mistake among amateur golfers which is known as 'regripping' the club during the swing. Regripping is basically the action of taking your fingers off of the club momentarily at some point during the swing, only to put them back in place as the swing continues. This might sound innocent enough, but it can cause some serious trouble in your game if the club turns in your hands during the regrip. To ensure consistency and reliable performance, you want your fingers to stay on the club and in position from address all the way through impact and beyond.

If you are going to regrip the club, there is a good chance that this mistake will take place during the transition from backswing to downswing. While the club is changing directions, you might take part of your hand – usually the right hand – just barely off of the club in order to change its position. When that happens, the club may twist and you could struggle to put the club face on the back of the ball in a square position. Watch for any signs of regripping at the top and take quick action in order to correct the problem, if necessary.

One of the telltale signs that you are regripping somewhere during your swing is the presence of blisters on your hands. When your hands stay quiet during the swing, there is no movement between the grip and the skin on your hand – therefore, blisters are not able to form. However, if there is movement somewhere along the way, friction between the grip and your skin will cause damage, and you could wind up with a painful blister. Most players who suffer from regular blisters are regripping at least slightly during the swing, so consider this to be an important warning sign.

In order to correct the mistake of regripping during the swing, the best thing you can do is build your way up from simple chip shots back into a full swing. Head to the short game area and hit a few chip shots while paying close attention to the movement – or lack of movement – in your fingers. As long as everything is okay in your chipping motion, you can move back and hit some pitch shots. Again, check for any movement in your fingers while you chip. As you continue to hit longer and longer shots, you are likely to find the point where the regripping mistake comes into the picture. Once it has been discovered, you can work on keeping your hands still during that phase of the swing.

Sometimes, the hardest things to learn in golf are the things that you need to avoid. It sounds simple enough to just avoid doing something, but you will find that old habits can be hard to break in this game. Give yourself plenty of time to learn how to keep your fingers quiet on the grip, and you will be able to prevent any unnecessary movement from throwing your swing off track.

Maintaining Good Grips

Maintaining Good Grips

Many golfers spend hours and hours each day thinking about their equipment. Golf equipment is a huge market in the modern game, as many players feel like they can purchase their way to improved play. While that is usually not the case, it is true that equipment plays an important role in your performance. Basically, you want to have the right equipment so your ability and preparation can shine through. If your gear is getting in your way on the course, you will basically be making an extremely difficult game even harder.

While not as exciting to talk about as driver heads or club shafts, grips play an important role in the equipment picture. Many golfers never think about their grips at all, as they are just happy to play with whatever grips happened to come on the clubs they purchased. That is a mistake, unfortunately, as there is plenty of variation within the grip market. Just as you need to use a driver and a set of irons which are matched to your swing, so too do you need to use grips which work perfectly for your fingers.

So what should you be looking for in your next set of grips? Keep these points in mind as you shop.

  • Texture. Some grips are rougher than others. This is completely a matter of personal preference, as some golfers prefer the feel of a rough grip, while others like a relatively soft and smooth surface. There is no right or wrong way to go here, but you do need to make sure that your personal preferences are respected. Don't try to play with grips that are not comfortable in your hands, as you will never be able to fully relax and allow yourself to become one with the club.
  • Thickness. Did you know that golf grips come in a variety of thicknesses? Many golfers are unaware of that basic fact, so they fail to have their grips fitted as a result. Make sure that your grips are a good match for your hand size and preference. Some players like to use thicker grips as it is harder to turn the club over through impact. On the other hand, some players prefer thinner grips to make it easier to release the head through the ball – whatever you like, find grips that match and make sure they are the same size throughout your set.
  • Condition. When was the last time you replaced your grips? If it has been a while, you are probably overdue for a new set from the driver all the way on down to your wedges. Grips wear out relatively quickly, so it is likely that you will need to replace them roughly once per year, depending on how often you play. Also, take good care of your grips in between rounds, wiping them down and storing your clubs in a dry place. Golf equipment is not cheap, so it only makes sense to do what you can to protect the investment you have made.

You may not have thought much about your grips previously, but they are an important part of your equipment setup to be sure. When the time does come to replace your grips, head to your local golf shop to review a variety of options. Most golf shops will do the work of installing the new grips for you, and they may not even charge anything beyond the cost of the grips themselves. Given their relatively modest cost and the importance of this part of your equipment, it is an easy decision to make sure your grips remain in excellent condition from this point forward.

Your Fingers in the Short Game

Your Fingers in the Short Game

It would be a mistake to end this article without talking about how your fingers should be working in the short game. The short game is frequently overlooked in the world of golf instruction, as most players would rather spend time focused on how to hit the ball farther and straighter. Farther and straighter is good, of course, but the short game will always be the biggest key to posting good scores. Play well on and around the greens and you can make up for a lot of full swing mistakes.

While putting, you don't want to do anything at all with your fingers – the story is just the same as it is with the full swing. Of course, since the putting stroke is such a simple and controlled action, this task shouldn't be very hard. Put the control of the stroke into your shoulders and just let the club rock back and through. As long as you don't have a tendency to develop the yips in your stroke or anything like that, you should have very little trouble keeping your fingers out of the way.

If you do find that your fingers are trying to do too much during the stroke, work on altering your grip to take them out of the equation. Putting cross handed is one way to do just that. By placing your left hand below your right hand on the grip, your hands will be largely neutralized and you should be able to make a smooth stroke without any interference from your fingers. There are a number of other benefits to enjoy through the use of a cross handed grip, so this is an idea which should receive strong consideration.

When you step off of the green and into the rough around the putting surface, you will actually find some shots where the use of your fingers is recommended. Chipping the golf ball is a task which requires great touch and feel – two things that your fingers can deliver better than any other part of your body. As you practice, work on engaging your hands more in your chipping motion than you have probably done previously. You don't want to 'flip' the club through impact, but you can use your right hand to hit the ball actively. Using your hands and fingers to move the club, instead of trying to use the same technique as you use when putting, will give you a better feel for your shots and will help you deal with bad lies as well.

As you might expect, you are going to need to spend a significant amount of time practicing if you are going to make this method of chipping work for you. The short game is usually skipped over during the average amateur practice session, as the typical player spends all of his or her time on the tee line at the driving range. Don't make the same mistake as so many of your player partners and competitors. Invest in short game practice and be rewarded with dramatically improved performance on the course.

Your fingers play an important role in the golf swing, even if that role can often be described as 'staying out of the way'. We hope the information provided throughout this article will help you better understand what your fingers should and should not be doing while the club is in motion. Once you have addressed any mistakes you have been making in this area, you can then move on to improve other parts of your technique. Good luck!