The basics of a good golf grip are pretty simple. The club should feel comfortable in your hands, and you should use a relaxed grip pressure to allow the club to move freely through the ball. Also, you should think about wearing a glove and you should rehearse your grip as often as you can. These points might not take you all the way to a perfect grip, but they do make up a solid foundation. From here, we can get into some of the finer points related to building an excellent grip.

It would be great if we could tell you exactly how to place your left hand on the club in order to get the best possible results. Of course, we can't do that. We can, however, encourage you to experiment with different hand positions on the driving range. Watch how your ball flight changes as you adjust your grip and eventually you should be able to settle on a left hand position that leads to positive outcomes.

Grip Lesson Chart

Once you've finally settled on a place for your left hand, finding a home for your right hand is quick and easy. Simply put, you want to match up your palms when you form your grip at address. So, with your left hand already on the grip, just place your right hand on the grip in such a way that the palms are facing each other directly. Then, close your fingers around the back of the club and get ready to hit your shot.

The only way your body is connected to the golf club during the swing is through the grip. The way you form your hands on the club says a lot about what you will be able to do during your swing, and how well your swinging action will be translated into the club – and eventually into the ball. While there is no one perfect way to grip the club, there are some basic fundamentals that will serve all players well.

In this article, we’d like to talk about the grip from a variety of perspectives. First, we will discuss why the grip matters and why you should invest some of your valuable practice time on this part of your technique. From there, we’ll highlight some key fundamentals and offer some troubleshooting points to help get you back on track. Finally, our attention will turn to your grip in the short game, where how you hold the club is just as important as it is in the full swing.

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.

— Why Does the Grip Matter?

When you first got started in this game, you probably just grabbed onto the club with two hands and made whatever kind of swing felt natural and allowed you to make contact. As time went by and you gained experience, you likely made changes to that swinging motion in the hopes of getting better results. However, you may not have ever gone back to evaluate your grip and determine if changes were needed in that area.

That’s a shame, of course, because the grip actually plays an important role in the golf swing. Why? Let’s take a closer look –

Grip Golf Lesson Chart

  • A clean transfer. If you are serious about your game, you have probably put a lot of work into the mechanics of your golf swing. You’ve worked on things like posture, shoulder turn, transition, hip rotation, and on and on. Each of those variables, and many more, can play an important role in the swing that you use to get around the course. Without the right grip, however, something will be lost in translation between the swing and the club. The grip is such a key component because it passes the message of the swing between your body and the club. Think of the grip as a translator helping you speak to someone in another language. You tell the translator what you want to say, and he or she repeats your message using the language of the person you wish to speak to. If the translator doesn’t do the job properly, the entire message will be lost – and you won’t be able to communicate what you were trying to say. The same thing goes for the golf swing and how the club behaves in the swing. You can make a great swing, but without the right translation through your hands and down into the club, all will be lost.
  • Enabling a variety of shots. With the wrong kind of grip, it won’t really be possible to hit anything but a single type of shot. This is because the grip forces you into a certain position and only makes is possible to strike the ball cleanly if you want to hit a given shot shape. For instance, you might find a way to make your current grip work when you want to hit a big draw (this is sometimes the case for people with strong grips). And that’s fine – when a big draw is a suitable shot, you’ll be in good shape and should be able to succeed. But what happens when you want to hit a fade, or even just less of a draw? You might be in trouble at that point, and you might be limited in how far you can develop as a golfer, as a result. By using a grip that doesn’t lock you into anything too specific, you will have the flexibility to develop other types of shots and advance your overall game. Even if this is something you aren’t too worried about presently, it might be worth keeping it in mind as you could reach a point down the road where you want to expand your game and strive for a new level of play.
  • Dealing with pressure. Some types of grips tend to fare better under pressure than others. Specifically, grips that require you to use a lot of hand action are more likely to run into trouble when nerves set in. You want the big muscles of your body to be handling most of the responsibilities in the swing, as those are the muscles you can rely on to be consistent and predictable. If you stick with a grip that requires aggressive hand action at the bottom of the swing to move the club into position, it’s always going to be hard to hit the shots you need in a competitive setting. This is an important point to think about when working on your grip, as using minimal hand action should make you a more consistent, reliable player.

The grip is important, plain and simple. While it might not be the most exciting part of your game to work on, mastering a grip that is both comfortable and mechanically-sound is something that can help you reach new heights on the links.

— Five Key Grip Fundamentals

At this point, it’s time to get down to the business of highlighting what it is you should be trying to do with your grip. It’s important to emphasize here that it is absolutely possible to grip the club in your own way and get good results. Every golf swing is different, so the ideal grip is going to vary wildly from player to player.

With that said, these five points are a great place to start if you want to build a grip from scratch. Could you ignore one (or more) of these points and still reach your goals? Sure – but why not start out by trying to obey them all? See how you do by working toward all of these points and then make adjustments as necessary moving forward.

Grip Golf Lesson Chart

  • Light grip pressure. This is where it all starts. The average golfer grips the club much too tightly and doing so makes it hard to complete a flowing, smooth swing. If you are holding onto the club by squeezing your fingers tight around the grip, you are probably losing swing speed and struggling to release the club freely through the hitting area. Don’t make that mistake. To get comfortable with a lighter grip, start in the short game by hitting putts and chips with minimal pressure in your fingers. Pretty soon, you’ll be comfortable enough to hit some soft wedge shots, and you can work your way up from there all the way to full swings. You don’t want the club flying out of your hands when you swing, of course, so you do need to hold on tight enough to prevent that from happening. Find a balance that permits you to maintain control while still making a free swing and you should be in good shape.
  • Hands working together. Ideally, your right hand and your left hand will face each other as they take their position on opposite sides of the grip. By facing your palms together, the hands should work nicely together and help you move the club through the hitting area with speed and power. If the hands aren’t in this opposing position, they may end up fighting with one another as the swing develops. This is going to make it difficult to release the club properly through the ball, and your accuracy and distance will be adversely affected. You can practice this fundamental without even having a golf club around – just take an imaginary grip by joining your two hands and facing the palms at each other. Do this over and over again whenever you have a few minutes free and it should gradually get more comfortable.
  • A couple of connection options. For most golfers, it’s important to connect the hands in some way as you form the grip (some players do use a split grip, but those golfers are the exception rather than the rule). The two main options for joining your hands are the interlocking grip and the overlapping grip. The interlocking grip has the pointer finger of the left hand placed between the ring finger and pinky finger of the right hand. Alternatively, you can choose to set the pinky finger of your right hand on top of the left hand, in the crack between the pointer and middle finger. Both of these options can work nicely, so it’s really a matter of personal preference more than anything else. If you aren’t sure which one is best for you, experiment on the range until you determine a winner. Most likely, it will be pretty obvious which grip leads to better results, and you decision will be an easy one in the end.
  • In your fingers. For full shots, you want to grip the club with the handle running along the base of your fingers. Keeping the grip down at this point will provide a nice freedom of movement in your wrists that can help you generate speed in the swing. Some players get into the habit of putting the handle up into their palms, which locks up the wrists and makes it hard to producing the speed needed for long shots. For a right-handed golfer, the key grip hand is the left hand – work on placing the club properly across the base of the fingers on your left hand, and then add your right hand into position to complete the grip.
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  • Consistency. Perhaps more than anything else on this list, it’s essential that you grip the club in the same way over and over again, shot after shot. Consistency is key because it will allow you to get comfortable with how the club moves during the swing and how it reacts through the hitting area. If you are constantly fiddling with your grip, you will never know how you are presenting the club face to the ball – and predicting where the ball goes will wind up being a guessing game. Once you get comfortable with grip fundamentals that seem to serve you well, stick with that grip and repeat it over and over until it becomes natural.

It may take some time to find the right grip for your game. And, if you are already an experienced golfer and you are trying to change your grip, it’s important to note that such a change can take a while. For better or worse, you are comfortable with your current grip and it will take plenty of repetitions to get comfortable with new technique. Be patient and know that you may be in for dramatically improved results once your new grip finally settles in and serves you well.

— Grip Troubleshooting Points

If you feel like your current grip is giving you trouble, but you aren’t sure exactly what is going wrong, it’s possible that you will find the answer in this section. Read through the troubleshooting points below and think about how they might apply to your game. It’s unlikely that all of these points are going to relate to what you are dealing with currently, but hopefully one or two of them will help you get on track.

Grip Golf Lesson Chart

  • Grip slipping in your fingers. Is the club turning or slipping in your hands as you swing down through impact? This is a relatively common issue, and it usually stems from the player re-gripping the club at the top of the swing. If you are making this error, you are actually letting go of the club (just slightly) at the top so you can re-grip it in a new position before starting the downswing. As you might imagine, this is a sign that your original grip is not serving your swing well. If you have to re-grip at the top, there is something about the grip you are using at address that is not quite right. Spend some time evaluating your current grip and experiment with some changes to see if anything you adjust leads you away from this re-gripping issue. By keeping the grip solid and steady all the way through, you should feel more confident through impact and should strike the ball more squarely as a result.
  • Failure to release into the finish. If you feel like you are just ‘blocking’ the ball out toward the target, without any real release of the club head through the hitting area, you are probably struggling with grip issues. An improper grip will make it hard to achieve a nice release through the ball, and the club will be held off into the finish. This usually results in a finish position that comes up short of what most would call a full finish, and you might even fall off balance along the way. To check if this is a problem, try to make a practice swing where you swing up all the way into a balanced, posed finish. Can you do this without any trouble? If you are having trouble finding a picture-perfect finish position, it’s possible that your grip is holding you back. Try moving your hands into a stronger position – turning them to the right slightly as you look down from address – and see if that encourages a better release.
  • Blister problems. It’s not uncommon for golfers to deal with blister issues. If you find that blisters are a problem for you on the course, there are a couple of steps you can take. First, you can try to fix the mechanics of your grip. If your hands aren’t quite in the right place on the club, they will twist and slide a bit during the swing – and that friction is almost always going to lead to blisters. So, by fixing your technique, you may be able to take away much of the blister issue. Also, this problem may come down to nothing more than wearing a glove. If you are currently playing bare-handed, try wearing a glove on your left hand to protect your skin and fight against blisters. Not only will a glove offer some blister protection, but it may also help you maintain control over the club on rainy days or when your hands are sweaty.

Grip problems shouldn’t stand in your way permanently of reaching your goals on the course. Take the time to address these issues as soon as possible and try to leave them in the rearview mirror.

— The Grip in the Short Game

The way you hold your clubs in the short game is going to go a long way toward determining how successful you are on and around the greens. For chipping and pitching, it’s actually quite simple – just use the same grip as you use on the rest of the course. Consistency is important with the grip, so why mess with something that you have worked hard to build for your full swing? Just use your normal grip and you should be well on your way to hitting good shots. The only adjustment you’ll likely need to make here is to slide your hands down the grip to choke down on the club for these short shots. Otherwise, it’s just the status quo from your full swing.

Once you step onto the green and have a putter in your hands, however, things change dramatically. Just like with the full swing, you have a bit of latitude in terms of how you decide to hold the putter, but there are a few keys that you should consider carefully as you practice. Those include the following –

Grip Golf Lesson Chart

  • Even lighter grip pressure. When putting, you aren’t making a big, powerful swing like you are with the full swing. So, with that in mind, you can use even less grip pressure than you use with your full swing, making it easier to feel the putter head and control the speed of your stroke. You should be using just enough grip pressure to maintain control of the putter as it swings, and no more. Practice using a soft grip on the greens and you might be surprised to find just how much of a difference it can make.
  • Restrict your wrists. Unlike in the full swing, where you want to have the freedom to move your wrists, your putting grip should lock up your wrists and put control over the stroke up into your arms and shoulders. To do this, allow the grip of the putter to run up into your palms instead of across your fingers. A good way to check on this position is to stand near a mirror while taking a putting grip. Stand to the side of the mirror and get into your putting stance – then, turn your head and check your position. If it looks like the putter is running directly up your forearms, you are in good shape.
  • Experiment. There are a variety of different options for the type of putting grip you will use, including traditional, cross-handed, ‘claw’, and on and on. Each of these can work, so get out to the practice green and experiment with various options until you settle on something that is comfortable and produces good results.

The grip is an important thing in golf, yet it is commonly overlooked by average players. If you are serious about reaching a new level of play on the links, and you think your current grip is giving you trouble, this is an obvious place to make improvements. As long as you are patient with the process and understand that progress may be slow to come, you could elevate your level of play in the long run. Good luck!