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Answer Which is better, an overlapping or interlocking grip

To say the grip is an important golf fundamental is a major understatement. The hands are the only part of your body that touches the club, after all.

The position of your grip – be it neutral, weak or strong – plays a big role in your swings path, plane and your ability to control the club. The joining of the hands is more a matter of comfort, but its critical nonetheless.

The vast majority of golfers favor either an overlapping grip (aka the Vardon grip) or an interlocking grip. While the only technical difference is the placement of the left index and right pinky fingers – for a right-handed golfer – the difference in feeling can be night and day.

So, back to the question at hand (pun intended): Which is the better grip for you?

As a basic rule of thumb (sorry for all the puns), golfers with small hands lean toward the interlocking style. By literally locking the hands together, it provides an extra measure of club control. This is especially evident at the top of the backswing, a critical juncture where small-handed players sometimes have trouble keeping both hands connected to the club.

Jack Nicklaus and Tom Kite, two greats with undersized paws, both use an interlocking grip. So does larger-fisted Tiger Woods, who may have adopted the style in copying his idol, Nicklaus. Youll also see lots of LPGA Tour golfers employing the interlocking method.

On the downside, some golfers feel restricted by the interlocking grip. They say rotating the forearms and hinging the wrists is more difficult and less natural with the hands locked together. Some complain of blisters and calluses formed on the intertwined fingers.

Which brings us to the overlapping grip. Also called the Vardon grip after Harry Vardon, the early English pro who made it popular, it joins the hands without locking any fingers together. Widely used by mens professionals, favored by Ben Hogan and Arnold Palmer, the overlapping style may promote a freer wrist cock and forearm rotation on the backswing and through the impact zone.

A small percentage of golfers employ another grip style, the so-called baseball grip, which doesnt lock or overlap fingers at all. The hands are separated, with the left thumb running down the shaft between the right fingers and palm. If anything, the baseball grip allows the hands and wrists too much freedom – its known to cause some nasty hooks.

Ruling out the baseball grip, lets once again return to the original question: Which is better, the overlapping or interlocking grip?

The only way to answer is to try both. The grip that feels most comfortable will likely be most effective. Then again, you may find that you hit better shots with the less comfortable grip. In that case, stick with it – comfort will likely come with time and practice.

If youve used the same grip style for years but arent getting the results you want, try switching to the other. Sometimes, a simple solution rests in the palm of your hand. Or in this case, the fingers.

If your grip is in order, building and maintaining a solid golf swing becomes much, much easier. Check out these tips on this critical topic:

Which is the Best Grip Position: Neutral, Weak or Strong?

Keep Your Grip Pressure Constant

Use a Strong Grip for a Powerful Release

Choke Up for Better Accuracy and Contact

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

While many golfers find this to be true, its not the case for everyone. Also, golfers with overactive hands may be better served by an interlocking grip, which could quiet their wrist and forearm action.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

The best grip is the one used by the best players, right? If it were that simple, everyone would interlock. Everyone would swing with Nicklaus flying right elbow, too, and try to emulate Tigers difficult downswing dip. The right grip for golfs greatest isnt necessarily the right one for you.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

Its OK to change your ball position and the length of your backswing to fit a certain shot, but changing your grip style mid-round isnt really wise. Consistency is what every golfer is after, so you want to do most things exactly the same way for every single shot. If you feel the need to experiment with your grip, the driving range is the place to do it.