Home » Golf Tips Grip » The Grip – The Most Important Fundamental In Golf

Copyright (c) 2010 Scott Cole

The grip is the single most important fundamental in the golf swing, since the grip controls the club face angle at impact. Unfortunately, the grip is the most overlooked fundamental in golf.

Why is the grip so important? Because it controls the club face angle at impact. This is significant because it is the angle of the club face at impact that is most important to determining ball flight. If the club face is open at impact, the ball will likely fly to the right (assuming you are a right handed player). An open club face is typically caused by a weak grip. In other words, if you are a right-handed player, your hands are turned to far to the left on the club. If you are a left-handed player, your hands are turned too far to the right on the club.

If the club face is closed at impact, the ball will likely fly to the left. A closed club face at impact is typically caused by a grip that is too strong. If you are a right-handed player, your hands are turned too far to the right on the club. If you are a left-handed player, your hands are turned too far to the left.

Ideally, what we would like is a NEUTRAL grip. So how do we achieve that? Here are the basic points….

(Right Handers)

1. Your left hand should be placed on the club so that the left thumb points down the club shaft at about 1 o’clock. If your thumb is straight down the shaft, it is too weak.

2. The V formed by your thumb and forefinger should be pointed between your right cheek and right shoulder. Then, if I am standing in front of you, I should only see two knuckles on the back of your left hand. If I see more than 2, your hand is turned too far to the right (too strong). If I see only 1, it is turned too far to the left (too weak).

3. You should place your right in such a way that the pad of the right thumb covers the left thumb. You then wrap your fingers around the club from there.

4. Your right thumb should be pointed at 11 o’clock down the club shaft.

5. The V formed by your thumb and forefinger should be pointed between your right cheek and right shoulder…parallel to the V formed by your left hand.

6. You should form a trigger with your right forefinger, and that trigger should be directly beside the right thumb, not underneath the club, and not on top of the grip.

When you place your hands on the club in this manner, the palms should be facing each other.

(Left Handers)

1. Your right hand should be placed on the club so that the right thumb points down the club shaft at 11 o’clock.

2. The V formed by your thumb and forefinger should be aimed between your left cheek and shoulder.

3. Your left hand should be place so that the pad of the left thumb covers your right thumb. Wrap your fingers around the club from there.

4. Your left thumb should be pointed at 1 o’clock down the club shaft.

5. The V formed by your thumb and forefinger should be aimed between your left cheek and shoulder, parallel to the V formed by your right hand.

6. Form a trigger with your left forefinger, and that trigger should be directly beside the thumb, not underneath the club and not on top of the grip.

Whether you work with an overlap grip, interlock grip or a 10 finger grip is up to you.

Changing your grip is often an uncomfortable change, but it is the key to hitting more consistent golf shots. The only way to get more comfortable with the new grip is to work on it, practice with it. Swing the club in the garage so you get used to it during the winter months.

However, it is not recommended that you change your grip under the following circumstances:

1. If you have a strong grip as described previously, but you still slice the ball, then do not try to achieve a more neutral grip, as it will only worsen your slice. You have to work on your swing mechanics first.

2. If you have a weak grip and still hook the ball, again, do not try to go to a more neutral grip, as you will only hook the ball more. You have to work on swing path first.

In regard to grip pressure, most golfers have a tendency to hold on to the club too tight. The majority of golfers slice the ball, and holding onto the club too tightly will only cause them to slice the ball more. However, if you tend to hook the ball too much, try holding the club a little tighter. Ideally, we want medium grip pressure…not too tight and not too loose.

Work on this most important fundamental and in the long run, you will achieve greater consistency.

Scott Cole is a Hank Haney Pro Associate Level 2 Instructor. To learn more about golf swing fundamentals, faults and cures, visit www.howtogolfyourbest.com