GripGolf Basics

Master Proper Golf Grip in 5 Steps

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Looking to gain consistency and add distance overnight? Properly gripping the club is a quick path to shaving strokes. In this comprehensive guide, learn the optimal grip style for your swing, correct hand placements for square impact, grip pressure fundamentals, custom fitting tips, and drills to master your hold within 5 steps. Stop battling slices and hooks by finally mastering a sound, repeatable golf grip.

A proper golf grip is absolutely essential for playing your best golf. Yet, it’s one of the most overlooked fundamentals by amateur players. Many golfers grip their clubs however feel comfortable at first, without considering the impact it has on their ball striking, consistency and power. This beginner’s guide will teach you how to master a sound golf grip, helping you strike the ball true while adding distance to your shots.

As an avid weekend golfer myself, I’ve struggled for years with inconsistent contact and lack of control with my irons and driver. I’d hit a pure shot that sailed down the fairway, only to follow it with a slice or chunk into the trees. My playing partners kept telling me to check my grip, but I dismissed it thinking my grip felt fine. 

It wasn’t until I took a lesson with a PGA pro that I realized how weak my grip was. I was holding the club mostly in the palms of my hands, with the clubface wide open at address. The pro had me turn my hands further to the left to strengthen my grip – promoting a square clubface. Though it felt awkward at first, this small adjustment worked wonders. I began striping iron shots on the range, with a penetrating ball flight and increased distance. My drives straightened out down the middle instead of careening into the woods.

Proper hand placement is critical for clean contact and power transfer. Even a slight change in your grip pressure or wrist position can have dramatic effects on your ball striking. A weak grip leads to shots starting left of your target and slicing further right. It also robs you of valuable power since the clubface isn’t square at impact. Conversely, a strong grip closes the clubface and induces a hook spin, with shots curving violently left. 

Finding a neutral, balanced grip delivers solid contact and predictable shot patterns. Whether you utilize the popular overlap, interlock or baseball grip, maintaining proper fundamentals is key. In this complete guide, you’ll learn various golf grip techniques along with drills to ingrain the correct hand, wrist and arm positions. With focused practice, your new powerful and repeatable grip will have you hitting laser-like irons and booming drives in no time. Let’s get started optimizing your grip!

Types of Golf Grips

Once you’ve decided to improve your golf grip, the next step is determining which grip style works best for your game. There are four main types of grips used by golfers, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Finding the right one for you depends on factors like hand size, flexibility, strength and personal preference. Let’s take a look at the characteristics of each grip type so you can make an informed decision.

Overlap grip

The overlap grip is considered the most traditional and commonly used grip on tour. To use it, your lead hand (top hand for right-handed players) grips the club normally while the trailing hand overlaps the lead hand in a diagonal fashion. The pinky finger of your trail hand rests in between the index and middle finger of the lead hand. 

Popularized by legends like Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus, the overlap grip promotes maximum control and fine motor skills. Since the lead hand is marginally lower, it reduces excessive hand action through impact. The connection between both hands also helps golfers who struggle with casting or flipping. For these reasons, the overlap grip is ideal for precision shots into greens and curving the ball flight.

However, it does require flexible hands and wrists to hinge properly. The overlap also leaves the lead hand doing most of the work, which can fatigue the lead hand and arm over time. Transitioning to this grip from baseball style takes some adjustment too. Focus on light grip pressure and keeping the hands working together.

Interlocking grip

The interlocking grip is a slight variation popularized by Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus. Instead of overlapping the pinky finger, the trail hand’s pinky and index finger lock together and intertwine with the lead hand’s index and middle finger. This connects the two hands tightly together.

Interlocking serves similar stability and control benefits as the overlap grip. Since both hands work as one unit, it minimizes the chance of timing issues through impact. The connection also reduces hand and arm tension. However, keeping the fingers intertwined takes concentration. Players with arthritis also may struggle since it compresses the fingers together.

Baseball or Ten Finger Grip

Those seeking maximum power and wrist hinge in their golf swing may favor using the baseball or 10-finger grip instead of the more popular overlap or interlock styles. The baseball grip positions each finger of the trail hand to grip the club separately, rather than overlapping or interlocking with the lead hand fingers. This independent hand and finger placement promotes a freer hinging and release of the hands, wrists and clubhead through the entire swing motion and impact.

The lead hand is also able to work independently with a baseball grip, allowing for increased wrist action and hinging during the backswing and downswing. While overlap and interlock grips focus more on stability and control, the baseball grip prioritizes maximizing wrist hinge for added clubhead speed and power transfer into the ball. If generating more distance is your goal, explore our in-depth guide on achieving the ideal left wrist position in golf swing for tips on fully optimizing wrist and hand action during your swing.

Cross-handed grips

Finally, cross-handed grips involve switching your lead and trail hand placement. If you’re right-handed, your left hand becomes the lower lead hand. This allows lefties to utilize their dominant hand as the swing’s power source. The right-hand serves more for stabilizing the clubface.

Cross-handed grips achieve similar results to a baseball grip, with maximum wrist hinge and hand action for power. However, the right-to-left ball flight and necessary adjustments make it a rare choice for pros. Use it cautiously or under a teaching pro’s guidance.

Now that you’re familiar with the options, take some practice swings with each one on the range. The grip which provides the most comfort and feedback as you swing is likely the best match. Instructors can also analyze your grip type against swing characteristics to make recommendations. Don’t be afraid to experiment until it clicks – a personalized grip stands the test of time.

Mastering Proper Grip Fundamentals

Developing sound grip fundamentals is critical before ingraining any flaws through repetition. Let’s examine proper hand placement, pressure, clubface alignment and consistency drills in detail.

Maintaining Proper Grip Pressure

One of the most common grip errors is squeezing too tight in an attempt to gain power. This vice-like death grip actually inhibits your swing rather than enhancing it. Excess tension in the hands and forearms restricts proper wrist hinge and release through impact.

With a death grip, the clubface tends to either open or close since the hands can’t release as intended. Shots will spray right or hook left accordingly. Overly tense hands also sap power instead of maximizing it. Efforts focused on clenching the grip cannot be utilized for optimal clubhead speed.

Maintaining this death grip swiftly tires the hands and forearms as well. By the back nine, your strained grip muscles will lose strength and stability. Your scoring ability diminishes in tandem with your failing grip.

Achieving the Proper Hold

For consistent shots, you must find the ideal grip pressure balancing control and speed. A helpful analogy is holding a small bird in your hands – firm enough to prevent dropping yet gentle enough not to harm it. 

Aim for light but secure pressure primarily in the fingers, while keeping the palms relaxed. Start practice swings with the lightest grip possible, then gradually increase tension until the club feels stable at all points in the swing. This engrains a repeatable, fluid delivery.

Dialing In Proper Hand Placement

Even minute variations in hand placement drastically impact ball striking. To prevent inconsistency, consciously position both hands in the optimal spot along the grip.

For most conventional grips, the lead hand should grip down until the knuckles of the index and middle fingers are visible. The club should rest primarily in the fingers and pad of your palm – not buried deep inside.

Through trial and error, find the lead hand position that squares the face at impact. Gripping too far into the palm closes the face, often producing hooks. Gripping too far toward the fingers do the opposite, opening the face and promoting slices.

Marking Your Hand Placement 

Once you find the ideal lead hand position, mark the base of that hand with a pen or marker. This allows you to repeatedly recreate the same placement, ingraining consistency. Now match the trail hand’s grip in relation to the marked lead hand.

Generally, the trail hand should sit slightly more in the palm with knuckles pointing skyward. Two to three total knuckles should be visible, but this varies based on grip style and hand size. Test placements until both hands unite seamlessly.

Aligning the Clubface

With your personalized grip established, align the clubface perpendicular to the target line before gripping the club. Grabbing the club arbitrarily can lead to an open or closed orientation at address without realizing it.

Set the face square to your intended starting direction first. Now grip the club without altering face angle. You can use foot spray to mark the proper impact alignment on the face as a visual guide.

Ingraining Consistency with Drills

Finally, perform drills like the “wall drill” to verify consistent grip and alignment. Take your set grip and stance near a wall. Make practice swings ensuring the clubface lightly brushes the wall at waist height throughout the swing arc. 

If the face points left or right of target during the motion, your grip alignment needs reevaluation. This drill ingrains a grip promoting an online swing path.

With focused repetition and checks, proper grip fundamentals will become second nature. You’ll flush iron and driver shots on command, impressing playing partners with your newfound consistency and control.

Custom Fitting Your Golf Grip

Proper grip size and materials are essential, yet often overlooked components. Using grips aligned to your body, swing and conditions improves performance and comfort. Take time to get professionally fit for grips suited specifically to you.

Grips for Different Hand Sizes

Grip circumference varies widely, with standard sizes ranging from undersize to midsize, large and jumbo. Determine your optimal size by first measuring hand size. Wrap your fingers around a club and gauge whether your fingertips touch your palm snugly, overlap slightly, or have a large gap.

Those with smaller hands and shorter fingers need slender grips for proper finger placement. Oversized grips force them to grip too much into the palms, reducing control. Midsize to undersize allows their fingertips to reach the pads of their palms. Women and juniors often utilize undersize.

Conversely, large and extra-large hands need thick grips to prevent cramping. With thin grips, their fingertips dig past the palm pads creating hand and forearm tension. Midsize to jumbo gives their fingers room to spread out comfortably along the grip. Men and those with long fingers favor these sizes.

Beyond hand size, consider your grip style and swing specifics. Strongly gripping players need additional thickness to prevent excessive pressure. Overlap grips work best slightly larger to allow proper trail hand placement. Test various sizes on the range to dial in your ideal fit, then have all clubs matched and installed. Proper sizing enhances grip consistency.

Grips for Arthritic Hands

Arthritis inflicts severe pain and discomfort when gripping a golf club traditionally. The compressive pressure required often proves unbearable over 18 holes. But specialized grips provide welcome relief, allowing continued play despite arthritis.

Extra-large rubber grips minimize the amount of pressure needed. By spreading the fingers wider, more surface area cradles the club requiring less squeezing force. This reduces pain significantly. Rubber inserts like Golf Pride’s Arthritic line also absorb damaging shock and vibration through the hands.

Cord grips further dampen vibration while providing cushion. The wrap-around cord construction conforms nicely to arthritic fingers. Materials like Iomic’s sticky Biogrip help reduce grip pressure as well. Proper club sizing, choke-down gripping and swing adjustments also aid an arthritic grip. Don’t Suffer needlessly – get fitted for the right arthritic-friendly grips.

Grips for Wet Weather

Golf gloves and grip tape lose traction in wet conditions, causing slipping and clubface rotation. But hydrophobic grips with advanced textures maintain a steady hold even when soaked. Materials channel away moisture while providing exceptional tactile friction.

Cord grips like Winn Dri-Tac feature hundreds of woven fibers providing a sure grip, rain or shine. Interlocking cubes coating Lamkin’s Crossline Full Cord increases surface friction when damp. Golf Pride’s Z-Grip combines a hybrid of cord and rubber for ultimate stickiness. Consider grips with at minimum two layers to resist absorbing water internally.

Besides traction, water permeates and damages grip tape glue over time. This acceleration in breakdown requires more frequent regripping to maintain optimal performance. Check your grips after heavy rain for soft spots or swelling, then replace them earlier than normal if compromised. Don’t jeopardize your grip in soggy conditions.

Worn Grips – When to Regrip

As grips wear from use, abrasion and dirt, their tackiness and traction fade. This makes maintaining proper hand placement and pressures more difficult. Check old grips carefully for smooth, shiny spots indicating loss of texture. Also look out for cracks, lifting seams and color changes.

Another simple test is twisting the grip back and forth – worn grips rotate easily rather than resisting. Generally, cord grips last slightly longer than rubber while maintaining playability. But once grips become excessively slick, it’s time for a replacement.

Experts recommend re-gripping irons and wedges every 40-50 rounds, or at least once per season. Woods and drivers should be replaced every 30-40 rounds since they see heavier use. Switch earlier if using durability issues. And ensure new grips match your prior size and style. Well-maintained grips provide ideal traction and hand position for season after season.

Developing Your Ideal Golf Grip

Selecting a suitable grip style is an important first step. But customizing it into your ideal grip takes experimentation, practice and guidance. Let’s explore ways to refine your grip into a personalized, ingrained asset for lower scores.

Experimenting with Different Grips

Choosing between overlap, interlock, baseball and crossover styles often comes down to trial and error testing. Allocate time to test each one on the driving range to ascertain what feels most natural.

Take swings with your normal stance to judge comfort and feedback. Check ball flights for any tendencies signaling an improper grip. If shots fade or draw excessively, it indicates alignment issues. Identify the grip promoting clean, online ball striking.

Avoid over-gripping or tension when experimenting. Use your normal grip pressure and pay attention to feel through the swing. The grip providing the best stability and clubface control with minimal effort is likely the best initial match.

You can also get professionally fit for grip style by a certified instructor. They analyze your grip against swing mechanics to recommend the ideal type. An outside perspective prevents bias since you may gravitate toward a certain style. Blend their guidance with your own preferences after testing.

At-Home Drills and Practice

Once selected, ingrain your grip with repetitious practice and drills. The classic towel drill teaches proper hand placement – grip the club normally while placing a towel between your trail forearm and lead wrist.

With a sound grip, the towel will stay clamped in position throughout the swing. If it falls, your trail hand grip needs adjustment. Start with half swings, gradually extending the arc while keeping the towel clamped. This trains correct wrist hinge and hand action.

Swinging with your eyes closed also enhances the feel for an ideal grip and swing plane. Without visual cues, you must rely solely on kinesthetic feedback to swing properly. Perform multiple smooth partial swings focusing intently on grip pressure and trajectory.

Training grips like the Perfect Connection device restrict wrist movement until proper hand placement is attained. Gripping incorrectly leaves the device locked, forcing adjustments until it hinges freely. This engrains ideal fundamentals.

Getting Professional Instruction

Seeking professional guidance identifies any major grip issues requiring correction. Certified PGA instructors detect flaws in your hand positioning, pressure and wrist mechanics.

Through motion analysis, they pinpoint deficiencies undermining your performance. Custom-tailored lessons then build up proper fundamentals through drills and training aids. Video review lets you compare your evolving grip visually against past faults.

For players with years of experience, changing habitual grips feels unnatural at first. But patient, guided practice rewires your motor memory and feel with the improved grip. Invest time and effort into lessons for permanent enhancement.

Maintaining Your Grip Long-Term

Grip basics require continual maintenance rather than assuming they remain sound. Dedicate range sessions periodically to reconfirm fundamentals like pressure, hand placement and alignment. Use basic drills like the towel clamp regularly as reminders.

Routinely check for any creeping changes in grip technique or mechanics. Our natural instinct is to revert to comfortable yet faulty patterns without oversight. Nip any regressions quickly through refresher training before they solidify again.

Re-gripping your clubs before each season prevents degraded grips from affecting your hand placement. Old, smooth grips make maintaining your exact hold very difficult. Fresh grips start every season on a solid foundation.

Finally, keep adjusting your grip as needed for physical changes like arthritis. Compensate for strained hand mobility with wider grips, reduced pressure, and swing alterations. A personalized grip must evolve over time alongside your body. Stay proactive in doing so.

Fixing Common Golf Grip Errors

While perfecting your grip, you’ll likely develop some common faults. From improper hand placement to excess tension, let’s explore how to diagnose and correct these deficiencies.

Adjusting a Strong Grip

A strong grip involves turning both hands excessively to the left on the club (for right-handed players). This closed-hand position promotes a shut clubface at impact.

Diagnosing Issues

Some telltale signs of a strong grip include seeing only 1-2 knuckles on your lead hand, and 3-4 knuckles on the trail hand. Shots often start slightly left and curve further in that direction (hooks). You may also struggle with pushes due to compensating adjustments.

Weakening Your Grip

To find a neutral grip, incrementally weaken your hand placement until the clubface squares. Turn both hands slightly towards your right side during setup. The clubface should appear perpendicular to your target line before gripping.

Use a guide like matching the number of knuckles visible on your lead and trail hands. Your grip should feel slightly foreign at first. Give it time to become comfortable through practice.

Retraining Your Grip

Drills like the “face towel” teach proper hand placement. Drape a towel over the head of your driver, then grip the club without moving the towel. If aligned neutrally, the towel stays centered. Repeat until this position feels natural.

Strengthening a Weak Grip

Conversely, a weak grip positions both hands excessively right of center at address. This opens the clubface upon swinging, inducing slices.

Detecting a Weak Grip

With a weak grip, you’ll see 3-4 knuckles of the lead hand and just 1-2 of the trail hand. Shots often start right of target and continue slicing further right. You may also push shots left to compensate.

Strengthening Your Hands

Strengthening a weak grip requires rotating both hands further left during setup. Use guides like matching knuckle numbers to achieve a square clubface at address. This turned position reduces the grip’s influence, keeping the face closed.

Perform wrist and hand exercises with a resistance band or hand grippers. Building strength prevents having to weaken your grip for control.

Retraining Muscle Memory

Use impact sprays or foot powder to paint an alignment line on your clubface. Now take your strengthened grip and ensure the line remains centered down your target line. Repeat this drill until stronger positioning feels natural.

Avoiding Excess Grip Tension

Applying too much tension in your grip stems from misconceptions about power. Easy fixes get you back to proper pressure.

Detecting Over-Tension

Excess tension quickly fatigues the hands and forearms. You may lose feel and control on back nine holes. Blisters or calluses from tight squeezing also indicate death gripping.

Relaxing Your Grip

Consciously relax your grip pressure until the club rests lightly yet securely in your fingers. Shake out any built-up tension in your hands and arms before re-gripping.

Use “soft grip” training aids which force you to grip gently enough to maintain the club’s alignment. Ingraining light pressure enhances control.

Remember Proper Technique

Rather than power coming from the hands, initiate the swing by turning your torso while keeping your arms relaxed. This engages the larger body muscles properly. Remind yourself before each shot to grip gently.

Maximizing Wrist Hinge

Limited wrist hinge due to poor grip technique reduces power and consistency.

Diagnosing Problems

Restricted wrist action prevents achieving a wide backswing arc. Your swing may appear abbreviated or “armsy”. Solid contact becomes difficult.

Allow Natural Hinge 

Ensure hands grip the club lightly in the fingers to maximize mobility. Keep wrists relaxed and flexible.

Try crossover or baseball styles if struggling with overlap or interlock grips. Their structure better facilitates wrist action for some players.

Practice Hinging

Perform wrist mobility exercises with a weighted bar or resistance band. Smoothly rehearse the hinging motion minus the club to build flexibility and feel.


If you’ve made it this far, congratulations on investing the time to master your golf grip – one of the most important yet overlooked fundamentals of the game. We’ve covered a wide range of techniques, adjustments and best practices. Now let’s recap the key takeaways to ingrain a consistent, powerful grip.

First and foremost, understand that your grip directly impacts about 75% of shots. Even minute changes in hand placement alter your clubface drastically at impact. That’s why dialing in proper fundamentals like neutral hand positions and light, flexible pressure is so critical before allowing flaws to develop.

Taking the time to experiment with all the major grip styles is so worthwhile – don’t automatically default to what you first tried. Test an overlap, interlock, baseball and crossover grip to find your most natural fit. Consider how each one affects your swing path, clubface alignment and wrist hinge during practice sessions. You may be surprised what ends up suiting your game best.

Work diligently on pressure – avoid falling into the trap of death gripping for imagined power or control. Keep hands and arms free of excess tension that prevents the clubface releasing properly through impact. Relax your grip until the club rests securely in your fingers, then make gradual pressure increase as needed. That light yet stable hold engrains reliability.

Don’t neglect custom-fitting your actual grip size and material as well, based on hand size, fitness and swing characteristics. Seek out an experienced club fitter to identify your ideal grip diameter, material and texture combinations. Correct sizing enhances consistency by keeping hands in optimal positions without stress. This simple yet valuable process is too often overlooked.

From there, make repetitive fundamentals practice your friend. Use impact sprays to learn proper face alignments that square the face at address. Perform drills like the towel clamp to verify appropriate wrist conditions and hand positions throughout the swing. Grooving fundamentals in your muscle memory takes dedication – but it pays off tremendously.

Be open to professional instruction too for identifying major grip issues needing renovation. Even after years of play, videos and motion analysis often detect flawed techniques that a golfer incorrectly views as normal. A coach guides you through necessary grip changes step-by-step until comfort is restored. Don’t let ego prevent helpful improvements.

Finally, remember maintaining a solid grip requires ongoing care and diligence. Over time, bad habits inevitably try to resurface unless proactively guarded against. Regular check-ups on key grip basics keep you on track, as do replace worn grips before seasons. Consistent vigilance preserves your hard-earned gains.

With an optimized, ingrained grip as your foundation, achieving clean ball striking and power become a much easier endeavor. Your shot patterns tighten up, your mishits decrease substantially and you gain control off the tee. Your friends will think you’ve discovered some secret trick with your newfound precision and flow. But you’ll know it simply stems from mastering one of golf’s essential fundamentals – your grip. Hopefully, this guide outlined everything you need to begin that worthwhile journey in earnest.

Andrew is a 38 year old golf enthusiast turned instructor from Chicago. For the past 7 years he has offered private golf lessons, helping students refine their skills. Andrew shares his passion for golf through instructional articles for

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