Upon picking up a golf club for the first time, you immediately meet your first test in the game, the golf grip. The golf grip is arguably the most important aspect of a swing and it should be the first thing that anybody learns. The reason behind that being a proper golf grip can lead you to consistent positive results on the golf course.
The grip has a significant impact on ball striking, accuracy, consistency, distance, and several other aspects and outcomes of a golf swing. On a day when your swing is a little off but your grip is solid, you’ll likely be able to score well. But, if you have a day with a good swing and a grip that’s off, you’re going to have a very tough time scoring well.
When it comes to the golf grip, there are numerous styles that yield positive results and it can be difficult to choose the best one for you. If you’re an amateur or beginner golfer and you’ve never had any instruction on how to grip a golf club, stick around for the following information to help you get a grip on your golf swing.
Now that we understand how important a good grip is, continue reading to get into the basics of a proper grip in simple terms, a discussion of the different types of golf grips including interlocking, overlocking, and the classic baseball grip, an explanation of golf grip sizes, and finally, a comparison of the materials to choose from.
How to Grip a Golf Club and Golf Grip Basics – Complete Guide
Basics of a Proper Golf Grip
Before you can fix your golf grip, you need to know a few basic checkpoints. First things first, your top or non-dominant hand will be the first to grab the golf club. When this hand is in the proper place, you should be able to see two knuckles from that hand and the ‘V’ shape between your thumb and your index finger should be pointed directly at your right shoulder. (right-handed golfer)
The club will lay in your hands across the base of your fingers. Your hand will come over the top and the area below the base of your thumb will be the main pressure point on top of the grip. This leaves your palm free and it will be a relatively new feeling for most players. The final step of your top hand (left for a right-handed player) is your thumb running directly down the grip, just off to the right side.
The next step will be placing your bottom (right) hand in the proper position. Like we discussed with the left hand the ‘V’ shape between your thumb and your index finger on the right hand should also be pointed at the right shoulder.
Your right thumb will rest on your left thumb but the right thumb will be running along the left side of the grip. Finally, be sure that the grip is held in just your fingers underneath and with the base of your right thumb on top.
Checking off these specific checkpoints will give you a proper golf grip:
- See two knuckles on your top hand
- Top thumb down the right side of the grip
- Bottom thumb down the left side of the grip
- ‘V’ shape of thumb and index finger on both hands should be pointed at the right shoulder
- Hold the grip in the base of your fingers
The amount of pressure that should be applied to the golf club by your hands has been a discussion since the game of golf was invented. Many golfers have heard the adage of holding the club with the same pressure you would have if you were holding a baby bird.
If that example isn’t working for you, remember to hold the club firmly in place but not strong enough to create tension in your forearms. Tension in your forearms will make your swing stiff and rigid. It’s important to feel loose and free while still being in control.
When holding the club, you should feel most of the pressure in the center area of your hands. For example, the most pressure should feel like it’s in your pointer and middle finger area of your top hand and the ring and middle finger area of the bottom hand. You should always avoid forcing pressure with your thumbs.
How the Grip Affects Accuracy
The main purpose of the golf grip is to return to a square position once you reach the impact point of your swing. If your grip does not allow you to consistently square the clubface, it needs to be adjusted.
If either hand is too strong or weak, the club will over-rotate and it will be incredibly difficult to produce accurate results. The position of your wrists has a direct relation to the clubface position which you can easily feel by rotating your hands at address.
Interlock, Overlap, and Baseball Grips
When it comes to the different styles of golf grip, there are three that are easily the most commonly discussed and practiced. Interlock, overlap, and baseball. Each of these grip styles has its pros and cons and it will all come down to a player’s preferences.
Consider your current golf grip and compare them to the ones listed below. Switching a grip style will take a lot of practice and getting used to but it may be the most necessary step for you to take your game to the next level.
One of the best tips for practicing a new golf grip would be to get used to the feeling of it as soon as you can. By holding a club with your new grip while watching TV or sitting at your desk, you can minimize the time it takes to make a transition.
Interlock: Interlock is the traditional golf grip where your index finger on your top hand locks together with the pinky finger of your bottom hand. This is a common grip because it keeps both of your hands working together throughout the swing. It’s also easily repeatable which will lead to more consistent ball striking.
It can be difficult to transition to an interlocking grip because it will feel uncomfortable for a long time for a player who has never used this style before. If you decide to switch over to an interlocking grip, give yourself time to become comfortable with it.
Some examples of professional golfers who use the interlocking style grip are Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, and Michelle Wie.
Overlap: Overlap grip is when the index finger of the top hand rests between the pinky and ring finger of the bottom hand. This grip is similar to an interlocking grip besides the connection of the fingers. This grip is just as solid as the interlocking grip and it also promotes solid, consistent ball striking.
The overlap is a popular style because it’s easy to transition to and is considered to be more comfortable for players who don’t feel comfortable with the interlocking style. This style is often preferred by golfers with large hands.
Some examples of professional golfers who use the overlap style grip are Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, and Bryson Dechambeau
Baseball: As the name suggests, this grip is similar to holding a baseball bat. There is no overlapping or interlocking, you simply place your hands together on the golf club. The baseball grip is most common for beginner golfers who haven’t gotten comfortable with the other two styles.
The benefit of this grip is the leverage that is created when your hands aren’t actually connected which can increase clubhead speed and distance. The downside is the lack of consistency. When you grip the club with a baseball style, you allow for more movement in your wrists.
The baseball grip is very rare at the top level but Scott Piercy, a current PGA Professional is known to use this style.
How to Regrip a Golf Club
After a lot of use, a golf grip will lose its tackiness and comfort. The texture on the grip will become worn out and it will cause slipping in your hands which will be even worse if your hands or the grip become wet.
The materials you will need to regrip a golf club are new grips, regripping tape, mineral spirits solution, and a knife. Additionally, a vice is helpful for keeping the club in place for the regripping.
The first step of the regripping process is getting the old grips off the shaft of the club. You can do this with a utility knife by running it from one end of the grip to the other. Once it’s been cut, you can peel the grip off of the shaft with ease.
Underneath the grip is going to be a layer of tape that was used to keep the grip in place without any movement. This tape could be the most time-consuming part of this process because it can be hard to peel off but if you use a mineral solution, you can scrub it off with a little effort.
Once the tape is gone, you’ll be left with a bare shaft that’s ready to be regripped. You’ll take your new tape and cut off a strip the length of a golf grip. Place the tape around the top of the shaft.
Once your tape is in place, you’re almost ready to apply the grip. Spray a generous amount of the solution inside of the grip and on the tape in order to be able to slide the grip on. Once that’s done, slide the grip on in one quick motion. It’s important to do this quickly because the solution will dry quickly.
Once, the grip is applied correctly, you’ll need to let it sit for about 12 hours in order to dry completely. Now, you’re ready to play golf!
How Often Should You Regrip Your Clubs?
There is no set answer for this because it will depend entirely on how often you play golf but there are signs to look out for that will tell you when it’s time to regrip your clubs. The first and most obvious sign is if the grip is damaged or peeling anywhere. Also if your grip has become smooth where your hands rest and are no longer tacky, it’s time to regrip them.
Golf Grip Materials
Rubber: Rubber is the most common material for golf grips because it’s durable, inexpensive, and offers a high amount of traction. Rubber grips are soft feeling and come in a wide variety of colors and sizes. Although rubber is all-around versatile and comfortable, it can wear sooner and can be less effective in wet conditions than the cord style.
Cord: Cord golf grips are rubber golf grips with a string woven into the entire grip. This increases the traction and creates a firmer feeling grip. This is often the preferred grip of players that don’t like to wear a golf glove. Additionally, cord grips perform better in adverse weather conditions than traditional rubber but will be rougher on your hands because of the coarse texture.
Synthetics: Synthetic rubber golf grips have become more popular in recent years because of the soft and comfortable feeling they provide. Most popularly made by Winn with their Dri-Tac series of golf grips.
The soft and responsive feeling of a synthetic grip is perfect for the player that struggles with gripping too hard. That being said, they aren’t as durable as rubber and cord and won’t perform as well in wet conditions.
Golf Grip Sizes
Golf grips come in four common sizes; junior/undersized, standard, midsize, and jumbo/oversize. Learning the differences between these and finding out which one is the best fit for your swing can greatly improve the comfort of your grip. The difference between grip sizes is the overall width of the grip.
If you asked a golf professional, they might tell you that the best way to determine the proper grip size for you would be by measuring your hand from the base of your palm to the tip of your middle finger. This measurement isn’t an exact fact and at the end of the day, the grip size you choose is a matter of preference.
The chart below gives you an idea of the grip size that would likely be most comfortable for you:
- Undersize/Junior – less than 7 inches
- Standard – 7 inches to 8 3/4 inches
- Midsize – 8 1/4 inches to 9 1/4 inches
- Oversize/Jumbo – longer than 9 1/4 inches
Once you understand just how important the proper golf grip is and make the changes necessary for you to fix yours, you will take your game to the next level. Remember the grip guidelines that were explained earlier and follow them during your next practice session but be patient.
Making changes to your grip can be a painful process because it will be uncomfortable for you to make the transition at first. You might find that you’re not hitting the ball any better at first and you might soon switch back to your old ways. It’s crucial to stick it out and continue practicing the new changes if you want to see a noticeable improvement in your game.
Before you decide on a grip style for yourself, try a few different things out and get a feel for what suits you best. Whether you like overlap, interlock, or baseball style is up to you and it might take a lot of practice and experimenting to figure that out.
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