Because the hands are the only parts of the body that actually make contact with the golf club, their position lays the groundwork for the entire swing. A fundamentally sound grip allows the hands to make the proper mechanical moves through the impact zone, whereas an unorthodox grip makes things very difficult when learning proper swing mechanics. The proper placement of the hands on the golf club can differ from player to player depending on several factors: size, gender, age, athleticism and temperament. Very few players feel comfortable when first gripping the club properly, so it is imperative that the player practice taking a proper grip frequently so it eventually feels natural.
Things You'll Need
- Golf glove (optional)
Place the club at the base of the fingers of the left hand (for a right-handed player). The club should not rest in the palm or on the fingertips. Holding the club directly in front of you, wrap your fingers around the club with the thumb in a position as though pointing to one o'clock. Your three bottom fingers are close together, but your forefinger is slightly separated from the others.
When placing the right hand on the club, make certain the left thumb hides comfortably in under middle of the right palm. You may interlock the right pinky inside the left forefinger, then wrap the other fingers softly around the club. As you look down at your right thumb, it should be as though pointing to 11 o'clock. The right forefinger is curled under the club, slightly separated from the other fingers. The interlocking of the fingers is not mandatory, only suggested for most players. The space between your right thumb and right forefinger creates an arrow shape which generally points toward the inside of your right shoulder.
The club should rest comfortably in the fingers and not be clenched tightly. Pressure should be applied with one hand and not the other, as opposed to both hands applying equal pressure. If you are comfortable applying pressure with the left hand, make certain the pressure is limited to the three bottom fingers squeezing the club. If you are more comfortable with the right hand applying pressure, 'pinch' with the thumb and forefinger--all other points on the club are tension-free.
Make certain the right thumb is not wrapped around the club. The inside portion of the thumb's middle knuckle should be pressed against the club and this appendage should remain fairly straight.
Tips & Warnings
- Tension-free hands are essential to efficient golf swings, so do not squeeze too tightly. It's also important to know the difference between a 'weak' or a 'strong' grip, which has a definite effect on shot-making. If the arrow created between your right thumb and forefinger points toward your chin, you have a 'neutral' grip. If the arrow points more toward your right shoulder, you have a 'strong' grip. If the arrow points toward your left shoulder, you have a 'weak' grip.
- All the positions noted here are for a right-handed player. If you are left-handed, simply substitute the word 'right' for 'left' wherever you find it, and vice versa.
- "PGA Teaching Manual: The Art and Science of Golf Instruction"; by Gary Wirens, et al, 1990