How you grip your club is key to the success of your golf swing and the direction of the ball. Errors in your grip can lead to blocked shots to the right, inside-out swings, hooks, slices and a lack of power, suggests PGA professional Herman Williams. If you are experiencing any of these problems, first check your grip before changing your swing. Three basic grip styles can be used -- overlapping, interlocking and baseball grip. Though no one grip is best, the overlapping is the most popular.
Left Hand Placement
To find the correct left hand position for the overlapping grip, grasp the shaft of the club with your right hand, hold it front of your torso and point the head toward the sky. Tilt the club about 45 degrees until the butt of the handle points toward your stomach. Hold your left hand against the handle so that it runs diagonally across the middle joint of your index finger and then back to the base of your little finger. Wrap your fingers around the handle in a spiral manner with the corner heel pad of your hand resting on top of the handle. Close your hand and pinch the handle underneath the meaty part of the heel pad. Place your left thumb on the top of the handle slightly right of center -- 1 o'clock position.
Right Hand Placement
While holding the club with your left hand, tilt the head down and rest it on the ground to find the right hand position. Approach the right side of the handle with your right hand. Hold the handle in the crease at the bottom of your middle two fingers and then slide your hand toward your left hand. Stop when your ring finger touches your left index finger. Wrap your two middle fingers around the handle and then overlap your pinkie finger on the crease between your left index finger and middle fingers. Roll your right hand toward the left, wrap your index finger around the handle and place the middle or lifeline crease of your right palm on top of your left thumb. The left thumb is completely covered by the meaty pad at the base of your right thumb. Place your right thumb on top of the handle slightly left of center.
Interlocking and Baseball Grips
With the interlocking grip, your right pinkie finger is locked between your left index and middle fingers. The advantage to this grip is that your hands work together as one unit providing more control. The baseball, or 10-finger grip, is where all 10 of your fingers hold onto the handle. This grip is not recommended because your hands tend to work independently, which can lead to control issues. The baseball grip is sometimes used by golfers who have small hands or hands with short, fat fingers because it is more comfortable and feels more secure.
To ensure your hands are positioned correctly, take your normal stance and visually check your grip. You should be able to see the first two knuckles on the back of your left hand. Your thumb and index fingers on both hands should be pressed together. The V-shaped crease formed between your left thumb and index finger should point between your right ear and shoulder. The V-shaped crease formed between your right thumb and index finger should point toward your chin.
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