Like in any game that needs a bat or a stick as a hitting weapon, golf also requires a set of clubs to make various shots. For example, to hit on the greens, you will mainly need an iron, but to make a flop shot, you will need the lob wedge. So, with so many different clubs, you need to learn different ways of gripping the clubs. Most amateurs make a common mistake in gripping the club, and that’s why they either make embarrassing shots or send away the club itself while hitting.
So, you see, a golfer needs to understand the proper way to grip a club, the various ways of gripping, and other related factors. So, let’s start this impending discussion, which has put many players in a compromising position.
Why is it important to learn about golf club grips?
Well, before you learn anything else about the ways to grip a golf club, you need to know why the professional players always focus on correcting the grip first as compared to correct your shot. You see, the way you will grab the club will affect your shot, be it the force of the impact or the positioning of the club head face. But, that’s not all about a club grip. Here are some of the reasons because of which you need to learn the right way of holding your club from the very beginning.
- A proper grip on the club will allow the player to rest the club head on the ground correctly, without damaging the sole or the grooves.
- Every shot needs a proper posture of both your body as well as your club. This can only be achieved if you are gripping the club properly at the time of the shot.
- Without gripping the clubs properly, you might hit the turf hard with the club head, causing damage to the face.
- Some beginners try to be smart and hold the clubs in the wrong way. Right after the swing, they have thrown the clubs up in the air rather than hitting the ball, causing some severe chaos.
- A proper grip on the club will allow you to hit the ball with less swing and force on your body.
What are the various types of club grips?
There are three main ways in which you can grab a club. These three ways depend on how you are wrapping your fingers around the grip handle of every club you are using. So, let’s have a look at the description of these three grip types.
- Overlapping grip: If you have a large hand, you need to know this overlapping grip around the club handle. Harry Vardon first introduced the method in the mid 20th century. And since then, this grip style is being taught as a mandatory lesson to every golf player during their beginner training sessions. For a right-handed player, your right hand will be the trailing hand while the other is the lead hand. You need to place your trailing hand’s little finger and fix it between the index and the middle finger of your lead hand. Make sure that both of your palms are tightly wounded around the handle of the club.
- Interlocking grip: This is the type of grip you can see mostly used by beginner players and those with weak arms or wrists. In this type of grip, you interlock your fingers of both the hands around the club’s handle. Now, there is a specific way of interlocking your fingers. You need to lock the little finger of your trailing hand between the index finger and the little finger of your lead hand. The lead hand should be placed lower, followed by the trailing hand sitting right atop of it.
- Ten fingers grip: This particular style is also known as the Baseball grip since a baseball player also holds the bat in the same way. Most of the beginners use this style to get a hold on their shots and the clubs. Here, the first grip at the end of the shaft handle should come from your lead hand. Once you have wrapped the fingers tightly around the handle, place your trailing hand around it. Ensure that your trailing hand’s index finger lies close to the little finger of your lead hand in the best possible manner.
How to grip a golf club properly?
Now, since you are aware of both the importance and styles of grabbing the golf club, let’s see how you can perfect your grip without making any further mistakes on the field.
- Evaluating your grip around the club: the very first thing you need to know a list of details about your own grip around the handle. This might sound lame but it is indeed one of the most important steps towards bettering yourself as a beginner player. Learn which is your trailing hand and the lead hand, the ways your fingers are being wrapped around the handle, the comfort level of the grip, and so on.
- Size of the grip: the grip around your golf club comes in different sizes. You need to buy a club whose grip is perfect for you, neither too short nor too long. In general, there are four types of grip sizes that you can find in the market:
- Undersize grips are the ones where the distance between the tip of your middle finger and your wrist is less than seven inches.
- Standard size is the one where your hand’s distance is between seven to eight and three-quarters of inches.
- Midsize grip has a hand length of eight and a quarter to nine and a quarter inches.
- Your palm should have a cross-sectional length of more than nine and a quarter inches for a jumbo grip.
- Holding the club: The first thing you have to learn about grabbing a golf club is how to hold the handle in your hand.
- First of all, you need to hold the club with your lead hand, which is generally the weaker hand of the player. If you are a right-handed player, your left hand should first grab the handle and vice versa.
- Next to this, make sure the V-space between your thumb and the index finger is pushed in a straight line from your shoulder.
- The thumb of your lead hand should be pointing downwards, facing the opposite side of the handle.
- Once you have ensured this, take the trailing hand and wrap the fingers around the club. Make sure that your trailing thumb sits firmly above the lead thumb, both facing downwards.
- Marking the grip position is a good idea for amateurs: Most beginners forget the way their lead hand will sit around the club handle. This is why you can use a marker and draw the lines. These lines will remind you of the exact spot where your lead hand should sit first around the handle. This way, you won’t be able to make mistakes in assessing the direction in which your lead thumb is facing.
- Learn the types of grips: As we have discussed earlier, there are three significant club grips in golf. You need to find out which grip style is made for you. The three types are namely the overlapping grip, the 10-finger grip, and the interlocking grip. Here is a small discussion that will allow you to know which style suits your stance perfectly.
- If you are a beginner and haven’t practiced any of the styles, you should go with the 10-finger grip style. It will provide you with many opportunities to learn about the grips and accustom your hand with the club.
- If you have a weak wrist or an injury in your hands, you should try out the interlocking grip. This will give you the club’s leverage since it is the firmest and the strongest grip style from amongst the three.
- Overlapping grip is mainly for professionals who know how to use the fingers to keep the club in place. Also, the overlapping grip asks for precision and accuracy, which most of the beginners lack.
- Grip pressure: This is the amount of force you impart in your grip to the club’s handle. This determines how tight or how lose you are holding the club between your trailing and lead hand. It is one of the most important factors that every golfer should know for improving his or her grip on the club. If your grip is too tight that your knuckles have turned white, you will hit the ball with the heel of the club head, causing chipping or bad shots. Again, if your pressure is too low, you might lose control over your swing and your club. Here are some little tips on the amount of pressure you should apply and the place of application.
- You should use the middle finger, the ring finger, and the little finger to apply pressure through your lead hand.
- You will need to apply the pressure through the ring and the middle finger as for your trailing hand.
- The applied pressure should be such that your grip is neither too soft, not too firm. You should ensure that you are not feeling any strain in your arms and wrists at the time of the address.
- Also, make sure that the club is not slipping out of your grasp while hitting the ball by any chance.
- Do not use the index finger and the thumb of your trailing hand to put pressure on the club’s handle.
- Keep the grip as neutral as possible: If you are a beginner player, you should keep your grip around the club’s handle as neutral as you can. Don’t put too much pressure or steer your training and lead hands too much. This will change the orientation of the club head face, thereby causing you to miss the accuracy of the shot and also the control over the club. Once you become a pro in handling these clubs, you can improvise your grip as per your convenience. Also, make sure that you are resting the club face on the ground while you perfect your grip’s pressure and position.
How to hold a driver club?
The driver club is mainly used to hit the ball off the tee into the greens at the beginning of the game. Now, if you are not perfecting the driver grip, it will be practically impossible for you to grab the wedges or the putter properly on the field.
Now, there are two ways of grabbing the driver- one is the neutral grip, and the other is the strong driver grip.
- In a neutral driver grip, both your lead and the trailing hands should be wrapped around the club’s center. Do not apply pressure on the club using your palm because that will affect both the swing and the hit force on the ball. Do not lean on your club from any side while resting the club head on the ground. Flex your knees and make sure that the club’s face is in a square with the ball. Release the tension from your arms, and then slowly hit the ball without putting too much swing force. If you are not confident, you can always practice a few dummy hits without touching the ball.
- In a strong driver grip, you will be leaning on the right side of the driver in a way that you put enough pressure around the club with your fingers. While you will be placing your lead hand around the club, make sure the face is in the tee’s square. You should also rotate your hand in a way where only the last three knuckles of the hand are visible from your line of sight. After this, place the trailing hand below the lead hand in a way where their orientation is antagonistic to each other.
How to improve your putter grip?
The putter grip is one of the most important things that you have to learn sooner than later. Since putter is the biggest club in the entire set, the grip ways of the club are different from the normal ways of grabbing a wood or an iron.
- Reverse overlap grip: In the normal overlapping grip, your trailing hand’s little finger rests in between the index and middle finger of the lead hand. However, in the reverse overlapping grip, the lead hand’s pinkie finger will sit between the index and middle fingers of the trailing hand. The lead hand thumb must rest on the putter grip in a flat position. In this putting stroke, your trailing hand will have the supreme control, and your lead hand will be for determining the face’s direction.
- Cross hand grip: In a cross hand grip, the trailing hand sits near the club’s end while the lead hands sit right below it. This position is completely the opposite of the normal grip that you have on any other club. There are two ways to achieve the cross-hand grip- one is where you can rest the lead little finger below the trailing index finger and the second where your trailing index finger will sit perpendicularly with your lead thumb.
- Claw grip: The claw grip has become quite famous, and if you see clearly, the pro golfers are using this particular grip more than the other two types of the putting grip. There should be a distance of at least two to four inches between your trailing and lead hand in a way that the thumb of your lead hand must rest flat on the grip of the putter. This will enhance the pressure of your lead hand on the putting grip.
- Arm-lock grip: Here, the handle of the club will be locked away within the grip of your lead forearm in a way where the top of the handle points out of the hand. You can hold the grip in any way without disturbing the arm lock on the handle. This is one of the best practices in which you can handle a long putter.
- Prayer grip: In this grip style, both your palms will sit on either side of the putter, facing each other. The lead thumb and the trailing thumb must also rest against each other, side by side, while pointing in the downward direction. The triangle shape between your two shoulders and the putter’s joined hands will provide more swing force for the hit.
Here, we have almost discussed everything that you must know about a golf grip. It is one of the most important lessons that you need to get right before you start playing actually on the field. Without practicing a proper grip, you will not only bring damage to the club but also won’t hit a perfect shot in a single stroke.