What Is A Neutral Golf Grip?

What is a neutral golf grip? We explore what it is and why it's so important to your game

What is a neutral golf grip?
(Image credit: Future)

What is a neutral golf grip?

You will often hear coaches talk about the importance of a neutral golf grip. Essentially, this refers to when your hands are working together and they are married up on the club in the position they’d naturally hang in. If you can develop the perfect golf grip, the club face will naturally want to return squarely to the ball, helping you to hit shots that start on your target line and don't drift too right or left in the air.

If you have a strong golf grip or are holding the club in a way that is fighting this natural hang, you will find your club face is skewed at impact. This can be a big reason why you hit pull shots, slices, pushes and hooks! In this video and article, Golf Monthly Top 50 Coach and PGA Professional show you how to check your grip to get it as close to neutral as possible.

The best way to achieve this neutral hold is to start by taking your normal golf posture and hanging your arms down without holding a club. Clap your hands together with your fingers softly hanging to the ground. Now make fists gently and fit the club in the fingers of your fists.

Hang the hands down and clap together to find your neutral hand position

With a neutral golf grip the palm of your hands will face each other

(Image credit: Future)

Connect your grip together whichever way you choose. Interlock your top index and bottom pinky, overlap these or go baseball- where your hands are touching but not linked. The choice is yours and dependant on hand size and personal preference (for instance, if you have small hands a baseball grip might be the way to go). However you choose to connect your hands, your palms should fold onto the handle of the club, with the grip nestling into the channel that has been created by your fingers (the video with this article shows exactly what this looks like). 

In the correct position you should be able to see two knuckles on your bottom hand and the 'v' between the thumb and forefinger on your top hand should point towards your trail shoulder. These are a couple of handy checkpoints to have in mind.

If you are right handed, often we see the right (bottom) hand sit too far under the grip. The palm of this hand looks up to the sky and you see too much of the logo of your glove at address. This is called a 'strong grip' and the problem is that as your hands return to their natural position at impact, the club face will close causing a hook.

A strong grip will lead to a closed clubface

If your bottom hand sits too far underneath the grip, you'll have a tendency to close the face through impact and hit the ball left

(Image credit: Future)

Similarly, if your bottom hand is sitting too much on top of the club, this is known as a weak grip. As you move towards impact you'll have a tendency to open the club face and cut across the ball hitting slice shots.

Changing your grip is tough but it is definitely worth the effort. Here's a bit of 'homework' for you. Stand a club by the bathroom door, every time you walk past make a grip, going through these guidelines. Give the club a waggle and set it back against the door again. Do this enough and your more neutral grip will soon feel less alien out on the course. You should soon start hitting straighter, better shots!

Why is a neutral golf grip better?

The answer to this is that, during the swing your hands will want to return to their natural position through impact. If you have a strong or weak grip, that natural movement will result in hooks and slices. In addition to that, a neutral grip is the best start point - from here you can then manipulate your swing path to hit draws and fades. You'll be a much more complete golfer. 

Finding the right grip might be boring but there's no doubt that if you get it right and start to feel comfortable with it, you'll hit much more consistent golf shots.   

Katie Dawkins
Advanced PGA Professional and freelance contributor

Katie is an Advanced PGA professional with over 20 years of coaching experience. She helps golfers of every age and ability to be the best versions of themselves. In January 2022 she was named as one of Golf Monthly's Top 50 Coaches.

Katie coaches the individual and uses her vast experience in technique, psychology and golf fitness to fix problems in a logical manner that is effective - she makes golf simple. Katie is now based on the edge of the New Forest. An experienced club coach, she developed GardenGOLF during lockdown and as well as coaching at Hamptworth Golf Club she freelances, operating via pop-up clinics and travelling to clients homes to help them use their space to improve. 

She has coached tour pros on both LET tour and the Challenge Tour as well as introduced many a beginner to the game. 

Katie has been writing instructional content for magazines for 20 years. Her creative approach to writing is fuelled by her sideline as an artist.