Perfect Golf Grip Explained
The importance of a perfect golf grip cannot be understated. If you have a strong golf grip or one that's too weak, you'll find it difficult to square the clubface up at impact, which can lead to hooks and slices. In the video and article below, Golf Monthly Top 50 Coach Kristian Baker presents his guide to the perfect golf grip...
When thinking about how you grip a golf club, it is important to say that this is a part of the game where personal preference can take over but there are also some key fundamentals that will ensure both hands work effectively together. So we're going to focus on finding a neutral golf grip (to help you find a straight ball flight) and the steps you need to take to get there.
If you are new to the game, this neutral grip is really what you should aspire to. This will help you deliver the club square to the ball more consistently and hit shots that don't have too much sidespin on them. However, it is also worth pointing out that the perfect golf grip, as well as knowing how far to stand from the golf ball, might take a little getting used to... but it's well worth the effort.
Perfect golf grip step 1: The left hand
The first thing to do is analyse how the left hand (right for left-handers) sits on the grip - you want it to be in the fingers. If it isn't, set the club on the ground with the face pointing towards the target and the toe raised slightly off the ground.
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Then, with an open hand, ensure the grip runs from the middle joint of your index finger through to the fleshy pad at the bottom of your hand. And once you've done that, wrap the fingers round and roll the thumb in place.
With the left hand on, you'll notice a line has formed between the thumb and forefinger which should point towards your right ear. If done correctly, you want to see somewhere between two and three knuckles on your lead hand when looking down. If this isn't the case, repeat the process until this is achieved. This is a great checkpoint that even top golfers regularly use to ensure their hand is in the correct position at address.
Step 2: Decisions, decisions...
This is where you have the choice of overlapping, interlocking or employing the baseball grip. There is no right or wrong here, it's all down to personal preference. There is one key to remember, though: make sure you grip it in the fingers.
The interlock variation, famously used by Tiger Woods to pretty devastating effect, involves interlocking the index finger of the left hand with the little finger on the right hand, as shown below.
Arguably the most popular, the overlap sees the right little finger sit between the index and second fingers on the left hand whereas, as should be quite self-explanatory, the fingers underneath the club are separated in the baseball grip.
Step 3: The right hand
Whatever your preferred method, it's important to get the right hand in the appropriate position so the two can work together as a solid unit - this will help you get more power in your golf swing.
Place the fingers on the underside of the grip and then wrap the hand over so the left thumb is sitting cosily beneath the palm of the right hand.
Once again, a line will be visible between the thumb and forefinger that should point towards your right ear. The finishing touch is to shift the index finger down the grip slightly which will act as a trigger. Put all this together and you have the perfect golf grip. If you can get this right and also find the perfect ball position with every club, you should be able to find better strikes that send the ball where you want it to go!
Golf Grip Faults
There are two main issues that people tend to struggle with when it comes to this basic fundamental: having too weak or too strong a grip.
A strong grip, in which the lead hand is on top of the club, most commonly leads to hooks as the face wants to turn over through impact. An easy way to find out if this is your issue is to check how many knuckles on your lead hand are visible. If you can see more than three then you'd have what is considered a strong grip and it would be worth spending some time trying to weaken it.
By contrast, if you have a weak grip you might be plagued by a dreaded slice in which the face is open to the path at impact. To check, once again look down at the knuckles on show. If less than two it would be a good idea to strengthen it slightly and regain some control over the clubface.
The last thing to mention is grip tension. The right grip pressure will help you swing with freedom and speed but it is lighter than many golfers think. Holding the club with enough pressure so it doesn't move during your swing but so that you are not squeezing it, is the key. Once you have set a good neutral hand position, make sure your grip pressure is nice and light - it could have a really positive impact on your game!
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Location: Sunningdale Heath Golf Club
Kristian worked at Wentworth for 23 years and was the Head of Instruction for over a decade. He has worked with a huge number of leading professionals and amateurs and his most successful amateur was the 2017 British Amateur and 2012 English Amateur champion Harry Ellis. He is now the co-owner of Sunningdale Heath and is also the author of The Winning Golf Swing.
Help the golfer to understand their impact tendencies and swing through evidence. Data and evidence makes a student and coach accountable.
The player must have a clear understanding of their issue and the solutions. Keep it as simple as possible for the student to understand (regardless of ability) and give them a clear understanding of our plans. I think it’s also very important to understand the students personality and circumstances.
Greatest teaching success story:
Teaching Ross Fisher from 2001 to 2009. During this time he went from being a county player to gaining his European tour card and being in the top 20 in the world rankings. During this time he led all four majors in a single year and won the grand slam crown for compiling the lowest composite score. He won several amateur events and as a professional the European Open. During the time I coached him he improved his amateur and professional ranking every year. Other students include Zane Scotland, Stephen Brown and Inci Mehmet.
Describe what you do to ensure clear communication with a student:
The use of technology can often be seen as making something more complex. Used in the right way it actually simplifies an issue and creates clarity. Assessing each individuals best way of leaning and understanding and then constantly trying to adapt to them and their ways.
Students learn best when…
They have a clear understanding of the what to change, why and how
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