A firm and confident handshake is the best way to greet a new or old friend.
The same can be said for how to grip a golf club.
The right grip can create great golf shots, but a poor one can destroy your chances before you even start your swing.
Using a fundamentally sound golf grip is critical if you want to play well.
We don’t care how great your swing is or how much power you have – a poor golf grip can undermine everything else. We can help you avoid this pitfall.
We have 8 cues for how to properly grip a golf club. They will help you build the foundation for a great swing.
#1: Stick to the Standards – Choose Your Grip
Don’t try to reinvent the wheel.
When it comes to your golf grip, you should stick to one of the standard options that are used by every great player.
You have three choices: Overlap, Interlock, or 10-finger.
We are explaining these grips based on a right-handed player.
The Overlap grip is the most common and has been used by golfing legends like Ben Hogan, Phil Mickelson, and Arnold Palmer.
If you want to try the Overlap grip the pinky on your right hand should overlap the pointer finger on your left hand – let it rest over the crease between your pointer finger and middle finger.
The Interlock grip has been used by Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, and Rory McIlroy. Pretty nice set of names. When using this grip, the pinky finger on your right hand should go between (interlock) your pointer finger and middle finger on your left hand.
The final grip option is the 10-finger or “baseball grip”.
You won’t find many PGA tour professionals using this grip, but there are a few (Bob Estes, Scott Piercy, etc.).
Most junior golfers will start with a 10-finger grip because they have smaller hands. Pretty self-explanatory, when using this grip all 10 of your fingers are on the club (no overlap or interlock).
We would recommend you leverage the Overlap or Interlock, but if the 10-finger works for you, go with it.
#2: Don’t Strangle the Club
You don’t need to try and strangle the golf club.
Grip pressure is an important component of how your hold the golf club. Obviously, you don’t want the club to fly out of your hands during your swing, but you also don’t want a bunch of tension in your fingers, hands, and wrists.
Do you grip the club too tight?
A couple of ways to check:
First, when you grip the golf club can you see tension in your hands? Are your knuckles white? If so, you might be choking the club.
Secondly, how do your hands feel after a round or a range session? If they are sore the next morning, you might want to lighten your grip.
#3: Count the Knuckles (Weak or Strong)
Do you ever listen to golfers discuss their grips and get confused?
You might hear them say things like “my grip is too strong” or “I am working to strengthen my grip”.
The concept of a grip being too strong or too weak can be confusing. It has nothing to do with grip pressure but instead is about how you position your hands on the grip.
Is your grip too strong, too weak, or neutral?
The easiest way to tell is to count how many knuckles you can see on your left hand when holding the club (right-handed players) and addressing the ball.
If you can only see 1 knuckle on your left hand, your grip would be considered weak.
If you can see 3 or 4 knuckles, your grip would be considered strong.
If you have a neutral grip, you will be able to see 2 knuckles.
If you look at the PGA tour you can find players with weak, neutral, and strong grips.
The key is to match up your swing with the strength of your grip. We would recommend you start with a neutral grip and tweak it until it feels right to you.
#4: Get a Professional Opinion
Yes, private lessons can be expensive, but if you are passionate about golf one or two sessions might be worth the investment.
Getting a professional opinion on your golf grip can save you years of frustration on the course.
Simply ask them to check your fundamentals and ask specifically about how your grip the golf club.
Are you uncomfortable getting a lesson?
The next best option is to ask an experienced player.
Do you have a buddy that has been playing golf for years? If not, make a new friend the next time you visit the driving range.
Golfers love to talk about golf and give swing advice. Find a good player and ask them what they think about your grip.
#5: Choke Down to Take a Little Off
Are you ever on the course and find yourself between clubs?
7-iron is too much, but 8-iron won’t reach the green? Did you know that you can solve this problem based on how you grip the golf club?
Simply “choke down” on the club to reduce your yardage.
Select the longer club (7-iron in our example above) and grip the club normally, but closer to the shaft (farther down the grip).
This makes the club you are swinging shorter and will slightly reduce how far the ball travels when you hit it.
Don’t try to overswing – take the longer club, choke down, and swing normally.
With this cue, you will hit more greens and make more birdies.
#6: Same For All Clubs
Have you ever heard a golfer say they change their grip depending on what club they are hitting?
In other words, they hold a driver differently than a 7-iron?
If you do, you might want to offer them a side bet!
The way you grip your club should not change.
When talking about how to grip a golf club, we mean all clubs.
Your grip style (overlap, interlock, 10-finger), your grip pressure, and strength of your grip (weak, neutral, strong) should be the same for all clubs.
Golf is complicated enough.
Don’t make it harder than it must be by adding complexity.
Find the golf grip that is comfortable for you and use it for all of your clubs. When it comes to gripping the golf club, consistency is key.
#7: Get Creative with Your Putter
You know how we said you should grip all of your clubs the same?
We might have lied a little.
The one exception is your putter.
The putter is the one club in your bag that you can go crazy with – be creative. If it works, go with it.
There are some fundamentals related to holding your putter. For example, your hands should be opposing each other.
How can you get creative with your putting grip?
There are several different ways.
First, you can change the number of fingers that you overlap (0, 1, 2, 3).
Second, you can try a cross-handed grip. Instead of gripping the putter with your left hand above your right hand, reverse it.
The cross-handed putting grip has become very popular on the PGA tour.
Are you interested in even more options for gripping your putter? Check out the Champions tour (senior tour) on TV. If you pay attention, you will see numerous different ways to hold your putter. You can try the claw, the saw, or a split grip.
When it comes to gripping the putter, the only question is: does it help you roll the ball better? If the answer is “yes”, use it.
#8: Change Takes Time
Our final cue is more of a warning. Be patient.
Figuring out how to grip a golf club – then changing your golf grip, is challenging. At first, even the smallest change will feel weird and awkward. It will take time for you to be comfortable with your new grip.
With this in mind, don’t try to tweak your golf grip while you are on the course. This can lead to tragic results and high scores.
Adjusting your golf grip is best done at the driving range. Who cares if you shank one past the person next to you or top a few drives? The key to making a successful golf grip change is repetition. Buy a large bucket of balls and get comfortable with your new grip.
- Related: How To Play Golf: The Rules and Format Explained
How To Grip a Golf Club: Improve Your Golf Grip and Improve Your Scores
A fundamentally sound golf grip is the key to playing better golf. It can help you unlock lower scores, more high-quality golf shots, and more birdies.
Do you have a golf grip cue that has worked for you, but we didn’t highlight?
We want everyone to figure out exactly how to grip a golf club correctly get more out of the game and enjoy their time on the course.
Feel free to pick and choose from our list of cues. You don’t need to try all 8 but determine the ones that make sense to you.
Like fingerprints, no two golf grips are exactly the same, but all great players tend to hold the club in similar ways.
You can be a great player. Golf is about the journey, not the destination. Try to get a little bit better each time your play or visit the driving range. Play well and have fun!