Despite what your right-handed friends will have you believe, you are not standing on the wrong side of the ball. Golf can be played right or left-handed; just ask Phil Mickelson.
Lefties may find some resistance simply based on the fact that there are fewer of you. It’s much easier these days to be a lefty since clubs are more accessible.
Twenty years ago, finding a set of left-handed clubs was like trying to find the boardwalk game piece in McDonald’s Monopoly. Thankfully, things are much easier now.
The golf grip is crucial and is the first step to beating all your right-handed playing partners.
A left-handed golf grip is the same when it comes to fundamentals but may take some getting used to. Use these instructions and key components to ensure you have an advantageous grip that helps more than it hurts.
In this article, we will cover:
- Left Hand Golf Grip: Why Is it So Important
- Choose A Grip Method
- Choose A Grip For Your Driver
- 3 Steps For The Best Left Hand Golf Grip
- Strong Left Hand Golf Grip Vs. Weak Left Hand Golf Grip
- Best Left Hand Golf Grip On Tour
- Summary: Left Hand Golf Grip
Let’s get to it!
Left hand golf grip: Why Is it So Important
Grip is so important to your golf game because it’s your only connection to the club.
How you hold the club determines the angle of the clubface, which determines the direction of your ball. With an optimized grip, you increase your chances of hitting a great shot, and even if you miss one, it won’t be that bad with the proper grip.
Choose A Grip Method
How you hold the club will be no different than right-handed golfers other than it’s done in reverse. So, left hand golf grip fingers or palm? All great grips start with your palms facing each other with your thumbs on top of the shaft pointing down.
How your fingers interact with the club is a more personal decision that we all have to make.
Choose one of these three styles and be confident in your grip as a left-handed golfer:
This grip style is best used by players with longer fingers and/or bigger hands. To execute this correctly, you must interlock your left pinky with your right index finger on the underside of the club.
Be careful with the interlock grip that you keep the club in your fingers and not in the palms of your hands. It’s easy to grip the club too firmly this way, which will cause tension and throw off your tempo.
This is the most popular grip on tour as it allows maximum security while relieving tension. For the overlap grip, ensure your right hand is securely on the club before adding your left hand.
Lay your left pinky in between your right index and middle finger. Find a little nook that works for you. Your pinky may feel loose at first like it’s being left out of the huddle, but I assure you that’s not the case.
This grip is best for conjoining your hands to encourage them to work as one unit.
I saved the worst for last. I do not recommend this grip, but you can allow all your fingers to wrap around the shaft if you must. This creates obvious separation between your hands and causes your shoulders to become unlevel.
This is popular among juniors, but I suggest you encourage your youngster to adopt one of the above grips as soon as possible. Start by using it with chipping to ease the transition to full-swing shots.
Choose A Grip For Your Driver
Cord—This type of grip has a rope-like material woven into the rubber. It adds superior traction that works well in wet weather as well. This grip may cause you to go through more gloves as the rough surface breaks down the palm of a glove quicker than usual.
Multi-Compound—This is a combination of soft rubber and rigid rubber. The upper half, where most of your tension is, provides a grip with fine cord. The bottom half is tacky yet softer rubber to allow feel on shorter shots.
DriTac—This is a unique style of grip that provides maximum tackiness. It’s a unique material that is great for players who don’t want to wear a glove. Be cautious of this glove in the rain; it does not hold up well when it gets wet.
3 Steps For The Best Left Hand Golf Grip
Follow these steps to secure your grip for all shots, whether they are drives or chips. Your grip should not change from club to club. Find your grip and stick with it so your confidence never wavers.
#1: Focus on Right Hand First
Having your right hand secured acts as the anchor to your grip. You can build and fit your left hand around it to ensure you set up square and neutral each time.
To know if your right hand is square, check to see where the back of your hand is pointing. It should always be right at your target with a square clubface as well.
#2: Apply Left Hand
With one of the chosen grip styles listed above, add your left hand to the grip.
Left hand golf grip fingers or palm? Ensure your palms still face each other and your thumbs are pointed down. This hand should be more relaxed than your right hand; it’s more along for the ride than providing any power or guidance.
#3: Make It Your Own
If you think these instructions are a little vague, that’s on purpose. Your grip is very personal, so once you hit all the key points of a good grip, you must make minor adjustments to get comfortable.
No two grips are the same, but all the good ones have the core fundamentals in place.
Strong Left hand golf grip vs. weak left hand golf grip
You may have heard these terms get thrown around by golf analysts. The words may be confusing because they have nothing to do with physical strength but more with the direction of your ball flight.
- A strong grip means your left hand is rotated slightly under the grip, causing your palm to face upwards. This grip style creates more draws, encouraging your hand to turn over more and initiating a closed club face.
- A weak grip will have your left hand more on top of the club with your palm facing the ground. This causes fades or even slices depending on how rotated your left hand is.
Best Left Hand Golf Grip On Tour
Take a close look at the grips of these successful tour players. It will be much easier to mimic them than trying to translate a right-handed grip.
Phil Mickelson—This is a great overlap example to follow, as Phil’s grip has not changed in 30 years. He does favor a slightly stronger position to encourage his powerful draws, but for the most part, this is a very neutral grip that is great for all types of shots.
Bubba Watson—Another user of the overlap grip, Bubba opts for a much stronger grip. Both of his hands inspire a lot of rotation in the hands, which is a component of why he gets so much spin on the ball.
While I wouldn’t try to mimic this, it’s an example of both hands working together as one unit; clearly, he’s very comfortable with it.
Brian Harman—The 2023 Open Champion uses an exaggerated overlap grip where you can clearly see his left pinky riding over the top of his right fingers. This is common for golfers whose fingers are on the short side.
Brian’s grip is much more neutral than Bubba or Phil’s, so look closely when he addresses the ball the next time you catch him on TV.
Is A Driver Grip Different From Iron Grip?
No, the grip you employ on your driver should be the same for your irons and all other clubs in your bag. You want uniformity with this aspect so there are fewer variables to concern yourself with on the golf course.
The only exception is the putter grip, where many players change their grip to encourage more feel and accuracy.
Is Playing Left-Handed Harder Than Playing Right-Handed?
No, playing left-handed is not harder than playing right-handed. All the same fundamentals apply, but most golf publications just assume everyone is right-handed, which is why it may seem harder because you have to “translate” instructional videos.
Your golf ball doesn’t care which way you swing, only if you swing correctly.
Should You Change Your Grip?
No, you should not change your grip once you’ve adopted one of the methods above, and ensure you have your palms facing each other with your thumbs pointed down.
If you are missing any of these key factors, changing your grip on the driving range is advisable. Practice first before putting your new grip into play.
Is A Left-Handed Grip The Opposite Of A Right-Handed Grip?
Yes, a left-handed grip is simply a right-handed grip in reverse. Instead of the left hand being on top in a right-handed grip, lefties will use their right hand as the anchor to secure the top of the club.
The best way for lefties to avoid confusion is to observe righties as if they are a reflection in a mirror. That way, everything will be the opposite but more digestible for your brain.
Summary: Left Hand Golf Grip
A left-handed golf grip should not be intimidating. Don’t listen to all your right-handed friends razzing you; left-handed golf is just as easy (or tough) as right-handed golf. To beat your right-handed friends, it all starts with a sound grip.
Stick to the basics by having your palms face each other, have your thumbs point down, and choose one of the top two preferred grip methods.
With these simple steps, you’ll have the best foundation to create a grip that will be successful and that you can use for decades. Your right-handed friends won’t know what hit them when you start winning all the time.