In this article we will cover how to hold a golf club with a proper golf grip. I will give you a step-by-step guide to help you achieve a proper golf grip.
I also want to teach you why a correct golf grip is important and how to affects your golf shots.
The proper golf grip guide
If you’re in a hurry and about to hit the 1st Tee check out the step by step images below. If you want golf videos to correct your currently golf grip issues, use the links below.
If you’re not in a rush stay around for the whole article. Understanding the details of a great golf grip are probably the one of the most valuable technical assets you can have to help you achieve your golfing dreams.
Golf Insider tip: New to golf? Check out this guide on the best golf clubs for beginners.
How to hold a golf club – Quick guide
Hold the top of the golf grip with your right hand, then place your left hand against the golf grip from the side, with your fingers pointing down straight towards the ground.
Below is stage two in picture format. The top image shows you step one (pictured above) above from face on view. When you have your left hand in this position wrap your hand around the golf grip (bottom left image). It should feel as if you’re holding the golf grip mostly in your fingers. It should also feel like you’ve got lots of contact between your fingers, lower palm and the golf grip. This is a good indication that you will be able to control the golf club through your entire swing.
The proper golf grip explained
Lots of videos show you how to hold a golf club with the correct grip. However, I can’t find any that really explain why we, as golf coaches, bang on about how the ‘correct golf grip’ or how ‘poor golf grips’ affect your game.
Here I will explain to you why a correct golf grip is so dam important and why changing your golf grip is the easiest way to improve your golf accuracy and consistency.
Proper golf grip: point 1
Once you can consistently hit the golf ball out the centre of the golf club your next challenge becomes accuracy. The most critical factor in hitting the golf ball towards your target is squaring the club face at impact , 61 – 83% of start direction, and around 80% of of total lateral error is caused by a non-square club face at impact.
Proper golf grip: point 2
Your golf grip is the only component that links your body (and entire golf swing) to your club face angle. It is the critical connection that determines point one; above. By changing your golf grip and keeping your entire golf swing as it is, you can make a considerable improvement to your club face at impact and subsequent accuracy.
Proper golf grip: point 3
Your arms and hands hang naturally inwards (watch the video below). When you’re swinging the golf club at speed this is the position your arms and hands will want to return to. Hence why a neutral golf grip is one where both our hands appear to be twisted over and sit on top of the golf club. This is actually their natural anatomical position.
Proper golf grip: point 4
Golf is a game of timing. The better your golf grip, the less you will require perfect timing to square up the club face. The correct golf grip means when your arms are in a neutral position (pictured above) the club face will automatically be square.
A bad golf grip requires you to manipulation and force the club face square. For slicers this means the feeling of flipping your arms and hands over to get the club face square.
For golfers with a hook, you will be familiar with the feeling of holding onto the golf club for dear life, praying for the club face not to turn over too early through impact. This feeling is just your hands and arms wanting to get back to neutral.
Why does my golf grip make me slice / hook?
Now we know how your golf grip links to your golf swing and club face we can easily explain why certain golf grips cause you to slice and hook.
Proper golf grip: Why do I slice/fade?
The key point to remember is that a slice/fade is caused by the club face being open to your swing path at impact, not an out to in swing path alone. This misunderstanding makes me a tad angry because many golf magazines and golf site give poor advice.
With the knowledge above in mind watch the video below to see how a weak golf grip causes an open club face at impact.
Proper golf grip: Why do I hook/draw?
Likewise, a hook is caused by your club face being too closed to the swing path at impact, not an out-to-in swing path alone. Watch the video below to see how a ‘strong’ golf grip at set up causes you to have a closed club face at impact.
How to fix my golf grip – Fade / slice
Below are two videos to show you how to alter your golf grip. You’ll notice the key factor is to start with both hands twisted round from where you will be used to having them. Ensure when you alter your grip you do so with the club face pointing to the target.
For most golfers the top hand is the key culprit for slicing. Once you have a great left hand grip, your right hand should fall into place.
Below is a video to show how to alter your bottom hand.
How to fix my golf grip – Draw / hook
If you struggle with a hook here is how to correct your golf grip. For most golfers a poor top hand grip is the main issue. However, for single figure players who struggle with the odd hook or over-draw play close attention to the second video on how your apply your bottom hand to the golf club.
Next up is a video to show you how to correct a strong bottom hand golf grip.
Your ideal golf grip – Feedback
If you’ve made it this far you have more than enough technical information. Now you need a great understanding of when you reach your ideal golf grip.
Your key feedback is the flight and curvature of the golf ball. Head to the golf range and start experimenting with your new grip. Keep exaggerating your grip change until a well struck shot results in a straight ball flight.
See if you can exaggerate your grip change to create the opposite of your bad shot.
“If you fade the golf ball, keep exaggerating your grip change until you can get the ball drawing through the air. If you struggle with a hook, keep exaggerating your grip change until you can hit a soft fade.”Golf Insider
With this in mind you’ll start to realise there is not such thing as a ‘proper golf grip’ when we get down to the fine margins. A great golf grip is roughly neutral and one where the hands sit close together. You’ll see many tour players with a slightly strong or even slightly weak grip. Once you get your golf grip roughly in the right place keep using the flight and shape of the golf ball to determine your optimal golf grip.
How to change your golf grip
The biggest challenge with changing your golf grip is getting used to the new feeling and feedback it provides you.
A great place to start is to practice some chipping with your new golf grip. Hitting delicate shots really speeds up the process of relaxing your hands, reducing your grip pressure and making things feel normal.
If you are limited to a golf range, try this one-hour practice. For a more long-term approach to changing your grip and technique you can have a read of this article that gives more details on how to structure your practice.
When you change your golf grip it will feel awful, however do stick with it. A great golf grip is a foundation of becoming a great golfer. I hope you’ve found this guide useful. If you have any other questions add them in the comments below and I’ll update this article with answers for you.
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Happy golfing – Will
- Grab a 6 or 7-iron. A mirror or window will give you some great feedback on your golf grip.
- Place your left hand onto the club, with your fingers pointing towards the floor.
- The grip should run from the middle joint of your index finger to the base of your little finger.
- Wrap your hand around the snugly around the grip, and pinch your thumb up slightly - this gives you a little extra control during your golf swing.
- Place your right hand onto the grip directly below your left. Ideally you over lap or interlock one finger.
- Your right thumb should sit just left of centre.
The best way to practice your golf grip is to go through these steps a few times, until it feels natural. Checking what your golf grip looks like in a mirror or window will give you some great feedback and speed up your progress.