The first step to good golf starts with the grip, i.e. the way in which you pick up the sports equipment. The importance of the grip is often underestimated, especially by beginners. We outline how to hold a golf club correctly, the different grips, pressure, and how it affects slicing and hooking.
- How to hold a golf club correctly: step by step
- How to grip a golf club: the 3 types of grip
- How to hold a golf club correctly: how tight?
- Which grip is the right one for me?
- How the grip can correct slicing, hooking and other problems
- Grip pressure is an important factor
- How long do golf clubs last?
- How many different golf clubs do I need as a beginner?
- When does it make sense to have the golf clubs fitted to your body?
The grip is the only connection you have with the club. And the grip in turn influences the clubface, which is 80 percent responsible for the direction in which the ball flies. For example, if the club face is open to the target, the ball will tend to fly to the right. If it points to the left, the ball will fly to the left.
The player not only receives a lot of feedback about their golf swing via the grip, it must also enable the club to swing freely. For example, a bad grip can prevent the clubface from being really perpendicular to the target line at the moment of impact.
How to hold golf club styles often sets a beginner apart from the more experienced player. A beginner will tend to grip the club tighter, while a long-time golfer will become more and more relaxed. In order to make it clear that it is about holding the club correctly and less about cramping overly vigorous gripping, many golf instructors now speak of “hold” when they actually mean the grip. We’ll leave it here with the classic term “grip”.
How to hold a golf club correctly: step by step
Basically, a golf club is only held with the front part of the hand and fingers. Anyone who thinks the golf club is a frying pan and grabs it with the whole hand will quickly run into problems. The left hand (right hand for left-handers) grabs the club first. About 1 to 1.5 cm from the end of the handle should still look out. The handle should run in a line from the ball of the thumb of the little finger to the middle joint of the index finger.
The two palms of your hands rest on the handle when you grab it. The thumb should be resting on the handle slightly to the right of the center line. If you’ve done everything correctly, you can now only see two knuckles on the back of your hand. The thumb and forefinger form a V that points towards the right shoulder.
Please remember that the leading edge of the club points straight up when you hold the club straight in front of you as shown in our illustration. If you look along the shaft, the edge of the club should look like a straight extension. If necessary, correct this with your right hand.
As a rule, you can also use the lettering on the handle of the club. The lettering must always be read exactly at the top. Any shift means that the clubface will be open or closed later when you hit. Now is the time to grab the bat with your right hand too. It is important that both hands fit together correctly so that they can form a unit during the swing.
How to grip a golf club: the 3 types of grip
There are now three types of grip for the way the second hand grips the club.
1. Overlapping or Vardon grip
This is the most common type of handle. The little finger of the right hand is placed on the middle between the index and middle finger of the left hand. It is the simplest type of handle and was popularized by the Englishman Harry Vardon. (This grip was invented by Johnny Laidlay at the end of the 19th century)
2. Interlocking grip
As the name suggests, the little finger is hooked between the index and middle fingers of the left hand. This will firmly join both hands together. This grip is especially recommended for players with small, weaker hands. The most famous golfer who uses this grip is currently Tiger Woods.
3. Baseball grip
The baseball or ten-finger grip is particularly recommended for younger players who still have very little strength in their hands and forearms. The second hand is placed directly in front of the first hand, ie the little finger is placed on the outside next to the index finger of the first hand. This will grab the handle with all ten fingers.
A warning must be given against this grip. The right hand (for right-handers), which is already too strong for many golfers, can dominate even more through this grip. The right thumb is placed exactly over the top of the left thumb and presses with the inside against the left side of the shaft without enclosing it. The V created by your thumb and forefinger should again point to your right shoulder.
How to hold a golf club correctly: how tight?
Never hold the club too tightly. A slight pressure is sufficient. Too much pressure only leads to cramps and prevents a loose, fluid swing. The longer you play golf, the looser you will hold the grip.
The correct grip doesn’t come easily to you. It has to be corrected again and again, especially with beginners. It will take weeks, maybe even years, to perfect in the correct grip for you. Also read how to change your habits in 66 days.
Look carefully at your hand while holding the club. If you clench a fist and squeeze with maximum force, you will find that there is an optimal position. This position is otherwise different from boxing, in which the metacarpal bones of the index and middle fingers form a straight extension of the forearm.
There are also golfers who hold their club as if it were a straight extension of their left arm, just as if it were a fencing sword. Hold the golf club in the most natural and stable way possible. The natural posture of the wrist is also part of a good grip.
Which grip is the right one for me?
You have to find out for yourself which golf grip is best for which golfer. There is no such thing as the right golf grip. A few practice strokes on the driving range will bring clarity.
How the grip can correct slicing, hooking and other problems
By changing the golf grip you can possibly get rid of the annoying “slicing” and “hooking”. If you “sliced” the ball regularly to the right, you turn the club slightly to the right in your hands; if you “hook”, you do it the other way around and turn the club slightly to the left in your hands.
How too weak a grip leads to a slice
The way in which you grip your golf club affects the position of your clubface and thus the trajectory of your ball. The position of the clubface is probably about 80% responsible for your ball flight. The swing path is only 20%.
If you’re struggling with a slice, your clubface will likely be too open. This is due to a grip that is too weak. “Weak” has nothing to do with how hard you apply pressure with your hands, but how tightly you grip the club with your hands.
Here you can see a strong grip on the left and a weak grip on the right.
A weak grip opens the clubface. And that’s exactly what needs to be corrected (in addition to the swing path) with the slice!
How to hold a golf club to correct slicing and hooking
In these step-by-step instructions, we will show you how to grip every time from now on so that the clubface is no longer open (slice), but neutral or even closed (hook).
- To do this, stand up straight and hold the racket with your right arm outstretched and your right hand at a 45 angle in front of your navel.
- The lower edge of the face should be perpendicular to the ground and the tip of the club should point towards the sky.
- Then you grasp the handle with your left hand from the side so that the end of the handle lies on the ball of the left hand ball of the little finger, the handle runs through the base links of the left hand and runs out again on the first link of the left hand.
- Close your left hand. The left arm should be straight.
- If you have done everything correctly, a (dorsal) angle has formed between the back of the left hand and the left forearm.
- Now the right little finger lies between the left index and middle finger.
- The right ring, middle and index finger lie on the handle from below and initially only touch the handle with the basic limbs of the hand.
- Then you put your right thumb over your left thumb and close your right hand.
- The best thing to do is to repeat this part a few times until it is second nature to you.
Grip pressure is an important factor
In addition, the grip pressure should always be checked, as there is a risk of gripping too tight. However, you need as loose as possible, but also as firm as necessary hands on the racket so that the hands can angle and the racket can accelerate.
On a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 means “the club will fly away” and 10 would be “you crush this club”, experts recommend a grip pressure between 4 and 5. Because it has to be considered that the grip pressure will increase with the swing anyway, as the hands will intuitively grip more firmly.
Experts recommend that you use the same grip in the step-by-step instructions every time, regardless of whether you are in training or on the field. If you are afraid that this will cost too much time, you should consider: the better you grip the club, the more consistently the clubface will come to the ball, the more often you will hit the ball on the fairway and the less often you will look for your ball have to. At the end of the day, you will even save time.
How long do golf clubs last?
That is a question that actually does not arise. In theory, golf clubs last forever. However, you should have the handles renewed from time to time. The most important and most expensive thing about a golf club is the head anyway. The shaft could also be changed later. But more to adapt the shaft to your own golf swing and less to correct wear. An older, less ambitious golfer will therefore certainly play his set of clubs for years, if not decades.
If you are more ambitious and constantly improve your golf swing, you will get more benefit from using the improvements of the new generation of clubs. With the latest material, you can always take a step forward, especially when it comes to fault tolerance and striking distance. But at some point that is also a question of money. Basically you can play your clubs forever if you like them.
How many different golf clubs do I need as a beginner?
The following clubs are sufficient for the beginner: Putter, SW, PW, 9, 8, 7 But with that you don’t really get over the course. You want to do a few meters, especially on the tee. The driver is the wrong choice. A wood 3 or 5 does the same.
Iron 6 and 5 should be added in the second year. You can then supplement this with a sand wedge. The driver should not be touched until the third year. Unfortunately, not all of them have so much patience and pay for this with a high demand for golf balls ….
When does it make sense to have the golf clubs fitted to your body?
Even beginners should play with fitted clubs, because otherwise they will not learn golf properly and may never learn. Old slow moving goods are often sold to beginners. Therefore, you should do a little smart before buying. Just search “golf club fitting” in Google.
Fitted clubs really don’t cost any more, unless you let the specialist bend them by one or two degrees afterwards. The renowned club brand PING is the leader in the field of fitting. Right- and left-handers of almost any size and with almost all body proportions will find the right club there. We can only advise every golfer to buy branded clubs. Even if smaller craft shops try very hard, they do not have the opportunity to invest too much know-how and money into the development of new clubs.
Gerhardt Richter is a writer and a trainer at trade technical colleges, specializing in carpentry, plumbing, mechanics and construction.