The most important part of golfing, especially as a beginner, is ensuring you hold the golf club correctly. If you don’t hold it correctly, you will have a hard time getting far, accurate shots, and you might build bad habits if you don’t start out holding the club properly.
Once you choose your club, you need to grip it using the interlocking, Vardon, or ten-finger grip. Then, you need to ensure you have the correct grip strength and positioning. Right and left-handed players grip clubs differently, and you may change your grip for different shots.
This step-by-step guide by Honest Golfers has all the basics that you need to know to properly hold a golf club, including how to grip a golf club and how your grip positioning will vary depending on how you want to hit the ball.
1. Grab the Golf Club and Get in Your Stance
The first step in holding a golf club is to get your stance right.
Before you even get your grip right, grab the club you want to hit with and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Your hands will be close to your hips, with the club on an angle such that the club face is by the ball.
2. Choose Your Grip
To properly hold a golf club, you must have a good grip. While there are multiple types of grips, and you should do what is most comfortable for you, using the interlocking, Vardon, or ten-finger grip is best for developing a proper swing.
If you learn from a professional golf instructor, they will teach you how to grip a golf club using one of these three grips. And, if you ever want to get golf lessons and don’t have one of these grips, your instructor will question it and may even make you change your current grip.
So, as a new golfer, I highly recommend that you start with one of these grips. Even if it feels uncomfortable at first, it will get easier as you practice.
Also, note that the golf grip differs depending on if you’re right-hand or left-handed. If you’re right-handed, your left hand will be on the top and your right hand on the bottom. The grip is opposite for left-handed golfers, so your right hand is on top, and the left hand is on the bottom.
If you need help gripping a golf club, check out this Youtube video from the Golf Channel:
One of the more common golf grips is the interlocking grip, where you start by putting your non-dominant hand near the top of the club’s grip.
Before you put your other hand on the club, stick your non-dominant pointer finger out. Then, you will take your dominant hand and put it below your other hand with the non-dominant pointer finger going between the pinky and ring fingers of your dominant hand.
You have four fingers interlocking with this grip which is where the name comes from. This grip is the one that most players learn when they start golfing at a younger age.
The benefit of the interlocking grip is that you get good accuracy without sacrificing too much distance.
However, if you find this grip uncomfortable even after you practice with it for a long time, there are two others you can try out.
Another common grip that you’ll come across is the Vardon grip, which is similar to the interlocking grip in terms of the positioning of your hands, but none of your fingers interlock.
Start with your non-dominant hand on the top half of the club grip. Then, you will put your dominant hand below it, with the dominant pinky between the non-dominant middle and pointer fingers.
Part of the dominant hand will sit on top of the non-dominant hand. If you think the interlocking grip is uncomfortable, I would suggest trying the Vardon grip, especially if you have big hands.
Ten Finger Grip
The ten-finger grip, or the baseball grip, is the least common of the three golf grips, but many beginners find it the easiest, especially those who have played a sport like softball or baseball before.
As the name suggests, you hold the club just like you would a baseball or softball bat. It’s also called the ten-finger grip because all your fingers touch the club grip, unlike the other two grips.
For this grip, you’ll have your non-dominant hand on top and your dominant hand just below it. Your hands need to be touching. That is, the pinky on your bottom hand should be touching the thumb and pointer finger on your top hand.
This grip is more comfortable, especially for older people and those with small hands. While the grip makes it easier to hit the ball farther, it will also decrease your accuracy.
Right-Handed vs. Left-Handed Golf Grips
You should be aware of the difference between golf grips for left-handed and right-handed players. In all three grips, the dominant hand and the non-dominant hand differ depending on whether you’re a lefty or a righty.
However, you don’t have to play with the sa’me side you write or do other things with. While most people do, some golfers find it easier to play with the opposite.
For example, Phil Mickelson, one of the world’s best and most well-known golfers, is right-handed. But, if you watch him play golf, you’ll notice that he actually plays left-handed.
He plays with his non-dominant hand because he learned how to golf from his father at a young age. And instead of copying his dad, he mirrored him, meaning he did everything opposite of his right-handed father. He’s a lefty now since that is how he is most comfortable playing.
However, you should not golf with your opposite side just because Phil does, and you’ll likely naturally play with your dominant side. And the biggest benefit to playing with your dominant side is that your stronger arm will be behind your swing, giving you more power.
Just pick whichever way is comfortable for you. Stick with the side you choose, as golf clubs are not reversible, and you would have to buy a left-handed set of golf clubs if you want to switch between playing lefty or righty.
3. Determine Your Grip Position
Once you’ve determined your grip, you should have good grip positioning.
You can choose between a strong, weak, and neutral grip, but most golfers play with a neutral grip. Then you can adjust to a strong or weak grip if you need to.
Here are the benefits of each grip and why you might choose it over the other two:
- Neutral grip: You should start with the neutral grip for most shots. It’s when you can see your thumb on your lower hand, pointing directly down at the ball in front of the club.
- Strong grip: Grab the club using a neutral grip, then rotate your grip to your dominant side and away from where you’re aiming. You should be able to see most of your upper hand, and your lower hand and knuckles will be under the club. Using a strong grip is best to fix a slice, which is when the ball goes to the right for a right-handed golfer or to the left for a lefty instead of straight.
- Weak grip: Start with a neutral grip, then rotate your grip towards your non-dominant side and where you’re aiming. Your lower, dominant hand should be visible to you, and your non-dominant hand will be below the grip. The benefit of using a weak grip is that you can straighten the ball if your shots are hooking. Right-handed golfers hook the ball to the left, and left-handed players hook the ball to the right.
Once you start practicing and playing with a neutral grip, you will see how and where your shots go, and you can decide if you need to adjust to a stronger or weaker grip from there. Do not get used to a strong or weak grip as a beginner, as it could mess up your shots in the future.
As for the actual intensity of your grip, you do not want it so tight that you feel like you’re trying to strangle the golf club. And, if you have a looser grip, the club should not be able to move or feel floppy in your hands.
The three grip options listed above shouldn’t be extremely weak or strong. Otherwise, you will have difficulty getting a good shot and feeling comfortable holding a golf club.
Recap: How to Hold Your Golf Clubs (& Not Embarrass Yourself!)
Golf takes a lot of practice and patience, and the first step to getting good is properly holding a golf club.
Once you grab the club, you need to choose between one of the three types of golf grips.
Then, ensure you’re properly positioning your hands on the grip, using either a neutral, strong, or weak grip.