Golf Lessons 101: The Grip – Placement and Positioning

The golf grip can be broken down into four different categories to focus on. These include: placement, positioning, pressure, and precision. Today we will be talking about placement and positioning.

Placement – Placement is where your hands are located vertically on the grip.  The main factors in placement are the size of your hands, strength, and type of shot you are trying to hit.  Placement also includes whether you grip the club using the overlapping, interlocking, or ten-finger grip. Generally, those with larger hands tend to use the overlapping grip to help feel as though their hands are more connected throughout the golf swing.  The interlocking grip may be used by golfers with smaller hands to allow the hands to work as one. Newer golfers are most likely to use the ten-finger grip since they feel they need to have as much of their hands touching the club as possible to help control the clubface. While there isn’t a grip that is considered better than the rest, it is important to find the grip that is comfortable and results in the most consistent shots for yourself.

A golfer may also find themselves ‘choking down’ or moving the placement of their hands closer to the head of the club.  This is common in shots that require a lower trajectory, are being taken out of a fairway bunker, or in a chip shot around the green. With the hands further down the shaft the clubhead swings on a shorter radius, providing less room for error and more confidence in the swing.

Positioning – Positioning is considered the rotation of the hands on the grip.  Ideally a golfer wants to see two knuckles on the back of the left hand and one knuckle on the back of the right hand at address. If anymore knuckles are visible on the left hand it is considered a strong grip, while anymore visible on the right hand is considered a weak grip.

A strong grip, or closed-face grip, will encourage a hook. Naturally the hands want to be more neutral on the grip. Since a strong grip positions your hands clockwise on the grip, they have to turn over more through impact to get back to neutral, resulting in a closed club face. One benefit to the hook is that it produces less backspin and greater distance.

A weak grip, or open-face grip, will encourage a fade. This positions your hands counter-clockwise on the grip. Once again, since the hands want to be more neutral there will have to be compensation at impact. This compensation will result in the club face being left open through impact producing a fade. One benefit to a fade is that it produces more backspin allowing you to control your approach shots to tighter pin locations.

One final tip to consider is that the more rotation you have in the positioning of your hands on the golf club, the less you can cock your wrists throughout the back swing. This limited motion in your wrists removes a lever from your golf swing and prevents you from hitting the ball further. Therefore, not only does proper positioning of the grip affect direction, but distance as well.

These tips are designed to help the average golfer improve their game.  If you have any questions or wish to receive your own personalized golf lessons feel free to contact us.


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