Should I have a strong grip? What is a weak grip? Whose grip should I copy? These are just some of the queries I see every day on Google and various other search engines. There is good news for all golfers - your grip does not have to be perfect, merely functional!
Here are a few answers to the many 'grip' questions I have seen:
- A strong grip is one where both hands, whether you are a righty or a lefty, are rotated away from the target on the club.
- A weak grip is just the opposite - the hands are both rotated toward the target.
- The dominant hand on the club is the top hand on the grip - the one closest to the butt-end of the club and the one most golfer's buy gloves for. This is the most important hand to position correctly.
- The club should be held primarily in the fingers, just like a pen or a ball or just about anything else you are trying to control.
- There is very little difference between the Vardon grip, the interlock and the ten finger, baseball type grip. Use the one that feels most comfortable to you (a novel idea!). Golfers have achieved success with all of the above grips.
I selected the two illustrations for this post because I believe Ben Hogan and Patty Berg had the most extreme grips out of all the great golfers. Patty pushed the envelope in the "strong" end of the spectrum while Ben pushed the envelope in the "weak" end of the spectrum. Keep in mind that Ben Hogan was a hooker of the golf ball for the most part of his early career and as a result built this weaker, hook deterring grip. Not only were Patty and Ben both fantastic golfers who won a total 25 majors between them, but they are an ideal illustration that a golfers grip does not have to be "text book" perfect in order to function. Remember that your grip should be positioned on the club somewhere between these two extremes; somewhere between the range that these two great golfers have established. A range within which your grip will be allowed to feel comfortable and most importantly function, think of it as the range of function!
Position your grip anywhere on the club that falls between the two grips pictured and when coupled with an excellent impact position, you will be able to play the golf of your dreams. When in doubt favor the strong end of the spectrum - most of golf's all-time greats have done so for years.