The Ultimate Guide On How To Properly Hold A Golf Club

How to hold a golf club may seem like a simple concept, but in reality can be quite complex. One of the key differences between weekend warriors struggling to break 100 and the professionals you watch on TV, is that you won’t find a PGA tour pro that doesn’t have a proper golf grip. 

Think about it for a minute - you spend hours on the range practicing your swing, but how much time have you spent checking to make sure you have the correct golf grip? Ben Hogan famously said “good golf begins with a good grip”.


Let us explore how you can work towards the perfect golf grip. It can be the key to unlocking better scores, a lower handicap, and more fun on the links.

Basic Types of Grips

You may see some wild variations when you visit your local golf course, but if you ask most golf experts how to hold a golf club, they’ll give three options to consider. In order of popularity they are: Overlap, Interlock, and 10-finger (aka baseball). We’ll explain how to try these grips if you’re a right-handed player, but the grips work the same for left-handed golfers, just reverse the hands.

Overlap Golf Grip

    1. Place your left hand on the grip of your club with your thumb pointing straight down the shaft.
    2. Turn your left hand slightly to the right - your thumb should now be just right of pointing straight down the shaft.
    3. Place your right hand just below your left - you want to place your right pinky finger on top of the crease between your left index finger and your left middle finger. This is the “overlap”.
    4. Your right thumb will rest on top of the grip - slightly left of straight down the shaft.
how to hold a golf club with overlap grip

Interlock Golf Grip

    1. Place your left hand on the grip of your club with your thumb pointing straight down the shaft.
    2. Turn your left hand slightly to the right - your thumb should now be just right of pointing straight down the shaft.
    3. Place your right hand just below your left - you want to weave (interlock) your right pinky between your left index finger and your left middle finger.
    4. Your right thumb will rest on top of the grip - slightly left of straight down the shaft.

how to hold a golf club with interlock grip


10-Finger Grip (Baseball Grip)

    1. Place your left hand on the grip of your club with your thumb pointing straight down the shaft.
    2. Turn your left hand slightly to the right - your thumb should now be just right of pointing straight down the shaft.
    3. Place your right hand just below your left - you want to place your right pinky next to your left index finger - they should be touching. All 10 fingers are on the club.
    4. Your right thumb will rest on top of the grip - slightly left of straight down the shaft.
how to hold a golf club with 10 finger grip

As you probably noticed, only step 3 is different for each of these grips. The fundamentals are the same, the key is how you choose to “connect” your hands. So, which one is the perfect golf grip for you?


From our perspective, the proper golf grip for most players will either be the Overlap or the Interlock. There are advantages to both, but what it really comes down to is how it feels to the individual player. Which one feels better? More natural? We definitely recommend you try both on the driving range to find the correct grip for you.


The 10-finger grip is often used by junior golfers and beginners. It works well if you have small hands (juniors) and it’s the most natural way to hold the club for players coming from other sports like baseball, hockey, or tennis. There’s nothing wrong with the 10-finger grip, but as you get more serious about the game of golf, you may want to eventually move to one that truly connects your hands.


If you’re wondering how to hold a golf club to improve your game, we recommend you choose from Overlap and Interlock.

Should Your Grip Change Based on the Club?

The short answer. No. You want your golf club grip to stay the same regardless if you’re hitting your driver or your sand wedge. Consistency is key. The one exception to this rule is your putter. The perfect golf grip for your putter will almost always be different from your other clubs.


Putting can be done successfully many different ways, and you will see various options when playing with other golfers. There are some fundamentals to keep in mind, but there is no correct golf grip for your putter. If it works - do it. Your style of putting is defined by how you grip the club - here are a few options for you to consider. 


  • Conventional - similar to the Overlap grip we discussed above, but most players want their hands to be more connected for putting. We recommend you overlap two fingers. In this case, the pinky on your right hand would be in the crease between your middle finger and your ring finger.
  •  

    conventional grip


  • Cross-handed (aka left-hand low) - just like it sounds, but this putting grip you place your right hand on top of the grip and your left hand goes below it.

  • cross handed grip


  • The Claw - your left hand is placed on the grip normally, but your right hand is placed under the grip with only your thumb and index finger touching the club.
  •  

    claw grip

  • Armlock - this putter grip has only been popular for a few years and gained traction when the USGA made belly putters (anchoring) illegal - you need a special putter for this grip and it will be longer than normal. The grip of the putter is placed against your left forearm. This form of putting is not considered anchoring and is legal for competitive rounds.

  • armlock grip

     

    The correct golf grip for your putter is specific to you. What feels the best and what gives you confidence that you’re going to roll the ball into the hole.

    Will Perfecting My Grip Make Me A Better Player?

    Learning how to hold a golf club the correct way is critical if you want to continue to grow in the game of golf. Without a proper golf grip, your swing is broken before it even starts. If you take a lesson with a certified instructor, the first thing they’re going to investigate is your golf grip. Just from looking at how you hold a golf club they can tell if you struggle with a slice or a hook and if your normal trajectory is high or low.


    If you spend time on a public driving range, you will see all kinds of golf shots. Hooks, Slices, Duffs, Shanks, Tops, Pop-ups, Pushes, Pulls to name a few. If you struggle with one, a few, or all of these off-center shots, there’s most likely something in your golf grip making it happen. Instead of focusing on your swing plane or shallowing out the club, spend time practicing how to hold a golf club.


    As you start down the path towards the perfect golf grip, stay patient. If you’ve played for years, even tweaking your grip a little can be extremely challenging. Just a warning, you’ll probably play worse in the short term, but the long term gains are worth it.


    If you’re just learning how to hold a golf club for the first time, you’re in luck! Starting the game with good golf club grip fundamentals can save you years of frustration.

    How Do PGA Tour Pros Hold the Golf Club?

    The most popular grip amongst professional golfers is the Overlap, but many leverage the Interlock as well. There are only a few that go with the 10-finger grip. Scott Piercy has 4 PGA tour victories with a 10-finger grip and is currently ranked 100th in the world, but he’s the exception.


    Review the top players of all time and you’ll see a nice mix of Interlock and Overlap - Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, and Bobby Jones all used an Interlock grip.

    tiger woods golf grip

     

    Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, and Tom Watson all felt the Overlap was the correct golf grip. 

    tom watson golf grip


    Is imitation the way to go? Many golf historians believe that Jack gravitated towards the interlock because of Bobby Jones, and that Tiger chose it because of Jack. If you can’t decide how to hold a golf club, maybe just follow the lead of your favorite player. If you love Rory, go Interlock - more of a Dustin Johnson fan, try Overlap.


    There are a few professional golfers that alter their grip slightly depending on the type of shot they’re trying to hit, but this is an advanced skill that we wouldn’t recommend for most players. Focus on repeating the same proper golf grip on every shot.

    Common Mistakes: Tips for Improving Your Grip

    Struggling with how to hold a golf club? A few quick things for you to keep in mind the next time you practice.


  • Don’t Strangle the Club - Many golfers get tense or nervous prior to hitting the ball and this can lead to gripping the club with too much pressure. If your knuckles are white, lighten up a bit. You want your grip to be firm, but you don’t want tension in your hands and arms. Try hitting some shots on the range with light pressure (just don’t let go of the club) - you will get a better feel of the clubface releasing through impact.

  • Be a Square - Check to make sure that when you grip the club, the face is square. You may find that you are twisting it shut or open when you grip it. Even a perfect swing will produce an off-center strike if you are twisting the club with how you hold the club.

  • Avoid Extremes - The most common mistake for amateur golfers is a weak grip, but you also want to avoid being too strong. A weak or strong grip is based on where your hands are positioned in relation to the center of the shaft. The grips we described at the top of this article would be considered slightly strong, because your left thumb is a little right of center of the shaft. 

  • Too Strong:

    golf grip that is too strong

     

    Too Weak: 

    how to hold a hold a golf club common mistakes - too weak

     

    Correct:

    how to hold a golf club properly



  • Phone a Friend - If you’re new to the game of golf, it may not be easy to determine if you have a proper golf grip or not. You do not have to pay for a lesson, but find a more experienced player and ask them about your grip. You can learn a lot by listening to your friends, but make sure you always consider your sources. Golf is the rare activity that everyone seems to have an opinion on how to fix everyone else's swing. Avoid advice from the guy shooting 120!

  • Go crazy with your Putter - Putter is one club that doesn’t have a proper golf grip- you can do anything you want, if it helps you confidently roll the golf ball. Tinker, try different grips. If you get too wristy with your stroke, try an armlock putter or the claw.
  • Conclusion

    If your swing was a house, your golf grip is the foundation. With every shot you hit, you want to get off to a good start. How to hold a golf club should be the first thing you learn when you pick up the game. 


    Unfortunately, many of us have played for years with a grip flaw, but you can still make a change today. Take a trip to the driving range, buy the large bucket of balls, and grab one club - maybe a 7-iron. For connecting your hands, try both the Overlap and the Interlock, and hit a few shots. Which one feels better? Now check the top of your grip - is it too strong, too weak, or just right (slightly strong)? 


    Once you’ve performed this assessment on how you hold a golf club, hit the rest of your bucket working through the different clubs in your bag. If you’re trying a new grip for the first time, there will be some funky shots, but you’ll also hit some pure. Stay patient with this change and lower scores are in your future!