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The first step to a better golf game is ensuring that you're properly gripping the club.
The first step to a better golf game is ensuring that you're properly gripping the club. (Brandon Tucker/WorldGolf.com )

Having problem on the golf course? Might be time to check your grip fundamentals

Kelly KlecknerBy Kelly Kleckner,
Class A LPGA Teaching Professional

I find with most of my students that when all else fails they rarely check their grip. I believe golfers do not want to admit that the source of many of their problems in the golf swing could simply be from the hand position.

I always ask my students to do something we are taught in LPGA Teaching schools and that is to simply let your arms hang down to your side as you would if you were standing. Then, look and see how many knuckles you see on each hand.

Whether it is two or three-no matter-that is what your hand position should look like on the club. It should be comfortable, and yes some people naturally have a strong or weak grip, but that can be fixed after watching the swing if necessary.

Golf tip: The proper golf grip

To set your hands properly on the club after you have done the above, follow these rules: First, set an iron on the ground so the sole lies flat on the ground. Then, hold the end or butt of the handle lightly between your thumb and forefinger with your right hand (For right-handed golfers).

Next, you will add your left hand, set your grip with the club resting at the base of your fingers. Feel the grip in your fingers! Not in your palm!

Too many golfers over-grip by placing the club in their palms thus; they have less control of the club. Now, close your hand around the club and feel the pressure in your fingers. Your left thumb should fall to the right of the top of the grip. There should be a gap between your palm and club, and you should be able to see at least two knuckles of your left hand. Now we can work with the right hand. Set the base of your right hand fingers just below your left hand.

If you use the overlap grip, you will place your pinkie finger so that it rests in the crease of your index finger and middle finger of your left hand. Feel pressure on the club with your middle and ring fingers of the right hand.

Finally, your right thumb should wrap across and slightly to the left of the grip. Your left thumb should fit nicely in the crease created by your right palm and the pad of the right palm. Your palms should now be facing each other and "Dialed" slightly clockwise as you look down on them. Your right index finger may extend down a little to create a "trigger" if you prefer.

To check your grip, make sure that the "V's" that are created from the creases between the thumbs and index fingers point towards the middle-between your shoulder and neck. Always check your grip before you play-it could save you errant shots!

Tip: Consider a neutral grip is where both "V's" of the hands point to mid shoulder area (between the shoulder and neck). When the flight of the ball tells you that you are delivering the clubface to the ball looking to the right of your swing line, move both your hands gradually towards the "strong" position (Both "V's point to the right shoulder). If your shots tell you that the clubface is arriving at the ball looking left of your swing path, move both "V's" gradually towards your neck area.

Your grip is right for you when the ball heads straight most of the time.

LPGA Professional Kelly Kleckner teaches at Cherokee Ridge Golf Course in Colorado Springs, Colo. She played collegiate golf for Colorado State University, and is the founder and director of the LPGA Girls Golf Club for the area. She coaches and teaches private and semi-private lessons all year. For more information call 719-576-9176.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • Grip instruction

    Mark Burak wrote on: Aug 24, 2005

    While this is all helpful, it would be really more useful if the instruction use words like lead hand (right for lefties like me) as it is harder to visualize while having to reverse everything!


      • RE: Grip instruction

        tee wrote on: Sep 24, 2005

        why is the conventional gilf grip so accepted wen it is the most uncomfortable and in my opinion not as effective as the natural golf grip?
        how did the conventional golf grip come about?


          • RE: RE: Grip instruction

            Jesus D. Macachor, M.D. wrote on: Apr 20, 2010

            The conventional overlapping grip or Vardon grip probably discovered by Vardon not knowing the mechanics.It is actually a more powerful grip compared to the baseball grip. This is because the right hand is slightly under the left hand going to the top of the swing. Therefore, the right hand can push and pull the left hand and club higher for wider and longer arc and also encourage a fuller shoulder turn.In the ten finger or baseball grip the hands are in the same level going to the top.