Improve Your Golf Swing with Better Right Hand Grip

By Laird Small

Proper Right-Hand Position on the Club

Benchmarking the basics. Now that you have the left hand on the club let's get the right hand on there. Now the right hand has several characteristics to it. Let's start with where the club is going to go into the fingers.

Fingers and Thumb Positions

Take the two middle fingers, there is the first joint and there is the second joint, the club is going to go into the second joint. The next aspect is going to be where the hand folds, I want you to see where the hand folds, near the bottom of the thumb, and imagine that is the bun of a hot dog. Your left thumb when it is on the club here, the bun covers the hot dog (your left thumb), that is where we are starting first. That is the priority, it goes there first and then you wrap your fingers around and the grip goes in the second joint. It plugs in there first and then the fingers wrap around the club so that you do not see any of the hot dog.

Position the Right Index Finger for Clubhead Control

A couple of other things to think about. With the right hand the right index finger is going to be slightly down the shaft or separated, where you are going to see the pad of the right index finger on the golf club. That is a critical component for sensing and feeling the clubhead as it comes into the ball. Your right hand is going to be controlling the clubhead and that finger is a big part of controlling that and sensing the speed and direction because all the weight of the golf club is loaded right into that finger. A lot of questions are about the positioning of your hands in relation to the right pinky and left index finger.

Three Options for Right-Hand Grip

There are three options that you can have with your right hand as it relates to your left hand on the club.

  1. You can have what you call a 10 finger grip, or a baseball grip, where all 10 fingers are on the golf club. The front of the grip is exactly the same, there is no difference there at all. This grip would be recommended for people who have narrow palms and long fingers. It allows the fingers to get wrapped around the golf club in a nice supportive manner.
  2. For those of you who have broader palms and shorter fingers you may want to try the interlocking grip. That is where the right pinky and left index finger interlock and then you wrap your fingers around the golf club. Here is one of the things that is very important about an interlocking grip. Those of you who have long fingers and try an interlocking grip, to get any sense of security the hands go too deep and what happens is that you place the club too much into the palm of your hand. So the interlocking grip, make sure if you are going to use it, that the club stays into your fingers. This grip is used by Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus, two pretty good success stories.
  3. The last one is the overlapping grip, also called the Varden Grip. All five fingers are on the club with your left hand and there is a little bit of a nook between the index and middle finger of the left hand and your right pinky just fits perfectly into that nook and then the hand just slides on to the grip where it is still in the fingers, hot dog covered by the bun.

Any one of those three options, when you place your hands on the club, is in the fingers of both hands. Getting the hands on the club correctly has a lot to do with the ability to deliver the clubhead back to the ball squarely on a repetitive basis. It has everything to do with the distance you hit the ball and the direction. Make sure that you get your grip right.

Category: Grip
Sub Categories: Hands

About the Instructor

Laird Small
Laird Small
Pebble Beach Golf Academy
1700 17-Mile Drive
Pebble Beach, CA 93953
Tel: 831-622-8650