How to: Hold a Golf Club
The legendary Sam Snead once said, “If a lot of people gripped a knife and fork the way they do a golf club, they’d starve to death.” That’s certainly a truism. While some still gravitate to the age-old baseball grip (holding the club without any connection between your hands), practically every successful golfer in the last century has held the club in one of these two ways:
1. Often called the “Vardon grip,” the method of holding the club was popularized by fabled British Open champion Harry Vardon. Here, a golfer places his top hand (the left hand if you are a right-handed golfer) on the club and overlaps the pinkie on his bottom hand in the crevice between the index and middle finger of the top hand. The result is a connection between the hands that acts as a single, cohesive unit. Some golfers prefer to rest their pinkie over the index finger of the top hand, which is a perfectly acceptable variant.
2. Jack Nicklaus, the game’s greatest golfer, made this grip famous, and Tiger Woods used it in the hope of matching his idol. The main difference between this and the Vardon grip is that the pinkie on the bottom hand goes underneath the index finger of the top hand, between the middle and index finger, wrapping around and securing itself to the back near the knuckle. Golfers with smaller hands may prefer this grip, which is used by a minority of tour pros, but has become more popular in recent years as young golfers model themselves after Woods. – RT