Do you take your grip seriously? Weekend golfers don’t always take their grips seriously, but professional golfers do. In fact, they take them so seriously that they’re constantly tweaking them. If you examined the grips of five PGA players, you’d probably find five different grips thanks to the changes they’ve made. Weekend golfers can learn from this approach.
Tweaking your grip to fit your game can help your golf handicap. With the pros, tweaks generally fall into two categories. There are those long-standing quirks adopted at anearly age when the players were just learning the game. And then there are those more recent quirks added as they gained experience. These were adopted to offset specific swing flaws or personal quirks. Both types of changes turn a player’s grip into a powerful stroke saving tool.
Below we examine grip changes made by five PGA players. We also provide golf tips on how these changes can help you save strokes and lower a golf handicap.
He uses a standard single overlap grip. But he sets the pinkie finger on his right hand in the crease between the middle and index fingers of the left hand. This grip positions the hands closer together so they can act in unison. It allows you to use a “stronger” grip while eliminating hooking. This grip works well, as some teachers like to point out in golf lessons, if the player tends to lose his grip a lot at the top of the swing.
He employs a double overlap grip—wrapping the last two fingers of his right hand over the first two fingers of his left. This grip “quiets” the hands. It’s a great adjustment for Furyk because it helps him compensate for the signature loop he has in his swing. The grip is great for people who overuse their hands. It increases accuracy, but reduces distance. It also requires strong hands to use it effectively. This grip isn’t something we recommend a lot in golf instructions sessions, but it may work for you.
Fowler has an interlocking grip. He intertwines the left index finger and right pinkie finger. This strengthens grip power where the hands meet. He started using this grip when he was three and his hands could barely fit around the club. It’s a great grip if you have small hands or swing the club fast and no intention of slowing down your swing. This grip is popular in golf instructions sessions.
Kim uses the standard interlocking grip. But instead of putting his right thumb on the left side of the club, he puts it on top of the club. Then he presses straight down. Putting the thumb on top enhances club control. Not popular in golf lessons or on the Tour, this grip is helped by Kim’s habit of choking down. Kim’s grip may work for you if you need more distance because it helps you hit the ball on the sweet spot more often. It also improves consistency.
He grips the club like you’d grip a baseball club. When you grip the club like this you give up some control. This isn’t as bad as it sounds because Johnson swings his club at 125 miles per hour. Golfers who swing fast like Johnson tend to hit a lot of snap hooks. The “short thumb,” as it is referred to in golf instruction sessions, quiets the hands and keeps snap hooks at bay. You need really powerful hands to employ this grip effectively.
The five grips discussed above are typical of the types of grips you’d find with today’s PGA players. Many Tour players tweak standard grips to make them fit their games. Doing so can turn your swing into a powerful tool that can help you rack up more birdies and pars.