My Golf Instructor

Grip: Get A Hold On Your Game
Perfecting the Grip

Perfect a grip by focusing on the 3 PsFocus on the 3 Ps of the Grip

Every golf instructor in the world has professed the importance of the grip by saying virtually the same thing. You've heard it so many times. "Your only connection with the club is your hands." Without a proper grip there are so many good things you won't be able to do in your swing and so many bad things that will unwittingly show up. A good grip creates energy, force, power, control, adaptability and predictability. With a poor grip on the other hand you get just the opposite, lack of power, lack of force and energy, inconsistency and limitations.

What is it that makes a grip correct? It is important to know that every person is built differently so there is no "one grip fits all." What is important is finding the grip that best fits the individual's hands by allowing them to have control, supple wrists for speed and a comfortable, confident feeling while holding on to the club. The preferred grip in the order of which it is taught is the Vardon or overlap grip followed by the interlock grip and lastly the ten finger grip. I think every teacher world wide would tell you that the grip that seems to cause the most problems in positioning, results and physical issues is the interlock grip. For this reason I think you will find more and more instructors, myself included, recommending the 10 finger grip more often than ever before if the Vardon grip is not an option.

The 3 Ps of the Grip

When looking at a student's grip I evaluate what I call the "3 Ps."

  • 1) Placement in the fingers
  • 2) Pressure Points
  • 3) Positioning - that the hands match each other and are positioned to create the desired ball flight

Whether a player uses a 10 finger, Vardon or interlock grip is not really a concern as long as the 3 Ps are where we want them to be. The Ps are there to make sure a golfer capitalizes on distance and control. If they are out of whack it's easy to lose power and consistency unless a player is talented enough to put some compensations together and offset the poor connection with the club.

The first P, placement in the fingers, affects the suppleness of your wrists and their ability to create speed. It also affects direction by either allowing or preventing your hands from releasing the club face in time. The second P, pressure points, is solely a power factor. If your hands are not able to apply pressure to the grip then you won't be able to really compress the golf ball or maintain control of the grip. The third P, the positioning, affects your direction first and foremost, but also your power as you can position your hands to get more or less topspin, backspin and sidespin.

The Situation:

You want to place your hands on the club with a solid grip.

The Solution:

Make sure to place the club more in your fingers than in your palms. You will have more flexible wrists that can generate high club head speed and the club is less likely to move around in your hands like it will tend to in your palms. This will also allow you to be able to control your release. With your lead hand (the one closer to the target) place the club along the base of your fingers. Try to angle it just a bit from the base of your pinky finger (where it joins your palm) to the middle knuckle on your index finger. With your rear hand hold it along the middle knuckles. Cover your lead hand thumb with your rear palm. Everyone's hands are different, but I recommend the heel of your rear hand's thumb (or right at the wrist joint) to be right at or just below the top knuckle on your lead hand. It is important to keep your thumbs "short", not fully extended. Having them stretched out or extended down the shaft makes your wrists sit up higher and thus become more stiff.

Make sure to keep your thumbs connected to your index fingers. What is considered more of a neutral grip today was a slightly strong grip in days past. What most consider neutral is when a player's "V" that they form between their thumb and index finger of both hands points between their rear side ear and shoulder. The more a player rotates their hands to their rear side the stronger the grip becomes and will result in a hook if everything else in the swing is neutral. The opposite is true if they rotate their hands towards their lead side or target side. The grip will then become a weak grip and cause the ball to slice spin if everything else is neutral.

Maria Palozola

Maria Palozola is a member of the LPGA and has participated in multiple LPGA Tour events. She has provided instruction to thousands of students in the past 20+ years and has won multiple teaching awards from the LPGA, Golf Digest, and Golf Magazine including being ranked as one of the top 50 female instructors in the world.

Who is Maria Palozola?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
- A Golf Digest Top 10 Teacher in Illinois
- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
- More about Maria
- Golf Questions
Golf instruction made simple
Golf Overview
Overall Game
- Getting Started
- Equipment
- Golf Fitness
- Junior Golf
- Mental Game
- Practice
- Rules of Golf
Short Game
- Bunkers
- Chipping
- Pitching
- Putting
Full Swing
- Pre-Swing Fundamentals
- Shot Making
- Diagnosing Problems
- Driving
- Hybrids and Woods
- Irons
Playing Golf
Ball Striking
- Fitness (78)
- Course Management (82)
- Getting Started in Golf (75)
- Practice (66)
Course Management
- Club Selection (66)
- Equipment (107)
- Driving (68)
- Putting (127)
- Golf Rules (69)
Short Game
- Bump and Run (72)
- Chipping (82)
Ball Striking
- Chunking (79)
- Distance Control (86)
- Fat Shots (92)
- Flipping (48)
- Poor Accuracy (118)
- Slicing (48)
- Thin Shots (85)
- Topped Shots (52)
- Lack of Distance (108)
- Putting Accuracy (72)
Swing Plane
- Blocking (50)
- Inside Out (56)
- Outside In (59)
- Over the Top (49)
- Pulling (54)
- Pushing (66)
- Releasing Early (47)
The Swing
- Grip (65)
- Alignment (55)
- Balance (50)
- Ball Position (80)
- Posture (77)
- Setup (117)
Swing Plane
- Backswing (84)
- Controlling Trajectory (47)
- Divot (48)
- Downswing (67)
- Impact (103)
- On Plane (85)
- Path (84)
- Power (71)
- Shaft Plane (63)
- Swing Plane (112)
- Weight Shift (79)