My Golf Instructor

Hand Position

Hand Position refers to both the position of a player's hands on the grip as well as the position of their hands in relation to the ball and their body. There are 3 main styles of grips or hand position; the overlap grip, the interlock grip and the 10 finger grip. For the vast majority of shots a player's hands should be positioned in line with the inside of their front thigh at address.

Hand Position Drills

Hand Position Tips

(Click on Title or Image to View Larger Photos)

  • Lag the Clubhead

    For all full swings keep the club head behind your hands as long as possible to make sure that you hit the ball first, then the ground. When you lag the club and let it release at the last possible moment you are storing your energy and maintaining control. Remember, as soon as the club catches up to your hands and starts to pass them you are no longer descending and no longer in control of the face.

  • A Stronger Lead Hand Will Help You Release

    If you tend to push putts to the right try a stronger grip with your lead hand to help rotate the face back to square. For a right handed player this would mean turning your left hand more to the right. Ideally we want to have our palms facing each other in a neutral grip position. If however you are having difficulty getting the face back to square, a slight change by rotating your lead hand can be a big help.

  • Forward Press in Moderation

    It is o.k. to have a slight forward press with a bump and run shot, but everything in moderation. Avoid pressing too much. If your hands start too far forward of the ball they may want to actually back up as you hit it causing a flip or a scoop. The reason we forward press the hands is to help keep the hands ahead through impact and to deloft the clubface.

  • Keep Your Hands in the Lead

    To store your energy and unleash it into the ball, make sure your hands stay in the lead well in front of the club head on the way down. Allowing the clubhead to pass your hands before impact throws all the energy out of the golf club and causes deceleration. When the clubhead passes your hands you are no longer in control of it either. This can cause shots to spray left and right or come out thin or fat.

  • Gripping in Your Fingers Makes You More Wristy

    Try to get the grip to sit on your lifelines in each palm. This helps to place the grip in your palms as opposed to your fingers. When you hold a club in your fingers your wrists become more supple and therefore more active. When you grip it in your palms on the other hand your wrists become more stiff and therefore less active.

  • Keep Your Hands Ahead of the Club Head

    When chipping keep your hands and the grip of the club slightly ahead of the club head throughout the stroke. This will help you to deloft the face and get a nice trajectory for a bump and run. Keeping your hands ahead also allows you to maintain control of the clubface and prevent fat and thin shots. Finishing low and with a flat front wrist will help you to keep the handle leading the clubface.

  • Choke Up For Control

    When chipping, choke up and inch or two for better control over the club head. This holds true for all short game shots and perhaps sand shots more than more than any other. Choking up allows you to keep your hands ahead of the clubhead and maintain control. When the head of the club passes your hands you are no longer in control of what it does and it's easy to hit fat, thin and inconsistent shots.

  • Finish With Front Wrist Flat

    When hitting greenside chip shots finish with the back of your front wrist flat and your back wrist still bent. This will help you prevent a flip or early release of the clubhead. When your front wrist cups through impact the result is often weak scoopy shots. Flipping the wrists can also result in fat and thin shots as your clubhead will reach the bottom of it's arc too soon.

  • Avoid a Forward Press

    When putting, avoid a forward press at set up. It opens your shoulders to the line and delofts your putter. When your shoulders are open, you will either pull or slice your putts. Also, when you start with a delofted putter face you will tend to want to add loft back on the face by cupping your wrists. It's always best to set up with everything neutral and square.

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)