Your golf grip is crucial for your swing and ball flight.
Good grip is key to consistent golfing. Your hands are the only part that touches the ball. Bad grip can lead to frustration on the golf course and a lot of damage to your swing.
There are two main ways you can grip the club in golf. Overlap golf grip or interlocking grip. There’s a baseball grip too but it’s not nearly as popular. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages, as they can impact different aspects of the golf swing.
Your backswing and downswing will be affected if your grip is weak or strong. These factors will impact your ball striking ability and ability to score consistently.
I’m sure you’ve wondered, “Is it better to have an interlock grip or an overlap golf grip?”
It’s a great question because most elite players use an overlap grip. But there are two noticeable exceptions to the overlapping golf grip – Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus. These two greats of the game use an interlocking grip.
Continue reading to find out more about the different grip styles that are used in golf, and which one is best suited for you.
Overlapping vs. Interlocking Golf Grip
Bobby Jones, the great Bobby Jones, once said: “A correct grip is a fundamental necessity in the golf swing. It might even be said to be the first necessity, for a person must take hold of the club before he can swing it, and he must hold it correctly before it becomes physically possible for him to swing it correctly.”
So how can you get a grip that will allow you to swing more effectively and make Bobby Jones proud? Is interlocking and overlapping the best way to go?
Overlapping golf grip (Vardon Grip).
The vast majority of golfers prefer the overlapping grip to hold their golf clubs. Also known as the Vardon grip, it’s been estimated that nearly 90% of professional golfers use this type of grip. While I couldn’t find a formal study for amateur golfers, I can say in my 20+ years of playing golf, rarely do I meet someone with an interlock golf grip.
Harry Vardon in late 1800s popularized the overlap grip. While he didn’t invent the grip, he made it popular after writing about it in his instructional books.
An overlap grip is where your hands don’t connect and your right pinky rests upon your left index finger.
The overlapping grip has many benefits, but the most important is its ability to produce consistent results. This grip can make it easier to miss the ball.
This grip is easy to use because of the pinky position. It allows you to have control and freedom with your hands. Because your pinky connects to your hands, they work together during swing.
This allows the wrist to move freely. This type of connectivity and freedom leads to better results on a golf course.
Another big benefit of the overlap grip is that it works well for larger hands, likely why it’s so popular among male golfers. The overlap grip is the ideal solution as the interlock can be difficult to perform with larger hands.
Finally, the overlap grip is pretty easy to get started and doesn’t take long to feel natural. This can speed up the learning process and help you be more successful over the long term. This grip is used by some of the most renowned golfers around the world. It should allow you to play for a long time without switching grips.
Each grip has its disadvantages too but there aren’t a ton with the overlap. While it’s not ideal for players with very small hands, it can work for pretty much everyone else.
It’s hard to say it can limit your distance or accuracy either as it’s used by the longest hitters in the world. The only thing is that it might be a difficult transition to it from a 10-finger baseball grip or an interlock grip, but that’s to be expected. Anytime you change your grip, even if you don’t change the core style, can take some getting used to.
Click here to find out more about the step by step process to master your grip.
Interlock Golf Grip
Interlocking grip is another popular grip in golf. It was made popular by Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods – two of the greatest men to ever swing a golf club. Rory Mcilroy is another accomplished player who uses this method.
Despite three great players using this grip on the golf club, ironically, most amateurs or professionals don’t opt for this grip style.
So, what’s the difference between the overlapping vs interlocking golf grip?
The right pinky finger
In an overlap grip, your pinky finger rests above your left hand. Most golfers place it between the left index finger and middle finger of your left hand (assuming you’re a right handed golfer).
An interlock grip means that the pinky fingers are placed between the index finger and middle finger. If you’ve been playing an overlap grip for a while, try to grip a club and see how it feels. I did while writing this article and couldn’t believe how different it felt!
Let’s review the pros and cons to find the perfect golf grip for you.
Interlocking grips provide more connection since the pinky finger is between the fingers in your other hand, and not on the top. With an interlocking grip, it’s easier to have the hands act together as a single unit for more control in the swing. There’s less to think about in terms of Watch action as the hands are connected during the swing.
This grip also reduces tension in your swing. Since all 10 fingers are resting on the grip, you don’t need to apply as much grip pressure. This is an area that many golfers struggle with and try to squeeze as much life out of their grip.
In reality, you need just enough grip pressure. To reduce tension and ensure a free swing, you need to maintain the same grip pressure throughout.
Finally, the last major benefit to the interlocking grip is that it’s ideal for players with smaller hands. This is why junior golfers as well as women love to use the interlocking grip to grip the clubs.
As with the overlap, there are many pros and cons to this grip. First, it’s not good for players with larger hands as it’s awkward to grip the club. This can make it difficult to swing the golf club freely.
Second, while it’s great to help players have the hands act as one, it could also eliminate proper wrist movement. This can also affect your overall distance and impact on ball striking.
It can feel awkward at first, especially if you’ve been using the overlap grip your entire golf career. It may take months before you feel comfortable.
Ten Finger Grip (Baseball Golf Grip)
The most popular grip styles for golfers are the overlap and interlock. However, there is a 10-finger grip. It’s also commonly referred to as the baseball or hammer grip as it’s the same way that you would hold a baseball bat.
You don’t need to overlap or interlock your fingers when using a 10-finger grip. Instead, you place all ten of your fingers around the grip of a club. There should be no space between your hands. The knuckles of each hand should align with one another.
Amateur golfers are more likely to use this grip, but professionals can also use it. Scott Piercy, one of the most prominent players to use this grip, is an example.
Pros of the 10-Finger Grip
The major reason this grip is good for some players is that it’s easy for beginners to get started. This grip is the most difficult part of the game, so it speeds up the learning process.
It’s easy for new players to quickly adopt this grip and start hitting golf balls. It’s very natural compared to the overlap or interlock grip which both take time to learn and get comfortable. This will allow beginners to spend more time on setup and takeaway.
This grip style can be used to hit the driver with ease and increase your impact in the hitting zone. Since every finger is touching the club, it’s easier to transfer power when the face meets the golf ball. It’s easier to snap your wrist and create massive power when hitting a driver.
Cons of 10-Finger Grip
Like the other two main types of grips, the 10-finger grip isn’t perfect either. First, since the hands aren’t connected in any way, it can lead to them acting independently in the golf swing. This can lead to inconsistent results and poor ball striking.
Second, the 10-finger grip may give your wrists too many freedoms in the swing, which can impact your accuracy. This can be a pro for adding more distance to the game, but it can also be a con because it can negatively impact your driving accuracy.
FAQs about golf grips
Are you looking for the best grip style to match your swing? Keep scrolling to see the most commonly asked grip questions.
Do golf pros use interlocking grip?
Yes, some pros use the interlocking grip to replace overlapping their fingers. Jack Nicklaus (the PGA Tour’s most famous pro) and Tiger Woods (the PGA Tour’s second largest) use this grip. They have 33 major championships, as well as numerous wins all over the world.
What is the purpose of the interlocking grip for golf?
The pinky position of the interlocking grip makes it easier for players to connect their hands. This makes it easier for them to work together in the swing. It’s also a great grip option for players with smaller hands who want to have optimal control of their golf ball.
Who invented the overlap grip?
The overlap grip is often associated with Harry Vardon (also known as British Open), who was a six-time winner of the Open Championship. While he made this grip style popular, he actually didn’t invent it but was a frequent proponent of it.
Johnny Laidlay is credited by golf historians. He won the British Amateur championships 1889-1891 in which he used an overlapping golf grip.
What grip do pro golfers use?
Professional golfers use an interlocking grip for full swings. It is quite ironic that Jack and Tiger, two golfers everyone wants to imitate, use an interlocking grasp.
As you can see, the overlapping grip is the best for most golfers. Some coaches and players believe interlocking reduces slice.
Is overlap grip helpful with slice?
A slice is caused by the left-hand placement and not the grip style. According to Bill Schmedes III, who was voted Best Young Teacher by Golf Digest.
This is how it works ArticleHe went on to say, “A majority of golfers often slice the ball because they’re gripping the club too much in their palm,” Schmedes says. This can weaken your grip and leave the face open at address. This creates a domino effect on your swing. When the clubface gets open, subconsciously, we react to it.”
He suggests that you hold the club with your fingers and not your palms. This will improve your takeaway, and help straighten your ball flight. Keep your grip light, as too much grip pressure (especially with the middle fingers) can cause tension in your swing.
What grip did Jack Nicklaus use
Jack used an interlocking grip for full swing golf shots. Since Tiger Woods wanted to imitate and beat Jack, it’s not a big surprise that he adopted the same grip too.
Jack explains more about this grip in Golf Digest saying, “I’ve always used an interlocking grip. That’s what Mr. Grout taught my dad–and me. I interlock because it helps unify my hands.”
This improved his swing speed, distance control, as well as the ability to release the club properly.
Do you use the exact same grip for all shots?
In general, yes, it’s best to use the same grip on short game shots. Many golfers have different putting grips but use the same one for driving, irons and wedges.
Matthew Fitzpatrick (2023 US Open Champion) is an exception. He uses a normal grip to control his smooth swing but uses a cross-hand grip for short chip and pitch shots.
The left-hand grip is the other and allows him to According to PGA Tour, “Fitzpatrick tended to “cut across” the ball just a bit when conventional (his path through the ball coming a fraction inside).”
While it’s unconventional for such an avid golfer, it clearly works for him.
When putting, should you have your fingers interlocked?
It is quite different to hold a putter than to swing a full golf club. There are only a few ways you can hold the grip for full shots. However, putting is very different.
When it comes to putting, there are many different grips available, including claw grip, conventional, left-hand low, cross-hand grip, claw grip, and others. Each grip style has its pros and cons depending on your natural tendencies.
The best thing about putting is the ability to switch grips quickly to test it and see if it works. If you don’t get results, it’s easy to switch back without affecting your old grip. If a putter gets old and you’re going through a slump on the greens, sometimes changing your grip is just what you need.
Click here to see our complete guide on different putting gloves.
Final Thoughts on Overlap Golf Grip Vs. Interlock Grip
These are the most common grips in golf. How you hold your club is key to improving your golf swing. There is no right or wrong way to compare grips. Instead, you should find the one that feels right for you.
While the interlock golf grip might work for two legends of the game but I wouldn’t suggest it for most players. If you have small hands, this grip can lead to a smooth golf swing but isn’t ideal for most male golfers.
The best grip is the overlap grip, not the ten finger grip. The overlap grip allows you to hit all kinds of shots, generate more power and ultimately improve your game.