Golf Grip – How to Grip a Golf Club

Neutral Golf Grip

Neutral Golf Grip

The proper golf grip, specifically how to grip a golf club is an often overlooked detail as golfers tend to be far too interested in the complexity of the swing itself. However, a correct golf grip has everything to do with how the swing will develop including the motion of the arms and wrists, clubface control, lag and release.

It could be a separate article unto itself, but suffice it to say that extreme grip errors lead to extreme swing errors. A “weak” grip, in which a right-handed golfer has the hands set too far around to the left on the club, will lead to an open clubface, an over-the-top downswing, casting and scooping at impact and generally high ball flight with slicing and lack of power. On the other hand, a strong grip in which the right-handed golfer has the hands situated too far to the right around the handle, will lead to an unusually flat downswing with severe  in-to-out swing path, duck hooks, straight blocks to the right and generally lower ball flight with longer than average distance on short irons.

If these errors and ball flight problems sound too familiar, keep reading to learn what the “neutral” grip should look like before investing too much effort in swing changes.

The Neutral Golf Grip

Step one is to attach and properly position the lead hand to the golf club. Get a club and sole it as it would sit in the playing position, but do this beside your lead leg, or left leg for a right-handed golfer. Standing at attention with the club resting beside the left leg, position it so the shaft is right against the leg, clubface is aimed at target and clubhead soled flat on the ground. With the handle positioned just behind the left hip, reach down and grasp it so the handle runs through the middle joint of the left forefinger then back along the base of the pinky finger while being pinched under the heel pad of left palm. Starting this way ensures that the handle will run diagonally through the hand causing the fingers to wrap in a spiral fashion around the club – note this is different than the way we grip a baseball bat which is held in the fist with the fingers wrapped perpendicularly to the handle vs. the spiral, diagonal wrapping of the fingers on a golf club.

The left thumb should sit at about 1 o’clock, or slightly right of center when looking straight down the topside of the handle. The heel pad of the left palm should be sitting up on top of and across the handle so the handle is trapped under the meaty pad of the hand. No space should be visible around the pinky finger – it should be clinched snugly around the handle. The thumb should be retracted up into a “short-thumb” position which forms a tight seam between thumb and forefinger creating the classic upside down “V” referred to in so many golf instruction manuals.

Step two is to lift the golf club around in front of the body and check the  left hand position. Lift the club so it extends straight out horizontally to the ground out in front of the belt buckle with the leading edge of the clubface perfectly vertical or “toe up.” (Click here for setup article and video to see exactly how to position the club for this step.) As you look down at the left hand, the first two knuckles on the back of the hand should be visible. The seam that forms the shape of a “V” should be angled to point toward the right cheek or shoulder area. Try holding a golf tee pinched in the seam of the “V” to use as a pointer. The tee also works great to keep the “V” sealed together so it does not gap open during the swing and cause the club to move in the hands.

Step three is placement of the right hand on the golf club. If you look down at your right hand as it rests naturally at your right side, you will notice it turns slightly inward – palm facing the right thigh or even facing slightly behind you. Humans definitely don’t walk around with the right palm facing up, but they will sure put it on a golf club that way if left unsupervised.

As we already did with the left hand, you can go ahead and pinch a golf tee in the gap between right thumb and forefinger to accent the “V” formed on the right hand as well. As the hand comes to the golf club, it is important to maintain the natural, anatomically-neutral joint alignment you saw when the arm was hanging at the side of the body. Focus on first laying the handle in the crease of the middle two fingers and slide them back until they touch against left forefinger. Allow the right pinky to lay on top of left forefinger – DO NOT INTERLOCK them together. The interlock grip tends to work the right hand too far underneath the club as the player attempts to shove the right pinky and left  forefinger all the way together. This inevitably creates a right hand position too far to the right with the palm facing up. This is referred to as a “strong” grip.

Once the right hand is fully attached to the club, the “V” should point straight up at the chin. The lifeline crease in the right palm covers the left thumb, which should be totally covered. A pronounced “trigger” finger is created by the right forefinger. It literally sits on the backside of the handle in the same position it would sit on the frame of a gun to pull the trigger. The right thumb rests on the left side of handle so just the inside edge of the thumb touches the handle. Note the right thumb is not straight down the center and it is worth repeating … only the inside portion of the thumb pad is in contact with the handle.

Final Check. If  you look down at the hands from above while holding the club horizontal to the ground in a “toe up” position straight out in front of belt buckle, you should see two knuckles on the back of each hand. Two knuckles showing on each hand suggests a perfectly neutral grip position. The V’s on each hand should be sealed together – left hand V pointing to right cheek or shoulder, right hand V pointing to chin. Conversely, if you were to place the club on the ground behind the ball while assembling the grip and then tried to look at the hands, it would be too difficult to see the correct positions.

With both hands in final position on the club, it should be comfortable to hinge the wrists up and down as though driving a nail with a hammer. That completes the grip by removing any unwanted tension as you prepare to sole the club behind the ball and move into setup position. With a solid setup, good backswing, downswing path and release, you can trust this perfectly neutral grip to be able to deliver the clubface squarely to the golf ball time after time. Try it and leave me a comment to let me know how it worked. Thanks.

Herman Williams, PGA
Raleigh, NC

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  1. Why do you advocate the short thumb? Does that not allow a good hinge on the downswing? Also, with a short thumb, at least for me, there is so much space under most of the thumb and only the thumb pad touching the grip. Either a flexibility or build issue perhaps. I seems with a short thumb and less thumb on the shaft makes casting happen more easily.

    • It’s mainly to get the right hand to fit on the club properly. A long left thumb tends to get in the way of placing the right hand on the club and players just end up with a right fist full of club handle and left thumb sitting in the right palm. That’s when you really see the casting begin as right wrist won’t hinge. Good players can adapt well to a long thumb and still get the right hand properly in the fingers but when I have to spread a message to millions of people and can’t be there to supervise, the short thumb is safer.

      • Thanks for the reply and explanation. Yes, the long thumb feels so uncomfortable but wondered what was better. Being in CT is too far for you to see, but I will continue to follow your advice from afar with confidence.

  2. Hi Herman,
    I have a quick question. In looking at your videos I can’t see just where the right hand heel pad should rest. So if you push down with the front knuckle on the clubs is the right heel pad on the side of the golf shaft or is it on top like the left hand heel pad?

    • Hi Mike, on the side. Right hand forms a pocket along the lifeline through the palm that nestles over left thumb. This leaves right hand heel pad below left thumb and pressed into the side.

  3. Hello,

    i have been reading some of the comments about hooks and slice golf shots and i want to clarify my thinking. Assuming everything is good with swing plane and club head position at the top of the back swing. I can just bump and allow everything to fall? Right?



  4. Hi Herman,

    I have been watching some of your videos. I am interested in getting better.
    Lots of old problems from being a lefty for 17 years, now a righty.

    Trying not to lift up, trying to get my grip right and most importantly, trying to get a proper takeaway.

    I live in North Raleigh. Are you also in Raleigh? Always exploring ways to make this game more simple.

    Thanks for the videos

    • Hi Elliot, Thanks for checking out my site and watching my golf training videos. I’m semi-retired now living in Wilmington, NC and off for the winter, but I will be teaching private lessons at Knight’s Play in Apex a few days a month starting back up in April. Look for my lesson calendar on the “Book a Lesson” page when we get closer to Spring.
      Thanks again. – Herman

  5. Herman,

    A sage golf friend of mine turned me on to your videos and your web-site. I owe that guy a beer! Very good advice throughout.

    I’m a natural left hander that golfs right handed. For years I played with the overlapping grip and it never felt comfortable and control of the club at the top seemed to be a recurring problem. Upon reading one of Harvey Penick’s books, I got the idea to switch to a 10 finger grip and my control and distance got a bit better. Perhaps my right hand needed the help of the extra finger.

    Anyways, I sort of naturally fell into the hand positions you describe, though continuing to use the ten finger grip. I recently tried the trigger finger position you recommend, for more than one session at the range, and I felt it increased tension and instability in my hands. Not saying that it does for others, as we are all different. My sage “guru” loves your ideas for the trigger finger and feels it helps him stay down to the ball at impact. It could be I’m just not getting what you are saying.

    What I discovered yesterday, is that for me, the old Hogan method of no space between the fingers of my right hand works better for me. By keeping the tension between the top knuckle of the forefinger and the thumb, I feel like my right forefinger knuckle controls and squares the clubface, as it is pressing towards the target.

    I just wanted to describe my odyssey to the right grip (for me) as you may have other lefties playing righty, who could benefit from my experience.

    Your suggestion for a little more pressure in the three smaller fingers of the left works well for me. I think sometimes we try to be toooo relaxed and start losing the club at the top.

    The one fault that still creeps into my grip is that sometimes my right thumb area lifts off of my left thumb, and then all bets are off as to where the ball will go.

    It seems if I slow down the swing a little, the problem doesn’t occur as often, yet I sacrifice some distance with that solution.

    I am thinking of a little more upward pressure in the bottom three fingers of the right hand.

    Any thoughts?

    • Hey Paul, thanks for chiming in. In general, lefties playing right-handed will be dominant with “left-sided pulling” of the club while feeling a little lost using the right side to equally and aggressively “throw the club” past impact. Balancing that pulling and throwing is key, and a great grip sure helps. 10-finger grip works great and no need for trigger finger to separate from other fingers. You keyed on the important part that the main knuckle of right forefinger presses into the thumb and slightly on top of club. You should be able to pinch a dime in the “V” of the right hand.

      If your right hand likes to come off the club in backswing, you are smart to slow things down as the momentum probably bounces the club against your wrists in transition. Something else to check is whether you are achieving the “waiter’s tray” position with right hand at the top as this supports club better by letting the weight rest on the right hand trigger finger instead of the right thumb. If your right wrist fails to bend back into the tray position and forces the hinge to be against the thumb, the natural lack of flexibility in the joint will make the right hand separate from the left. It also helps to be pushing up with right arm and heel of right hand to keep the arc from collapsing at top of backswing. If you are pulling with right hand it will probably come off no matter what. Hope this helps … good luck and thanks again for following my work. – Herman

      • Wow. Thanks for the quick response. You know your stuff and truly must love what you do.

        I just took a couple of slow practice swings in the backyard and sure enough, sometimes the weight of the club was falling onto the thumb on the swings that felt bad. When I get the weight on the trigger area, it feel solid and not bouncy.

        I never heard of pushing up with the right arm and heel of the hand. I’m going out to try to get that feel before going to work. I’m a tall guy (6’6″) and don’t feel like I take advantage of all of the natural extension (swing arc) my body is capable of. Perhaps this will help with that too.

        I’m Hermanized.

        Thanks a bunch!

  6. Hi,

    I have a neutral to weak grip but I am finding that my hands are to active in the swing and can suffer from duck hooks, would making my grip slightly stronger help to slow my hands down, I have tried putting larger grips on my clubs but I have large palms but small fingers so struggle to grip them and I end up gripping to hard.
    I have since gone back to normal size grips and feel much better but hands are still to active.
    I look forward to you comments.

    Phil S

    • Phil, if you are a high ball hitter I’m going to guess you are scooping at impact. I don’t consider this over-active hands but merely faulty hand action. You could experiment with either strong or weak grip, but at the end of the day you likely need to figure out how to get to impact with hands ahead of clubhead to avoid the toe flipping closed and adding loft.

      On the other hand, if you are hitting low pull-hooks then you probably do have an overly closed face and over-active hands that are crossing over too soon through impact. If that’s the case, try to pass through the ball as if holding the knuckles of your lead hand to the sky.

      • Hi Herman,

        It is the latter where the ball is Low to mid flight and going left. I have tried what you have said, e.g. keep knuckles looking at sky but I find my timing goes and the swing path is very / very flat which I struggle with for my irons.
        Would having a neutral left hand and a weak right hand help, which will help to keep the palm of the right hand facing more away from me and towards the ground.

        I play off 11 and want to get down to single figure this year and the only thing that is stopping me is consistency, plus I keep tinkering with my grip as I injured my left index finger and now mainly play with all ten fingers on the club as its the only thing that feels comfortable, would this have a bearing on the hook?

        I look forward to you comments

        Phil S

        • If the flight is low-left then a weaker grip should help … neutral left and weak right should be ok. But the flat swing plane could be a big source of your trouble. Typically players with flat backswings cannot make equally flat downswings. As a result they come over the top and across the ball with what amounts to a steeper initial downswing and a flat finish to the left of target. This type of swing pattern always hits the ball lower and left if the face is square to the path.

          The bottom line here is you will hit the ball higher and less left if you can find a way to open the face and strike the ball from a shallow, inside path. In fact if you overdo the changes you will almost instantly see high shots that are pushed to the right. I would actually welcome that as a sign of change. But don’t expect mastery anytime soon. Even if you are doing everything correctly, I expect scattered results until you’ve had time to own the habit.

          • Hi Herman,

            Thank you for this, I will get to the range at my club and try a few things there with the weaker right hand and see if it helps.

            Phil S

          • Hi Herman,

            Working on what you advised and also looking at your lesson on ‘Right Wrist Action For The Perfect Golf Swing’ I have made very good progress on changing my swing and the difference on the ball flight is dramatic as I now see the ball flying straight down the middle or with a very nice small draw.
            I am now looking forward to the rest of the season.

            Thank you so much for your advice.

            Phil S

  7. Hi Herman,
    great web site keep up the good work!
    I was wondering if its possible to get TOO much of your left heel pad under the grip? & if so how might this effect your grip /shot shape? Im playing off 9 handicap hit a high -draw shape. I would say my grip is probably a little too strong but it works for me…but since adjusting my grip to get the left heel pad right on top I’m not getting any flush contact. I’m hitting lots of low hooks, thin contact & the odd hosel rocket!
    please help! 🙂 many thanks

    • Hi Luke, I think I answered this on YouTube or elsewhere on this site, but yes you can get too much heel pad up on top of handle. Hooking will be the likely result. It sounds like you may have been scooping at impact as well which would cause the exaggerated low, thin, and shanked shots after getting that heel pad too far over. I’d probably just go back to what was working but try to evaluate what’s happening at impact with shaft lean and lag. Good luck. – Herman

  8. Good Morning Herman!

    Been playing for the better part of 25 years…never had a lesson and have managed to drop my index to 6.2. The problem is consistency off the tee. Like most, confidence his high with split fairways, but without em’, the score suffers. I had been using a one plane swing, but found I lost distance on everything. Consistency was good, but now the distance loss is affecting competitions. After reading the various postings on your site, it seems I need to go back to hinging again for my distance, but this will almost certainly be at the cost of accuracy (I had stronger grip with BOTH hands in the one plane).

    It seems the hands (stronger left and neutral/weaker right) are almost…”dueling”. Should I be feeling this contradiction in my hands?

    • Hi Bob, the “dueling” contradiction may indeed be a good thing. Strong left, weak right allows for the greatest amount of hinge and the opposition you feel prevents one from dominating the other and over-releasing. It’s tough to advise players “on paper” without really knowing what’s going on, but it sounds like more wrist hinge and a higher armswing that can take advantage of some gravity for the drop probably will give you more distance. I tell my students to try not to confuse comfort with correctness, so hang in there until you’ve had time to really make a habit out of it.

  9. Hey Herman,

    First off I’d like to say that I love your videos, you do a great job explaining things in a clear and concise way. I’ve recently changed from a rather strong grip to the neutral grip you advocate and while I’m in a much better position at the top (club more on plane, flat left wrist), I now struggle with releasing the club. Looking at my old swing on film I used to have absolutely no problem releasing the club but since going to the neutral grip I have lost 15-20 yards on all my clubs, and I’ve developed a sharp pain in the joint of my left thumb that has forced me to take a break for a while. Any idea what might be causing this or some drills I can work on to help with my release? I’ve watched your video on the release many times but for some reason I just can’t get it to click with this neutral grip. Thanks!

    • Jack, it’s tough to diagnose these things from a distance, but you obviously don’t want to do things that are causing injury. A strong grip with a cupped wrist at the top and a release that focuses more on extension versus forearm rotation might be best for you. The pain may be caused from the load in transition at the top of backswing now using a weaker grip and/or “flatter” wrist. Or the pain could be caused by faulty action thru impact. If you had no significant ball flight problems with the original style, I’d consider going back to it. If you think release is the only issue, then work on one-handed left-arm-only forearm rotations with a club for a few seconds before hitting each shot. This should “wake-up” the left forearm for the rotation you need thru the ball. Your old style swing likely pulled thru the ball more with left arm which delays when it will rotate.

  10. Herman,
    The hardest thing to change in my swing is the feeling of the shaft moving towards the target or even the thigh. I can obvioulsy do it in slow motion, but normal speed it feels so awkward. I guess I haven’t practcien it enough in slow motion to ingrain.

  11. Great stuff. Best explanation I’ve read. It is my belief that these characteristics are perfect for the vast majority of Golfers. However not all. For example, when I grip with my left hand, and keep pressure between left thumb and hand, my hand(really fingers) not big enough such that the thumb is at 1 o clock. My thumb is at 11 maybe 10. Now when I place the right hand in a neutral fashion, my right hand is further on top. So what, gives? The space between left thumb and hand? Placement of club in left fingers?

    • Jack, you might be surprised to hear me say even with smaller hands you can probably do both. This stuff can be tough to interpret in print and without the ability to see what you’re doing I can’t be 100% sure. But I’m thinking when you have the thumb pinched against the hand and it causes your thumb to really sit at 11 o’clock, then you simply want to gradually rotate the entire hand to the right. Your fingers may not wrap all the way around the club like this but you will be holding it in the fingers and the thumb gap will be pinched together and the thumb pad will sit right of center closer to 1 o’clock. When all else fails in trying to understand this, I would say the thumb pad at 11 o’clock is probably a death sentence on the grip. Good luck. – Herman

  12. You have given me good advice before, perhaps you can understand or help with my grip issue. Last season, I used an overlap grip, my right middle finger ached all the time. I switched to a 10 finger grip after some research and now find that my right pinkie often feels scrunched and feels painful. Enough to make me experiment with the interlock lately. It seems to relieve some of the stress on the fingers that I felt.I will say as far as ball flight goes I don’t see much difference but it is easier to close the clubface with the 10 finger grip. Distance is a little less and fats shots more prevalent as a miss. I have 7 3/4 ” length wrist crease to tip of middle and 3 1/4″ length middle finger. I do think there is a touch of arthritis in the middle finger from younger days injury. Can I make the interlock work right or are you dead against it? Any thoughts?

    • Hey Mike,

      Actually interlock will likely work fine, but it is generally tougher for people to set the hands properly. It’s not really an inferior grip, just more difficult at least for “uncoached” players to get correct. Just be aware that the most common error is placing the right hand too far beneath the club which sets the “V” too far to the right and engages the right pinky finger too deeply where it hooks into the left forefinger.

      • Thank you very much for your thoughts and expertise. You really are a gem to behold to us golfers. I do hope you put out DVDs someday or I luckily could have you personally assist me with my game someday.
        Take care.

  13. Thanks, Herman, I’m anxious to give this a shot. Just wondering – have you encountered this arm/hand anatomy oddity before (I’ve made the mistake of pointing it out to some of my golf buddies; you can imagine the ribbing and nicknames I’ve brought on myself)?

      • Your advice has really helped me to re-establish a servicable swing, so thanks so much, Herman. Because (at least partially, I think) of being cursed with thin wrists, I do still struggle with periods of wild inconsistency with squaring up the clubface at impact; BUT, for some reason, I’ve discovered that setting up address with a slight amount of ulnar deviation in my wrists makes for much more solid and very consistent contact. Is this dangerous “band-aid”, or an acceptable and viable approach?

  14. I’ve been struggling my entire golf life with ball flight, especially with my irons (periods of nice draws or straight balls turn into weak slices or even shanks). In developing a swing checklist, I’ve been trying to settle in on an effective, comfortable, get-the-clubface-to-square-at-impact grip. Here’s my recently-discovered dilemma: unlike the vast majority of the human population, the knuckles on my hands face dead forward when I assume a standing, relaxed position, arms at my side – kind of a pre-evolution, Neanderthal look. Assuming that my grip should at least somewhat mimic this natural hand position, what kind of grip would most likely be successful for me (I also have shorter-than-average, slender fingers along with pretty slender wrists). Strong, weak, or a combo? 10 finger?

    • Strong left hand (turned to the right like your natural arm hang); weak right hand (turned more to the left – probably palm facing target with “V” centered. 10-finger style may be the most comfortable way to position the hands and not worry about how pinky finger has to link with anything. At impact you will ideally just unhinge at the ball with hands slightly ahead of the shaft and clubhead but you will not need as much “rollover” as you see in my release video. Good luck. – Herman

  15. I’m hoping you can help me with a grip problem that has been bothering me for years. I have seen other swing coaches in the past about this problem without any solution. They basically shrug their shoulders. Anyway, here is the grip issue I am having:

    I have a somewhat strong grip with two knuckles showing at address. The grip is planted in my hand just as your video shows – grip located below the fatty pad in the palm. When I swing the club, the grip tends to move over the fatty pad and ends up sometimes above the fatty pad after completing my swing and/or during the swing. I can actually feel the grip moving over the pad in my swing at times and it’s driving me crazy.

    Do you have any idea what could be causing this and how I can eliminate this problem?

    Thanks a million!

    • Scott, admittedly this is difficult for me to diagnose without seeing what’s happening. It is possible you are actually too relaxed with grip pressure and your hand physically opens as if letting go of the club at the top of backswing and then it moves as you re-squeeze it starting down. There is an old joke among teachers that it looks like someone playing the flute or piccolo at top of backswing when those fingers start letting go. Look for this first and don’t be afraid to firm up. This also means the right hand must stay in firm contact against the left thumb as the left hand alone may not be strong enough at the top. If you hinge too much the right hand can be forced to disconnect from the left and then the left hand fingers open up under the hinging pressure at the top. The goal is moderately firm grip, slower backswing so the club doesn’t have so much momentum that it bounces at top of backswing, flat left wrist position at the top. If these are all good, then your problem may be at impact in which case you must be scooping versus a pure crossover and/or you may be hitting the ball so far off center on the face that the contact literally rips the club out of your hands. Check impact with face tape and work on my release drills for the crossover. Hope this helps, it’s kind of a stab in the dark when I can’t see it. – Herman

  16. Hello Herman,
    Mate, I’ve been playing golf since age 33, 15 years now, and as a former baseball player, I’ve found the transiton rather straight forward. However, here is my dilemma. I hit a nice baby draw with my irons and fade/slice my fairway metals. I’ve been struggling with this forever and have surfed the web for hours on end in an attempt to rectify the problem. I came across your 3 videos (grip/wrist/over the top) and I really want to implement your concepts, because as a chiropractor, my knowledge of biomechanics is a huge advantage here, so I should by all measures be able to get into these positions rather easily. So, here’s my question…..with regard to the grip, I’m left handed (but play right handed)and tend to want to emphasize more pressure with the left hand and I think I’m cocking my wrist too much in the wrong way, losing the flat left wrist position, causing me to cast I believe and generating the slice recovery catastrophe. Should my grip pressure be equally dispersed ? oh, and before your video, I was using a strongish left hand grip with the Hogan right hand fold over, which I think you advocate. Today, I’m going to go with a pure twelve oclock left hand grip position and see if I lay the club off a little more correctly, while trying to get the “bump and drop” movement in there, which by the way, feels absurdly awkward. Can you please inject some wisdom into this convoluted dissertation ?

    • Charles, as a dominant left-hander I prefer the weaker left hand position with the thumb roughly at 12 o’clock for you. Flat wrist at top should be good from there. The key is to use your left arm strength to your advantage. The secret in doing this however is to avoid using the left arm to pull through so much, but use the forearm strength to


      the forearm and clubface. You may be psychologically looking at fairway woods as if they need help getting lofted into the air and thus scooping thru impact. Go ahead and turn the face down into the ball even if it means taking a slight divot. You’ll probably see quick results. Think “bump, drop and rotate” as you move thru downswing. Good luck. – Herman

      • Thanks for the swift reply, mate. Much appreciated. I will put your points into action and get back to you. Additionally, I’ll get some proper swing video organised for a lesson. You’re becoming quite popular down under, as I’ve been sharing your videos with some of my mates. You know Herman, I play comps every sat/sun and currently hold a 9 handicap. I’ve hooked up with a lot of pros over the years, mate, and your system really resonated with me. NO INSTRUCTOR has ever commented on my left or right wrist positions and I cannot believe how monumentally important those positions are for a correct swing. Many, many thanks and I’ll keep you posted. Cheers !

    • Hey Jim … I hope to rest in retirement. Until then I’m going to stay after it, although as hard as I may go, there is no such thing as ever really catching up. Thanks for checking in. – Herman

  17. Herman,
    I didn’t have a chance to read through all the comments/questions, so I’m unsure if you addressed this question.
    How much of a role does the size of your club grips have to do with your overall swing. I have trouble getting my hands comfortable on the club, and I’m thinking some of that may have to do with my grips. When playing baseball, I remember having a preference for middle of the road bat handle…not too skinny and not too fat.

    • Actually your individual comfort is the most important part. Most of us can position are hands reasonably close to the ideal whether the grips are standard, undersize or oversize. Consider having one club regripped undersize and one regripped to a midsize and play with them for a week to see if one feels better than the standard stuff you’ve been using. In the past, we used to measure hand size and check finger length for fit, but the more modern methodology is to let the player sample different sizes and tell us what feels best. I can tell you in general if you want to measure your hand, your hands are larger than average if your middle finger is 3.5″ or longer and/or your overall hand length from wrist crease to finger tip is over 7 5/8″

  18. Im currently a 1 handicap golfer ,who struggles in a left to right wind,was told by a + handicap player to strengthen left hand, wish i d been told years ago! Totally different strike ,irons and driver,just have to get to practice area to get new distances and alignment sorted out, but delighted with new flight,previous flightbwas high and weaker!

  19. Herman,
    I think your videos are great and have help me somewhat with the over the top move. one of many of my problems is that i’m not very flexible with my upper body and its hard to turn and finish my shot. Is there a good excercise to help with this? I’m 6′ 2″ and 250 pounds and gettin older by the day.

    • Don, consider flaring your feet outward to increase your ability to turn the hips. You can also drop the right foot back into a “closed” stance to make it easier to turn the hips fully in the backswing. A full, tension free turn in backswing make sit easier to get the armswing deep enough to avoid the over the top move. Good luck. – Herman

  20. Hey Herman,
    How come the trigger finger position is so important? I recently found that when I place the forefinger in more of a hooked position the clubface stays square longer and there is a better feel on impact. Why is such a small detail so vital? I think without it I early release the club and either scoop it or pick it with a more open clubface. Please advise.


    • The best answer I have is that your brain can sense that pressure point as if the flat first joint of the trigger finger and then the palm all register in alignment with the clubface. Then simply keep the pressure against the back side of shaft all the way to the hit.

  21. Hey Herman,

    I’m a pretty high level high school golfer and currently use a slightly strong grip. I’ve always had troubles off and on with casting the club and losing distance. I have a really good short game which keeps me in lots of rounds. I feel like if I gained distance and control I could be a scratch golfer or better. Currently like a 3 handicap. I was wondering if a neutral grip will eliminate the casting? I’ve tried all sorts of things in my swing path and stance, but just cannot lose the casting sometimes. Thanks

    • A strong left hand grip actually should be a good idea. However, a weaker right hand may let you get more wrist hinge and might let you hold the lag longer. I must admit I have seen some strong grip players who still have an open clubface at top of backswing due to excessive cupping in the left wrist. If so, the open clubface may be the reason for your casting. Without being too confusing, just the opposite is possible as well. You may have the face so closed at the top that you have to cast just to get enough loft on your shots at impact. Bottom line is to figure out your face position at the setup, top of backswing and impact so you can decide what to do with grip, wrist position and release. Good luck. – Herman

      • i fought my grip for years until i realized that the hands have to face each other. no other way to have a perfect tray at the top. so one hand weak and another strong never worked for me.

  22. Dear Herman,

    I have been playing golf for 10 years and I am still a 26 handicapper. I used to be a 20 handicapper when I was using a neutral 10 finger grip. Then for no apparent reason I switched to strong interlocking grip. That was when my handicap ballooned to 26. But I didn’t attribute my game’s deterioration on changing the way I grip the golf club. Then, just recently, out of frustration, while on the driving range, I decided to tinker with my grip. I tried weak overlap and strong overlap, still no success of having good contact with the ball, especially with the driver the ball just don’t fly. Then, lastly I tried neutral overlapping grip, and voila, the ball flew straight with my driver. Then I tried hitting all my clubs with the same results, the ball was flying straight with a slight fade. Then, I tried to google: “neutral grip, the key to straighter shots” to validate my discovery, and your website came up. So now, I’m certain that a neutral grip is the real secret for a straighter shot. Thank you very much.

  23. Thanks for the tip I was using the interlocking grip ( I have small hands) and could not stop my right hand from sliding under (to the right) no matter what I tried. Have now changed to overlapping and no longer have that problem however, I find that the but end of the club does not remain under the left pad all the way through the swing (usually moves / pops out on the follow through), is this a grip issue or a swing issue?

    Kind regards
    Andrew M

    • Hey Andrew … it sounds like you are on the right track. It’s funny how interlocking was always recommended for people with small hands, but it never really works that well in my opinion. In fact you might even just try a 10-finger grip. For the left hand it’s tricky since you say you have small hands. First we want to make sure as much as possible you have the actual fleshy part of the heel of your hand pinched up on top of the handle. You sort of have to press the butt of your left hand diagonally across the top of the club to get this right. This is what gets the “V” of the left hand actually pointing to the right shoulder. If this is good and the club is still moving, it’s possible you are not striking the center of the clubface all that well. If so, the jarring of off-center impact will twist the club out of your hands anyway regardless of how good your grip is. Check your impact with some pressure sensitive impact tape and adjust your setup or swing path to improve the contact point. Good luck … Herman

  24. Loved the clarity of your grip lesson. I never realised that the “short thumb” and closeness between thumb and forefinger was so important. However when I do this (and i have to exert closing pressure in those two fingers to achieve it) I find it makes my grip feel pretty tight and I prefer a softer feel. Any thoughts or will I eventually get used to it?


    • You described it perfectly … just give it a little more time. Make sure the club handle is angled thru your fingers exiting almost at the tip of the forefinger. You may also want to check grip size to see if smaller diameter helps the comfort.

  25. Hi Herman,

    I’m a 20 handicapper, recently i used a strong grip that tends to lead me to a low hook ,very short distance and can’t seem to get the ball up in the air expecially with my driver but works fine for my iron, but when i changed it to neutral grip i’ll get a high slice or pushes it to the right with my driver and sometimes even with my long iron. What should i do?


    • The strong grip usually leads to a delofted clubface at impact with the shaft leaning forward too much. That’s usually a problem if you don’t have the club speed of a Tiger Woods. I think you are smart to bite the bullet and address the grip, hopefully getting the clubface in a neutral position. However, you still have the old swing habit to get rid of after that. So spend some time now on literally rolling the hands over thru impact to try and hook the ball. Hopefully you will now be striking the ball from the “inside” with the true loft of the club as the face naturally squares into impact. Bes ure to watch my videos on “flat wrist” and “release.”

  26. if my left thumb is on top of the club, i cannot get the V to point far enough to the right. is that ok or am i not holding it right?

      • hey again

        thanks for the response. i discovered that the club was not being held securley in my left pinky. that thing has to wraped tight. if i do that, then the thumb is on top of the shat and not pointed straight down. this feels real good. what a tricky thing!


  27. Hi Herman.
    I have been playing golf for over 30 years and to this day, no one, in any book or video has explained the reason why so many pros create a gap with the trigger finger on their right hand. (right handed golfers). Why is the forefinger separatedfrom the the rest of the fingers and what purpose does it serve and how does it help your swing, Would appreciate your comments.

    • The gap does not necessarily serve a purpose but rather is an indication that you have your hand properly angled along the handle. The fingers should wrap in a spiral fashion with the club running diagonally through the hand from the base of the pinky finger out through the middle joint area of the forefinger. Once you hold it that way there is often a gap.

      Some players will intentionally create more gap just to accentuate the pressure point of the trigger finger along the backside of the shaft. That pressure point helps “register” the clubface position and allows an aggressive overhanded release without much fear of hooking. Thanks for visiting the blog and commenting.


  28. You say right pinkie lies on top of left forefinger. Isn’t that contrary to Hogan and desciples who say pinkie should lock in the groove between forefinger and middle finger? May not make much difference, but I’ve been doing it the Hogan way my entire “career”.

    • Agreed … I prefer the way you and Hogan do it. My statement is more of a generality to differentiate from interlocking position. But for others here I will throw out the observation that it might surprise you how many people lack the flexibility or length in the pinky to get it back there in the groove without a lot of discomfort. If so, on top will be ok. Thanks for commenting. – Herman

  29. One of the things that I have found to be vital about the left hand is to ensure those fingers are spiraling upward as Herman mentions. If you dont do that you wont have the right connection and pressure upward into the palm, and the feel of the club is entirely different if you dont do that. I find that holding the club out in front at a 45 degree angle with the right hand, and extending the left hand horizontally and then taking the grip, the spiraling happens pretty automatically. It doesnt always happen automatically when you take your grip when the club is soled on the ground, so be mindful of that ! Its amazing how many golf books dont emphasize the spiraling fingers when talking about how to take your left hand grip. Thanks again Herman!

  30. In the article that precedes this video you state ( contrary to the video) that the left thumb should be to the right of center, not on top as the video suggests. (The left thumb should sit at about 1 o’clock, or slightly right of center when looking straight down the topside of the handle.) When I position it in this manner, the V of my right hand points straight up the shaft but instead of it aligning with the center of the grip it is more parallel with the right edge of the grip. Any comments. Thanks!

    • Bill, thanks for commenting. You have some wiggle room with the positioning. You’ll note in the video I allow for 12 o’clock or 1 o’clock for the left thumb position. 1 o’clock is safer for the masses who may not work on anything else in the swing and tend to suffer with open club face & slicing.

      If you tend to slice and have inflexible wrists, I’d suggest the 1 o’clock position. If you have fairly supple wrists, plenty of wrist hinge and clubhead speed, I’d go for the 12 o’clock position. With either position you should be able to get the “v” of right hand vertically centered … aligned with “right edge of grip” as you stated is probably ok.

      Bottomline … I like 12 o’clock left thumb for players who follow the “flat wrist” and active “release” from my 3-part video series. If a player has dead hands, no speed and slices, I like the 1 o’clock position a little better. See my latest blog post and video on “wrist action for distance.”

      • Thanks Herman. This is one of the very few on-line forums that I have ever participated in (golf or otherwise) where the host actually reply’s to my post. Good for you and keep up the good work.

  31. Hello Herman,

    You wrote about the grip that “strong left and weak right is ultimately neutral”.
    I am a long time low single digit handicapper and former club champion. Some time back a famous teaching pro had me turn my left hand stronger. “Everybody” says the left and right hand should match which I diligently and dutifully tried to do. On the practice tee have found the strong left, weak right combo worked well, straightened my hook and let me shape shots, but since it was not “correct” always went away from it. You also wrote of the perils of right palm facing upward. I know that but had either forgotten or ignored it in my quest to be “correct”. As you pointed out, the Hermanized grip is anatomically superior. Am glad I found your info and thank you for it.

    Regards, Steve J