Overlapping vs Interlocking Golf Grip

Your hands are the only part of your body that touch the golf club, so, needless to say, how you hold your club dictates your swing and stance, and to some extent, your entire game. However, it can take some time to figure the best grip for your swing style, and vice versa. 

Ultimately, if your grip doesn’t feel right or natural, it may be something you need to look at. Many golfers go their entire careers looking for the best grip technique for them, and many frequently try out new ones. While it can be difficult to change your grip, it can also be exciting and you may be surprised at how much it can influence your gameplay. 

We’re going to take a look at two key grip techniques: overlapping and interlocking. We’ll take you through how they work, their benefits and drawbacks, and which one comes out on top. 

Overlap grip 

What is it? 

The overlap golf grip takes the pinky finger on the trailing hand and places it on top of the gap between the index finger and middle finger on the lead hand (for right-handed players, the left is the lead hand). It is sometimes referred to as the Vardon grip as well, as it was made popular around the turn of the 20th century by Harry Vardon. 

This grip places the club in the fingers and is the grip most likely to be taught to beginners by golf instructors. It’s not just a grip for amateurs, however. Over the years, the grip has been popular among pro golfers, including Ben Hogan, Phil Mickelson, and Arnold Palmer.

What are the benefits? 

The overlap grip is best for those with larger hands, or for those who need better control over their grip pressure. Because your fingers aren’t interlocked, some golfers believe that you are less likely to experience blisters with this technique. This style of grip promotes unity between the hands without hindering your range of movement, enabling you to powerfully release the club. Another bonus is that many players find this grip the most comfortable. 

Interlocking grip 

The interlocking grip is formed by placing the right pinky finger between the index and middle fingers of the left hand, essentially locking the hands together. Though its less widely used than the overlapping grip, it’s used by some of the best golfers out there – including Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods – so there must be something in it. Some players find the grip uncomfortable as it can create friction between their fingers, so if this is the case for you, you may want to loosen your grip pressure slightly or try wearing a golfing glove. If you’re still struggling, perhaps it’s time to progress to the overlap.  

What are the benefits? 

The interlocking grip has many benefits. First up, it’s great for players with smaller hands as it can allow you to have better control over your golf club and limits excessive wrist movement. Nicklaus said that because he has relatively small hands, the interlocking grip allowed him to achieve a better grip, and he also recommends it for those with weaker hands, as your interlocked hands mean the club is easily locked in place. That said, this technique is good for those with stronger hands too, as it allows them to keep a firm grip without a lot of tension in the hands and forearms. 

So, which is best? 

This is one of the biggest debates in golf, and, truth be told, it’s impossible to say which one truly comes out on top, because different golf grips work differently depending on the size of your hands and your upper body strength. 

A basic rule of thumb is if you’re starting out and have large hands, go for the overlap, if you’re a beginner and have small hands, go for the interlock. The main thing is to develop a grip that allows your hands to sit naturally on the club so that you practice the same grip every time. As your swing technique develops, and you start to notice your strengths – and weaknesses – you can start thinking about which grip best suits your golfing style. 

Switching grips 

If you want to try a new grip technique after sticking with the same one for years, then go for it. There’s no harm in trying a new grip, though you may find it takes a while to get used to, and it can seem difficult at first. However, in the long run, switching your grip could improve your overall performance. 

That said, if you’re thinking more about switching between grips regularly, for example, using the overlap one day and the interlock the next, then this isn’t such a great idea. Try to stick with one grip and work on it regularly to build up muscle memory so that it begins to feel entirely natural. If you switch regularly between two, your hands won’t get used to a particular grip and your gameplay will lack consistency. 

Golf grip aids 

A golf grip trainer attachment such as the  SKLZ Golf Grip is a simple way to train your hands to sit naturally in your chosen grip position. Don’t be disheartened if it feels strange at first – it will take some time to build up strength and muscle memory in your fingers so that the grip feels comfortable and natural. 

Conclusion 

Your grip is essential for maintaining control of your club, and it can influence everything, from your stance to your swing. Grip technique is a subjective matter and depends largely on which feels more comfortable to you, as well as your hand size, grip pressure, and hand strength. It can take a while to figure out which technique is best for you, so feel free to try both at first. Once you’ve got a feel for each, pick one to work on in the long-term so that you develop muscle memory, which will eventually make the grip feel entirely natural. 

 

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