10-finger Grip Problems in Golf

Written by carlton reese
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10-finger Grip Problems in Golf
A 10-finger grip resembles a baseball grip in that all fingers make contact with the club. (golf and women image by Photoeyes from Fotolia.com)

The grip is perhaps the most important element of the golf swing because, depending on how a person grips the club, this will determine the type of swing. In golf instruction, there are three standard means of gripping the club: overlap, interlocking and 10-finger (also known as baseball grip). With an overlapping or interlocking grip, only nine and eight fingers make actual contact with the club, respectively. With a 10-finger grip, all 10 fingers make contact with the club.

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In a 10-finger grip, the hands are not wedded together as in an overlapping or interlocking grip. For this reason, the hands are separated, which can more easily cause the hands to work independently instead of as one cohesive unit. When the hands work independently of each other, a fulcrum is developed between the hands, which leads to certain instability in the swing. Because of this superfluous hinge taking place in the hands, the club head will not rotate properly through impact, often bringing the leading edge of the club into contact with the ball instead of the pure face of the head. This hinge can also lead to the toe of the club "shutting" down through impact, meaning the club faces left and has diminished loft. When this happens, a player tends to battle a wild "pull-hook" trajectory.

Mechanically Debilitating

With a 10-finger grip, the low hand (right hand for a right-handed player) tends to exert more pressure on the shaft. When this happens, the player tends to rely solely on the right hand for power. This would not be such a bad thing, except that the player will turn away from using the bigger muscles of the legs, back and shoulders to drive the swing. By taking the big muscles out of the swing, the player is instantly less efficient by having to rely on the small muscles for power. When this happens, the player's swing mechanics are hindered. For someone who is relatively weak, the 10-finger grip may be a way to generate power by not having to rely on some classic golf swing fundamentals; but for someone who is fairly strong or athletic, the 10-finger grip will hinder development of the player's full potential.


Whereas the 10-finger grip may be an easy source of power for some players because the low hand exerts more pressure on the club, it can also be a source of over-rotation of the club through impact. Even if the player avoids the over-hinging from the fulcrum created between the hands (as mentioned earlier), there is still a good chance the low hand will aggressively roll over the high hand too much during the release through impact. This will cause a lot of topspin on the ball, resulting in a hook.

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