Overlapping Golf Grip Pros And Cons & Who Should Use It

Harold Vardon holds the honor of the most Open Championship wins in history. Six, to be exact. But, besides his impressive trophy cabinet Foresight Sports suggest that the late legend pioneered the overlapping grip. The most common setup among golfers.

In this post, I lay out the pros and cons of an overlapping golf grip. Plus, I identify which golfers are best suited to this setup. I’ll give you a hint. It is not recommended for players with small hands.

Intro To Golf Grips And Why It Is Important

Your golf grip impacts three predominant factors. These are the control of your golf club, power on your downswing, and clubface angle at impact. Playing with the wrong grip for your hands can reduce your clubhead speed, coefficient of restitution (C.O.R), distance, and accuracy.

Overlap Vs Other Grips Overview

The most comfortable setup to start playing with is a baseball grip. Beginners find this grip comfortable and relatable to start. Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods achieved success with the interlocking grip, but it is overshadowed by the overlap. Foresight Sports suggests that the Vardon grip is the most popular grip used by professionals.


What Is The Overlapping Golf Grip

The overlapping grip sees the pinky of your bottom hand rest in the groove between the index and middle finger. At least, that is what most coaches say.

However, I find that it creates extensive pressure. Instead, I prefer resting the tip of my pinky on the knuckle of my lead index finger. This creates a secure hold on the club without impacting the flexibility of your wrists. Therefore, your hands work in unison to encourage a fluid swing.

The Golf Doctor provides a clear explanation of how to set up this version of the overlapping grip.

This common grip setup is typically suited to golfers with larger hands. It aims to boost your control of the club without strangling it.


What Are The Advantages Of The Overlapping Golf Grip

Unifies The Hands

The structure of the overlapping grip binds your hands, forcing them to work in unison through the swing. Although it doesn’t guarantee accuracy, it lowers the risk of sending your clubface offline because of erratic hand movement.

Suits Big Hands

Golfers with larger hands find that the overlap grip is more comfortable. Overlapping your hands gives you an added layer, besides the golf club to grip onto, helping you feel in control of the golf club.

Looser Grip

Another advantage of the grip is its looser nature for some golfers. A 10-finger or interlocking grip may cause you to hold the club too tightly. That could result in a closed clubface through impact and a hook. The Vardon grip helps you loosen your hold on the club while still maintaining control.


What Are The Disadvantages Of The Overlapping Golf Grip


Not Ideal For Small Hands

Golfers with smaller hands may struggle to achieve optimal control of the club. Your fingers may not wrap sufficiently to rest on the knuckle of your top hand’s index finger. Therefore, you sacrifice control and power.

Open Face Through Impact

I do not use a Vardon grip because I struggle to square the face at impact. The looser grip disempowers me from closing the clubface on the way down to get it square. As a result, my clubface remains open through impact, and I push or slice my shots.


Who Should Be Using An Overlapping Golf Grip

On the surface, it appears that golfers with big hands are suited to an overlapping grip. However, I am an exception to that rule, and I am sure there are countless others. I have fairly large hands and feel that the interlock and baseball grip offers more control.

Therefore, if you have big hands, I suggest starting with the overlapping grip to see if that works for you.

Furthermore, an overlapping grip is an idea for those golfers who tend to strangle their grip. If you altered your finger position to address this issue, and nothing worked, give the weaker overlapping grip a spin.

Should High Handicappers Use It

Yes, if you are a high handicapper with big hands, it is worth setting up this grip sooner rather than later. It may be tempting to play with a baseball grip as a beginner because it is comfortable and what you know. But, it can complicate your swing mechanics if your rhythm and tempo are off.

What Pros Use The Overlapping Golf Grip

  • Suited to players with big hands
  • Encourages less tension
  • Prompts a fluid swing

Does An Overlapping Golf Grip Suit A Strong, Neutral, Or Weak Golf Grip

An overlapping golf grip is best suited to a neutral grip. However, it also assists players with a strong grip. It reduces the tension that you place on the golf club.


Signs That You Are Using The Wrong Golf Grip


The first sign that you are using the wrong golf grip is when you feel less control over the club. Maybe your grip is too weak, and you struggle to keep your club on plane or maximize power.

Swing Path

Your grip can impact your swing path, prompting an inaccurate golf shot. If you swing the club on an outside-inside line, your grip may be too weak. Instead of taking your golf club back and through, the loose club flies outwards, leading you to attack the ball from a steep angle.

On the other hand, a high pressure grip can prompt you to take the clubhead excessively to the inside on takeaway. Your strengthened grip makes it difficult to get the club on path, and you swing through around your body with a closed clubface, causing a hook.


Another sign pointing to an incorrect grip could be reduced power or clubhead speed. Reduced control over the clubhead limits your ability to swing freely and maximize speed. As a result, your C.O.R drops, slowing down your ball speed and impacting your distance.

Clubface At Impact

An incorrect grip could be the root cause of an undesirable clubface angle through impact. Typically, if your grip setup is too weak for you, it results in an open clubface at contact. Prompting a fade or slice.

Conversely, a tense grip forces your clubface closed before impact. That causes your ball to hook or draw.


Do I Need To Use The Same Grip For Every Club?

No, nothing is forcing you to use the same grip for every club, but it is advisable. If you want consistency in your game, I suggest using the same hold for your woods, irons, and wedges. You can deviate with the putter.

Using a consistent grip boosts your muscle memory and makes it easier to repeat the process. Therefore, you are more likely to enjoy consistency with one structure. Of course, you may find that a different grip works on your putter.

For example, golf coach Michael Breed shows how to employ the claw grip for putting. This would not offer optimal control with a driver, but it is effective on the dancefloor. The putter is the only club I would look past a different grip.


When Should I Consider Switching To An Overlapping Golf Grip

You should consider switching to an overlapping grip if you have big hands or your current grip is too strong. In addition, an overlapping grip is worth exploring if you are hooking your golf shots.

A strong setup such as an interlocking or baseball grip may be causing you to close your clubface at impact. Therefore, hooking your shots. The overlapping grip reduces tension and increases your chance of squaring the clubface up at impact.


When To Switch Away From The Baseball Grip

The less time you spend using the baseball grip, the better. I left it too long and have now used it for two decades with this grip. I make it work for myself, but it is full of caveats. When you get it wrong, the result is catastrophic.


What Grip Does Tiger Woods Use

Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus are two professionals who have used an interlocking grip. With 33 Major titles between them, it is clear that this grip works.

Dustin Johnson

DJ as he is affectionately called uses an overlapping grip.

Scottie Scheffler

The current world number one follows in the footsteps of Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus, employing an interlocking grip.



The overlapping golf grip is a popular setup employed by professionals and amateurs. Although it is recommended for players with bigger hands, it can work for the masses. The grip structure releases tension experienced in interlocking and baseball grips to offer a neutral hold.

Despite many golfers agreeing that the overlapping grip is the way to go, it is not perfect. While a weaker grip is beneficial to some, it relinquishes control of the golf club to others. As a result, you may leave your face open through impact and slice your shot.