This article appeared in the 2013 Winter issue of LINKS.
Tommy Armour 1967
The last three fingers of the left hand latch the club against the heel of the hand all through the swing. Pressure from those fingers is firm but not stiff. There is a lighter hold with the
middle two fingers of the right hand. The ABCs of Golf
John Daly 1992
Sam Snead used to say you should grip the club as if you were holding a bird. Actually, I think that’s overstating the case a tiny bit, but I would say you should grip it with the same amount of tension you would have in each hand if you were carrying a loaf of bread: tight enough that you won’t drop it, but not so tight that you’ll crush it.
Grip It and Rip It!
Nick Faldo 1990
Remember that it is the fingertips, the end two joints, that hold the club, with the rest of the hand relaxed. It is like holding a violin bow, a pencil, a small paintbrush, even a squash racket. You have to get mobility in the wrists and produce sensitivity without letting the thing go. Golf—the Winning Formula
Bill Gordon 1955
Whenever I see a pupil’s fingernails whitening as he holds the club I ask him to let go for a minute and shake hands with me. Usually he gives me a nice firm “friendly” grip, and that’s just what I want—not a bone-crusher or a limp paw.
Sports Illustrated Tips from the Top
Butch Harmon 1996
Despite what you’ve heard, I believe your hands will mesh best as a team if you put equal pressure on the club not only with each hand but with each finger.
The Four Cornerstones of Winning Golf
Hank Haney 2009
The ideal situation is that you hold on really tight with your fingers, but maintain a feeling of softness in your wrists, arms, and shoulders. In reality, that’s impossible. But it’s not a bad thought to have in your head, in that it will tend to lighten your hold on the club and free up your upper body. That’s where tension tends to accumulate, far more than in your hands. Hank Haney’s Essentials of the Swing
Bobby Jones 1966
Many times I have found that by shifting my grip up or down upon certain clubs, particularly the driver and putter, I have been able to bring back the touch with these clubs. Often the slightest altered balance of the club, making it feel lighter or heavier as the grip is shifted down or up, is all that is needed to restore confidence. Bobby Jones on Golf
Jack Nicklaus 1976
I’d say I’m of the firm-gripping rather than relaxed-gripping school. And I’d guess this is probably true of most “legs and body” players as opposed to the “hands and arms” golfers. Golf My Way
Greg Norman 1988
One method I like to use to ensure the proper amount of left-hand grip pressure is the “short thumb” technique. Take your normal grip with your left thumb extending down the shaft. Now scrunch up your thumb a half inch or so. Feel how that increased the tautness of your grip in the last three fingers? By shortening the thumb, you automatically insure a crisper, more compact swing. If inaccuracy is your problem, give it a try. Shark Attack!
Arnold Palmer 1990
You have to keep a steady hold on the club—not so tight that you feel as if you’re squeezing it to death, not so tight that your muscles get locked, but tight enough so that even if you were to hit a hidden stone the club wouldn’t turn in your hands. My Game and Yours
Sam Snead 1997
I always tried to grip the club with very little grip pressure. I never developed calluses on my hands because I kept my hands light and soft on the club. You could probably take my club away from me at the top of the backswing, I gripped so lightly. I think with light grip pressure you can get more zip and better release at impact for more distance.
The Game I Love