Interlocking Golf Grip: Enhancing Your Swing Technique

Interlocking Golf Grip

The interlocking golf grip is a method of holding the club that’s favoured by many golfers around the world for its ability to provide stability and control during the swing. This grip involves the right-hand little finger (for right-handed players) interlocking with the left-hand index finger. It was popularised by legendary golfers like Jack Nicklaus and is also used by modern greats such as Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.

The advantage of the interlocking grip lies in its ability to create a unified connection between the golfer’s hands and the golf club. This connectedness often leads to enhanced wrist action, offering a combination of both power and precision. For golfers with smaller hands or those who struggle to maintain a solid grip on the club, the interlocking method often provides the security and control needed for consistent swings.

Despite its popularity, it’s important to recognise that the effectiveness of the interlocking grip can vary from player to player. It’s commonly suggested for those who may benefit from the tighter hand unity it provides, which could be instrumental in improving their overall swing technique. However, like any technical aspect of golf, the interlocking grip has its detractors and isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, emphasising the need for individual assessment and possibly customised coaching.

Basics of the Interlocking Golf Grip

The interlocking grip is a popular method utilised by golfers to maintain a stable and secure hold on the club. It involves interlocking the pinkie finger of the trailing hand (right hand for a right-handed golfer) with the index finger of the leading hand (left hand for a right-handed golfer). This grip encourages a unified hand action during the swing.

Grip Formation

  • Leading Hand: The club’s grip should rest primarily in the fingers, not the palm, of the leading hand. The thumb should lie down the shaft, slightly to the trailing-hand side.
  • Trailing Hand: The pinkie finger interlocks with the space between the index and middle finger of the leading hand. The thumb of the leading hand should fit in the lifeline of the trailing hand.


  • Stability: It provides a secure connection reducing the likelihood of the club slipping during the swing.
  • Unified Control: Encourages the hands to act together, increasing control.


  • Comfort: May feel unusual for beginners, but with practice can become comfortable.
  • Hand Size: Useful for golfers with smaller hands, as it brings both hands closer together.

Remember, the right grip is individual to every golfer, and mastery of the interlocking grip can build a solid foundation for a consistent, powerful, and effective golf swing.

Advantages of Using an Interlocking Golf Grip

Golf course overlooking the ocean

In the quest for a more stable and controlled golf swing, many golfers turn to the interlocking golf grip. It offers specific benefits, particularly in terms of hand unity and swing mechanics.

Enhanced Stability

The interlocking golf grip is favoured for its ability to provide golfers with increased stability. By interlocking the pinkie finger of the trailing hand with the index finger of the leading hand, the hands are effectively united. This method minimises undesired movement during the swing, leading to a more stable shot.

Improved Control

One significant advantage of the interlocking grip is the heightened level of control it affords the golfer. It brings the hands together as a single unit, which helps maintain a consistent clubface angle through the swing, thus improving shot accuracy and quality. Golfers who adopt this grip often notice a more controlled clubface, which is pivotal in executing precise shots.

Consistency Across Swings

Employing an interlocking grip can lead to greater consistency across swings for golfers of all skill levels. By locking the hands together, it creates a repeatable motion that can be maintained swing after swing. This consistency is key for golfers seeking to refine their technique and ensure that each stroke they take has the potential for an optimal outcome.

Techniques for Mastering the Interlocking Grip

The interlocking grip, favoured by professionals for its stability and control, requires precise hand placement and finger locking with appropriate grip pressure.

Hand Placement

For the right-handed golfer, the left hand must initially grip the club with the thumb pointing down the shaft. The right hand should then be placed so that the left thumb fits snugly into the lifeline of the right palm. It’s crucial that the right hand’s V (formed by the thumb and index finger) points towards the right shoulder to ensure alignment.

Finger Locking Method

The essence of the interlocking grip is in the locking of the fingers. The right pinky finger should interlock with the left index finger seamlessly. This intertwining technique assures that the hands work together as a single unit.

Grip Pressure

Maintaining a firm yet flexible grip pressure is vital. The hands should hold the club firmly enough to avoid slipping but not so tightly that it causes tension through the arms and shoulders. An appropriate level of pressure enhances the swing’s flow and overall effectiveness.

Comparing Grip Styles

When selecting a golf grip, golfers often choose between the interlocking, overlapping, and baseball grip styles, each impacting the swing differently.

Interlocking Vs Overlapping Grip

The interlocking grip is characterised by the little finger of the trailing hand interlocking with the index finger of the leading hand. This grip tends to provide a firm connection between the hands, encouraging a more unified movement through the swing. Golfers with smaller hands or those seeking more wrist flexibility might prefer this method.

In contrast, the overlapping grip places the little finger of the trailing hand on top of the space between the index and middle fingers of the leading hand. It is a technique considered to offer extra stability without compromising comfort. This grip is often favoured by golfers with larger hands and has been the choice of numerous professional players.

Interlocking Vs Baseball Grip

The baseball grip, or sometimes called the ten-finger grip, is where all ten fingers rest directly on the club. There’s no overlap or interlock of fingers, which can equate to a grip that feels more natural, especially to those new to the sport. However, this grip might afford too much independence to the hands, possibly leading to less consistent ball striking.

The interlocking grip could offer a solution to this issue, as it connects the hands and can assist in promoting a more controlled and cohesive swing. It can also make gripping the club easier for those with less strength or smaller hands. The choice between these grips largely depends on the golfer’s comfort, hand size, and swing technique.

Common Mistakes and Corrections

When adopting the interlocking golf grip, golfers must be vigilant to avoid common errors that hinder performance. These can range from grip pressure issues to finger placement concerns.

Overlapping Vs Interlocking Confusion

Golfers often confuse the overlapping grip with the interlocking grip. The overlapping grip requires the pinkie finger of the trailing hand to rest on top of the index finger of the leading hand. In contrast, the interlocking grip engages the pinkie finger of the trailing hand with the index finger of the leading hand, locking them together. Understanding this distinction is crucial for grip efficacy.

Excess Grip Tension

A common issue is gripping the club too tightly, which can lead to a lack of fluidity and increased tension during the swing. Ideally, golfers should maintain a firm yet relaxed grip to allow for an optimal range of motion. A useful correction is to focus on gripping with a pressure that would not squish a tube of toothpaste.

Incorrect Finger Placement

Improper hand placement can arise if the fingers are not positioned correctly, which may lead to an unstable grip and erratic shots. The correct interlocking grip involves the pinkie finger of the trailing hand interlocking with the index finger of the leading hand just below the second knuckle. It is essential that the hands work as a unit to produce a consistent and effective swing.

Training Exercises for Interlocking Grip

To effectively utilise the interlocking grip in golf, one must develop hand strength, flexibility, and incorporate specific practice routines. These exercises are designed to enhance the golfer’s performance by concentrating on the key aspects of the grip.

Grip Strengthening Drills

Golfers should start with grip-strengthening drills to build the necessary muscle memory and endurance. A simple yet effective drill involves squeezing a stress ball or grip strengthener for several minutes each day. For targeted strength, practise holding a golf club in the interlocking grip position and swing it with proper wrist action to reinforce grip stability.

Dexterity and Flexibility

Improving dexterity and flexibility in the fingers and wrists is crucial for the interlocking grip. Golfers can perform wrist flexor and extensor stretches, holding each for 15-30 seconds to increase mobility. Additionally, practising the piano exercise, where one taps their fingers against a flat surface with increasing speed, can aid in developing finer motor skills required for a precise grip.

Practice Routines

Lastly, incorporating specific practice routines ensures that the interlocking grip becomes second nature. Begin with short swings, focusing on maintaining a consistent grip pressure throughout the swing. Progress to full swings, and practice hitting balls with the interlocking grip at a driving range to fine-tune the coordination between hands and clubface.

Equipment Considerations

Selecting the appropriate equipment is crucial when adopting the interlocking golf grip. Both the glove and club handle play pivotal roles in ensuring maximal comfort and efficiency in one’s swing.

Glove Selection

When choosing a glove, golfers must consider materials that offer durable grip and flexibility. A glove that is too loose may lead to slippage, while one that is too tight can restrict movement. Leather gloves are often favoured for their superior feel and longevity.

Club Handle Size and Texture

The size and thickness of the putter grip are instrumental in achieving a comfortable interlocking grip. A grip that is too thin may not offer sufficient control, whereas a grip that is too thick can hinder proper finger placement. Furthermore, the texture is significant for a secure hold; options range from smooth to corded textures, each offering different levels of traction.

Transitioning to an Interlocking Grip

Man in a cap smiling while playing golf

Transitioning to an interlocking grip can enhance stability and control in one’s golf swing. This section provides a structured approach for golfers to adopt this grip method effectively.

Step-by-Step Transition Guide

1. Understand the Grip: The interlocking grip involves interlocking the little finger on the trailing hand with the index finger on the leading hand.
2. Grip Placement: Place the hands on the club, ensuring that the grip is primarily in the fingers, not the palms.
3. Interlock the Fingers: Carefully interlock the aforementioned fingers snugly but without undue pressure.
4. Thumb Position: The thumbs should rest on the club, pointing down the shaft.
5. Check Pressure: The grip should be firm yet relaxed to avoid tension in the swing.

Adjusting to Grip Changes

Transitioning may cause initial discomfort as the muscles adapt. Golfers might experience challenges with grip pressure and alignment. To counteract these, they should:

  • Monitor Hand Pressure: Ensure a consistent grip pressure throughout the swing.
  • Alignment Checks: Regularly check that clubface alignment is not affected by the new grip.

Practice and Patience

Embracing a new grip requires regular practice to become second nature. Golfers should:

  • Start Small: Begin with chip shots and gradually work up to full swings.
  • Perseverance is Key: Commit to frequent practice sessions, focusing on the grip during warm-ups and drills.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the common issues associated with using an interlocking grip in golf?

With an interlocking grip, some golfers may find that their hands are too rigidly linked, which can limit the natural wrist movement and potentially lead to inconsistent ball striking. This setup may also cause difficulty for players with less hand strength or those not used to the firm interlock of fingers.

How should the thumb be positioned when employing an interlocking grip?

For an effective interlocking grip, the thumb of the lead hand should fit snugly against the lifeline of the trailing hand. This placement helps secure the grip and ensures that both hands work together as a single unit during the golf swing.

What are the advantages of using an interlocking grip over an overlapping grip?

An interlocking grip can offer increased stability and control by locking the hands together, which may aid golfers in maintaining a consistent swing plane. This can be particularly useful for players seeking to enhance their hand coordination and prevent the club from twisting at impact.

Can individuals with smaller hands benefit from an interlocking grip, and how?

Yes, individuals with smaller hands can find the interlocking grip more suitable as it can provide a more secure connection between their hands and the club. This tight link helps in preventing slippage and improving overall control of the club throughout the swing.

What are the reasons some golfers experience discomfort in the pinky finger with an interlocking grip?

Discomfort in the pinky finger when using an interlocking grip can arise if the fingers are interlocked too deeply or tightly, causing undue pressure on the smaller finger. Adjusting the depth of the interlock so that it is less penetrating can help alleviate this discomfort.

How do professional golfers choose between an interlocking and overlapping grip?

Professional golfers typically choose a grip based on their comfort level, hand size, and swing mechanics. They may opt for an interlocking grip for a firmer hand connection or an overlapping grip for greater flexibility and wrist action. The choice often comes down to which grip complements their natural swing and feels more controlled during play.