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Switching from Interlock to the Vardon/Overlap Grip

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I've used the interlock grip my entire golfing life, but lately I feel like it's been restricting my ability to properly release the club and as a result I'm not seeing the distance I'd expect. I also feel like I'm more prone to put a "death grip" on at times and my grip tension is much less with the overlap.

 

Has anyone else experienced this? I feel like I'm a little nuts for switching now after all these years but my first couple of range sessions with the new grip have been encouraging - other than the fact that the grip feels very, very unnatural. B) I've gained about 10 yards per club and my occasional duck hook has disappeared.

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I've used the interlock grip my entire golfing life, but lately I feel like it's been restricting my ability to properly release the club and as a result I'm not seeing the distance I'd expect. I also feel like I'm more prone to put a "death grip" on at times and my grip tension is much less with the overlap.

 

Has anyone else experienced this? I feel like I'm a little nuts for switching now after all these years but my first couple of range sessions with the new grip have been encouraging - other than the fact that the grip feels very, very unnatural. B) I've gained about 10 yards per club and my occasional duck hook has disappeared.

 

I made the switch back in 2007 for the same reasons as you. I felt my release was too restricted in the interlock.

 

At the time I was attempting to learn how to hit a 'proper draw' and learn the release. I found that the overlap gave me slightly more freedom in my hands, allowing me to release the club and control the face of the club a little easier. I found I could control the face with my top hand and control the release with my bottom hand a lot more freely and that resulted in easier shot making ability.

 

The overlap works for me but that doesn't mean it is the best grip for everyone still have to use what works best for you. I highly recommend for people to try all three of the bellow grips starting with the overlapping then going to one of the others depending on what feels best to them after 20 swings of each hand position. I flipped back and forth between interlock and overlapping a lot still but always go back to overlapping it just works the best for me.

 

 

There are three fundamental grips that are commonly used, all of which will impact the release of the club slightly differently alone with how they are placed on the club at different angles.

Interlock Grip

--> Popular on the LPGA Tour & used by players like Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.

--> Suggested for people with small hands & weak forearms

--> You run the risk of getting the grip too much in the palms of your hands rather then the fingers with this grip

--> This will have the most restrictions in the release and will promote more of a fade for a lot of players

 

Vardon Overlap Grip (Overlapping Grip)

--> Harry Vardon popularized this grip around the turn of the 20th Century used by majority of great players, Ben Hogan being one of them.

--> This grip places the club in the fingers and is the grip most likely to be taught by golf instructors.

--> I find it the easiest to 'shape shots' controlling the face with the top and and release with the lower hand.

--> This is a great starting point to learn what 'in the fingers' and 'strong', 'neutral', 'weak' actually mean in terms of placing your hands on the club.

 

Ten Finger Grip (Baseball Grip)

--> Least popular grips but has it's advantages, it gives the most freedom in hand movement through impact.

--> Suggested for people who experience joint pain, have arthritis or small, weak hands.

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Thanks for the reply. That last bullet on the benefits of the interlock is interesting (promoting a fade). It makes sense because it does restrict the release of the club.

 

However, I found almost the opposite to be true. I rarely ever hit a cut and most of the time I'll fight a low hook versus a controllable draw. One of the reasons for switching to the Vardon is I read Ben Hogan went with the Vardon to guard against a hook and many PGA players use it for the same reason. Now, I'm not saying my swing is anything close to being PGA material but like many of us I'll leverage something that works for the professional if it suits my game.

 

Anyway, my hypothesis is that I was compensating the restricted release of the interlock with an overly strong grip (that got progressively stronger over the years) and more hand action through impact, which led to inconsistency if my timing wasn't perfect. I backed off the strong grip a bit and as soon as I switched to the Vardon, my draw/hook turned into a cut and I gained distance - especially with the irons. If I experiment around with gradually strengthening my grip again, I'd bet you money that I can get back to a draw.

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I figured you might ask me about that after I said it :)

Assuming that someone doesn't have swing flaws that can change shot shape grip effects your shot shape more then anything as a 'player'.

 

Release is dependent on two things things

Grip Pressure (how tight)

--> On a scale of 1 - 10, where 1 you would have the club fly out of your hands and 10 being like you are trying to strangle the poor club.

 

Grip hand placement

--> Where is the shaft touching your hands (fingers, perfect, palms)

--> What angle is your hands in comparison to your chin (weak, neutral, strong)

 

Most people that are beginners have a grip pressure of a 8-10 just 'death gripping' it, this restricts the release alone. Most tour pros are at 5 or 6 depending on what is conferable for them. If you get into the 3 - 4 area you might start feeling the grip slide a little if not you will have A TON of hand action and free yup the release.

 

A few examples that can be disastrous

Strong grip w/ 3 or 4 level grip pressure and shaft really high in the fingers = MASSIVE HOOK

--> strong grip = face pre-released, weak pressure = lots of hand movement, shaft super high in fingers = more wrist rotation ability to close the face

 

Weak Grip w/ 9 or 10 grip pressure and shaft in palms of the hands = MASSIVE SLICE

--> weak grip = face open, strong pressure = less hand movement, shaft in palms = no wrist movement

 

A couple of examples you can get away with

anything that will counter the angle with where the shaft is in the hands or pressure, all of them would depend on timing as to the miss and results.

--> Weak grip, medium pressure, shaft in fingers

--> Strong grip, medium pressure, shaft in palms

--> Strong grip, strong pressure, shaft perfectly in hands

--> weak grip, weak pressure, shaft perfectly in hands

 

Best result and typical tour player

Neutral Grip w/ 5 or 6 grip pressure and shaft perfectly in the hands

--> allows you to control the face of the club and release easiest and become a 'shot maker'

 

So really it is all about finding the perfect combination of pressure, angle and shaft position in the hands that allows you to play the best golf and not struggle with a hook or slice.

 

 

Hogan would fight the hook because his bowed left wrist, instead of changing how much he bowed the wrist towards the target at impact he change a few things in the grip to help counter it.

--> Hogan used a weak grip and also had a cupped wrist at the top of his backswing, that leaves the head wide open at the top of the swing.

--> By bowing his left wrist towards the target this would turn the weak positions he had at address and at the top into neutral or strong for impact.

 

So if Hogan got his hands on the club at slightly to neutral of a position it would hook, imagine if he had a strong grip it would also hook. He might have felt the overlap added a little grip pressure or 'feel' of the head so that he could also hit cut at times rather then just the famous draw he was known for.

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I am contemplating going to the baseball grip from the overlapping. My problem is "feeling the clubhead" as I swing. I shattered my left elbow playing hockey back when the nets were virtually stationary, especially for bantams, and as a result, I have little or no feeling in my left pinkie and ring finger from ulnar nerve damage. A similar injury to my right wrist in baseball has restricted the grip I can take with the forefinger and middle finger of the right hand.

 

It has been suggested that the baseball grip might improve my feel. The only reason I hesitate is that the grip does encourage an early release, and I hate to encourage anything that might contribute to a return to the dreaded flip.

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I use all 3 grips, but use the overlap on most full shots, occasionally I will interlock to "anti-left" a shot or to get a higher trajectory. I chip almost always with a 10 finger grip because it gives me the most accuracy in delivering the clubface to the ball, and hit flop shots and sand shots with an interlock grip.

 

I switched from a 10 finger grip 4 years ago to the overlap, I did it 4 days before our club championship and won our handicap division. The change just wasn't very drastic feeling or uncomfortable to me, which is when I started tinkering with the interlock and it feels fine to, I can hit good shots with each grip so use them all at various times, sometimes just because one feels a bit better than the other on a particular day, or for a particular shot.

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I use all 3 grips, but use the overlap on most full shots, occasionally I will interlock to "anti-left" a shot or to get a higher trajectory. I chip almost always with a 10 finger grip because it gives me the most accuracy in delivering the clubface to the ball, and hit flop shots and sand shots with an interlock grip.

 

I switched from a 10 finger grip 4 years ago to the overlap, I did it 4 days before our club championship and won our handicap division. The change just wasn't very drastic feeling or uncomfortable to me, which is when I started tinkering with the interlock and it feels fine to, I can hit good shots with each grip so use them all at various times, sometimes just because one feels a bit better than the other on a particular day, or for a particular shot.

 

It's funny you mention that. I played in my league on Wednesday and ended up having to abandon the Vardon grip on my chips - just didn't feel right and I hit a couple of poor chips early in the round. I did use it on full shots and didn't hook a single ball. I did slice one into the opposite fairway when the grip broke down on me. Still a work in progress. Shot a 44 with two doubles on the card. So, all in all, not a bad night considering I'm tweaking some things right now.

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I also tried the overlap from the interlock to gain more distance.

Never got used to it, it always felt like the club was going to slip off my hands.

I'll try it with the new sticks this weekend :D

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Tried switching the grips yesterday for more distance. The jury is still out. I actually hit did this last night in a scramble, on a par 5 with the wind behind me(but not enought wind to account for this distance), caught the down slope and ended up with a 145 yard second shot, on a 495 yard hole. That is way more that usual and I do not really expect that to be the norm. Generally I am happy to be inside of 200 yards, and I sometimes really catch one and have 180 left.

 

 

I plan on doing it more today.

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For the last week, I have been working on changing to this grip. Wow, I have never struck the ball more solidly than this week. The left hand is so solid. I'm sorry I keep using the word solid but I can not think of another word for it. I have gained distance, but more importantly, I have not had the occassional weak shot where you just do not catch it flush.

 

As a youth I was taught to grip the club in the last three fingers of the left hand, and the first three of the right hand, and the right ring finger and pinkie, and left index finger and thumb were just there but no pressure. I do not know what is right with the overlapping grip but I do know that I now hold pretty tight with the left hand. As far as "hold it like you would a little bird". Well, it is a dead bird because I am squeezing the guts out of it and killing the ball. Distance is way way up. GIR are way way up. And putts are way way way up, but that is a different issue.

 

 

But changing to this grip is incredible.

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For the last week, I have been working on changing to this grip. Wow, I have never struck the ball more solidly than this week. The left hand is so solid. I'm sorry I keep using the word solid but I can not think of another word for it. I have gained distance, but more importantly, I have not had the occassional weak shot where you just do not catch it flush.

 

As a youth I was taught to grip the club in the last three fingers of the left hand, and the first three of the right hand, and the right ring finger and pinkie, and left index finger and thumb were just there but no pressure. I do not know what is right with the overlapping grip but I do know that I now hold pretty tight with the left hand. As far as "hold it like you would a little bird". Well, it is a dead bird because I am squeezing the guts out of it and killing the ball. Distance is way way up. GIR are way way up. And putts are way way way up, but that is a different issue.

 

 

But changing to this grip is incredible.

 

Ok, now I'm going to have to try this...

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For the last week, I have been working on changing to this grip. Wow, I have never struck the ball more solidly than this week. The left hand is so solid. I'm sorry I keep using the word solid but I can not think of another word for it. I have gained distance, but more importantly, I have not had the occassional weak shot where you just do not catch it flush.

 

As a youth I was taught to grip the club in the last three fingers of the left hand, and the first three of the right hand, and the right ring finger and pinkie, and left index finger and thumb were just there but no pressure. I do not know what is right with the overlapping grip but I do know that I now hold pretty tight with the left hand. As far as "hold it like you would a little bird". Well, it is a dead bird because I am squeezing the guts out of it and killing the ball. Distance is way way up. GIR are way way up. And putts are way way way up, but that is a different issue.

 

 

But changing to this grip is incredible.

 

This is purely my experience with the overlap over the interlock, I haven't played with the 10 finger don't really want to try it I'm satisfied with what i have now.

 

I found as a better golfer I had more control over the face of the club in my left hand, my control for shot shape comes from the left hand, my power comes from the right hand (I'm a RH golfer). With more fingers on the club on the right hand it gave me a feel I don't have in the interlock.

 

I hold the grip between the pointer finger and fatty part of my palm of the left hand pretty easy. I also can just hold it with the three back fingers and the fatty part of my palm. With one more contact point on the club in my left hand it gave me the extra feel on pressure and control over the face. Having control over the face to work the ball and just get better feel in pure and a little off contact is something I just couldn't get in the interlock grip.

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