Overlap Grip or Interlock Grip in Golf

Overlapping or Interlocking Grip: The Pro’s & Con’s of Each

Your golf grip plays a pivotal role in your swing path and ball flight.

Having a good grip is one of the foundations to becoming a consistent golfer since your hands are the only part of your body touching the club. If your grip is incorrect on the golf club, it can wreak havoc on your swing and lead to a lot of frustration on the course. 

In the golf world there are two main ways to grip the cluboverlap golf grip or interlock grip. There’s a baseball grip too but it’s not nearly as popular. Each has their advantages and disadvantages as it can affect different aspects of the golf swing. 

For example, if your grip is too weak or too strong, it will have a direct impact on your backswing and downswing. Which will affect your ball striking and ability to score well consistently.

I’m sure you’ve wondered, “Is it better to have an interlock grip or an overlap golf grip?”

It’s a great question because most elite players use an overlap grip. But there are two noticeable exceptions to the overlapping golf grip – Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus. These two legends of the game use an interlocking grip. 

Keep reading to learn more about common grip styles in golf and find out which one is right for your swing.

Overlapping vs. Interlocking Golf Grip 

The great Bobby Jones once said, “A correct grip is a fundamental necessity in the golf swing. It might even be said to be the first necessity, for a person must take hold of the club before he can swing it, and he must hold it correctly before it becomes physically possible for him to swing it correctly.”

So, how do you develop the correct grip that will help you swing more effectively and make Bobby Jones proud? Is interlocking or overlapping the way to go?

Let’s compare…

Overlap vs Interlock Grip

Overlapping Golf Grip (Vardon Grip)

The overwhelming majority of the golfing population chooses the overlapping grip as their main style to hold the golf club. Also known as the Vardon grip, it’s been estimated that nearly 90% of professional golfers use this type of grip. While I couldn’t find a formal study for amateur golfers, I can say in my 20+ years of playing golf, rarely do I meet someone with an interlock golf grip. 

The overlap grip became popular thanks to Harry Vardon in the late 1800s. While he didn’t invent the grip, he made it popular after writing about it in his instructional books.

With an overlap grip, your hands are not connected and your right pinky rests on your left index finger.

Pros

There are a ton of pros to the overlapping grip but the biggest one is that it can make it easier to produce consistent results. Golf is a game of misses and this type of grip can make your misses a little bit better. 

Thanks to the pinky position, this grip makes it easy to have freedom of your hands but also plenty of control too. Since your pinky connects your hands, they act as one unit during the swing.

Vardon Overlap Golf Grip

This also allows plenty of freedom for the wrist to operate correctly as well. Neither of the two grips offer this type of connectivity and freedom that leads to better results on the golf course.

Another big benefit of the overlap grip is that it works well for larger hands, likely why it’s so popular among male golfers. The interlock is very challenging to do with larger hands so the overlap is the perfect solution.

Finally, the overlap grip is pretty easy to get started and doesn’t take long to feel natural. This can also help speed up the learning curve and set you up for success in the long run. This grip is used by the best golfers in the world and it should set you up for a long playing career without having to switch grips. 

Cons

Each grip has its disadvantages too but there aren’t a ton with the overlap. While it’s not ideal for players with very small hands, it can work for pretty much everyone else. 

It’s hard to say it can limit your distance or accuracy either as it’s used by the longest hitters in the world. The only thing is that it might be a difficult transition to it from a 10-finger baseball grip or an interlock grip, but that’s to be expected. Anytime you change your grip, even if you don’t change the core style, can take some getting used to. 

Click here to learn more about the step-by-step process to master your grip

Is the Overlap or Interlock Grip better

Interlock Golf Grip 

The other popular grip that is used in golf is the interlocking grip. It was made popular by Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods – two of the greatest men to ever swing a golf club. Another accomplished player who uses this style is Rory Mcilroy. 

Despite three great players using this grip on the golf club, ironically, most amateurs or professionals don’t opt for this grip style.

So, what’s the difference between the overlapping vs interlocking golf grip?

The right pinky finger.

In an overlap grip, the pinky finger rests on top of the left hand. Most golfers place it between the left index finger and middle finger of your left hand (assuming you’re a right handed golfer). 

But with an interlock grip, the pinky finger goes between the middle finger and index finger. If you’ve been playing an overlap grip for a while, try to grip a club and see how it feels. I did while writing this article and couldn’t believe how different it felt! 

Let’s review the pros and cons to find the perfect golf grip for you.

Pros

Since the pinky finger is between the fingers of your other hand and not on top, the interlocking grip offers more connection. With an interlocking grip, it’s easier to have the hands act together as a single unit for more control in the swing. There’s less to think about in terms of wrist action as the hands are connected during the swing.

Another big benefit to this type of grip is that it reduces tension in your golf swing. Since all 10 fingers are resting on the grip, you don’t need to apply as much grip pressure. This is an area where a lot of golfers struggle and try to squeeze the life out of the grip. 

Interlock Golf Grip

When in reality, you need enough grip pressure but not too much. The key is make sure that you maintain the same grip pressure throughout your swing to minimize tension and swing freely.

Finally, the last major benefit to the interlocking grip is that it’s ideal for players with smaller hands. This is why junior golfers and women tend to use it as an effective way to grip the club. 

Cons 

Like the overlap, there are plenty of pros but there are some cons to this type of grip too. First, it’s not good for players with larger hands as it’s awkward to grip the club. This can lead to thinking about your grip instead of swinging the golf club freely.

Second, while it’s great to help players have the hands act as one, it could also eliminate proper wrist movement. This can hurt your total distance and impact ball striking too. 

Finally, it can feel very awkward in the beginning, especially if you have been using the overlap grip for your entire golfing career. This can take months to finally get comfortable and might not always be worth it. 

Ten Finger Grip (Baseball Golf Grip) 

While both the overlap and interlock are by far the most common grip styles in golf, there is another type known as the 10-finger grip. It’s also commonly referred to as the baseball or hammer grip as it’s the same way that you would hold a baseball bat.

With a 10-finger grip, you do not overlap or interlock your fingers. Instead, you just place all ten fingers around the grip of the club without any fingers connecting or overlapping. There is no gap between the hands and the knuckle of each hand should align with the other hand. 

This type of grip is more commonly used by amateur golfers but there are a few professionals too. One of the most well known players to use this new grip is Scott Piercy. 

10 Finger Baseball Golf Grip

Pros of 10-Finger Grip 

The major reason this grip is good for some players is that it’s easy for beginners to get started. The grip is by far one of the most complicated parts of the game so this type of grip speeds up the learning process. 

It’s easy for new players to quickly adopt this grip and start hitting golf balls. It’s very natural compared to the overlap or interlock grip which both take time to learn and get comfortable. This will give beginners more time to work on takeaway, setup, and learning the ins and outs of the game.

Finally, this grip style can help you hit bombs with the driver and improve your impact position in the hitting zone. Since every finger is touching the club, it’s easier to transfer power when the face meets the golf ball. It’s easier to snap your wrist and create massive power when hitting a driver. 

Cons of 10-Finger Grip 

Like the other two main types of grips, the 10-finger grip isn’t perfect either. First, since the hands aren’t connected in any way, it can lead to them acting independently in the golf swing. This can lead to poor ball striking and overall inconsistent results. 

Second, the 10-finger grip can give the wrists too much freedom in the swing which can impact your accuracy. This is a pro in terms of adding more distance to your game but also a con as it negatively affects your driving accuracy. 

FAQs About Golf Grips

Do you have more questions about finding the right grip style for your swing? If so, keep scrolling to learn more of the most common questions about grip.

Do golf pros use interlocking grip? 

Yes, some golf pros use the interlocking grip instead of overlapping their fingers. The two biggest examples of PGA Tour pros using this grip is Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. Between the two they have 33 major championships and countless wins around the world. 

What is the point of the interlocking golf grip? 

The interlocking grip helps players connect their hands thanks to the pinky position. This makes it easier to keep them connected in the swing and operating as a unit. It also is a great grip method for players with smaller hands and want optimal control of the golf ball. 

Who invented the overlap grip?

Most people think of the overlap grip and associate it with Harry Vardon, a 6-time winner of the Open Championship (also known as the British Open). While he made this grip style popular, he actually didn’t invent it but was a frequent proponent of it.

Golf historians give credit to Johnny Laidlay. He won the British Amateur championship in 1889 and 1891, in which he used the overlapping golf grip. 

What grip do most pro golfers use? 

Most professional golfers use an overlapping grip for their full swings. Which is pretty ironic considering that Jack and Tiger, two golfers that everyone tries to emulate both use an interlocking grip. 

But as you can tell from the pros/cons above, the overlapping grip is usually the best option for most golfers. Some players and coaches also think that interlocking helps with reducing a slice as well.

Does overlap grip help with slice? 

The main reason a slice happens is that the left-hand placement, not the grip style. According to Bill Schmedes III who was voted as a Best Young Teacher by Golf Digest. 

In this article, he went on to say, “A majority of golfers often slice the ball because they’re gripping the club too much in their palm,” Schmedes says. This weakens your grip and leaves the face open at address, which creates a domino effect in your swing. When the clubface gets open, subconsciously, we react to it.”

He recommends holding the club more in your fingers, not your palms to help improve your takeaway and straighten out your ball flight. Plus, maintain light grip pressure as too much grip pressure (especially with your middle fingers) can add extra tension in your swing.

What grip did Jack Nicklaus use? 

Jack used an interlocking grip when it came to full swing golf shots. Since Tiger Woods wanted to imitate and beat Jack, it’s not a big surprise that he adopted the same grip too. 

Jack elaborated more about this grip in Golf Digest saying, “I’ve always used an interlocking grip. That’s what Mr. Grout taught my dad–and me. I interlock because it helps unify my hands.”

This helped his swing speed, distance control, and release the club properly.

Do you use the same grip on all shots?

In general, yes, it’s best to use the same grip on short game shots. Many golfers have a different putting grip but use one grip for driving, irons, and wedges.

One notable exception is Matthew Fitzpatrick, the 2022 US Open Champion. Despite using a normal grip for his smooth swing, he uses a cross hand grip on short chip and pitch shots.

The other grip is a left-hand low and allows him According to PGA Tour“Fitzpatrick tended to “cut across” the ball just a bit when conventional (his path through the ball coming a fraction inside).”

While it’s unconventional for such an avid golfer, it clearly works for him.

Should you interlock fingers when putting? 

Holding a putter is very different from holding a golf club for a full swing. While there are only a few ways to hold your hands on the grip for full shots, putting is quite different. 

Golfers have all types of grips when it comes to putting, including conventional, left-hand low (cross hand grip), claw grip, and more. Each grip style has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on your natural tendencies.

The cool thing about putting is that you can switch grips pretty easily to test and see if it works. If you don’t get results, it’s easy to switch back without affecting your old grip. If a putter gets old and you’re going through a slump on the greens, sometimes changing your grip is just what you need. 

Click here to read our full guide on different putting grips now

Final Thoughts on Overlap Golf Grip vs. Interlock Grip

Hopefully you have a better understanding of the two most common golf grips. How you hold the club is a key fundamental of building a better golf swing. There is no right or wrong answer when comparing grips. Instead, you need to test out which feels best for you.

While the interlock golf grip might work for two legends of the game but I wouldn’t suggest it for most players. If you have small hands, this grip can lead to a smooth golf swing but isn’t ideal for most male golfers.

Instead, the overlap golf grip (not the ten finger grip) is the best grip. The overlap grip makes it easy to hit all types of shots, generate more power, and ultimately improve your golf game.

For more about the golf grip, make sure to read our article on the long left thumb golf grip.