One of the most important fundamentals in golf is having a good grip. Your hands are the only connection between you and the club. Therefore, correctly having your hands on the club is critical to your success.
With a few different ways to hold the club, which technique is the best for you? That answer will be individualized for sure. One option is the 10-finger or baseball grip.
So what is the 10-finger golf grip? The 10-finger golf grip, as the name suggests, is one with 10 fingers touching the club. It’s also called the baseball grip and is the most basic grip in golf. It isn’t, however, the most recommended. This grip can create speed and works for juniors, beginners, and seniors. However, it can lead to inconsistency.
But the 10-finger golf grip isn’t for everyone, and if you use the wrong grip, you’ll never reach your potential. Read on to learn all the details about this grip and how it compares with the others.
In this article, we will cover:
- What is the 10 Finger Grip?
- A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Use the 10 Finger Grip
- Pros and Cons of the 10 Finger Grip
- 10 Finger Grip Versus Other Common Grips
What Is the 10 Finger Golf Grip?
As the name implies, the 10 finger or baseball grip in golf is one in which all 10 fingers are on the club. This differs from an interlocking and overlapping grip. Instead, those two popular and recommended grip styles connect the hands by way of the index finger and pinky finger.
The 10 finger grip is likely what new golfers will instinctively gravitate towards when first picking up a club. In addition, it is a good option for junior golfers and seniors.
For junior golfers, this is a good option. Their smaller hands may not allow them to use a more traditional grip style, especially the younger kids. For seniors, it is helpful for those that may have problems with arthritis or those looking for more speed in their swing.
There three most popular grip styles are the interlocking, overlapping (Varden), and 10 finger. The 10 finger is the least recommended style, though. We will cover the reasons for this later in this article.
Read more: Do you need better golf grips? Read about the best golf grips this year.
How to Use the 10-Finger Golf Grip- A Step-by-Step Guide
The following is a step-by-step guide on the straightforward process of gripping the club using the 10 finger grip. I will explain using the terms lead hand and trail hand to include both righties and lefties.
Step #1 – Grip the Lead Hand First
Grip the top of the club with your lead hand first. The thumb will be pointing down towards your clubhead.
Step #2 – Grip the Trail Hand Next
Grip the trail hand just under the lead hand on the club. As you grip with the trail hand, you want the pad of that hand’s thumb to cover up the thumb on the lead hand.
Step #3- Making Sure the Hands Are Close Together
You must ensure the hands are close and can work together as a unit. To help accomplish this, you want to ensure that the index finger on the lead hand is firmly up against the pinky finger on the trail hand.
It’s really that simple to get your hands on the club using the 10 finger grip!
Pros and Cons of the 10 Finger Golf Grip
There are both pros and cons to the 10 finger grip. In general terms, this is the least chosen grip by instructors for their students. However, there are some situations where this grip may be beneficial for a golfer.
Let’s take a look at the good and the bad of the 10 finger grip.
Pros of the 10 Finger Grip
1. Can Help You Get More Speed
This grip could be beneficial for juniors, women, and senior golfers. If the hands are close and working together, this grip can help golfers generate more speed. The reason is that releasing the club is much easier using the 10 finger grip.
2. Good for Those with Smaller Hands
Those with tiny hands often have trouble connecting the hands with interlocking or overlapping grips. The 10 finger grip helps improve the hands on the club in those situations.
3. Good For Those with Arthritis or Poor Hand Strength
Golfers that have arthritis or that have poor strength in the hands can benefit from using the 10 finger grip. The reasons are similar as mentioned above with those with smaller hands. As long as your hands are working together, this grip will help. Also, not having to connect the fingers as you would in the interlocking or overlapping grips will make it easier.
4. Create More Spin
The 10 finger grip allows you to be more active with your hands. Again, this is a great benefit if you keep your hands together throughout the swing and work together. This is particularly a good thing around the greens. High-lob shots or bunker shots may be easier for some using this grip.
Con of the 10 Finger Grip
Lack of Control
One of the essential things in golf is having good clubface control. This is probably more important than distance. In other words, what good is a 300-yard drive if you are constantly in the trees?
This singular con is why most instructors and coaches avoid having golfers use the 10 finger grip. It is tough to always keep the hands working together at all points in the swing using the 10 finger grip.
If the hands do not work together, then you will have issues. One hand will try to control the other as they start to move away from each other. When we are trying to swing for speed and gain distance, the trail hand will usually try to take over. This will usually lead to hooks.
The bottom line, this grip must focus on having the hands together at all times to be effective. Over many years of the game being played, this has been proven hard to do. The hands may be able to move back, away from the ball together, but often separate as force is applied at the start of the downswing.
While there may be four pros versus one con, that only con can wreak havoc on a golfers game.
More from Golf Span: How To Grip a Golf Club (A Visual Guide + 3 Grip Options)
Ten Finger Golf Grip Versus Other Common Grips
Beyond the 10 finger grip, the other two, and much more commonly used grips, are the interlocking and overlapping, or Vardon grip. Unlike the 10 finger grip, both of these methods connect the hands with one another.
Overlapping Grip vs 10 Finger Golf Grip
The most common grip in golf is the overlapping or Vardon grip. This is where the pinky finger on the trail hand sits between the index and middle fingers on the lead hand.
Incidentally, the name Vardon comes from golfer Harry Vardon. This historical figure in the game is not credited with the Vardon or overlapping grip but made it famous. He was born in 1870 in Grouville, Jersey, Channel Islands, in the U.K. Vardon won The Open Championship a record six times and the 1900 U.S. Open.
What grip do pro golfers use? Many use the overlapping of Vardon. However, a fair amount uses the interlocking as well.
Interlocking Grip vs 10 Finger Golf Grip
The interlocking grip is one in which the pinky finger on the trail hand is intertwined with the index finger on the lead hand. This is the grip I use, which my father taught me when I was young. This grip style gives me a good sense of the hands being connected.
Tiger Woods uses an interlocking grip. Jack Nicklaus uses it as well.
Check this out: What Size Golf Grips Should You Use? + Golf Grip Size Chart
The grip is one of the most important fundamentals in golf. As mentioned previously, the hands are the body’s only connection to the club. Therefore, how you hold the club depends on how consistently you will hit the golf ball.
The 10 finger, or baseball grip, is an option for holding the club. It has a handful of benefits, especially for kids, women, and seniors. Most notably, the potential for being able to generate more speed.
However, the one drawback of this grip is that it often leads to a separation of the hands at some point in the swing. When the hands separate, one hand usually tries to take the lead over the other. This will lead to inconsistency in how the face of the club comes into the ball. When this happens, it’s tough to be a golfer that hits a lot of greens and scores to their potential.
At the end of the day, one of the most important aspects of playing golf is being comfortable with how you play. This grip is right for some golfers. As long as you know the drawbacks of the 10 finger grip, and try to keep that to a minimum, it may work for you.
Do Any Pros Use The Ten Finger Grip?
Yes. A very small number of PGA Tour professionals use the 10-finger grip. Most famously used by Canadian golfer Scott Piercy, the 10-finger grip has led him to four victories on Tour. Jonathan Vegas also uses the 10-finger grip.
LPGA Tour Professional, and World Golf Hall of Famer, Beth Daniel used the 10-finger grip throughout her career. It served her well, leading to 33 LPGA Tour victories. One of those wins was also a major title at the 1990 PGA Women’s Championship.
What Is The Reverse Ten-Finger Golf Grip?
This grip style is used in putting. As the name suggests, it is simply a reversal of the hands on the grip. The lead hand and trail hand switch places. From there, you simply hold the club with the 10-finger method.
Why Don’t More Golfers Use A 10-Finger Grip?
The 10-finger grip has traditionally been one that instructors do not teach. Instead, most golfers who take instruction learn interlocking, overlapping, or Vardon grip styles. The reasoning for this is simple. It is the fear of a golfer losing control of the clubface through the potential separation of the hands in the 10-finger grip.
Is The 10-Finger Grip Good For Driver?
It could help golfers gain a little bit more speed with a driver. While this may be the case, the speed increase will not equal massive amounts of additional yardage with the driver. So the distance potential is there, but the loss of control becomes even more in play.
PGA Professional Brendon Elliott is the founder of Little Linksters, LLC, and its nonprofit arm, the Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development. He is the winner of 25+ prestigious industry honors, including the 2017 PGA National Youth Player Development award. Brendon is a respected coach, businessman, writer, and golf industry expert.