The most intriguing grips in pro golf

 

A substantial subsection of the golf canon is devoted to romanticizing Ben Hogan and his technique. And that includes his grip, which is shown in the photograph shown above for Life Magazine in 1947—before he weakened it to stop hooking and went on to dominate golf through the mid-1950s.

Even with all of the changes in equipment, clothing, agronomy and, most of all, the ball, how the best players hold the club has stayed mostly within a familiar set of parameters. “There has always been debate about grips—should you be weak, strong or in the middle,” says top Arizona teacher Terry Rowles, who coaches Aaron Baddeley and Martin Trainer on the PGA Tour.

“But the span of grips has always been the same. Henry Cotton looks like Tiger Woods. The action item is how players match their grip with the way they release the club.”

A stroll back through history reveals Arnold Palmer (“The Grip,” Rowles calls him) with his weak right hand turned toward from the target, Johnny Miller with both of his hands set weak and Lee Trevino and David Duval (below), who both believed you couldn’t grip it strong enough, or turned away from the target.