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The Loop

How He Hit That: Jordan Spieth's Unconventional Grip Takes Hold of the Masters

April 11, 2015

There's nothing remotely cookie-cutter about Jordan Spieth's swing, but his performance through three rounds has been right out of the Putting a Tournament Away textbook.

Spieth's grip is one of the more interesting ones on tour--a derivative of the standard overlapping grip 98 percent of PGA Tour players use and the interlock used by Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.

Instead of resting the little finger of his right hand on top of his left index finger or linking his pinkie and index fingers, Spieth lets that left index finger ride on top of the right hand and slightly interlock with his right pinkie. With that finger position--and an overall weak grip in general--Spieth doesn't have any trouble hitting draws or fades on command.

"He's making the case for the one millionth time that there's no one 'right' way to swing the club," says top Pennsylvania teacher John Dunigan, who works with Sean O'Hair. "You need to hold the club in a way that gives you a sense for the club face and gives you repeatability. Jordan's grip does that."

By overlapping his left index finger, Spieth probably gets even more feel in his right hand. "You can think of it like a tennis racket," says Dunigan, who is the director of coaching at White Manor Country Club in Malvern, outside Philadelphia. "You have a great feel for what the face of the racket is doing because the handle is in your palm. The reverse overlap gives him that extra feel and control in his right palm."

A great way to increase your sense of clubface control is to practice with a split grip. Take your normal grip, then slide your right hand down so that it's completely separate from your left. "Start by hitting shots with that right hand perpendicular to the target line--so the palm is facing the target," says Dunigan. "Then experiment by adjusting your palm a little to the right and a little to the left. You're learning the secret of golf--which is the ability to say to yourself, I predict that when I do this, the ball will go there."