How to Grip a Polo Mallet

The proper grip helps you hit the ball squarely.

The proper grip helps you hit the ball squarely.

You may think of polo as a leisurely sport played by rich, out-of-shape folks on horses. In reality, it’s a fast-paced game that requires quick reflexes and plenty of guts -- especially when the horses bump each other. If you take up the game, be sure to hold the mallet correctly. It’s hard enough hitting a moving ball while you’re riding a horse one-handed and it's even harder if you’re holding the mallet incorrectly.

Holding the Mallet

Hold the mallet in front of you with the head on the ground and the toe pointed away from you. The toe is the portion of the mallet's head where the angle between the head and shaft is greater.

Slip your right thumb through the strap at the top of the grip and hold your hand in front of you with your palm facing toward the left and the strap wrapped around the back of your hand.

Grasp the mallet’s grip so the V-shape formed by your thumb and index finger rests on the top of the grip as you look down at the mallet.

Spread your index and middle fingers a bit down on the grip, toward the shaft.


  • Hold the mallet with a relaxed grip; don’t squeeze it tightly.
  • Under the rules of polo, you must hold the mallet with your right hand.


  • Don’t wrap the strap around your entire hand. Doing so puts you at risk for being pulled off the horse if your mallet becomes tangled in a horse’s reins or is hooked by another player’s mallet.

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About the Author

M.L. Rose has worked as a print and online journalist for more than 20 years. He has contributed to a variety of national and local publications, specializing in sports writing. Rose holds a B.A. in communications.

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