When it comes to playing golf, you need to account for plenty of variables. Yes, you might have the right golf clubs, an ideal golf ball, and a perfect swing technique, but additional factors like your grip are also important.
Understanding the different putting grips allow you to experiment and improve your game. Essentially, there are four different putting grips that each golfer can rely on when playing. The conventional reverse overlap grip is the most common, but it might not yield the best overall results for all players.
To better understand which grip is the best for you, we will run down each of the top four grip techniques used by professional athletes. If you are struggling with your putting game, you might want to experiment with each of these techniques.
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Why Does Grip Matter When Putting?
Before we can understand the four main grip techniques, we also need to look at why it is important to have the right grip. If your grip is not comfortable or if you are not accustomed to using it regularly, there are a few things that could go wrong.
Here are a few basic reasons why your grip is important when putting.
- Wrist Slipping: One of the most common mistakes we see many players make is having a loose wrist. If the wrist is not stable, it will slip, preventing the ball from traveling straight. Adjusting your grip can compensate for this.
- Pulling/ Slicing: If the grip is too steady, you might pull the golf ball, which means that you should slightly loosen up the grip.
- Inconsistent Power Output: The power output of a player is important to ensure the golf ball reaches the hole. You might land short or overshoot the hole with inconsistent power output. Adjusting your grip can help make up for this.
Four Most Common Putting Grip Techniques And Who Should Use Them
You might argue that there are hundreds of putting grip techniques, and it depends on what each player is comfortable using.
However, four of these techniques stand out, offering the player consistency and slight tidbits of techniques, enabling them to be better and more comfortable with each.
Here is a rundown of the four most popular grip techniques:
1- Traditional/ Conventional Grip (Reverse Overlap)
Assuming you are a right-handed golfer, the most common grip technique involves keeping one hand below the other. For a right-handed player, this will be the right hand being below the left.
The technique involves reversing the traditional overlap of the pinky finger and the index finger of the top hand; some employ the reverse overlap. For this to work, you will need to place the left index finger adjacent to the fingers on the right hand, forming an overlap, which tends to stabilize the clubs in your hands for performance.
Why does This Grip Work?
If you are struggling or new to put, this is one of the first techniques you should learn. The benefit of this grip is that it is very similar to the grip you will use on many of your other golf clubs. You don’t need to make as many adjustments when it comes to putting.
People stick to this grip mainly because of its natural feeling. Due to the shape of the grip, most players would feel like playing a natural shot. Since putting involves plenty of technique, it allows the player to focus on these extra variables.
Who Should Use The Conventional Grip?
Since this is one of the easiest grips to master, beginners should consider using it as part of their game. Once they master the conventional grip, they can start looking at additional grip techniques that allow them to improve their game.
We believe that every beginner should start with this putting grip technique before moving to the more complicated alternatives.
2- Cross-Handed Grip/ Lead-Hand Low
If the traditional grip does not suit you, you might want to settle for something different. The cross-handed grip is slightly more complicated but takes the same principles as the previous grip technique.
However, the lead hand would be at the bottom of the club instead of the trailing hand and could take some practice.
In recent years, Jordan Spieth has been one of many top golfers who have mastered this technique, and many consider him the pioneer of the cross-handed putting technique.
Why Does This Grip Work?
One of the main problems with the traditional putting style is that the left hand is often deactivated, which means your right-hand or driving hand takes over. This can lead to shots not coming from the middle of the putter and skewing in different directions.
By using the cross-handed technique, you eliminate most, if not all, of the problems with the left wrist. Your left wrist will not be able to break down, which often forces the driving hand to take over.
Who Should Use The Cross-Handed Grip?
The cross-handed grip is not as complicated as many of the other radical grip changes. It is one of the first grip techniques that you should try once you have mastered the conventional grip technique.
However, it might feel uncomfortable at first. Using this grip can take plenty of practice, and you might need to adjust your style.
3- Claw Putting Grip
One of these radical grip techniques you might want to learn is the claw-putting grip. It is one of the most complicated forms of putting and is often used by pros that incorporate it to make up for one or the other weakness.
The grip technique features numerous variations, but the main form of the grip is to have your left hand in the position at the top, with your right hand being below and the thumb interlocking with the pinky finger for some players.
Ideally, you would want the palms of your hands facing your waste for the correct setup.
Why Does This Grip Work?
One of the main reasons to use this putting technique is to remove the right hand from the equation slightly. Your right hand will be locked with the left hand, preventing the wrist from sliding or pulling to one of the other sides.
Essentially, the left hand will do all the work, while the right hand is often added to increase the power. It can be an additional method of ensuring that your club remains stable.
Who Should Use The Claw Putting Grip?
This is often one of the most complicated grip techniques that any player can use. One of the downsides is that it requires plenty of practice, and many people might wonder why you are going for such a radical change.
Those that don’t fear experimenting with different golf grips might want to employ it in their game. However, it could make or break your game, and we don’t recommend using it unless you have complete confidence.
4- Wrist Lock Grip
The wrist lock grip is another complicated grip technique to get your head around, and it is often one of the harder ones to practice. You rarely see it used on the PGA tour, but it might make sense for some players. Once again, there are numerous variations to keep in mind when using this form of grip for your game.
The main way the grip is performed is by having the left hand at the bottom of the grip on your putter. The right hand only holds the grip, with the left forearm pressing against the club handle close to the right hand.
Why Does This Grip Work?
Many players have an issue with the right hand driving the ball too much when they are playing. The right hand is supposed to guide the ball slowly, while the left hand provides stability.
However, the left hand could do both, and with this grip, you are essentially eliminating the right hand from the equation, and it only comes along for the ride.
Who Should Use The Wrist Lock Grip?
If you notice that the right hand is tensing up while you are playing, this grip technique is the perfect way to alleviate some of the tension.
Since the only real idea of the right hand is to support the club, you can easily reduce the influence. The left hand should do all the work and ensure that your golf ball is perfectly directed.
What Putting Grips Do Pro Golfers Use?
Accurate putting is regarded as the most pivotal and intractable golf skill. The table below shows the different putting grips used by professional golf players.
Choosing putting grips will depend on your personality and comfort. Each player has his own style.
|Pro Golfers||Putting Grips||Benefits|
|Lee Westwood||The Claw||– The claw putter grip places the shoulders in charge and promotes hands-free action. |
– It helps prevent the right hand from becoming too active and affecting your control of the face.
|Bryson DeChambeau||The Arm Lock||– The Arm Lock is all about keeping the proper angles. |
– The armlock putting style may be an excellent solution for golfers struggling with putting yips.
|Tiger Woods||Traditional (also known as The Reverse Overlap)||– The conventional grip, also called the reverse overlap grip, is the most common method professional golfers use on the PGA Tour and is most famously used by 15-time major winner Tiger Woods. |
– This grip slightly differs from the popular overlap version when taking a full swing.
– According to Tiger Woods, the benefit of the Reverse Overlap is the unity it brings to both hands.
|Jordan Spieth||The Left-Hand Low||– It is likely the most widely used nontraditional way to grip the putter for right-handed golfers. |
– In Spieth’s case, he is inherently left-handed even though he plays golf right-handed.
|Matt Wallace||Two Thumbs||Two thumbs putting grip produces symmetry and allows the hands to hang straight down, instead of one above the other in a conventional grip.|
|Jack Nicklaus||Interlocking grip||With the interlocking grip, both hands effectively operate as one fluid unit, giving you much better control without thinking much about your wrists.|
|Phil Mickelson||Lefty Claw||Mickelson prefers the claw because it makes it easier to have “a longer, smoother stroke” on the fast greens during the Masters and tour events.|
|Brooks Koepka||Alternative Reverse Overlap||One advantage of the alternative reverse overlap is that the angle of the right wrist can stay the same through the stroke to allow the putter’s face not to waver open or closed and generate an inconsistent ball path.|
|Justin Rose||Modified Claw||According to Justin Rose, the benefit of the modified claw is its simplicity.|
|Adam Scott||Long Putter Claw||The long putter claw is one of the most uncommon putting grips.|
What Is The Best Grip For Putting?
The most common grip on tour is the traditional, reverse overlap golf grip, and the left-hand low grip is probably the most widely nontraditional way to grip the putter for right-handed golfers. It places the left hand below the right hand and in an authoritative position to maintain the path of the putter’s head instead of a golfer’s dominant right hand.
In addition, a bigger putter grip can generally help with putting accuracy, lessen the wrist impact through the stroke, and promote a better, more consistent roll on the ball. A bigger putter grip can also encourage the bigger arm muscles to dominate, which reduces the impact of twitchy wrists.
If you struggle with your putting game, you should consider changing or experimenting with different grip techniques and styles.
Each grip technique will enable you to make slight improvements to your game, and this will enhance your overall performance.
We would recommend experimenting with different grip techniques that enable you to find the best option.
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