How to Grip Your Putter
Claws, Saws, Overlaps…Oh My! Golf expert Rob H. walks us through how to grip a putter to elevate your game.
We spend a lot of money on those lessons to learn how to hit a golf ball far and accurately. So why don’t we spend that same amount of time and money on the putting stroke? Yes, the putting stroke is not as complicated as the full swing but 36 shots on a par 72 golf course are intended for putts. Here is my guide to my favorite putting grip styles that can help your game.
A Brief Note on Posture and Alignment
The first two things we have to get through are posture and alignment. Your arms need to hang down to form a triangle between the hand holding the putter and straight line between your right shoulder and left shoulder, as shown in the photo below. Your shoulders also need to be on the same level as each other and show a straight line to your target.
The overlapping grip is the most common putting grip you’ll see. Your top hand (left hand for a right-handed golfer, opposite for left-handed golfers) will grip the putter grip with your fingers wrapped around the back of the grip and your thumb on the flat part of the grip down the middle. On your bottom hand, your thumb will overlap your other thumb, and your fingers will wrap around the back. You will take your left hand index finger and place it in between your right hand’s pinky finger and ring finger.
This grip really helps your consistency as it keeps your hands as one unit and almost mimics your hand position for your golf swing. The drawback of this grip is if your wrists break too much you can putt the ball too hard or send it on a line you did not intend.
Left hand low
The Cross-Handed grip, used a lot by touring professionals like Jordan Speith, has become an extremely popular grip to use. A right-handed golfer will first grab the putter with their right hand near the top of the grip. Just as a reminder, you will grip the putter grip with all of your fingers wrapped around the back and your thumb on the flat part of the grip down the middle. In this case, your left hand will go on the bottom and overlap like you did in the with your right hand. Once your hands are set, move your right hand index finger between your knuckles for your pinky and ring finger on your left hand.
I personally use this grip all the time, because it allows me to control my putter head better than the Reverse-Overlapping grip. However, this grip makes it more difficult to control speed and release the putter head.
The Claw Grip
This type of grip was made popular by Chris Dimarcco on the PGA Tour back in the early 2000s. The fingers of your top hand (for a right-handed golfer, this will be your left hand) will wrap around the grip, with your thumb down the middle. Your dominant hand will go on the bottom, with your thumb wrapped around the back and the side of the putter grip resting next to your index finger. Just like the overlapping grip, the claw grip can be reversed too, if you want to try that option as well.
The claw grip can help you get your shoulders in line with your target if one shoulder is higher than the other. To check your face angle, you can place a playing card next to your index finger to help you with putter face control. The drawback of this grip is distance control. You really have to focus on swinging from your shoulders, not your hands.
The Saw Grip
This grip style was made famous by Mark O’Mera, former Masters Champion, in his rookie season on the Champions Tour. The fingers of your top hand (for a right-handed golfer, this will be your left hand) will wrap around the grip, with your thumb down the middle. Your thumb on your right hand will go around the back of the grip, while your index, middle, and ring fingers will rest on the middle of the grip and your pinky will rest on the side of the putter grip. This grip can also be reversed.
This grip really helps if you need to get your shoulders in line with each other, especially if one is more forward than the other.
There are many more grips out there, like the double thumb or pistol claw, but these four (six if you count the reverse for the claw and the saw) are a great place to start. I strongly recommend you try these grips out on the practice putting green before you take them out on the course. Also, you can always have an instructor or playing partner check out your shoulder to target alignment.
And if all of these grips fail you, there are still plenty of options. You can always look to a new putter or changing components. If you have too much grip pressure, you can try an oversized putter grip. If you need a little more pressure in your grip, you can always try a slimmer pistol grip (like the one Tiger Woods uses). A wave of new putters just hit the market, and they come with the latest in putter shaft technologies. We can help you out right here at Curated.com.