Best Putter Grips
You cannot post good golf scores if you putt poorly. The old adage of “drive for show, putt for dough” proves mostly true to this day and has spawned a variety of golf putting grips that have their own advantages and disadvantages. Fortunately, a wide selection makes it possible to choose the best putting grip.
A wide range of putting grips make it possible for a skilled golfer to adapt to playing conditions and use the one that works best for the moment. Each one provides specific advantages that could help you to improve your putting game. Each also has disadvantages that could make one less than ideal for a particular lie.
If you are having a particular issue with your preferred putting grip, knowing one or more alternatives well enough to use them to continue posting good golf scores is a good idea. Golfers of virtually all skill levels generally settle on one specific putting grip that they use almost always use. Professional golfers will add more tools to their playing arsenal by learning and mastering several effective putting grips.
Among professional golfers, the reverse overlap is the one used the most by winners of PGA tournaments and majors in recent years. But it is far from exclusive, and many highly successful PGA Tour players use relatively unconventional putting grips while winning major championships and highly prized PGA tournaments. Virtually all professionals use a variety of putting grips but generally prefer one above others for a variety of reasons.
What is the Best Putter Grip
For most amateur golfers, the best putter grip is the one that gives them the most consistent putting stroke and greatest adaptability for the playing conditions. Ample practice of various styles over a period of time should help most golfers to improve their short game and prevent more 3 putt holes that add up to frustration and reduced satisfaction.
You also might have physical ailments that will make a particular golf putting grip the ideal one for your condition. If you have a nagging injury, such as a slightly sore hand or wrist, the claw putting grip might help you to complete a good round without putting too much strain on it, for example. An arm lock could help to reduce strain on your lower back if you are among the millions who suffer from lower back pain.
Other golf putting grips can put more topspin on the ball, which helps with slow greens. Some can give you more feel for delicate putting situations, and yet others can help to correct hand rotation issues that cause putts to miss their intended marks. Most people naturally have a preferred putting grip that works reasonably well. But some dedicated practice could provide solutions to the putts that require more English on the ball and help to improve your game.
The following is a closer look at several of the most commonly used putting grips. You likely already use one and possibly more, but maybe are looking for yet more ways to improve your game. No matter the reason for your interest in other golf putting grips, the following are several of the grips used most by professionals and others.
Conventional Putting Grip
A commonly used grip is the appropriately named the Conventional grip, which is a modified version of the Vardon grip for drivers. With the Vardon grip, a right-handed golfer holds the club with the left thumb on top of the shaft, which runs over the forefinger and beneath the butt of the left hand.
The right hand lays over the top with the heartline on the palm resting over the left them with the right them extended down the top of the shaft. The pinky on the right hand lays between the middle and index fingers in the left hand to create a unified grip with both hands. A unified grip essentially makes both hands work like one and gives you the most leverage on the club.
The conventional golf putting grip modifies the Vardon grip only slightly by extending the right hand down slightly further to act more like a piston that drives the face through the ball. Your left hand controls how the face addresses the ball and its direction in relation to the green’s terrain.
The conventional putt is relatively simple to learn and enables quick and simple adjustments that you can use to adapt to the green’s terrain and playing conditions. The putting grip gives you a good feel for the club while you are grasping it and delivers consistent putts when you use the proper address and putting stroke. Controlling the power is simple to do, while a consistent stroke and proper address will help you to put the ball where you intend. It is a simple and effective way to consistently putt well.
Many players are prone to rolling their hands while using the conventional grip. That likely is a consequence of using a similar motion on the follow through when using a driver. Rolling the hands will change the angle of the clubface and cause an errant putt while also reducing some of the energy that you intend to put into it. Lost energy translates into putts the come up short of the cup.
Another issue is a relatively long distance between the club face and your hands forming the grip. That leaves lots of room for error to creep into your putt. Just a little error in the grip becomes more exaggerated down at the face and can have a profound effect on the putt’s result. Consistent practice will help to better control the putting stroke and deliver more consistent results.
Why Golfers Use the Grip
The conventional putting grip is a favorite of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day. They like the feel that the grip gives them. It also lets golfers make minor changes in their putt to adapt to the playing conditions and green. It is a very adaptable grip that you can use under a variety of playing conditions.
Reverse Overlap Putting Grip
The Reverse Overlap grip is a favorite among PGA Tour golfers and uses the right hand like a piston while the left controls the putter’s face to direct the ball where you want it to go. Like the conventional grip, the reverse overlap grip is a simple modification of the Vardon grip and gives golfers good control of ball direction and launch with the putt.
A right-handed golfer grips the club with the left hand situated similarly to the Vardon grip. The right hand rests underneath the left and around the putter’s grip. The hands link by raising the left hand’s index finger and wrapping it over the right hand’s fingers. The left thumb must lie flat on the topside of the putter’s grip where it is flat. The thumb completes the profile and gives the putter greater support during the stroke and improves accuracy.
The reverse overlap putting grip enables golfers to prevent the hand rolling that commonly afflicts those using the conventional grip. Both palms get a good contact surface with the putter, which improves your control. You can focus on the ball and give the putt and good natural feel while delivering good directional control.
You need to maintain steady pressure with both hands for the perfect putt with the reverse overlap grip. Golfers tend to overuse their dominant hand and improperly swing through the ball during the putt while using this grip. Practice that focuses on using equal pressure with both hands throughout the swing will help to deliver the perfect putt.
Why Golfers Use the Grip
The reverse overlap provides the kind of club control that corrects common problems that many golfers generally have with Vardon-style grips. Stopping rolling of the hands is the most obvious correction that greatly improves golf putting results when you also maintain consistent grip pressure with both hands. You hit the ball more accurately and produce a more consistent pendulum effect for the putting stroke.
Claw Putting Grip
This unconventional putting grip for its greater ability to control the piston power with the right arm when used by right-handed golfers and the left when used by left-handed golfers. You exchange some putting power for greater accuracy via better control of the clubface.
A right-handed golfer would start with a traditional Vardon-style grip with the left hand. The right hand goes underneath and positioned to the side with the palm facing the body. With the thumb extending out, the putter rests between the thumb and forefinger with the middle finger running parallel down the putter grip.
The claw putting gives supreme control of the club face and helps to produce a more consistent swing. The grip also helps to reduce the lean angle, which relieves pressure on the lower back. That is a huge relief over 18 holes and especially when walking the course during tournament play.
The claw grip saps some of the power that other putting grips provide. It takes a lot of practice to develop a good touch with the claw putting grip, so beginners are best advised to stick with a conventional grip or other type that they normally use for very short putts. The reduction in putting power from the reduced piston motion makes the putt harder on slow greens.
Why Golfers Use the Grip
Golfers who struggle to consistently hit a perfect putt will find the claw putting grip helps to make their putts more consistent and eliminate frustrating bad streaks. It is a great grip to use as a backup if you have a preferred grip but occasionally run into bad streaks with bad putts.
The claw putting grip is a favorite of Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood and Tony Finau for its exceptional control of the face. That helps to sink long putts when lots of practice helps to produce perfect putt feel.
Cross Handed Putting Grip
The Vardon grip and its many putting grip variations generally drive the clubface through the ball. An alternative is the Cross-Handed grip, which pulls the clubface through the ball rather than driving it like a piston. The bottom hand provides the putting power while the top controls the club face.
The grip crosses up the conventional grip by putting the right hand higher up on the grip and the left beneath. The right hand controls the clubface while the left provides the energy to send the ball to the cup.
When done properly, the grip locks the hands in place and reduces jerking motions that can ruin a perfect putt. The golfer enjoys a steadier putting motion while keeping the stroke more online toward the target.
The grip places the dominant hand further away from the putter head, which reduces its power and effectiveness. The greater distance causes minor swing imperfections to become significant ones at the putter face. Regular practice will help to reduce the potential ill effects.
Why Golfers Use the Grip
The cross handed grip drops the left shoulder on right-handers and the left-shoulder on left-handers and better square up your shoulder alignment when addressing the ball. That results in a more consistent swing that more consistently sends the ball where you want it to go. The cross-handed grip is a favorite of Jordan Spieth and Alex Noren. Dustin Johnson uses it on occasion, which shows even the top golfers occasionally change their putting grips.
Arm Lock Putting Grip
You might have seen golfers on the pro tour or at the local course using a very tall putter with the long putter grip resting against one arm and using a generally cross-handed grip. That is the Arm Lock and is a great one for golfers who have back issues by reducing the lean angle needed to properly grip the club for your putt.
For a right-hander, you use a cross grip but with the left arm held nearly straight and the putter grip resting against the inside of your left forearm. That makes the putter an extension of your left arm, which act like a pendulum. The right hand provides the piston action while the left swings in an arc and drives the putter face through the ball.
The Arm Lock helps to produce topspin on the ball, which helps to drive it toward your target. The grip results in a lot of forward press at the face that causes the topspin effect. The grip enables straighter putts and helps to prevent 3 putt holes.
The putter has to have a very long putter shaft and grip that makes it more of a specialty putter. The putter’s club face must have a loft of at least 6 degrees to provide the forward press needed to create the perfect putt. The combination of special equipment and greater amount of topspin produced require a lot of practice to get right and develop a good feel for the perfect putt.
Why Golfers Use the Grip
The arm lock is great for golfers who want a consistent putt and to ease the lean angle on the lower back. The forward press and resulting topspin help to push the ball through a slow green and is especially helpful when doing long putts from the fringe. The arm lock is the preferred putting grip of Matt Kuchar, Keegan Bradley and Bryson DeChambeau.
Should I change my putting grip?
If you are pondering a change and want to find the best putter grip, you likely are posting some frustrating scores due to some poor putting results. Before undertaking a wholesale change in your golf putting grip, you need to ensure you are practicing properly to ensure you are making the perfect putt. Putting is a mechanical process that uses physics to send the ball where you need it to go when you perform a perfect putt.
When using most putting grips, one side of your body controls the putter while the other side releases it. The side that controls it generally provides the energy that the putter head transfers to the ball. The release side controls the putter’s face and the general direction of the swing during the putting stroke. You need to ensure your putting stroke is consistent throughout the motion to make perfect putts more consistently.
Using the same correct putting motion to make your putts more accurate and effective requires a lot of practice. You need to practice correctly with the proper grip technique to ensure you putt correctly while on the green. You should try to settle on a preferred putting grip, but it always is beneficial to learn more than one type of putting grip.
The more putting styles you know, the more tools you have in your kit to make the best putt. Whenever you learn a new grip, you should practice it for about a month straight to focus on mastering its subtle elements. That will help you to better adapt it to your personal playing style and truly improve your game. Each of these listed options could become your best putter grip, it just depends on your preference and the amount of work you put into it.
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