The Putting Grip Encyclopedia: How you Hold the Putter Matters

How to Grip a Putter

To lower your scores, you must put.

According to 18 Birdies golf app, “The USGA statistics states the average male golfer shoots a 98-99 and has at least 40 putts per round or 2.2 putts per hole. Most recreational and amateur golfers are well above this number while professional golfers average about 1.8 putts per hole and 32 putts per round.”

You can improve your putting skills and become a better golfer. As Dan Schwabe, a PGA Pro said, “If people are upset at being a 25 – 36 handicap, watch them putt. That’s the fastest area in the game to save five shots a round.” 

If your putting isn’t up to par, it’s time to change that starting today. There are many factors that go into making a great putter. But the most important is the grip.

Since it’s the only part of your body that touches the club, it’s essential to make sure your grip yields a consistent stroke. You have a wide range of grip options to choose from, unlike a full swing. 

You want to find one that gives your ball confidence on the green. Continue reading to find out how to improve the stroke of your putting by improving your grip.

Different styles of putting grip

If you’re like most golfers, you want to know what is the proper putting grip? What grip is best to use for putting?  What grip style is best for putting?

The answer is simple – the putting grip that works best for you!

There is no one grip that works best. If there was, everyone would use it and it would make putting seem easy.

You will see that the best players in the game have a little bit of everything. 

A conventional grip style is used by Tiger Woods, the best known putter of all time. Jordan Speith, a clutch player in big moments, uses a left-hand low grip style. Others, like Colin Morikawa also use a claw grasp. 

There is no single grip that is the best for rolling rock. It’s about testing out different ones to find out which works best for your stroke and ultimately, gives you the most confidence. 

Confidence is what you need to be successful on the greens. You don’t need a perfect stroke, or a $500 putter. Those can be helpful, but trust in your own abilities is what you really want. 

Here are some examples of putting grips to help you choose the right one for your game. 

Conventional grip (Reverse Overlap). 

The first grip is either the conventional or traditional grip. It’s also known as the reverse overlap. It’s basically the equivalent of a normal (non-interlocking) full golf swing grip.

According to Golf.com, it’s also the most popular grip amongst professionals. This grip is used by approximately 68% to ensure that the hands work together and minimize wrist hinge.

If you need an example of a traditional grip, look no further than one of the best putters ever – Tiger himself. While his full swing isn’t traditional (he interlocks his fingers), he’s the poster boy for a reverse overlap grip.

It’s pretty simple and allows you to feel the putter in your hands.

Instructions for Putting Grip Conventional

Here is a quick checklist on this style from Tiger’s book, How do I play golf?:

  • For right-handed golfers start with your lefthand and then move to your right hand. Next, place your right hand over your left index finger.
  • Your right hand should be parallel with your left hand. This makes sure your hands don’t fight each other during the stroke. It’s also easier to get the face square at impact. 
  • The shaft is just below your right forefinger. Your right thumb extends down to the shaft. The target is facing the back of the left-hand. This position makes sure there isn’t excess rotation throughout the stroke.
  • For feedback during strokes, both thumbs can be found directly below the handle.

Needless to say, if it works for the 15-time major champion, it’s pretty dependable. Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and the Golden Bear are just a few of the other players who employ this style. 

Alternate Version

You can also change the putting grip by having your right index finger run down the putter shaft. Brooks Koepka is a major champion who prefers this grip style.

Cross Handed Grip (Left Hand Lower)

The reverse of the reverse overlap grip is called a left hand low grip or a cross-handed putting grip.

This style is also known as cross handed. Jordan Speith is one the most used players on the PGA Tour. He is one the most clutch putters.

The exact method is the same. The opposite of a conventional grip.

Instead of the right thumb being lower than the left, the left hand grips the grip first. The left thumb is on one side of the shaft. The hand is facing the hole in a weak place. 

This grip will give you almost all control with your left arm. The right hand plays a small role and is more important for support than anything. 

Since the left hand is locked in place, it’s great if you have too much wrist hinge. Cross-handed should be an option if you find yourself flipping the cup and missing the putts. 

You should not putt your left hand low if you want to control distance. It’s sometimes hard to gauge speed for longer putts but have personally found it useful with short putts. 

What is the Claw Grip?

Claw Grip 

Next is a more modern grip that has become increasingly popular on the PGA Tour. It’s known as the claw and also helps deal with an overactive right hand. 

The stroke begins with the claw putting grip. The dominant wrist is the left one. It is in the same place as a reverse overlap grip. The right hand is where the fun begins. 

The grip can be held by the right hand in many different ways.

Place your middle and pointer fingers on top of the grip with the right hand. The pinkie and ring fingers should not touch the club. Wrap them around the shaft. 

Some players prefer only two fingers touching their grip. Others prefer all four fingers. 

After my right wrist became too active in my putting, this style was the best I tried. Although it was awkward at first, it has been a huge help.

To feel comfortable while you stroke, it is important to determine how many fingers you want to place on your grip. I tried with three, three, and four fingers, but found that I felt more comfortable with two. 

Even if you don’t make the switch to this grip style full time, it’s a great way to practice. I practice on a putting green using the claw to feel my right wrist and hand not moving. Give it a try even if it’s just on the practice green. 

Click here for more information about the claw-putting grip.

Prayer Grip

The “The” is a new style of gripping. Prayer to put your grip.

This style grip allows you to hold your hands at the same level, with each hand facing in (as if you were praying). Your thumbs face down, with your index fingers running parallel to the shaft. It’s very interesting as it’s the same grip for both hands.

What is the Prayer Putting Grip

To make this grip style work, you can’t use a normal grip though.

This hand placement will not work with every grip that comes with your putter. To facilitate the hand position, you will need a thicker grip.

The goal is to keep your putter’s head straight. There is no dominant hand. Each player plays an important role in keeping the putter’s face square. 

Click here to find out more about Prayer putting grip.

Arm Lock Putting Grip

The traditional grip is all about feeling, but the arm lock method almost completely eliminates it. That’s why Bryson DeChambeau putting stroke looks very different on the greens vs. Tiger or Jack. He seems more like a robot than an artist. But, it works for him so there’s no judgement on my part.

To make the arm lock putting grip work, you will need a longer shaft. A normal 34-36 inch putter length won’t do the trick. 

To use the arm lock grip, adjust your left hand to allow the shaft and grip to touch your left forearm. Everything else will work as normal. 

The main benefit of the arm lock grip is that the club face can’t move very much. Since the club is locked into your arm, the face won’t open or close very much, which gives a strong sense of stability. 

Although it reduces feel, I love that this grip makes you forward press on the ball. This acts as a trigger to get your stroke going and is something that great putters do (Jordan Spieth or Phil Mickelson, for example).). 

Keegan Bradley and Matt Kuchar are two other notable players who use this technique. 

Alternate Version

Combining the arm lock with a claw to increase control is an option.

Putting Grip

Broomstick Grip

The broomstick method is very different from any of the others we’ve mentioned. The shaft of a broomstick grip is significantly longer than a regular putter. There are two grips for the same shaft.

There are two grip sizes: one at the bottom of the shaft and one at the top. This is where you hold the putter with your left hand.

The right hand can continue to rest on the club.

Since the butt-end can no longer “anchor” to your body, this method isn’t as popular of a putting technique anymore. Style is not something most golfers have ever tried. It might be helpful to ask a friend who uses style.

Other Factors to Consider

Your hand placement is crucial in putting. But there are other things you should consider. These things should be considered before you completely change up your grip.

Accelerate through the putt 

The ball has a zero percent chance of going in the hole if it doesn’t make it to the cup. While I’m not advocating that you race each putt by 4 or 5 feet (that would make for a long day), get it to the hole.

Particularly, you should always accelerate through the stroke. In Phil Mickelson’s Short Game Secrets, he says it’s essential to always accelerate through the putt. Try to think, “25% of your stroke on the way back and 75% on the way through” so you always accelerate.

Putting Alignment (Target Line).

You could have the perfect grip, perfect stroke, and perfect speed, but if your alignment is off, the putt won’t fall in the bottom of the cup. Your target line specifically is the biggest thing to evaluate when you’re struggling on the greens.

If you don’t have one yet, invest in a Putting TudorDave Pelz

This affordable training aid makes it easy to see if your starting line is off. Thanks to the marbles, if your ball hits one then you get instant feedback on if you’re pushing or pulling putts. 

Routine for Pre-Shot Placing 

Finally, don’t forget to have a solid pre-shot putting routine as well. Many players have one for their full swing, but many forget to put it into practice on the putting green. 

A consistent routine for pre-shots will help you overcome nerves, build confidence and drain more putts. 

These are all important considerations to make when you want to improve your putting performance. More articles

These are important to know:

  • Best Putting Drills
  • How to Read Greens

FAQs  About the Putting Grip

Are you curious about the different grip types that can be used to improve your putting? Continue reading to find out everything you need to know about grip types and how they can improve your putting.

What is the standard putting grip size?

The best putting grip is one that allows your putter’s face to be square at impact and drains putts. Regardless of which grip styles you might use, it’s all about finding one that works best for your specific putting stroke.

While some swear by a standard putting grip, others want to use the arm lock so it’s attached to the left forearm. Some prefer that the stroke be led by the left wrist/lefthand, while others prefer to use the cross hand.

Try out several grip styles if things aren’t going on your way on the green.

What kind of grip do putters use? 

The one that gives you the most confidence when you’re standing over the golf ball. This could be a left-hand low grip or claw grip. A traditional grip like Tiger uses.

It’s also important to test out your grip vs. others if you’re going through a bit of a slump. A while back my traditional grip wasn’t giving me loads of confidence, so I tried the claw. It helped me to reduce hand movement and ultimately resulted in more putts.

When I feel something different, I switch between the two.

Don’t be afraid to mix up your grip if you need a confidence boost. But I’d suggest practicing enough to make sure you’re comfortable with it on the golf course.

Who uses the claw-putting grip?

The claw is a very popular technique on the Tour. One reason it’s become so popular is that the claw works great on fast greens, which is basically every PGA stop. 

The average green for normal golfers is a 10. The best players around the world are able to play on greens between a 12-14. Sometimes, 15 is required for the biggest majors. 

Some venues also have firm greens. 

Who has the best putting grips 

There are many brands that make great grips. But SuperStroke is my favorite. They offer a wide range of products that allow players to grip the putter comfortably.

Here’s a quick overview of their various product lines:

  • Pistol grips
  • Round grips 
  • Flatso Putter Grips
  • Wristlock putter grip
  • Countercore putter grips

These grips are very popular and a great addition for your putter handle. I’m a huge fan of them but encourage you to put your hands on a few to find the right fit.

How often should you regrip your putter?

With putting, you don’t need to regrip as frequently as the rest of your clubs. Your grip pressure is much lower than it is with a full-length golf swing. Which is good because they’re not cheap!

What are the benefits of a fat putter grip 

Some players swear by a fat putter grip while others won’t even touch one. So what’s all the hype about?

Fat putter grips are so big that they virtually eliminate (or at the very least minimize) excessive hand motions during the stroke. This is a huge benefit for golfers, as many players move their hands/wrists too much, which can lead to many missed putts.

Click here to learn more about fat putter grips and see if they’re worth it.

Do I need to wear a glove when putting?

No, don’t wear a glove while putting. Just watch any event on the PGA Tour and you’ll see that none of them wear a glove. However, you’ll likely see many high-handicappers wearing gloves at your local municipal golf course.

What’s the point?

Putt like the pros.

Gloves can make it difficult to feel the putter in your hands and monitor grip pressure. Wearing a glove can hinder your ability to feel the putter’s touch and feel. 

Once your golf ball has hit the green, remove your glove from Velcro and begin your green-reading strategy. 

What grip does Tiger Woods have?

Tiger’s putter grip might be the most famous one of all time.

Scotty Cameron flatstick has been a great help in making some of my most clutch putts. The grip is actually a traditional Ping PP58 puttergrip. 

According to Golf.comTiger orders several hundred items at once! Clearly they’re working extremely well for him so we don’t blame him.

How does Phil Mickelson hold his putter in the first place? 

Leftie is a unique player in that he isn’t afraid to change putting grips. He can putt with either a traditional or claw grip, but he will sometimes switch to the claw grip. 

This YouTube videoPhil explains his reasons for switching to a claw-style from time to time. 

Final Thoughts on The Best Putting Grip

There are many common putting grips, as you can see.

There are many styles of putting grips, and not all of them are the best. It’s all about finding a style that works for your putter, your stroke, and helps you get the ball in the hole.

The good news is that if you’re in a putting slump, a grip change might be just what you need. As I mentioned, switching from a traditional grip to a claw grip helped me tremendously and improved my mental attitude on the greens. 

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