Learning how to hold a putter and grip it properly is one of the most important foundations of the game. What many beginners don't realize is that the best way to grip and hold a putter varies. There isn't a single proper putting grip that all seasoned players put to use. In fact, players employ a broad range of putting styles.
For players of all experience levels, mastering how to grip a putter for the style that you wish to employ is one of the most powerful ways to improve performance on the course. To help you decide on a golf grip when putting, we created this guide.
What Are the Different Grip Styles for Putting?
Let's dig into the different grip styles you can choose when learning how to put.
Also known as the reverse overlap, the conventional grip involves placing your right hand at the bottom of the grip with your thumb pointing down. Then, you wrap your left pinky, ring and middle fingers around the back of the shaft, reaching your left index finger over the fingers of your right hand. This grip keeps your hands locked down and limits hinge and rotation. Many golfers find it to be the most natural feeling of the grips, and it's the favorite of many pros, including Tiger Woods.
Used by Jordan Spieth and Alex Norén, this grip starts by putting the ridge of the putter grip in your left hand with the back of the hand facing the target and your left thumb slightly to the left side of the shaft. Then, you place your right hand directly above with your palm facing the target. For players with overactive wrists, this grip reduces the ability to overuse your right hand.
Matt Wallace and Paul Dunne both use this grip style, which involves placing your right palm on the right side of the putter and your left palm on the left. Once your hands are in position, you place your thumbs on the center of the shaft. This grip style gives you a smoother stroke and prevents gripping too tightly.
Phil Mickelson put the claw on the map when he won the 2021 PGA Championship. To try it out yourself, grip the putter at the top of the handle with your left hand. Position your thumb so it points down the middle of the shaft. Then, place your right hand underneath it, so the handle is between your index finger and thumb. Finally, pinch the handle. With this style, you have more control over the position of the face of the club. It also calms overactive wrists and hands.
Intended for a putter with a longer shaft, this grip is very similar to the conventional grip. The key difference is that the back of your left hand is a little more forward, so the putter can rest against your left forearm. This putting style can help you maintain optimal clubface position and provides greater stability throughout your swing. Keegan Bradley and Matt Kuchar are two pros who prefer this putting style.
Adam Scott and Bernhard Langer both use this putting style that requires an extra-long putter. To try it out, grip the top of the putter with your left hand. Contact should be made with your fingertips. Avoid pressing too hard into the club. You can then put your right hand below with your palm facing outward or assume the claw grip with the right hand. With this putting style, your chest and shoulders do more work, so your hands stay quieter. It can be an excellent option for golfers who have trouble bending to achieve the conventional grip.
What Putting Grip Style Is Right for Me?
Since there is no single best way to grip a putter, you'll need to think about the following when choosing a putting style:
- Your Grip: The putting grip style you use should be the one you are most comfortable with depending on what putter you are using since there are many grips you can take advantage of.
- How You Play: Your style on the course should factor into your decision. Identify your strengths and weaknesses and compare them to the advantages of the putting styles, looking for one that's a good match.
- Your Goals: If you're stuck in a rut and not seeing your handicap improve, switching your grip style to something new could be the secret to improving your game.
Tips for Learning How to Putt
- Practice regularly: Many golfers frequently head to the driving range, but many skip putting practice. Spend time trying out different grips and then stick with the one you prefer. Regular practice will help you build muscle memory to make putting easier on the course.
- Record yourself: Record your practice sessions to view and analyze your form.
- Take a few lessons: If you're a beginner, learning the basics from a pro can give you a solid foundation to build on.
- Get fitted for a putter: Professional fitting can help to ensure you're using the right club for your unique needs. Even a highly skilled and experienced player can struggle to make those birdies if they're not using a properly fitted club.